People Expect Judgment From Us Regarding Their "Am I The Jerk" Stories

We are always taught to show kindness to everyone, regardless if they're kind or rude to us. However, sometimes we have to make tough decisions that can offend others in order to protect ourselves from being mistreated, and that's when we run the risk of being wrongly accused of being jerks. Here are some people who have been labeled jerks in the past and now want to explain their position. Tell us who you think is the real jerk as you read on. AITJ = Am I the jerk? NTJ = Not the jerk WIBTJ = Would I be the jerk? YTJ = You're the jerk

18. AITJ For Wanting To Get Married In UK?


“I (28F) just recently got engaged to my (29M) Fiancé.

I am originally from the UK, and I moved to the US for college when I was 20 and have lived here since.

Shortly after I moved to the US my mother took very ill.

She was critical in the hospital for a very long time and now she is at home and my father is her primary carer.

My mother cannot fly due to her condition, or travel for any prolonged periods of time due to pain and the large amounts of equipment she requires.

My fiancé is aware of this and we have visited the UK multiple times since we first got together when we were 22.

Now on to the issue.

We recently got engaged and had breakfast with his parents.

They mentioned that we should get married at the same venue as they did about 30+ years ago.

My fiancé said that was a great idea, I didn’t want to cause an issue and wanted to speak with him privately so I just said we should look at all our options, and make sure everything fits with our needs and plans.

Once we were at home I raised the topic. I said he’s aware my mother cannot travel and certainly not to the US and my father is her carer so he can’t leave her, as such I was hoping we would have the wedding in the UK.

His family are well situated and could afford it but a few of his cousins and a few friends may find it a bit expensive.

When he raised this, I suggested we have a smaller wedding in the UK and help with contributions towards everyone’s flights and accommodation costs.

We have a decent wedding budget and could still have a lovely wedding in the UK.

One of my closest friends and bridesmaids works for an airline and has mentioned previously she could get great large booking rates and discounts, and she has since said she would be more than willing to help.

My fiancé thinks it was too much of a faff to get all our friends and his relatives to the UK and that my parents will understand not being able to attend.

I don’t have anyone else.

I’m an only child and my grandparents are gone.

I told him I can’t imagine getting married if my parents couldn’t be there. That I want my dad to walk me down the aisle and that everything my mum has been through she deserves to see her only child on her wedding day.

He called me a jerk saying I’m being selfish and only thinking of my wants and his parents have since agreed.

He said ‘so we wouldn’t get married if your mum was gone,’ I told him, there is a difference between deceased and disabled and ended the conversation there.

My maid of honor is completely on my side and understands why I want my parents there but one of my bridesmaids has said that I am a jerk for forcing everyone else to travel and spend additional funds for the sake of 2 people.

I feel like maybe I am the jerk for making plans around 2 people, but they are my parents, and I’m just trying to find a compromise. AITJ?

For a little humor, because this is just depressing, his grandmother who I adore is completely on my side because she wants to get herself an English guy!”

Another User Comments:

“Just wow!

No, you are very definitely NTJ.

You are the bride. You have just your parents. You certainly deserve for them to be there on your wedding day.

The ‘wow’ is a surprise at the absolute insensitivity of your fiance. He was being a jerk in how he’s behaving towards you & just talking about this issue.

As an old married person, this does not bode well for future discussions and compromises between the two of you.

It’s concerning. Doesn’t help that his parents are rude about it too.

My solution (if he settles down from the petulant teenager) would be to have a small wedding in the UK for those who are willing & able to travel.

Then a reception at your in-laws’ location. But that’s if the fiance decides to be an adult about it, apologizes for the nasty & HE promises to be better.

Otherwise, run. He’s showing you the ugly inside that you’d be married to.” Bring-out-le-mort

Another User Comments:



If this is how your fiancé is approaching wedding planning, I hate to think how you are going to work together with all the other issues life presents to you as a couple.

Of course, you want your parents there! Your plan sounds very reasonable and well thought out.

You’re not talking about throwing a 500-person event that everyone has to travel internationally to attend, you’re talking about a smallish wedding wherein you budget such that you can financially assist some guests to attend.

You have even got connections to make the flights as economical as possible.

And if you still have folks in the states who would like to celebrate with you, have a party once you return.

Your fiancé is the one being selfish. It’s too much trouble to travel. It’s too far. It was too hard for some of the cousins (btw, how often does he socialize with them anyway).

You don’t need to have your folks attend. Wah Wah Wah. WHAT?! Is this a typical way that he deals with ideas that are not his own or anything that requires a bit of effort on his part? And that comment about ‘so we would not get married if your mum was gone’ is so far out of pocket that I can’t even deal with it.

That I the most insensitive, selfish, boneheaded comment ever.

Are you sure you want to marry this dude? Because this is just the tip of the iceberg of how he was going to act the rest of your lives.

Sounds like a nightmare to me.” The-Answer-Is-57

Another User Comments:

“Definitely NTJ.

The fact he even said ‘so we would not get married if your mum was gone’ is a HUGE RED FLAG. He knows your mother is ill and your father is her caretaker and yet he thinks it was ok to say stupid and insanely insensitive things like this?

Also, the bridesmaid who is on his and his family’s side comes across as a trashy friend and possibly even one deflecting because she can’t afford it.

You made such a strong effort to revise and make it work for everyone in a super affordable and fun way.

Ditch the loser guy, grab the grandma, and go take a long holiday with the funds saved for the wedding.” Over-Method-1216

10 points (10 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. This guy is bad news. Ditch him now! He should be supporting you in this. His parents are healthy and can travel, he's being really selfish
12 Reply
View 9 more comments

17. AITJ For Not Letting My Mom's Partner In?


“My (F) parents divorced six years ago, and my mom has been with her new partner for a year and a half, despite that, I only met him six months ago and I’ve seen him a handful of times (maybe 2-3), he seems like a good guy and I’ve got nothing against him.

Now, I spend half the month with my mom and the rest with my dad, I usually come home around 1-2 pm and my mom gets out of work at around 4-5, sometimes 6-7 if she’s having a date with him and I’m alone at home, which is okay, I don’t mind and I actually enjoy it very much, my dad also lives 10 minutes away from here, so I know I can always call him.

Yesterday my mom said she’ll be back at around 7-8 because she had a small dinner with her partner’s parents, and I was fine with it. She was supposed to change before at her partner’s house but forgot her dress, and I called her when I got home and see it laying on her bed, she thanked me and said she’ll make a quick trip to get it, but an hour after that she called me again and said that her partner was on her way and almost as soon as she did it, her partner rang the bell.

I opened the door a bit to confirm it was him and I said hi and to wait there, he tried to open the door and said ‘No, let me get the dress’ and I forced back and said there’s no need for him to come in since I could bring the dress to him, he said no again and I pretended to let him in so I could close the door quickly.

I won’t lie, I didn’t want him there with me because I don’t know the guy at all, and as I said, I could easily bring the dress to him, which is what I did.

He took it very angrily and called me a rude brat before leaving.

My mom came at night with him, and they both berated me for my behavior, despite me telling my mom that I don’t know him and he was the rude one.

I ended up calling my dad, and he picked me up, when my mom’s partner saw him he instantly backed off and my dad said he’ll talk to her later. She texted me calling me a jerk for ‘making this bigger than it is’.”

Another User Comments:


Your mom is, especially for doubling down + gaslighting you after the fact.

Not sure if it is possible/feasible, but I would highly suggest talking to your dad about changing the living situation until this guy is out of the picture.

The fact that a grown man who you’ve only interacted with 2-3 times previously thinks he has a right to berate you in front of your mother is scary. Not only that, she allowed him to do it and took his side! That is even more terrifying.

People rarely show their ‘worst’ behavior the first time they explode, which means he is likely capable of more aggressive reactions down the road… and she basically signaled her willingness to allow it. She may not realize it right now, but she’s choosing to put her relationship with him above the one she has with you.

I know that sucks to think about, but take it from someone who has been there with a parent: put your safety (physical and mental) before her.” Wild_Platypus_1080

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. You’re entitled to feel safe in your home.

You don’t know this man and also it’s a huge red flag that he was rude to you and called you a ‘rude brat’. He’s with your Mum and he’s treating you like that after being with her for 6 months? Holy cow, that’s so horrid.

Your mum is the big jerk in this situation for not even trying to understand why you didn’t let him in and defending his actions against yours. Also texting you and calling you a ‘jerk for making this bigger than it needs to be.’ You’re underreacting if anything.

I can’t speak for your mum’s character at all however based on this scenario she sounds like a huge piece of work.

You, your mum, and your dad should have a sit-down conversation about this, let your mum know how you’re feeling and how this has affected your relationship.

Having your dad there to support you both in a mediator role so if things get too much he can stop it from going anywhere bad. If your Mum is unwilling to even do this my advice is to limit your interactions with her.

Wishing you the best OP.” serenityxoxoserenity

Another User Comments:


Your mom owes you a huge apology.

This is how she failed you:

When the guy complained about you not letting him come in, she should have defended you.

There was no reason for him to come in and you have the right not to want to be alone with a man you don’t know. As a mother myself, I want my children to be able to assert boundaries.

That’s what you did and she should congratulate you instead of shaming you.

Even if she didn’t see that, and found that you could have let him come in for a few minutes, she should have addressed it with you alone.

The fact that she let her partner berate you when he’s nothing to you is a huge parental mistake.

