We can all agree that it can be hard to find the “right” person who makes us feel happy.
But there are some basic rules about who we shouldn’t date, based on who dated them first, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While organizing and paying for a family vacation, Redditor bookoffoodaway discovered that her brother was dating someone she used to be close to.
Since this was someone she didn’t want to have in her life anymore, the Original Poster (OP) considered disinviting her brother from the vacation.
She asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I uninvited my brother from a family trip after figuring out his secret?”
The OP was worried about her brother’s most recent relationship.
“My (I’m 32 Female) family takes an annual trip, and for years now, we alternate who pays. This year is my year.”
“I dated a guy for two years, and let’s just say he was incredibly toxic, and I’m in a much better mental state because he was out of my life. (He is now 25 Male.)”
“My brother (22 Male) is gay and has been in a relationship for six months but hadn’t introduced his boyfriend to us. This is odd because we’d met his previous boyfriends.”
“As the weeks and months went on, I started to ask constantly why I couldn’t meet his boyfriend, and I started to worry it was some insane age gap between them or something.”
She accidentally uncovered who the secret boyfriend was.
“Yesterday, my brother jokingly took my phone and ran off, so I jokingly took his phone, which he’d left unlocked.”
“I got curious and looked in his pictures, and I saw pictures of my ex. I was confused why’d he have pics of my ex smiling, and then it hit me.”
“I thought my ex was straight, so I needed confirmation. I unblocked him on Instagram to see tons of pictures of him and my brother clearly in a relationship.”
The OP struggled to believe it.
“I confronted my brother about it and he said, ‘I’m sorry, this why I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t intentionally try to date him. He started hanging out with a friend of mine and it went from there. I really care about him, and you know, he’s hot, haha.'”
“Since I’m paying for the trip, I’m uninviting my brother. Along with him, my family thinks I’m wrong for this.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the brother was insensitive and hid the relationship on purpose.
“NTA. ‘Don’t date your sibling’s ex’ is, like, Rule #1.” – Unit_00
“I got a very ‘Ewwww, icky!’ feeling from this. I could not imagine being with a man my sister was with first. Shudder!”
“So BIL (Brother-in-Law)! I love you dearly!!! Just… Not THAT way!” – Superb-Chocolate5830
“Gross to the max! Plus, her brother must know this guy was toxic to his sis, so who cares if he’s ‘hot’? He mistreated your sister!” – DatguyMalcolm
“NTA, I don’t blame you for not wanting to vacation with your brother. It’s not like he’s seeing a man you had a fling with. You were in a TWO-year relationship with this person. That’s a major betrayal.”
“Your family wants you to sweep it under the rug for the sake of peace. But this is the type of behavior that gives you grounds to go full NC (no contact) with your brother if you wanted. Don’t let other people manipulate you into thinking that you’re wrong for having an emotional reaction to this.” – Glum_Max_2837
“NTA. Your brother is.”
“Surely the list of people you have dated is not so long that (without them) he’d be left with no viable options among the remaining males on the planet. He chose to voluntarily begin a relationship with someone who he knew had been poison to your life. (Relationships don’t start by accident.)”
“Also, your brother was going to allow you to pay for his partner knowing that you’d be paying for vacation for your toxic ex. That’s squarely in the center of definite AH territory.”
“With family like that, who needs enemies?” – mhir0nfire2
Others didn’t think it was right for the OP to disinvite her brother over this.
“YTA for uninviting your brother. I get that you’re upset. That’s understandable, but you can’t just cut your brother out of a family trip where you all alternate paying. This isn’t a gift from you. it’s just your turn to pay.”
“I suggest sitting down and trying to talk this out with your sibling. I’m not going to say I wouldn’t be hurt if this happened to me. Your brother never should have hidden this from you. At the very least, he should have talked to you before starting to date this ex. Anything else is a betrayal.”
“Without knowing any details about your relationship other than ‘it was toxic,’ we can’t know if your ex was struggling with his sexuality. If he was, there is good reason to believe that was a major issue he needed to work out before being with anyone. I’d try to take a step back and look at the whole picture before cutting my brother out of my life.” – Meetmeatthebeach
“Your brother dating your ex is squicky and awful. The fact that he tried to hide it from you given how toxic he was is awful.”
“But you’re not ‘paying’ for the vacation in an altruistic way. This is just your turn to pay for an annual tradition that everyone pays into. Unless your brother is not in the payment rotation, he’s paid for his right to go on this vacation with his prior and future payments.”
