People Seek An Answer To Their "Am I The Jerk?" Stories
13. AITJ For Showing Up To My Daughter's Birthday Party Without An Invitation?
An announcement beforehand would have been nice.
“For context, I (33m) have been pretty much messed up since my childhood. I married the love of my life and together we have one child (7f). Sometime after she was born, my mental health began to decline and I was later diagnosed with PTSD, clinical depression, and an anxiety disorder.
To spare all the details, I got help and was medicated. Everything was great for a few years until the meds didn’t seem to work any longer.
15 months ago, I started messing around with substances off the streets, and that quickly got out of control. By March, I hit my worst and tried to do it alone because I hated the way my addiction was making me feel and I couldn’t watch my family suffer any longer.
April 28th was my last time ever using. I packed my bags and headed off to rehab on May 2nd. When I hit 90 days, my counselor made the recommendation of visiting home for 24 hours. I thought it was perfect timing since in 4 days it would be my daughter’s 7th birthday.
I knew the party details ahead of time, I thought it would be a nice surprise for me to show up considering everyone knew how determined I’ve been do it right. On the way home, I stopped at two stores to buy gifts and get them packaged. That took a little longer than expected, in addition to the 1.5 hour drive home.
I arrived home 15 minutes after the party started.
My daughter immediately ran into my arms. My wife appeared stunned, then gave me a hug. My MIL pealed out from around the corner and said, “No, we’re not having this.” My wife walked away with her mother briefly, when she returned to ask me to take a test and I agreed.
I figured she had one on hand, but she didn’t. She instructed me to leave and return with at least a 20-panel test.
I was at the house for less than 10 minutes when my FIL pretty much pushed me out of the house and shut the door in my face. I went to the nearest Walgreens, but they only had a 12-panel test.
My wife said to try CVS and I found the same thing there, but they directed me to where I could find such a test. Just as I was leaving the 3rd store with the test in hand, my wife called to say I took too long and I’m not allowed at the party.
I was crushed, she didn’t want to hear it and hung up.
I drove straight back to the rehab and was pretty down all day. I called her the next morning to ask how the party went and if our daughter liked what I got her. She ended up telling me I had given them red flags because I showed up late and unannounced.
She said had I asked her if I could come, things would have been different. Monday morning when I got access to my phone, my FIL had left a text saying just because my wife had told me all about the party details, didn’t mean I was actually invited. Ever since, I feel like I majorly messed up forever by going in the first place.”
Another User Comments:
While it’s awesome you are clean and in rehab, you have to think beyond yourself. You say everyone knows how determined you are to do right. But…the last they saw of you as a husband/father at home, you were using hard substances, and most likely assuring everyone around you that you don’t have a problem, that you’re fine.
Your words are hollow. Their last tangible interaction with you at home was probably lies and was probably bad. And it’s not like it was bad for a week and then you went off to better yourself. You struggled with addiction for a year. I am guessing a lot of damage was done to fracture the trust they have in you, and you may not even remember all of your words and actions during that year, but your family does.
So you may be asking yourself, “Why don’t they trust that I’m getting better? Why don’t they trust that I’m clean?” Because they don’t have much trust in you now. It’s a protective mechanism. People can earn trust back, but it takes time and effort. You have to put in the time and effort.
As another commenter said, you were looking for the dopamine rush of the surprise. You went to two stores to get gifts because that’s an easy and quick way to get a good reaction from a 7-year-old. You’re not a soldier on leave surprising their mom at a restaurant. You’re an addict who made an unpredictable move and you conditioned your family to expect the worst from you, so they did.
Please talk to your counselor about this. Talk about how you should have handled it. Come up with a scenario that does not put your own enjoyment of it first. Think of what you could have done to start to build trust. And compare it to how you acted, and come up with ways to change your future actions.
And apologize. Apologize without saying “but.” No, “I’m sorry I showed up unannounced, but I was so excited to surprise you all.” The “but” negates the apology before it.” NoCleverUsernameIdea
Another User Comments:
First off congratulations on changing!