They both berated you. It’s never a good idea to gang up on someone. Even if they were both your parents, and if you did something wrong (which you didn’t), that still would be a mistake.

She claims it’s your fault it got bigger than intended when she and her partner made it a big deal. You just defended yourself and called your dad because there were 2 adults against you.

She’s doing that in the hope that next time something like this happens, you won’t call for help and let her and her partner berate you.

It seems like your mom and you had a good relationship before that.

So let’s just hope that after the heat of the moment she realizes how much she failed you this one evening and apologizes sincerely.

If she doesn’t, I would refuse to go see her. She demonstrated that the opinion of her partner is a higher priority for her than your safety.” Docyfome

6 points (6 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. Can you live with your dad full time until this guy is gone? You would think she would make you feeling safe a priority.
8 Reply
View 9 more comments

16. AITJ For Ruining My Surprise Birthday Party?


“I work as a nurse, I have bad hours, and it’s stressful. For my birthday I told my partner I wanted a calm night at home on the day of my birthday. I did mention I wanted to invite some friends over another day, I worked a 12-hour shift on my birthday.

I was too tired to party. I made this clear…

When I got home after work I was met with a surprise birthday party. My best friend wasn’t even there. It was mostly my partner’s friends and some mutual friends.

Only around 10 people, but 10 too many.

It made me feel really sad and overwhelmed so I just went straight to bed and cried. My partner brought me a 2nd wonderful gift (a weekend at a spa) in private and then told me to at least come down for dinner, so I did.

I felt so bad, but I still DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE.

My partner made mushroom pasta (delicious but I don’t eat mushrooms). I only eat it when drinking so he apparently thought I loved it.

He should know that. I started crying again and ‘ruined’ ‘my’ birthday party. I may have caused a little scene. He sent his friends home and then said I embarrassed him. And that I’m stupid for not appreciating it when he tried to do something nice.

My partner still makes me feel bad about the situation. I feel really dumb and sad still, was I really wrong in this?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. This party was for him, not you. He did not listen to your request for a quiet evening.

He did not invite your best friend, but more of his friends and a few mutual friends. You embarrassed him.

Does he always feel the need to put on these displays? Or is this new behavior?

Time to sit down and have a very long conversation that you mean what you say.

This was completely inappropriate. Not everyone likes surprises, much fewer surprise parties after a 12-hour work day. And be very clear that you do not like mushrooms. You can appreciate his effort and directly point out how misguided it was.

Either he secretly wishes for a surprise birthday party, or he wanted to show his friends what a great partner he is. Probably a bit of both.” Jenuptoolate

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. If you previously mentioned that you would have preferred a quiet night with some friends, or, had to work long hours on your actual birthday, it’s not unreasonable to want to relax and make plans for a different time to celebrate.

It does seem like the celebration was an attempt to surprise you with ‘joy’ but it just turned out to be more more for him than for you. Your stress level was already high and the unwanted attention just made it worse.

Communication is key and next time around respecting how each of you feels ahead of time should make planning for special events much smoother.” roxywalker

Another User Comments:

“NTJ, your partner is being controlling. He obviously threw the party for himself and his friends since he already had been told you contrary wishes.

You get a party whether you want to or not because he’s the man and decided you should. Your birthday party should be filled with your friends, not yours since he is the man and his friends are more important than yours.

Your partner is being a misogynist bully and treating you like you don’t matter. My question is why are you allowing him to treat you this way? He may say that he arranged the party for you but deep down you know that’s not true. His actions do not seem loving or considerate. Shouldn’t someone who is supposed to love you act in a manner that is loving and considerate.” Cat-astro-phe

4 points (4 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. He had a party for himself and just added your birthday to it. He's very inconsiderate
4 Reply
View 6 more comments

15. AITJ For Saying My Dad Made Me Pay For My Own Art Lessons?


“I’m a (15F). My mom and dad divorced when I was a baby. I spend most of my time with my mom and every other weekend with my dad.

When I was in elementary/middle school, I went to an art class hosted by Mrs.

Anny on Saturdays. In 4th grade, I asked my dad if I could go on his weekends too, and he told me that if I wanted to go on his weekends, then I would need to cover both the cost of each lesson ($12 for 4 hours) plus $5 to contribute towards the DirectTV recording feature since he had to miss his TV shows to take me.

I was able to go three times on his days using the funds I had saved from holidays. I told my mom that I was sad because I didn’t have any more money left to be able to go to Mrs.

Anny’s on dad’s weekend. My mom didn’t realize dad was making me pay for my own lessons and flipped out at him. From then on, she would pick me up on his Saturdays for art class.

We haven’t had time to go to Mrs. Anny’s since I got into high school, but I still do art and go to online lessons whenever I have the chance.

Dad had a party at the house with a bunch of people from his work.

I thanked him for dinner. He said he wanted me to stay at the table and talk to his work friends, but I told him that I needed to finish a school project and went to my room.

Later one of dad’s works friends came up to me and told me that I should have done what my dad wanted me to and I should have more gratitude towards my dad because, on top of raising and supporting me, he’s the reason why I’m an amazing artist.

Dad showed his work friends my art and said that I was an amazing artist because of him and all the expensive art lessons that he paid for. I told the work friend that my dad has never paid for any of my art lessons and how when I was a 4th grader, he refused to take me to art lessons unless I paid the $12 fee myself and gave him $5 to contribute to the DirectTV recording feature.

His friend apologized for the misunderstanding, and I forgot about it until dad started lecturing me last week.

The work friend told all the other coworkers that dad never paid for my art lessons and tried making me pay for them.

Some of his coworkers now only talk to him for business reasons, but most of them are making fun of him and saying stuff like ‘Ah, that’s so expensive! But we can have OP save up her lunch funds so she can cover it, right Daniel? (my dad)’.

My grandma and dad’s partner agree with dad because I’m not owed art lessons and me being ‘bitter’ about it is no reason to try and mess up his work reputation with what I said.

My mom and stepdad said that I did nothing wrong and Daniel shouldn’t have told lies in the first place. My sister Tori said my dad deserved to be embarrassed anyway (Tori hasn’t talked to dad in a long time.) So now I’m conflicted about if I should have said what I did to dad’s work friend.

Edited for clarity: Dad’s coworker came up to me while I was refilling my water bottle in the kitchen/living room area. It felt weird that he said anything at all to me, but he never came into my room.”

Another User Comments:


YOUR hard work and dedication made you a great artist.

The classes helped and probably taught you techniques, but your dad doesn’t get a slice of that pie when it was YOU that put the work in. YOU made the art, YOU did the practice, YOU spent the time on it, YOU did it.

Not him. He sounds narcissistic.

The class cost a lot less than a lot of other classes you could’ve taken. For instance/context, my singing class was 50$ for 30min. He wouldn’t even pay the $5 to record his own TV.

But wants to take credit for what YOU have accomplished?

No, no, honey. I’m proud of all you’ve accomplished. The credit is not his to take. You wouldn’t go to a bakery, buy a cake, and then brag that you’re the reason that cake is good.

Plus, it’s weird his friend would come to your room to lecture you. It was not their place, and as a parent that would’ve crossed a line for me. Your room deserves to be a safe place.

But at least your dad’s being shamed because what he did is embarrassing.

Keep up the good art. Your mom supports you and your art, but it’s YOU that’s succeeding at it because it’s YOU that is making the art.

Being proud and taking credit are 2 separate things.” SunflowerFreckles

Another User Comments:

“NTJ, and honestly, your dad kind of sucks. Let me count the ways.

Even if he had paid for your art classes, expecting you to hang out with his work buddies overdoing homework is not the behavior of a responsible parent.

He should be proud you’re focused on your school work.

Even if he had paid for your art classes, that would still not make him ‘the reason you’re an amazing artist’ and if that’s an idea he’s put in his co-worker’s heads then he’s been diminishing your successes to make himself look good.

A caring father should show pride in his kids for their own sake, not his own ego.

He lies about you to his friends specifically to boost his own standing among them – the fact he lies about paying for your art classes shows he knows that what he was doing was stingy and bad parenting, or else he’d have had no issue being open about it with others.

Asking you to pay for a TV recording feature is cruel. He’s saying that he cares so little about your art and your happiness that it’s not worth it to him to miss a couple of shows at the weekend.

If all it takes to ruin someone’s good reputation is telling the truth about them or clearing up a lie they told, then the good reputation they had was something they didn’t deserve. Your father’s choices led to the situation he’s in now.

It’s not your fault, and you were right not to lie to cover for him.” UristMcD

Another User Comments:


Your grandmother and your father’s partner are obviously too enmeshed with your father to offer you a non-biased opinion, so I wouldn’t listen to them.

It’s also cruel of them to call you bitter when your father started this bootstrap nonsense with you when you were a child.

Even if you were soured over the situation, it’s a reasonable thing to become bitter about.

Secondly, you didn’t go out of your way to ruin your father’s work reputation. You weren’t the one that made sure every coworker knew about the fact your father refused to fund your art lessons, and you weren’t the one who gave the impression that he did fund them either.

You weren’t trying to mess up anything. Trying infers intent when all you did was answer someone’s question honestly (and seriously, the bloody gall of the work friend who followed you up to your room to lecture you about not appreciating your father when they had no idea about the type of man he actually is).

You have nothing to feel guilty or poorly about. If your father didn’t want everyone at work to know he valued a tv show more than his own kid, then he shouldn’t have lied about the reverse when it was entirely possible for the truth to come out being that he put his work friends in the proximity of his kid.

