When a family member is down, a sibling is usually there to help them keep their chin up and comfort them in a time of need.
But is there a wrong way to go about showing support for a sibling who has seen better days?
Redditor No-Reindeer-3125 thinks so.
She is a 23-year old woman with a boyfriend whose sister is going through a difficult time in her life.
The Redditor visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to seek validation for her concern and asked:
“AITA for telling my bf I don’t like the way he cuddles with his sister?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My bf (24 male)’s sister (26 female) had her first kid quite young at 21. Her daughter is now 5 and has developed a cancerous brain tumour.”
“Her fiance and the baby daddy un-fianced her ( I don’t know the proper term because I don’t think break up works here).”
“It’s obviously all been really hard on her so my bfs been comforting her but I don’t like that he cuddles her.”
“LIke she’ll hug him he will put his arm around her and stroke her back or something and she’ll just cry into his chest.”
“Im not jealous because he cuddles a lot with me as well but I just think it’s weird. I understand that it is his sister and she is going through a hard time, but I still thought it was weird and felt a little uncomfortable.”
“So I went and talked to him about it and said it made me uncomfortable. He said that’s my sister and Im just trying to help her.”
“I said that it still makes me uncomfortable. He asked me what I want him to do. I said just don’t cuddle her give her support in other ways.”
“He said that it was a good way of giving support and it helped her and that I need to calm down so I said fine and left it at that.”
“At first, I thought he was being stubborn but now that Ive thought about it more I think he may be right and I probably should calm down and try to help him instead of bothering him like this.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors thought the OP was the a**hole in the situation and they criticized her for comparing a hug to a term usually meant for people who are romantically involved.
“YTA. By the post title I thought it was going to be them like just sitting on the couch together snuggling and giggling while watching TV.”
‘LIke she’ll hug him he will put his arm around her and stroke her back or something and she’ll just cry into his chest.’
“That’s an entirely different picture, where she’s going through probably the hardest time in her life and sounds like she literally just needs someone to cry on.”
“They’re family. Siblings 2 years apart probably grew up close as heck.” – PangolinSignal3674
“YTA- your bf nephew has brain cancer and you don’t like that he hugs his sister. Seriously?” – chicagoman9876
“YTA. The biggest. You’re sexualizing the way he comforts her. That’s his sister! He’s her brother.”
“They have been in each other’s lives much longer than you have been there. Don’t be insensitive.” – DisneyAddict2021
“YTA I thought they were gonna be spooning or something based on your title, but that just sounds like a good hug.”
“He sounds like a good brother to be honest.” – tablloyd
“YTA, put away those insecure feelings and let her be. Or help out! Be a silent helper, cook a meal or order one in for them,, offer to meet her and drop off coffee or something when she’s at the hospital all day, take a walk or find a sudden interest in something going on in another room if they need time alone.” – JonesinforJonesey
“YTA. And it’s a bit creepy that you consider an HUG between siblings something ‘inappropriate.'” – Acrobatic-Try3549
“YTA. So much. You can hold and comfort your heartbroken sibling.”
“The fact that you personally attribute it to something creepy and uncomfortable means you need to do some serious introspection and get yourself some counseling.” – KittyKatHasClaws
“YTA. Brothers and sisters can hug. Do you honestly think they are having a sexual relationship? No? Then what makes you uncomfortable doesn’t really matter.”
“Keep your mouth shut and let him comfort his sister whose CHILD HAS CANCER!” – superfastmomma
“YTA. It’d be one thing if they were in their underwear and spooning or some sh*t. They aren’t.”
“Your bf is hugging her and stroking her hair/back. That’s normal.”
“I literally come from a family where I was starved of affection, and now honestly hate being touched or touching others, and this is STILL not weird.” – PartyySnacks
“I legit thought it was going to be like cuddling, nuzzling, etc. You know, freaky s***. But, the bf is HUGGING his sister for comfort.”
“Maybe there’s a language barrier? Maybe OP meant a different word other than cuddling but English isn’t their first language? But with the explanation… Jeez. What was described is normal behavior especially considering the circumstances.”
“Maybe OP’s family are those type who doesn’t express feelings effectively. But that’s still no excuse.” – Lonerizme
“Where do you expect your relationship to go with this guy you’ve suggested is being inappropriate with his own sister? Not even touching the fact that his sister’s reasons for needing extra comfort are very understandable. YTA.” – kokolkol
“Imagine crying about your child’s brain tumor on your brother’s shoulder and having him push you away and pat your head.” – superfastmomma
“I actually took a second to try to picture this and it made me a little bit nauseous. Our mom died in my kid brother’s and my arms. I had been married a decade and a half but you better believe I held my 30 year old brother while he cried for our mom.”
“He passed away less than 5 months later of an OD and I lived across the country. God do I wish that I could have held him more, he might even be here today.” – Dewhickey76
Given the context of the scenario, many Redditors thought there was nothing inappropriate with how her boyfriend comforted his sister in her time of need.
Redditors also believed the OP’s response to the situation was due to her own hangups and they hoped she would find a way past this soon.