But you do realize that trust is hard to rebuild right?
Do other people feel assured that you won’t just do more impulsive stuff? Heck no.
Say you’re a manager. your employee messed up and then suddenly apologizes. NO IT DOESN’T CUT IT. Apologizing to you doesn’t mean the customer, you, or whoever is getting losses gets made up right away. You’re firing him.
You didn’t make any restitution.
You do not gate crash a party like that. As an addict, you know about parties more than I do.
Even in your addict life, you’d know, if you gatecrashed their party without them, you’d likely be somewhere you won’t want to go. What made you think that your wife is any different?
If I want to go further on you, this is probably the main reason you became an addict in the first place! You kept showing up uninvited, you get rejected by friend after friend and finally you decided to take substances to soothe the pain.
That’s why I say substances are not a solution, changing is. You kicked substances, but you never changed the root cause!
Not only you, but I and most men here need to listen to this.
In the man’s world, we solve conflicts with a fight. It’s not the same in the women’s world.
So what if he changes or not? I’ll just wreck him again if he did.
In the women’s world, she probably has been through men who gaslighted and manipulated, as well as other women who did. You were probably one of them.
So to her, saying sorry and doing things again isn’t just a mark of lying and unrepentance.
It is manipulation, classic manipulation.
Gaslighting. When you read the words ‘Gaslight’ it isn’t just literal ‘nothing’s going on you’re thinking too much.’ It’s this too.
And you’re unintentionally gaslighting your entire family into thinking you’ve changed.
Please work on yourself and not just the substance part.
Lesson number 3 you need to learn: You are not entitled to forgiveness.
Remember that.” Main-Enthusiasm_1563
Another User Comments:
“My heart hurts for you, because as an addict with a long history of relapse, I understand the pain you are going through.
I am over 10 years clean. The last time I quit, I knew I was done. I truly wanted to change my life. However, it took a LONG time for the people around me to get comfortable with me being clean, responsible, and honest.
It hurts when those around you doubt your sincerity or are wary of you and your life changes. However, from their perspective, they aren’t sure if they can trust you yet. We hurt the people closest to us deeply when we are using – we betray their trust. It takes time to build that back again.
The best way to do that is to be as transparent as possible. Work on your recovery, but allow them the time they need to trust you again. Don’t show up unannounced- ASK if you can come over. You have to rebuild and rebuilding takes time. As addicts, we want everything yesterday- waiting for our loved ones to catch up is painful. Unfortunately, it is also necessary.
YTJ – but a soft one. I am glad you want to show up for your kid. You just need to adjust your approach. Best of luck to you! Hope you can provide an awesome update a few months from now!” Lovehatepassionpain
12. AITJ For Telling My Kid's Mother That I Don't Care About Her Problems?
“Our child is three, and we have alternating weeks. My mother and sisters help me with childcare when I’m working, and I know I’m very lucky for this. My ex has recently started complaining that she’s having trouble with childcare. The cost has become unreasonable, and our daughter is at an age now where she screams and cries when left with someone she doesn’t know.
And she can scream. My girl has a bright future as a tuba player because those lungs are powerful.
I told my ex my mom could watch our daughter for her, but she said she didn’t want my family watching her daughter on her time. I figured that was the end of the conversation.
But she brought it up again at the next swap. I asked her why she was telling me this, and she got offended. She said I should care about her struggles since it involves our daughter.
I said it’s not possible to sympathize with problems that have easy solutions. She wants to waste her savings on babysitters our daughter hates.
That’s her choice. If it causes problems for her, those are her problems. If she doesn’t want my help, which she doesn’t, then there’s no reason for us to discuss her problems, as nothing can come of it.
She said I was being a jerk and she just wanted a sympathetic ear, that she needs to talk about her problems sometimes.
I said that’s what a therapist is for. Or her friends or something. I’m not going to pretend to be interested in her problems. I don’t like problems. I like solutions.
She said that’s why our relationship ended, and I agreed that it was and asked why she expected me to do something for her now that we’re broken up (listen to problems without offering solutions) I wouldn’t even do it when we’re together.