It’s also not your job or responsibility to go to bat for your father’s lies.” addisonavenue

4 points (4 votes)

User Image
drumchic 11 months ago
Definitely NTJ! This reminds me so much of my father and what he would do. When I was in 4th grade I decided I wanted to play the drums. My mother was very supportive, going as far as to get me set up with lessons so I could start learning before starting band in 5th grade. My father? "Girls don't play drums." Admittedly, I used spite to become good enough that my freshman year of high school, there was an article in the local newspaper about me! By then my parents were divorced and I made sure to point out in the interview they did what my father said and how my mother was the one that supported me the most. Why? Because I knew my father would try to take credit when he never paid for a lesson! I wanted to nip it in the bud.

My father is no longer part of my life and I'm now part of a high level ensemble where a good portion of the musicians are professionals. My mom is super supportive and even travels to come see me. But at the end of the day, it was my effort that got me to where I am! I worked hard to develop my skill. Just like YOU worked hard to get where you are at with your art.
5 Reply
View 8 more comments

14. AITJ For Being Mad At My Ex For Taking Our Daughter Out Of State?


“I (28f) have a 7-year-old daughter with my ex-husband ‘Liam’ (44m). Liam has been with a woman ‘Ellen’ (33f) for 6 months, she has already moved in with him and has been trying to take on the role as the ‘second mom’ not stepmom, second mom.

She insists my daughter calls her mom when they are together which my daughter is uncomfortable with.

Ellen usually is the one who drops my daughter off as Liam works two jobs. I don’t like that Ellen is the one that drops my daughter off because If I need to speak to Liam about something pertaining to our daughter then she always has to give her input (medically, school, having extra time together on either side, etc.) I’ve let both Ellen and Liam know that she doesn’t have any input on what goes on with our daughter, but they both brushed it off.

The issue happened last Friday when we were doing our switch off and I went to the spot we usually meet to pick up our daughter, I waited for about 4 hours and then called Liam asking where Ellen was and if she got lost, the conversation went like this:

Me: Liam, where’s Ellen I’ve been waiting for hours and she’s still not here, did she get lost?

Liam: What do you mean I thought she told you she wanted to extend our time together.

Me: No, I never gotten a call or text about that, can you put (daughter) on the phone?

Liam: She’s with Ellen visiting family in (a completely different state)

At this point I lost it on him, 1, for not even being with our daughter and 2, for not checking with me to make sure I knew about this.

I told him to call her and tell her to bring her back and from now on Ellen is never allowed to be around my daughter, Liam said I was overreacting and that it would mean he would have to quit his second job (he is completely fine with just one job, his main job pays 6 figures.)

I told him too bad, and called Ellen telling her if she didn’t bring my daughter back right now that I would call the cops, she just said fine, way to ruin the fun, and how she wanted my daughter to meet her family because they are going to be my daughter’s family soon.

She apparently didn’t even make it to her family’s house because 2 hours later she pulled into our meeting spot, I didn’t say a word to her took my daughter, and haven’t spoken to Liam unless it’s strictly about our daughter, I’ve asked my family about this and majority said that it was wrong to yell at Ellen as she just wanted to bond with my daughter and I should be glad she’s not an evil person.


Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Ellen is just a significant other, not a wife. She doesn’t even qualify as a stepmom. Talk to your lawyer about at least requiring that your ex must be the person to pick up and drop off your daughter and that neither he nor you can take or allow your daughter to be taken out of the metro area you live in without notifying the other parent upfront.

Also, stipulate that any discussion about extending or changing visitation must be discussed and agreed to by you and your ex only. Tell Liam that you don’t want to overexpose your daughter to women he dates or their families because what if your daughter got attached to a girl and then they broke up? That is hard on kids.

And tell your daughter she is to call anyone her dad is seeing by their first name only. Let Liam know that is a rule to be obeyed.” introspectiveliar

Another User Comments:


And for the record, even though she brought your daughter back you could still call the cops and file criminal charges.

Not only did your ex breach what I assume is your custody agreement by keeping your daughter when she was supposed to be handed off, but because it wasn’t his custodial time and they neither informed you nor had your permission, it’s very possible that what Ellen did was technically kidnapping, and transporting a minor across state lines…

which is criminal.

They can whine about ‘fun’ all they want. The fact is, if they wanted this, the appropriate way to do it was with a phone call and a discussion with you. The fact that this woman who has only known your daughter for 6 months thought that it was appropriate to travel across state lines with her without informing or asking the permission of her custodial parent is a BIG GLARING NEON SIGN that she is, at the very least, careless and irresponsible when it comes to making decisions around your 7-year-old daughter…

decisions which aren’t legally or ethically hers to make at all, so if she wants to be involved, she should be EXTRA considerate, the opposite of what she is doing.

You’re NTJ. You’re not being a jerk, you’re being a responsible, communicative parent and asking the same of your ex and his SO.” FoolMe1nceShameOnU

Another User Comments:

“NTJ but you need to no longer be passive about this and immediately go to court.

Stop listening to your family because I don’t know where their heads are but they’re not on Earth.

Your ex, the person you should be co-parenting this child with, has placed his current relationship partner as the person you interact with about your child.

She is not a parent, she is someone he has been with for 6 months.

Inherently she should not be the person doing these exchanges with you because you need to talk with your co-parent, her taking your child without notifying you to meet her family is a major red flag.

She should not be getting so comfortable separating you from your child to introduce her to her family as hers.

The real thing here, ignore your family, get a lawyer, and put up boundaries because this woman is absolutely sending a message that she is your daughter’s parent by separating her from you and taking your daughter to her family without notifying you.

You need to step in because this very much screams alienation where she’s trying to become your daughter’s new mother. She is not your daughter’s mother and you need to fight back.” JCBashBash

4 points (4 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. Ellen is nothing to your daughter. Technically you could have had her arrested for kidnapping. I would let Liam know if it happens again, that's what will happen.
6 Reply
View 7 more comments

13. AITJ For Not Wanting To Post My Photos On Social Media?


“I (25m) don’t like having photos of myself on social media, in fact, I don’t have any social media (apart from this new account). The reason is my ‘mother’, I don’t want her to find out where I am or with whom I’m close.

Without going into detail, she was unfit to be my mother. I’ve had contact with her a couple of times in my life, and it wasn’t fun. The most recent was 5 years ago and I had to jump through hoops to get her to stay away from me and my brother.

The only people that I allow to take photos of me are my remaining close family, close friends, and my partner. They know that they can’t post the photos, if they do, they have to crop me out or cover my face completely and not mention my name, but the vast majority don’t post a photo if I’m in it.

It hasn’t been a problem until now. My partner’s birthday was a few days ago, we took pictures and after being together for almost 3 years, I thought that she was going to follow my request as usual.

To my surprise and thanks to one of her friends, I found out that she posted one of us without covering me, the photo was also taken in a well-known place where we live.

I didn’t freak out but I asked her to please delete the photo. She refused to claim that she wants at least one photo of us together where I don’t have my face covered and wants people to know that I’m not an emoji.

I told her that is exactly my point, I don’t want people to know; the people close to us know we are together, and it is not a secret, so please delete it. It was thanks to a photo that my mother reappeared in my life 5 years ago, I don’t want that to happen again.

After some back and forth she deleted but things are icy between us.

I know that my request seems extreme but I don’t want to risk it, but I also understand her point.


Restraining orders are a joke where I’m from and the police don’t help either.

When I was younger my father had to resort to other methods. I have to admit with no shame that five years ago I also had to resort to methods that I’m not proud of but had to out of necessity.

And is not only for me or my brother’s safety but also for those close to me. Unfortunately, many have suffered just for being close or for trying to help, I don’t want that to happen to her.

Either way, things are fine aside from this incident, but if we want to stay together, we need to have an important conversation and be in the same channel, if not, we have to move on.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ and while it may seem extreme, I would report the photo to the social media platform.

Most of them are required to remove photos that were posted without permission. There are so many reasons someone may not want their photo available, and the people who want to be in your life should respect this.

And further, it sounds like your partner does not respect your boundaries. I’d let her know that you are not compatible, that she needs someone whose pictures can be posted on social media, and that’s not you.

This thing is so important to her that she violated your privacy.” elvaholt

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. As much as people will not like this answer it’s the reality of the situation. I am like you, I don’t like photos being taken of me, never have, and if I could legally do it, I would destroy all photos of me.

The reality is sadly any photo she takes is her property to do as she wishes. You can ask, but she doesn’t have to oblige. She did as you asked, but you have to realize that this will come at a cost of friendships/relationships/work.

The only safety you really have is not to have photos taken of you. You are recorded many times a day without your realizing it, from going to the stores to leisure activities, a local tv station can record you, and there is nothing you can do but ask.

That’s the true reality of today. And our governments like the saying in god we trust, everybody else we monitor.” Working_Ostrich1780

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. The fact that you were establishing a basic boundary and she was pushing back because it doesn’t fit her aesthetic makes her such a jerk.

You should be able to say that you don’t want photos of you on social media and have people in your life respect that.

It’s not extreme at all to protect yourself, and your partner prioritizing having a group photo on social media, not on her phone, out for the public to view, over you being safe is a major issue that I think you should take a little time to Stew on and reevaluate your relationship over.

