We would all like to think our families have our best interests at heart.
But sometimes we want something different than what our families want for us. What should they do then? Listen to us or continue with what they believe is best?
Some families don’t know what should be an obvious answer on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor secrets**txoxoxo found herself right in the middle of one of these learning experiences with her parents.
When they pushed back against her standing up for herself, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to turn up to a family and friends get-together party?”
The OP used to enjoy her family’s get-togethers with friends.
“So basically my family is Muslim (but they don’t know I’m not) and want me to get an arranged marriage in the future.”
“My parents originate from Turkey but I’m not really sure how common it is for Muslim families in America to do what they do.”
“Basically, my parents and their friends have these family get-togethers quite often and call people to their house.”
“Ok, cool – nothing wrong with that. I’ve been going to them since I was a kid and they can be pretty fun.”
The OP stopped liking them when she turned 18, though.
“However – and this is a big f**king however – since I turned 18, it’s become so different.”
“At these get-togethers, my parents introduce me to their friends’ sons who I’ve known since I was little and they would act as if we’ve never met and just stare at us from a distance after trying to get us to talk.”
“It’s so f**king awkward and they do it with like all of their friends’ sons.”
“They introduce me to all these guys and act as if it’s some f**king speed dating event for me, and I have even overheard my parents talking about trying to find a guy for me.”
“It’s just so f**king weird and annoying knowing that these ‘get-togethers’ are just a way for them to try and find a guy for me.”
The OP decided she didn’t want to go to any more of them.
“A while back my parents were having one of these get-togethers with their friends and had told them I would be there.”
“I simply left the house and went somewhere else with a couple of friends and didn’t turn up to the party.”
“Now my parents are super p**sed and angry that I was rude by not attending the party and that I embarrassed them in front of their friends by not turning up and being disobedient.”
“I’ve told my parents many times that I don’t like it when they try and find a guy for me since it’s just weird but they just go on a rant about how I’ve ‘lost my way’ and won’t get married.”
“Like, I’m 19, lol (laughing out loud)… I’m not getting married anytime soon.”
“While I’m fed up with those parties, I suppose it was pretty rude of me to just not turn up when I had originally told my parents I would be there.”
In the comments, the OP was concerned about how dependent she is on her parents.
“I’m basically just going along with it for now until I get financially independent. The thing with Muslim families or families of similar cultures are that they tend to ‘look after you’ by helping to pay for things and supporting you financially.”
“Whilst this may be great and really helpful initially, what they don’t tell you is that in return for their help, they expect to have complete control of your life as if you were still a child. And if you disagree, they start guilt-tripping you.”
“I’m really fortunate my parents are generous and give me money each month and they are also paying for my college.”
“But it’s only recently I’ve realized how dependent I am on them and if anything goes wrong, the best case scenario is that I will be cut off from my family and be left financially vulnerable. I’ve recently started a part-time job too even tho I currently don’t need the money but just in case anything happens and I need to be dependent.”
“Hopefully after I graduate, I can pursue my career and it’ll get easier from there hopefully.”
She even detailed her concerns of abuse if she shared her identity.
“If my dad found out either that I am no longer Muslim, or that I am having sex, he would definitely beat me.”
“I fear that he would beat me to such an extent that I may die or end up with severe injuries.”
“I don’t think he would set out to kill me, but due to this anger, in the heat of the moment he may hit me enough to end up doing so since I do get frightened of him sometimes.”
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 were concerned for the OP’s safety and advised her to get out.
“OP, you are NTA but your comments (about how you are literally worried about being beaten, and how you have a PO Box and use VPN to evade their monitoring you) suggest this a FAR more serious problem than this post initially lets on.”
“You are being abused. This is not typical religious strictness. And skipping these parties is not a long-term solution to your problems.”
“You need to start working out how to become truly independent from your family so they have no means to control you. This may even mean putting college on hold for a bit to get out from under them.”