“So unless you plan on reimbursing him for your share of a vacation he paid for, you’re also an a**hole here.” – Apprehensive_Secret2
“MILD ESH. You are not ‘paying for the trip,’ it’s just your turn; you are still splitting the expenses with your family, but instead of going, let’s say 1/3 EVERY year, you go 1/3 over every THREE-year period (assuming it’s your parents, you, your brother; doesn’t really matter anyway, over time you share).”
“And he didn’t try to subject you to your ex – if he was trying to bring him along, I would be with you 100%. But he kept him completely away from you, you didn’t even hear his name in the 6 months they are dating. He should have kept him at arm’s length after your experience with him, yes, and there would never be a chance for them to get together; plus, if he is dating him, he is essentially discrediting your experience with him, and claiming he is good.”
“The main problem though is not whether you are or aren’t the ah, it’s that the cat is out of the bag, and your brother no longer needs to be hiding his relationship; and that may give him ideas. I think you should have a good discussion with all of them, that you don’t want to see or hear about your ex AT ALL and ever again. The trip discussion is an excellent opportunity to do that. And if he disagrees with that at all, by all means, cut him out.”
“Anyway, you have every right to never want to see his face again, so make sure you set your boundaries now, while it’s still early.” – Eddy5264
“I’m torn and leaning towards ESH. He’s a jerk for doing this behind your back for six months. No doubt. Especially, considering the toxicity aspect.”
“But, the agreement is that it‘s a family vacation and everyone alternates payment. if you’ve benefitted from that arrangement (assuming your brother pays as well) it’s only fair to pay your share.”
“Single-handedly excluding/uninviting due to a personal issue between you and your brother opens up a can of worms with people feeling they can invite/uninvite at will when it’s their turn to pay. You’re vacation precedent is now officially dead (maybe that’s okay).”
“NOW, If it were a family decision for him not to go- that’s different. Unfortunately, doesn’t sound like your family is on board… which also makes them part of the problem and furthers my ESH statement.”
“I‘m sorry you are in this position. This feels like a no-win situation.” – pulchra_lanae
“I’m gonna say NTA here, it’s pretty bad form to be dating a sibling’s ex, especially doing so in secret. He should know this. He probably does know this, if he was hiding it from you.”
“Before uninviting him from the trip, though, perhaps consider sitting him down and talking about the situation. If he seems like he understands your issues, and wants to change and grow, maybe bring him along on the trip.”
“But on the other hand, if he doubles down, or anything like that, then there’s no sense risking him ruining your vacation, especially on your own dime. And, of course, him bringing your ex along is out of the question, obviously.” – Revegelance
Some were more worried about what this situation said about the ex-boyfriend.
“I would actually be concerned that he would be toxic towards OP’s little brother, too, if I were her.”
“Yes, her brother is TA for dating her ex, but he’s only 22 and might be influenced and love-bombed by the toxic man.”
“OP, you are NTA, but if you generally love your brother, I would suggest you have a talk with him where you tell him your concerns, and keep an eye on him. Does your brother know how toxic your ex was?” – Elinesvendsen
“He’s trying to come on a family vacation with his ex. Seemingly as a surprise. I’d say that’s pretty f**king toxic. Holy cow, could you imagine doing that?” – bendybiznatch
“I was in a pretty bad relationship years ago, and that partner would 1000% do something like this on purpose.”
“NTA, it’s very understandable not to want to vacation with your brother after this kind of behavior. That said, 22 is still very young and inexperienced, and perfect prey for a seasoned manipulator.”
“Sit him down and explain how that relationship messed with you. He’s probably not going to listen right away, but you might help him to ‘see it’ sooner.”
“I’m not letting your brother entirely off the hook; he knows on some level that this relationship isn’t right, or he wouldn’t have hidden it from the whole family.”
“But also, it seems like the ex was hunting for someone easier to control, with the added benefit of upsetting you, and targeted your brother.” – elastricity
“If the ex is as toxic as OP says, I wouldn’t be surprised if he targeted OP’s brother specifically to get back at her, especially if she’s the one that ended the relationship.”
“Either he’s saying, ‘I’d rather be with a man than with you,’ or he’s planning to break the brother’s heart, thinking that will hurt OP.” – LadyV21454
“NTA, OP. I wonder if the ex is dating OP’s brother precisely to keep tabs on her. Toxic exes hardly ever just let people go after two years…” – GlitterDoomsday
The subReddit could understand why the OP was struggling with this news, especially since she’d had a long-term relationship with the guy.
But they were more worried about the OP isolating her brother by eliminating him from the trip or from her life entirely. There was a distinct possibility the ex was only dating the brother to get back at the OP, and if that was true, the brother would be the main one getting hurt.