Because can you maintain a respectful safe relationship with someone who is willing to endanger you just because she wants a group photo of you on a public forum? Like that’s a hill she’s willing to injure you on, are you willing to be injured by it? Cuz it’s not even a line that you should have to teach someone who loves you, she should care about keeping you safe.” JCBashBash

3 points (3 votes)

User Image
Squidmom 10 months ago
Sounds like she doesn't really care about you.
2 Reply
View 3 more comments

12. AITJ For Changing Our Holiday Tradition?


“Every year my parents expect my sister and I to travel with our families home for the holidays. My husband and I have been married for 13 years, and my sister has been married for 14.

Our parents live in Mississippi, I live in Baltimore, and sis is in Minneapolis. PLUS, we both have multiple children. Our parents are very well off and have the means to travel. We have to twist their arms even to get a quick visit, they never stay more than a day or 2.

The few times that one or the other has been unable to make it home for a holiday a massive guilt trip ensues. My sister and I don’t even get to visit each other with our respective family’s busy schedules.

This year, we decided that my husband, kids, and I would go to her house for Thanksgiving to change things up, my kids have never been to their cousin’s house. When I called my parents to let them know our plans they were absolutely outraged.

My parents were invited and we’ve practically begged them to come but they are ‘thinking about it.’ My mom is retired, but my dad works, even though it isn’t out of necessity, and it’s always a big deal for him to request time off.

I really want to just get over it but every time my mom brings up us changing the tradition, I feel even worse. AITJ for wanting to do something different?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Your parents need to recognize that families change and so does Christmas.

They can change or they can dig their heels in and live with the consequences.

It has often been said that Christmas details need to be revisited at least every five years. Who needs to be added to the mix, who would like to host, what changes are needed in the menu and the accommodations, how long will the gathering be, and what is the gifting protocol…

everything is up for negotiation.

I strongly suggest that you and your sister and your families do what is best for you. If your parents want to stay home and celebrate on their own, that is okay.

I hope they will want to join you but if they don’t, go ahead with your plans and have a wonderful, wonderful time.” WantToBelieveInMagic

Another User Comments:


Traditions change. At some point, your parents began hosting, but before they were married and had children – or even for a few years after – I imagine they did not host everything.

Of course, they didn’t.

You and your sister have your own families, have moved, and have jobs/other responsibilities. Traditions are great, but only if they work for everyone. Your parents being unwilling to bend means that none of it is fun anymore, instead of you going to each house for a different holiday or alternating years.

Good for you for starting something new – and convenient – and I hope you keep it up!” mfruitfly

Another User Comments:


It can’t be easy for you and your sister to travel long-distance with kids.

I get that your parents might not like to travel either, especially being older. And I get how you may feel guilty, that’s to be expected. But you are not the jerk, you’re not trying to exclude your parents from holiday festivities and time together, it seems they were not willing to put effort into maintaining your relationship.” mo86june

2 points (2 votes)

User Image
Beaderzedge19 11 months ago
When does your husband get to spend Xmas with his family?
11 Reply
View 4 more comments

11. AITJ For Telling My Sister To Get A Babysitter?


“My oldest sister (41F) and I (23F) have been somewhat estranged for several years. It began when I was 18, shortly after I received my Autism diagnosis. The diagnosis caused a noticeable shift in the way she treated me.

I went from being the sister with a few quirks to the difficult one who had no hope of a decent future if she did not have someone to baby her. She also feels that I am not trustworthy after a couple of incidents regarding my mental health shortly after high school.

Since I started going out with a friend, who I will call O, six months ago, my sister has gone off the rails.

From what my family has said, my sister has a problem with O’s religion.

O (24M) is Muslim but is pretty lax about it. I find this odd because one of our aunts was married to a Muslim, who was willing to be my Godfather when I was born.

The problem my sister has with my relationship with O has escalated dramatically.

I have noticed that each time O and I plan a date, my sister needs a babysitter. I find this odd as their youngest son is 6 months old and still dependent on my sister.

The other two children, 7F and 5M, are at the age where they need supervision, but I trust my niece to watch her brother if arrangements can’t be made.

Yet my sister INSISTS that I take care of her children, despite the fact she could have our mother or aunts watch them.

I finally put my foot down and told her that if she expected me to babysit, she must give me prior notice. I also told her she would have to pay me $20 for the entire night.

This proposal sounded reasonable, and my mother agreed because she felt boundaries had to be set. My sister was mad about this suggestion and attempted to pull the relative obligation card.

The stunt my sister decided to pull last week was the last straw.

O and I were supposed to go to dinner at a restaurant we had a reservation for 6 weeks in advance. I was getting dressed when my sister showed up an hour and a half before O was supposed to pick me up to drop off her kids.

To say I was mad is an understatement. My sister knew the restaurant had a long reservation list but didn’t seem to care.

Our mother was already out with friends, so nobody else was at home to watch the kids.

Instead of canceling my plans, I told my sister she had to find someone else to babysit or stay home with her children. My sister was livid, calling me horrible names and accusing me of caring more about my partner than my family.

I slammed the door in my sister’s face, telling her I would not deal with her until she acted like an adult. I also reminded her about the previous rules I had set about babysitting her kids.

My mom and other sister are on my side in this situation. However, the rest of my family thought I was immature and that I should be grateful to spend time with my niece and nephews.

I don’t see what they see, but I could be wrong.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Not your monkey, not your circus. They are your sister’s children, therefore, they are her responsibility. It’s fine for you to babysit when you are capable of it, but your sister has been taking advantage of you for far too long.

It is just polite to give you some kind of advance notice before dropping off the kids for you to babysit, not to mention that you should definitely have the right of refusal. The fact that she insists that only you babysit is her problem, not yours.

The rules you set up were completely reasonable, and your sister was being unreasonable by ignoring them.

The rest of your family, if they think you were so wrong, can babysit the kids themselves. Otherwise, they need to keep their noses out of your business.” bamf1701

Another User Comments:


“My sister was livid, calling me horrible names and accusing me of caring more about my partner than my family.”

Even if you didn’t have a partner, what your sister is doing is incredibly rude and entitled.

You are not an extension of her for her needs and wants. You absolutely are allowed to care about your life outside of her and her children.

Living your own life and not letting her blow up your schedule and your plans for a non-emergency is appropriate.

I also find this pretty disrespectful to her own kids – she was using them as props in a power struggle, rather than making sure to schedule a babysitter and have everything planned ahead of time.

“That I should be grateful to spend time with my niece and nephews.”

This is manipulative nonsense – your sister can be a respectful adult and recognize other people are not required to live on her schedule, including dropping their plans because she did not plan herself.

Her children are not the center of your life, nor should there be any expectation that they are the center of your life.

“Let me be disrespectful and rude to you, sabotaging all of your plans with your romantic partner who I hate, and you should be grateful because my kids’ is just nonsense.”

You have your own life to live, single or in a relationship, outside of your sister.” Kettlewise

Another User Comments:

“NTJ, just because you are family does not mean that you are obliged to look after her children that she decided to bring into this world, if her own husband has to work in a tent to get some peace and quiet, then maybe she should be looking into getting a nanny.

No one but her and her husband is required to look after their children. Don’t tell anyone about dates that you are going on, and that way, if she still refuses to look after her own children, their neglect is not in you if they get left alone. If she does, just leave them on your doorstep and call cps/local authorities over child abandonment. They are not your responsibility OP, you did not decide to have these children.” Tokergirl21

2 points (2 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. She wanted children, she needs to parent them. Unclear why you're all living together but I'd get out of that disaster as soon as possible. She's acting like she's your mom and you have to do as she says. Why?
3 Reply
View 4 more comments

10. AITJ For Asking My Son's Partner To Contribute To Bills?


“I (40 F) live with two of my children (19 M) and (16 F) my ex-husband, who used to give me €230 for every child every month. Once the kids started working, they both started contributing €200 each every month instead of their father’s child support.

For medical reasons, I don’t work. I get a government refund of €460 every month. We’re a very low-income family and barely make ends meet every month with only €860 from which I have to buy food, toiletries, and pay all the bills.

Earlier this Summer my son’s SO (20 F) came to live with us full-time. She used to spend here 3-4 days of the week, but eventually, she started living here every day because a) she and my son have more privacy here with their own room, whereas they don’t have a room at her parents’ home and b) her work is closer from here.

I feel it’s unfair that I barely spend any income on myself but she’s living here for free.

This week I decided that it was finally time to state my opinion on the matter. I told them both that since they’re both employed adults, they both had to start paying their part, €200 each every month.

If they were to go live on their own they would be spending so much more than that on rent alone, which they both know. I could see that my son was flustered during the talk because he knows I’m right and that it was not fair that I’m making sacrifices while his partner doesn’t contribute a penny.

They don’t want to go live on their own, and living at her parents’ house permanently, whilst they don’t have to pay, they won’t have any privacy.

Then the girl said that she doesn’t think it’s fair that she pays €200 because she’s not comfortable here because of my 3 dogs.

She’s right that the house is a mess and maybe we should all clean a bit more, but she’s still making use of all the food and amenities here and I don’t see how a dirty house has anything to do with that.

To add insult to injury, her parents are adamant that she shouldn’t pay, for whatever reason. They encouraged her to go eat and shower in their house so she doesn’t have to pay anything, even though she’s still making use of the internet, water, and electricity while here.

She keeps saying that she doesn’t have to pay a thing or do any chores at her parents’ house.