“This is not a situation that is likely to improve over time- they’re probably going to get more desperate to find you a husband and may start restricting your freedoms more and more to try and keep you in line. And whatever you do, do not return to Turkey with them any time soon.” – LilBabyADHD
“The people who are telling you to flaunt your parents now aren’t wrong, exactly, but I don’t think they understand the amount of physical danger you could potentially be in. (And the fact that you’re in potential physical danger from your own family is terribly heartbreaking, but it is reality.)”
“Do not let them get you to leave the country, for any reason. That’s how women f**king disappear. Make whatever excuses you have to make. Lie like your pants are on fire if you need to. Recruit friends to help lie for you.”
“Worst case scenario, if you have to drop out of college, getting a job to support yourself without a degree is totally possible, and there are resources out there for young women escaping from abusive families.”
“Keep taking care of yourself, and keep reaching out for advice and resources, because you’re far from the first person to be in this situation. Everything is gonna work out eventually, so be smart and be safe, okay?” – YardageSardage
“If you have a debit card you’re all set to take money out and stash it in a second account on occasion. Find local events, restaurants, etc that are cash only!! Take out cash and then go and get photos (Ie. Get one cheap item at a food festival and take a photo, then stash the rest). That way your bank statements line up with everything you’re talking about.”
“If any of your friends work as wait staff, you can say, ‘Oh Mary works as a server and says it’s so much better if people tip in cash, so I want to help out,’ and then you can take out random 5-10-15$ amounts and say you’re leaving them as cash tips on restaurant purchases.”
“Get two Venmo accounts and use the one attached to the bank account your parents know to pay when you and your friends go places at school, but have them pay you back for things into the other account.”
“It’ll let you transfer small amounts into your other account incrementally. (Ie, pay for coffee for you and your friend, then your friend gives you the 5$ back in your hidden Venmo. You can send that right to the bank and have it tucked away for later.)”
“Have your part-time job only give you checks, tell your parents you’re taking two weeks off of your job for midterms and finals week. Work those weeks and just immediately stick them into your hidden bank account instead.”
“Last, find a friend (maybe one you haven’t ever mentioned to your parents) who will be willing to house you for a while. When you get out, stay with them and tell no one. That will let you save some money while you get to a financially stable position.” – Niks_11
Others were concerned about the parents’ potential true motives.
“This may not work out. They are not idiots. Your expensive college is to make you a more prestigious bride. They would know what you are doing and try to force you one way or another.”
“Look for independent financing, change the college if needs be. Better be in debt than kidnapped. You think you can exploit them but the reality is they are abusing you and are fully in control.” – quick_justice
“They (parents or families) usually make up an important event like cousin Mariam’s wedding or Great-aunt Barakah’s cancer put her on the deathbed and she’s screaming for you.”
“Then you get super dressed up for cousin Mariam’s wedding only to discover the bride is actually you. Or you get emotional and fly off to see Great Aunt Barakah and since you were so emotional you forget any safety precautions.” – somedayillfindthis
“Jumping on this because WTF. Also Muslim. I’m practicing. As is my family.”
“Parents are super traditional. Desperate for me to be married. I’m 38. Unmarried. Because they are not bats**t insane.”
“Anytime they have introduced me to someone, I have been told in advance that it’s coming up.”
“Anytime they have been approached by people who want to introduce me to their son, they run it by me first.”
“They think I’m super fussy. They also want me to be happy. The pressure comes from them worrying about me. Nothing they do is intended to cause me pain.”
“OP, your situation is NOT normal!”
“My parents would have no issue if I met someone myself. They have never been violent with me. Or controlling.”
“Again nothing about this is normal.” – Blade_982
The situation already sounded problematic in the OP’s initial post, the situation proved to be much darker in the comments section. Instead of commenting on whether or not the OP was the AH for not attending a party, the comments instead focused on how to keep the OP safe. In addition to not going to these parties anymore, the OP may need to look into a whole new lifestyle.