I understand that people live differently than we do, but I want to know if I’m the jerk here for requesting that as long as she’s living here, she pays her part as a grown employed adult.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ if your son’s SO wants the benefits of living with her parents regarding bills etc then she goes and lives with her parents.

If she’s not comfortable with your dogs, she can go and live with her parents. If your son and his SO want to be treated like adults and continue to enjoy the privacy at yours and her being closer to work then they abide by your house rules.

Your son’s SO does not get to mix and match the perks of your house and her parents’ house and avoid the associated responsibilities.

NTJ” Mysterious_Ad_3119

Another User Comments:

“YTJ for not having the courts enforce the child support for your minor child and instead making them make up the difference.

Your son’s SO is the jerk for thinking she can live in someone else’s house rent-free and so are her parents because they don’t get a say in how someone else runs their house.

The solution is simple, tell her she is no longer welcome to spend the night in YOUR home and limit how much time she can spend through the week. If your son doesn’t like it then they can both go.

The dogs are a non-entity here. Her discomfort because you have dogs means absolutely zero.

I will admit, you sound very materialistic though. It’s not unreasonable for the adult children to contribute but expecting the minors to is a jerk move.

It’s YOUR job to provide for your minor children not the other way around so if that means you don’t have income to spend on yourself, then suck it up. That’s part of being a parent and something we all do.

You chose to have them, they didn’t choose to be born. They are not responsible for your financial upkeep. Boarding from adult children isn’t unreasonable but stop charging the kid. If the girl wants to live there, draw up house rules EVERYONE needs to abide by and make it clear what the financial contribution needs to be.

From the sounds of it, there are 4 of you in total. You are responsible for yourself and the minor child. They are responsible for themselves. Write out all the monthly expenses. As 2 or 4, they can be responsible for 50%.

If she then chooses not to live there, then you are responsible for 2/3rds (you and the minor), and your adult son is responsible for 1/3rd.” Upper-Spell-3588

Another User Comments:

“NTJ for wanting her to contribute, as her living in the house will undoubtedly increase costs for yourself.

However, based on the fact that your son was flustered, it sounds like you kinda sprang the conversation on them which is a bit of a jerk move.

This should really have been sorted out before she moved in.

Not doing so was a mistake, your mistake – given that’s on you, I’d say maybe offering some sort of compromise would be best.

Yes your son’s partner is adding to your bills but she won’t be using as much as a whole extra person who had their own room rather than sharing with your son, especially for things like electricity/heat, plus I suspect some of their Internet use will be shared too It may be worth considering a lower rent from her, maybe about two third of what your son pays.” PopeJamiroquaiIII

2 points (2 votes)

User Image
CletusSnow 11 months ago (Edited)
NTA. Time to sit them down and tell them it's not working out. She can be a member of your household and pay x amount per month to live there and do x,y,z chores OR she can go back to her parents' house and be a member of their household and not stay overnight at your home more than 1 night a week (or no nights!). .
7 Reply
View 8 more comments

9. AITJ For Taking Too Much Space In The Apartment?


“I am a woman in my 30s with a prestigious career that requires me to work long hours at my computer, basically all day, every day. I work from our living room at the dining room table.

I live with a roommate who used to work out of the house, but has since become unemployed and works freelance jobs. She tries to get out of the house around 3 days a week (weekdays) on average.

Basically, she had a mental breakdown the other day, stating that she feels like she lives in my home office and that she was responsible for cleaning. Admittedly, I slack on cleaning because of my job.

She has stated in the past it was beginning to feel like an office, and I have tried to work mornings from our balcony. But on average, I can be working in the living room until 9 pm.

She added that we pay the same amount in rent, but she feels it’s unfair that she basically lives in ‘my office’ and that she has to clean when I have a pet, and my partner comes over 2x a week and we continue to ‘monopolize’ the living room.

Our apartment is basically one room, I should add.

She offered to get a whiteboard to write our respective schedules, so she would have some foresight into when I would be out of the apartment and she could have some alone time.

I told her it seems like a projection on her end from all the changes she was going through, and she can ask for the table if she wants it, but I don’t work in my room because I need to be professional and I don’t want to eat at my desk.

She was clearly very emotionally charged and I DID NOT know I was affecting her like this, I have since decided to move into my own place. The living room is a shared space, but she was pretty adamant I have been monopolizing it.

So, AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“YTJ. You knew you were slacking and taking over the space, it just wasn’t causing problems for YOU so you let it ride as long as you could get away with it.

You are no child, you are well aware that you need to share spaces and responsibilities AND you could have stayed over at your partner’s on occasion instead of bringing ANOTHER person into a ‘basically one-room’ apartment? With a ROOMATE that LIVES there?! Your roommate is a saint for putting up with that as long as she did.” maroongrad

Another User Comments:


You are monopolizing the living room.

I could kind of understand it if you were working something resembling a 9-5, but you’re not. You are working in a shared space until 9 pm and that is uncool. I think you should have discussed this with your roommate and the obvious solution would be for you to move into your bedroom after a specific time.

Your roommate finally says ‘Hey, this is a problem for me, let’s work out a schedule,’ and you refused. I find that shockingly selfish. She is not trying to dictate your hours, just figure out a compromise.

It is totally normal for people who share space to have these types of conversations and it reflects poorly on you that you got so defensive over what could be a simple compromise.

‘Our apartment is basically one room, I should add.’

This is misleading.

It makes it sound like you live in a studio, but then you say you have a bedroom.

‘I don’t work in my room because I need to be professional and I don’t want to eat at my desk.’

It is totally reasonable to not want to eat at your desk, but post-2020 it is completely normal to work in your bedroom.

No one cares and all the Zoom/Teams both allow you to blur the background. In fact, many jobs would rather you work in your bedroom alone than in a common area other people walk through.

So the professionalism argument does not carry weight in my opinion.

‘I’ have since decided to move into my own place.’

I don’t think you are very suited to sharing space with other people, but I also think that there is a lot about this situation you could learn about consideration for others before you go.” elinordash

Another User Comments:

“If you live in a shared home, you don’t have the right to make the SHARED parts of the place YOUR office.

That would make anyone feel like they do not belong in their own home. Keep your work in YOUR ROOM. Put up a screen or use a video background that looks like an office building or whatever, if you don’t want people on video calls seeing your bedroom.

If you need that much space, you need to live by yourself so you can sprawl your office all over your place, or you need to rent an office space outside the home. Your ‘prestigious’ job hopefully pays you enough to do that.

YTJ.” PinkedOff

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
Kllswtch7 11 months ago
If it's such a prestigious job you should have gotten your own place before being a jerk. You took over your entire place and then acted like because your roommate put up with it for this long that she was just being emotional for finally saying something. You're the jerk. And kind of a unpredictable in fact.
1 Reply
View 2 more comments

8. AITJ For Not Working Full-Time?


“So, I had struggles growing up. My mom would be gone when I woke up to get ready at school at 6 am, and she wouldn’t be there when my siblings and I got back home from school.

I didn’t want this for myself. A life to just work like that, even on weekends. We never even did fun things as a family. Anyway, so I decided that I won’t live like that.

Got a job at 18, went to community college and then University to not deal with debt. Picked an engineering degree. Not very interested in it, but it paid very well and you only needed a 4-year degree.

uncle taught me about investing so after I built my emergency fund, every extra went into savings.

So I got a tech job and continued to invest so that when I hit my mid-30s, I could live off my investments.

Not retire outright, but I didn’t need to work full-time. So I just shifted to part-time teaching at a university and occasionally a little bit of freelance web development. So I’m still taking home the same pay with investments and University and freelancing gives me a little extra.

So I don’t work many days and have free time to do more and travel throughout the year.

So the issue is with my SO. She makes about the same as me, so we split the bills 50/50.

Since I work fewer hours, I do more of the housework during the week. I enjoy it. Anyway so we’ve been living together and she asks how I’m able to work so little. I tell her about I lived below my means for years, saved and invested.

She’s got mad. That if I go back to working full time, she wouldn’t have to work as much. This doesn’t seem reasonable. I told her that if she didn’t like her job, wanted a career change, or had a dream job in mind, then we can sit out and plan it.

I’d be happy to take up more freelancing to support our lifestyle while she’s working towards the said goal. But I was clear it would be temporary. That I won’t live the way my parents did.

Apparently, that’s not good enough. In not seeing how it’s not reasonable. We make about the same and contribute equally to bills. The living arrangements were her choice anyway, not that it’s expensive but just throwing it out there.

It would be one thing if I was refusing to work full time, and she was paying all the bills, but that’s just not true.”

Another User Comments:


Your SO is being selfish. She literally just wants you to work more so she can work less.

This isn’t about her being overburdened, working too much, stretched too thin financially, or stuck in a job she hates and unable to make a career change, all of which would be reasonable situations for her to want out of, and as you stated, you would be happy to work with her if she were trying to work to better her situation, but that’s not what she’s asking for.

She just wants to be a princess and get taken care of.” Korrin

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. You are not a match. Doesn’t make her bad, doesn’t make you bad, you just have different values and goals.

You were entirely reasonable and within your rights to craft a lifestyle that you love. She has old-fashioned values wherein she’s searching for a man to provide her chosen lifestyle. Let her find an old-fashioned man, there are plenty of women who have also crafted a life for themselves who will be a better fit for you.” Active_Sentence9302

Another User Comments:

“NTJ, unless she is working more than full time.

If she has to work more than 40 hours a week I would see why she would be frustrated. If she simply wants you to work full-time so she can work part-time, then she is the jerk.

She agreed to 50/50. I also work the bare minimum I can and still have the lifestyle I want. It sounds like you have been more than supportive to offer to help if she wants a career change.” Snowconetypebanana

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
Beads1912 11 months ago
Same as you I choose when I work and it is absolutely a non issue with my husband
1 Reply
View 2 more comments

7. AITJ For Stopping Birthday Celebrations?


“I (31m) have been working at a company for the past 4 years. I’m part of a team that includes around nine people. Our team leader is a great guy who insists on celebrating everyone’s birthday, and he usually pays for them from his own pocket (he rarely ever attends the celebration himself).

Now there are two issues with this: 1. I’m not really close to my co-workers, and therefore, I don’t feel like staying back after work to spend time with them on my birthday. 2.

I’m a vegetarian, and usually, at these parties (even if it is my birthday), 1 or 2 vegetarian dishes are ordered, and everything else has some kind of meat in it. I always leave the restaurant hungry.

So yesterday was my birthday and I told my boss I was leaving early as I had plans with my family (which I did) but also because I wanted to leave before I got dragged to a celebration I did not want and was only happening because someone else was paying for it.

He asked me if something was wrong because he noticed I do this every year (unsuccessfully), and he wouldn’t let me leave until I gave him an answer, so I decided to be honest with him.

He said he understood and let me leave.

Today I got a lot of texts from my coworkers who told me that after I left, our boss announced that he was going to put a stop to these celebrations and everyone put two and two together, obviously (and rightfully) blaming me.

If I’m being honest, I’m glad I don’t have to force myself to attend these events anymore, but I do feel bad that because of me, no one else gets to enjoy them either.

I really couldn’t see any way out of it.

AITJ for having them stopped? Moreso ’cause I don’t actually feel bad about it?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. If your boss wants to do something that everyone needs to attend, do it during work hours.

When you’re off the clock, that’s your time to do with as you see fit. Your boss ultimately isn’t the jerk either because it seems like he’s trying to do something good for the team, he just took it too far in trying to keep you out of an uncomfortable situation.

Your coworkers are the ultimate jerks here, as your boss’ decision isn’t your fault.” mojojojo2842

Another User Comments:

“I’m gonna say no jerks here but some context might change things. Is it possible that after you were honest with him he may have worried that others felt the same way and they were afraid to say anything and that’s why he canceled them going forward? It doesn’t say exactly what you said to him so maybe he was worried he’s making all these people do something they don’t want to.

I wouldn’t want to go either, BUT, it doesn’t sound like he was actually forcing anyone, more that there was social pressure to participate. He was trying to do a nice thing and while a little oblivious to the power dynamic, not a jerk move.” tctwizzle

Another User Comments:


Maybe you weren’t the first person that he seemed reluctant to join these celebrations, but you were the first that had the guts to tell him the truth.

It’s enough if he realized this makes you (and possibly a few others) uncomfortable, so he used this moment to put an end to it.

Usually, office birthdays are casual and they happen during office hours. The bday person brings something (candy/cake/pizza etc – there really is no rule to it), and everyone hangs out for 15-20 minutes. Hopefully, you’re heading this way.” esk_7140

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
mima 11 months ago
Your boss can not tell people what to do outside of work period ever. You are not the jerk but your boss can't tell people not to celebrate on their own time.
3 Reply
Load More Replies...
View 3 more comments

6. AITJ For Not Agreeing To Put My Ex-Wife's Partner As My Daughters' Emergency Contact?


“I’m a single dad of 2 girls (5) & (7). They go to the same school, and their mom and I take turns in picking them up/dropping them off at school.

Their mom started going out with this guy ‘Shaun’ exactly 4 months ago.

He’s moved in already and is living with the girls as well at their mom’s place.

I got a call from their mom the other day asking me for my ‘approval’ to put Shaun on the girls’ school emergency contact list.

I laughed at first thinking what, are you serious? What should I do that for? She got mad and said, ‘well, he bought a new car!’ I asked what this have to do with it.

She explained that she had to start working more and may not be available in case of an emergency and wants Shaun to be able to ‘act’ on her behalf if and WHEN something happens.

I said that if and when something happens (God forbid) then the last person I want ‘acting’ in an emergency is her PARTNER of 4 MONTHS. I called her delusional and told her that she shouldn’t put work over an emergency basically her daughters’ safety for Pete’s sake.

She got madder and called me unhinged, jealous, uncooperative, and nasty and said that I, clearly don’t have the girl’s best interest at heart. I hung up but she kept calling and then had her mom call me to tell me to do it and stop being petty just cause I don’t like the guy who by the way is the girls’ future stepdad.

I have been getting heat from my in-laws because of my refusal which makes me want to reconsider but I don’t know and I don’t feel comfortable with this request. AITJ?”

Another User Comments:


Normally, if it had been a reasonable amount of time, and given your clearly snide and mocking tone which indicates an openly antagonistic relationship with her, I’d say you were being deliberately uncooperative, BUT…

FOUR MONTHS?! Immediately no. As a parent, I think you have every right to be deeply concerned that she has moved a man into her home with your two young daughters after only being together for four months.

Unless she has done serious background checks, both criminal and personal, it’s not even POSSIBLE for her to know this man well enough in literally 16 weeks to know whether he is a safe person to have living with her kids.

You can’t even become genuinely close FRIENDS with a person in four months… talking about them as your children’s ‘future stepfather’ shows a staggering lack of good judgment and responsible parenting.

You are absolutely NTJ, and right to feel uncomfortable.

Do not make this man an emergency contact, and I would be very wary about this entire situation. Most responsible single parents have barely INTRODUCED a new romantic interest to their kids after 4 months, much less moved them in.

She’s moving inappropriately fast, and this is not healthy.” FoolMe1nceShameOnU

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. You’re only considering your daughter’s best interest and safety.

She is stupid, to even think that it is okay to put a random guy’s number as an emergency contact for your daughters.

Probably he got HER the car and she is doing this to maybe let him know that he has complete rights now. Just make sure to keep having open talks with your daughters to ensure that he is treating them nicely.

I know they are small but teach them how to open up if they are not comfortable around him. Maybe this is taking things way too far, but looking at the nasty things that happen nowadays.

We can never be safe and sure about the people around us let alone strangers.” Bulky_Opinion7855

Another User Comments:


You should never put your daughters’ safety in the hands of someone you barely know. Neither should their mom.

Think about the what-ifs.

What if he is an unsafe driver? What if he decides to pick them up with other people you don’t know in the car? Or, and this seems extreme, but what if he abducted them?

Sometimes people do crap like this after being around for YEARS, and she wants this after 4 months.

Absolutely not.

Now, he may be a stand-up guy and an eventual great stepdad to your girls. But you have no clue about that yet and should never feel like a jerk for protecting your babies.” flutterby228

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
Beenthruit 11 months ago
NTJ. I would be uncomfortable having my children living with a man the ex has only known 4 months. Why does she have to work more all of a sudden. He has a new car, she's working more. Something isn't adding up.
6 Reply
View 6 more comments

5. WIBTJ If I Don't Pay My Spouse When He Cleans?


“My husband of 10 years just told me he will do all the house chores, primarily tidying up, and cleaning – if I pay him what a house cleaner would make, plus a little more (cleaning up after cats/dogs).

He could then take this money and do whatever he wants without asking/consulting. (We share funds)

It’s true I’ve been asking about us hiring a maid to help with cleaning. Kitchen, windows, bathrooms, etc. He has declined this because he doesn’t want anyone in our house.

But, he is never satisfied with the state of the house.

Historically we have always tried to keep house chores even, but he is much more organized than I am and has a lot higher expectations.

Often I will try to meet his requests, but I’ve never been able to fully make it a habit. I know this irritates him regularly.

We both work full-time. We both make a good income, though he does make more.

I work more hours from the office (60 hrs), and he mostly sets his own hours and works from home.

Because he works from home and doesn’t do a full 40 hr week, I often come home to see him playing games or drums or something else.

I have always been a bit envious of his job, but that’s on me. We’re in very different industries. This is why he says he would have time to clean.

I am not tidy. I am first to admit it, and I am embarrassed about it.

I do believe it has a lot to do with my ADHD. While my standards are not magazine worthy, I do not live in filth. There is no trash laying around and no food molding.

I clean up things when I see a mess.

But what I don’t see — is clutter. I have a cardigan on the kitchen chair. I have shoes by the door. I have a paintbrush in the laundry room and a book in the kitchen.

I am guilty of losing my half-filled coffee cups in random spots in the house. I also lose my water bottles, so I have three.

Despite being excellent with time, he constantly overestimates how long something has been out of place.

A coffee cup from breakfast, at lunchtime, he swears it’s been there for three days.

He told me, ‘I’ll have an easier time cleaning up after others if I get paid for it.’

I think part of the reason his requests make me uncomfortable is that he seems to imply I don’t do anything, and this is the only way he can tolerate living with me.

I did say if there was a set list that we wanted to create so that we could both tackle chores on a regular basis, I thought it would be better. He said he didn’t want to use his weekend cleaning (the only time I’m available) and would rather have this arrangement so he could clean during the workday.

I am tempted to agree and see if it works out — but a huge part of me is very uncomfortable with this situation. I want to say no… but maybe I’m just being a jerk.”

Another User Comments:


What on earth is going on here?

You have to pay him what you would pay a cleaner, PLUS additional funds? But the cleaning is for both of you, so how does that make ANY sense? What about the half he’s supposed to take care of?

If you were to get a cleaner, you should be splitting the cost.

Where is his contribution to all of this? This makes no sense, and it sounds like he’s trying to take advantage of you.

Straight up, based on this, his attitude in general, and the fact that he doesn’t seem so concerned with tidying up things now while he’s not being paid, I think he’s just trying to get funds out of you.

This is so bizarre to me.

EDIT: Wait, you share funds. And these are funds he can use however he wants… Is there a chance he’s just trying to get these funds to spend on something he doesn’t want you to know about?” Tricky-Flamingo-7491

Another User Comments:

“No jerks here.

I don’t exactly understand where he’s coming from. While on paper his proposal largely could be reasonable and one that another couple might accept, I am also weirded out by the fact that he’s your husband, he’s the one pushing for a cleaner house, and he wants to be paid more than full price.

It does seem like it’s to compensate for a deeper vein of resentment, which needs to be addressed directly.

If he doesn’t want to use the weekends for cleaning, that’s one thing, but shooting down the option that’s feasible for you because it’s not to his preference is a non-starter.

It seems like a logical compromise would be that he has a list of chores for the weekdays, and you have a list of chores for you to do mostly on the weekends.

‘Often I will try to meet his requests, but I’ve never been able to fully make it a habit’.

This sounds like a cop-out that would naturally breed his resentment. Either you’re willing to meet his requests, or you don’t want to. If you’re willing to clean together to his satisfaction on the weekend, you should be able to do your part on your own.

If his requests are initially too detailed for you to remember, you can make a step-by-step list that you can reference when you’re doing your bit.

Maybe a compromise is that you do chores your way, and you pay him the difference to do the extra mile that you don’t care about.

I don’t know what the solution is, but based on this post it doesn’t seem like either of you is fully a jerk. This subject would be more appropriate for counseling honestly.

Edit: I glossed over this originally, but it’s also unfair for you from the aspect that he has more free time, and therefore has more resources to do the extra work of meeting his own household standards and he’s just not.” AGoodSO

Another User Comments:


Enthusiastically tell him yes, this is a fabulous idea, and you should both sit down and hammer out written parameters…

so there are no hard feelings or misunderstandings, of course.

Then start listing out all the things you each contribute to the household. He makes xx% , you make yy%. Yard work, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, dishes, routine chores, once-a-quarter chores, yearly chores, decorating, caretaking (pets/plants/kids), vehicle care/maintenance, etc.

Really get detailed. Each of these chores is 50/50 responsibility, so if one of you wants to do them fully, they’ll only be getting paid 50%. It’s only fair, after all. You both deserve to spend as you please!

Then figure out the going rate for these services! Housekeeper, laundry service, personal chef, decorator, landscaping, personal assistant, etc.

It’s entirely possible he’ll actually propose something that works, but what I think he’ll realize is that you are already doing more than your fair share and that in his system of nickel-and-diming, it will not end in his favor.

If he STILL doesn’t get it, start asking how much your presence in his life is worth. What’s the price tag of the smile on his face when he wakes up next to you? When he gets to be the one to cuddle you through scary movies or kiss away your tears when the world feels too heavy? Is your value to him really only measured in forgotten coffee cups and errant sweaters? He fell in love with and married, a person with ADHD and it’s downright cruel to suddenly tie your value in his life to brain activity you can’t control.

Good luck!” FrostedOctopus

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
ashbabyyyy 11 months ago
Your husband sounds stupid
3 Reply
View 6 more comments

4. AITJ For Not Wanting To Accommodate Guests For Two Weeks?


“My wife and I just got back from a trip to her childhood town, where her parents and sister live.

My wife is 6 months pregnant with our first baby, and we live about a 4-hour drive away from her family…

Because it’s a little bit of a trek for everyone to come down, we thought we’d plan what we wanted to do when the baby arrives so everyone has plenty of notice.

We were intending to take about 2 weeks to ourselves, to kind of pick up parenthood a little bit and learn all the little things we need to learn, like breastfeeding, nappy changing, and just general life-changing things a baby brings.

Now comes the part where we might be the jerks…

We explained to her parents and sister that we’d be looking to take those two weeks and asked them if they wanted to visit, and meet the baby, they could arrange to come down after a few weeks.

(We did, however, say that they’re welcome to the hospital during the birth)

This led to some friction, confusion, and drama. It started out with my sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) accusing my wife of not wanting her to meet the baby.

This led to my mother-in-law also feeling similarly, and telling my wife she thought it was weird, that we were ‘locking ourselves away for 2 weeks’, and that we’d ‘upset a lot of people’.

For reference, I intend to tell my family the same thing. Although I can’t be 100% sure, I’m as good as certain there won’t be any sort of reaction, and they’ll be understanding.

Edit: forgot to add we actually offer an olive branch of shortening 2 weeks into 1 week…

Which didn’t really do anything to reduce drama.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Because they all want to be garbage family members, now they have to wait 3 weeks! What is wrong with yall’s families? Absolutely selfish.

Neither of you owes them a gd thing, esp time with your baby. Grow a spine, put your foot down, and tell them that if they don’t pick a date after the 2 weeks and they lose their chance, it’s their fault, not yours.

Please, for the love of the universe, DO NOT CAVE ON THE 2 WEEKS. As a mother, you will want and NEED those two weeks without people all over the place giving you unsolicited advice that probably only worked 400 years ago.

Jesus Christ, stick to it.” planxyz

Another User Comments:

“NTJ – This isn’t about them, this is about you, your wife, and the baby. They should respect that. Birth is hard as well on the mother, your body is attempting to recover from a major event (think running a marathon and now bleeding, while trying to also make food for an entire human).

Entertaining family is the last thing many people want to do. Plus you want to get the hang of diaper changes, sleep, etc without others hovering. And based on how pregnant you say she is – she will be giving birth in winter at the height of cold and flu season.

The fewer people around the baby initially, the better. With that caveat, those coming over at any point, in the beginning, should be immunized (waits for shoes to be thrown at me…)” sharktooth20

Another User Comments:


But please bare in mind that having babies has changed immensely in the last couple of decades and family members who are not having babies of their own oftentimes don’t understand.

In the 80s/90s it was normal for the mom and newborn hospital room (and maternity floors in general) to be chock full of visitors as everyone was introduced to the baby immediately.

The same goes for when you bring the baby home, historically it was open season for all families immediate and extended to visit as soon as possible.

This has actually changed very recently as far as the timeframe goes and has been exacerbated by the global crisis. It’s now commonplace for new parents to want to do exactly what you are doing, for all the reasons you stated, but also to avoid being sick at all costs.

Try to be patient, explain to them that while you understand what they are accustomed to, the world as a whole has changed, and current medicine actually encourages keeping the outside family away at least for the first few weeks so that parent bonding can be strengthened, mom doesn’t have to worry about how she looks, if she’s showered, if she looks like the living dead, etc.

If they can’t respect your wishes, you may have to put your foot down.

One little note, you indicated that you said they could attend the hospital, yet you expect them to make that long drive back home afterward without seeing you guys again at home? This is a bit hypocritical especially when you know they are making a long trip. I’m sure that’s not your intent, but something you may want to re-think.” Calealen80

1 points (1 votes)

User Image
ankn 11 months ago
NTJ I would withdraw the invitation to be at the hospital for the birth, and tell then it is now two months instead of two weeks before they can visit.
4 Reply
View 8 more comments

3. AITJ For Not Attending My Step-Sister's Wedding?


“My sister is actually my stepsister, although we all grew up super close from a young age so I never knew different. Our parents split up a few years ago and it was not a pretty split but most of us are of adult age so we were not super involved.

My sister that was getting married is 30, and I’m 22 for reference. My stepdad’s kids kind of dropped off communication after the split which was odd but whatever. So I get a save the date and then I briefly saw her after receiving them.

Since it was a quick thing there wasn’t much time to update each other on our lives but the two big things I remember telling her about were my recent narcolepsy diagnosis and the ‘new’ person I’m with (at the time it had been well over a year already she just didn’t know due to the whole lack of communication).

She then said ok I’ll make sure to give you a plus one then for the wedding- at this point, everything seemed fine.

I did not get extended a plus one and she didn’t mention it again so I felt rude bringing it up again so I figured I would just try to make something work in terms of driving.

The wedding is 2 hours away from where I live and the maximum amount of time I can safely drive is about 40 minutes on a good day. Now my SO is not in the area due to deployment orders so he was not available to drive me and then I guess entertain himself for the duration of the wedding.

I feel awful not going but I cannot safely drive that duration and I have not driven over 40 minutes at a time in about a year and a half due to the severity of my narcolepsy.

I have been very lucky in life so far and I haven’t gotten into any car accidents but I have driven off the highway multiple times due to uncontrollably falling asleep.

I know logically that it isn’t safe for me to drive, but I have such a guilty conscious over it – so I guess my concern is am I actually making a smart decision or do I suck.”

Another User Comments:


Your safety concerns are extremely valid, however, if this was a quick life update when you explained all of this, it was reasonable to think that she just forgot it, especially if she has been stressed with wedding planning.

I don’t think it would be rude at all to call her up/text her and explain your circumstances again, now that the invites have actually been sent out. At the time the life update occurred, she may not have even been mentally prepared to think about invites/plus ones.

It seems like she wants you there for this special occasion, even if the communication has dropped recently. This could have definitely been an unfortunate oversight and she may feel terrible if one day she finds out this mistake led to you missing her event.

Hopefully, if it was a mistake, you could find a friend to accompany you since your SO is unavailable!

If you reach out and explain, and she clarified on intentionally not giving you a plus one, then you absolutely should not go or feel bad about it missing it.

I really do hope that it was an accident and that you will be able to find some way to attend if you want to!” ldp1640

Another User Comments:


You can’t go under these circumstances. It was not a petty or guestzilla reason.

It’s because driving that distance could end with you and others seriously injured or worse.

Politely decline and offer a gift. If she asks why explain to her what you wrote above, she might offer someone to pick you up or give you a plus 1.” HunterDangerous1366

Another User Comments:


It sounds like you drifted apart since your ex-stepsister did not even know the details of your life or diagnosis. If you really want to go to the wedding, I think you can probably find a way to get there safely.

It kind of sounds like you do not want to go, and that’s ok, too. If she did not extend you a plus one, she probably doesn’t expect you to come anyway.” Ok-Body-9606

0 points (0 votes)

User Image
ankn 11 months ago
Thank you for not driving too far, you could kill somebody!
2 Reply
View 1 more comment

2. AITJ For Inviting My Friend's Partner Only As A +1 To My Wedding?


“So me (F26) and my partner of 7 years (M27) are getting married this December. We decided to make it extra small – 40 people, including us. We sent the official invitation last week.

Spouses were considered as ‘guests’ (as in my brother’s wife, BIL’s wife, etc.). But I included my friend’s (K’s) (F26) partner as a +1. My logic was: I know him for a long time, they’ve been together for 10 years, and they’ll want to come together, BUT, if he wasn’t going out with K, I would not invite him.

He and I are cool with each other and would consider him a friend, but as I said this was extra small so I wouldn’t invite him otherwise. My other friends who are invited are mostly in casual relationships or single so they didn’t have a problem with no +1s.

This created a problem with K. She is offended that I don’t consider him a ‘regular guest’ and asked me ‘well what if I bring someone else?’ when I explained it to her. K said it’s dumb and I’m excluding him because I’m making him the only +1.

She told the story to our friend group and it’s split 50/50. Some of them are saying I should just send him a normal invite and be done with it, the others that my logic makes sense.

My fiance doesn’t really care what we’re calling him, he’s still a guest.

K called me a jerk the last time we talked and didn’t respond to me since. Was I the jerk?”

Another User Comments:


They’ve been together for 10 years. He’s not the flavor of the month. Sure, you wouldn’t invite him to your small wedding if he wasn’t going out with your friend, but that doesn’t matter.

He’s not just a plus one. The fact that you can’t understand how that was hurtful to your friend makes you a jerk. It’s about how you view her relationship which, I remind you, is three years older than your own.

It would have taken literally nothing extra from you to write his name on the envelope. But it meant something to your friend. Apologize.” NoCleverUsernameIdea

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Even if you are ‘friends’, that doesn’t mean you’re actually friends.

Based on what you’ve said, if they weren’t with the friend that was named on the invite, you would have nothing to do with that person, even though they’ve been together all this time.

To me, that justifies including them as a +1 instead of a name on the invitation. Not because you think they’ll end up breaking up before the wedding or because you want the person named on the invite to bring someone else, but because you want them there, but you know they’d likely take offense even more so if you didn’t invite their S.O.

as well than if you included a +1 instead of naming them on the invite. This seems like a decent compromise instead of just telling your friend you don’t want their S.O. there at all.” zeiaxar

Another User Comments:

“Soft YTJ.

Friend is being very overly dramatic about it, but might feel she is being excluded as her partner is the only plus 1 as opposed to married couples being considered as guests. She didn’t have to go ahead with picking an argument over it and could have approached you calmly, but personal prejudices seem to have got in the way and you made an oversight.

I would have just invited him as a guest if you have known him for 10 years and considered him a friend.

I don’t think being married vs being in a relationship gives the former any more importance.

So maybe something to consider about the way you view married vs unmarried couples in the future? Not everyone wants to get married.” Crafty-Pomegranate28

Another User Comments:

“Everyone sucks here.

Your friend suggested that you have penalized her partner if she chose to bring someone else.

The reason for plus ones is generally because stuff happens and people may be in different relationships, but these two have been together for 10 years, more than some married couples, and I’m sure there are certain spouses that you would not invite if they were no longer with your friend.

So I don’t know why you are trading him differently, this isn’t done guy she has been with for 3 months, who may not be around when the wedding happens.” BikingOtter

-1 points (1 votes)

User Image
Beads1912 11 months ago
I don't understand the +1 thing. Doesn't that mean he is still invited? Why does he need his own invitation to go and why would your friend not take her partner?
3 Reply
View 5 more comments

1. AITJ For Not Going To My Cousin's Birthday?


“So pretty much, my cousin’s birthday was a few days ago (allow me to say that my cousin is older than me) and I, and my mom were invited to sleep over at my aunty’s house.

And I really didn’t want to sleep over because I went to the previous one, and it was pretty bad. Nothing fun happened (I just had to sit there while she watched paw patrol on the TV) and the house is pretty bad, not comfortable at all.

So I told my mom that I didn’t want to sleep there. I am old enough to choose if I want to go to these events or not. And allow me to add I had just gotten elected as the Vice President of my class that day.

So I feel like I had a right to want to celebrate instead of doing something I didn’t want to do.

And then, not shocking me at all, my mom said that I was being selfish and that my cousin doesn’t have any friends, so I should just go.

And then when I started to cry because she was calling me a brat and to get my crap together. She said that my auntie is way worse than my other cousins (Who were also sleeping over).

But the thing is that it’s not even like my cousin would notice I wasn’t there. And again, I am old enough to decide if I want to go to these things or not, it isn’t my mom’s choice.

And I just didn’t want to sleep over, I was perfectly fine with staying there for a bit. I started to hyperventilate because of how mean she was to me. And because I ‘couldn’t pull myself together’, I didn’t have to go.

I had a nice day at home, but it took me a while to calm down. My mom and I are still mad at each other, and maybe it’s just because she just refuses to not be the victim, but I feel like I might’ve been in the wrong for not sleeping over.


Edit: I never had a single problem with just staying over there. I just didn’t want to sleep over. I am also a very emotional person at times, I’ll admit it, but the reason I didn’t have to go is that I was crying.

I was trying my best to get it together because after being yelled at, I knew I had to or else I would get in trouble.

But I don’t think I can explain how much the things my mom said hurt me.

Her saying I was being a brat wasn’t even the worst of it. And again, The only reason I didn’t get in trouble is that my dad also agreed with me.”

Another User Comments:


You don’t owe people your time or friendship, and that’s okay

It’s also okay to be emotional, especially having someone yell at you, especially as a teenager.

To be honest, since autism is at least partially genetic and being super emotional is one of the aspects, might be worth looking into a few online tests if you’re also otherwise ‘quirky’ or ‘weird’.

Unfortunately, you might not actually be old enough to decide whether or not to go not because you’re immature (you’re still a kid, for Pete’s sake, of course, you’ll be a bit immature here and there).

But because you are a minor and the reality is you don’t get a lot of say, freedom, or choice in a lot of matters.

That’s all. I hope you’re able to find a resolution that’s at least a little acceptable.” Acceptable-Bike-7983

Another User Comments:


Do you think adults always feel like fronting up to family events? Nope, we often just go because it’s the right thing to do.

I get you objecting to your mother initially, but you refused to see her side of things, and it sounds like you eventually kind of threw a tantrum to get your way. That isn’t a good indication of you being old enough to call the shots.” Sweeper1985

Another User Comments:


Your mom, on the other hand, is THE jerk… She doesn’t respect you at all. Honestly, what is wrong with these ‘mothers’? Your kid isn’t your slave! Uhh, and since you don’t want to, don’t go, even if it sounds harsh, give your mother the cold shoulder to make her understand that you don’t like the way she treats you and that it has to stop.” Aggravating_Hand4928

Another User Comments:

“Soft ‘everyone sucks here.’ You should be nice to your cousin and go visit, but also, your mom had no right to yell at you.

If the primary thing is you don’t want to sleep over there, she could have scheduled a day visit instead. It should be discussion and compromise first, not yelling. And if your aunt’s house is ‘bad’, she needs to clean it or whatever before requesting people come over, and your aunt certainly shouldn’t be mistreating any of you.  Primarily your mom and her mom are the jerks, but it is a little mean of you not to want to hang out with a family member just because they’re boring. Sometimes people don’t want to spend time with their grandparents or whoever, but then when they die, they regret not having spent more time with them.” User

-1 points (1 votes)

User Image
TheNerve 11 months ago
NTA you do not have to do anything you don't want to. Everyone telling you to suck it up and go should go in your place since theyre so heavy into that position. You don't want to go and that's cool. It's weird folks are tryna peer pressure you into it super weird
1 Reply
View 2 more comments

If you had the choice, would you have treated those persons "kindly" or brutally if you were in their shoes? You get to determine who's the jerk! Upvote, downvote, and comment on your favorite stories by signing up for a Metaspoon account. Click Log In at the top right corner of this page to get started. (Note: Some stories have been shortened and modified for our audiences)