She knows I am only interested in solutions, not problems. Why was she expecting something else?
My sister said it’s important to have good communication with my child’s mother and I should pretend to care even though I don’t just keep that communication line open. She said it’s only once a week and saying “I’m sorry, that sucks” costs me nothing and takes less time than saying “your problems aren’t real problems and I don’t care” and starting a fight.
She might have a point. AITJ?”
Another User Comments:
You don’t owe her a sympathetic ear, of course, you don’t owe her anything. But you know for a fact you’re antagonizing her so why do you expect any different response? This is why you two broke up it’s not new.
She’s not letting your mom watch her for free because that means all of a sudden you have a claim in court (if you choose to do that) that she’s a bad parent who never cares for her child and you and your mother have to step in.
I can’t believe you haven’t thought of that because if everything were switched around and her mom was offering to babysit on your time, you’d have the same vulnerabilities. And based on your animosity towards her she clearly can’t trust you to do right by her.
It does sound like she’s strongly hinting that she wants to get paid though.” llamaswithglasses
Another User Comments:
We men are such “fixers,” but so often our audience doesn’t want us to solve the problem. They want to be seen and heard.
To my view, your sister is on the right track. Although, the correct term is “empathy” in this case, not “sympathy.”
The difference matters. Sympathy is telling someone how you feel.
Which isn’t relevant to your ex. For instance, “I am sorry,” is sympathy.
Empathy is knowing and expressing the other person’s feelings. I sense this is what your ex wants. “That feels frustrating,” is empathy.
Your sister’s suggested comment had both kinds of statements, which is fine because it included empathy words.
So yes, I agree with the sister.
I further credit your ex’s statement about always being this way in your relationship. Too, notice that your ex hasn’t asked you to fix anything, so putting solutions out there feels like jerkery to her. Ex is also correct that time with your family seems like extra parenting time on your side, a further injustice.
So, try not to fix things and instead just say a short acknowledging statement to your ex, such as, “wow, yeah, work and childcare issues feel stressful and anxious.”
Boom, you’re golden.
By the way, in my state childcare expenses sometimes figure into the overall child support calculation. So to the degree your ex incurs such expenses, the court might require you to pay some of them.
So, truly like your sister said, you lose nothing by offering your ex a willing ear in communication, coupled with a few empathetic feeling words.
And who knows, you may become a better listener around women. They, like all of us, appreciate that.
So YTJ today, but fixable going forward.” Theo73pdx
Another User Comments:
“Look, you’re technically NTJ here.
That relationship has run its course so you no longer need to be her soundboard.
But here’s food for thought:
The reason you guys divorced because you don’t like listening to problems, just solution. News flash – your next partner is MOST LIKELY not going to be any different in wanting to have a sympathetic ear to listen to.
So for your own future interest in finding a partner, you need to start working on this. Further, listening and NOT offering a solution is actually very important when it comes to parenting. There are actually plenty of articles around here.
I have a father like you. Never listens, just wants solutions, and will straight up offer solutions without ever listening or trying to understand us.
You know what happened? We stopped talking to him. We stopped reaching out to him to ask for advice. These days, I limit interaction cause I just don’t want to hear another lecture I don’t want.
I’ve actually mentioned this to my husband as well. He jumps into solution mode. His mum does the same.
And it’s frustrating but my husband listened and he knows just to be sympathetic. He also realized I do the same thing sometimes – start offering solutions when all he wanted was to vent and someone who would listen. So we both started to listen more and it made our relationship even stronger.
So for the benefit of your daughter and any future partners you may have, work on this. Otherwise, you might end up with another divorce in the future and a child that ignores you.
Also, as other commenters have mentioned, it doesn’t hurt to stay amicable with your ex for the benefit of your daughter.” MikiRei
11. WIBTJ For Not Inviting My Sister To My Wedding?
“My younger sister and my fiancée got off on the wrong foot back when I was first seeing her, and she first met my sister. When everything was locked down, this included the hair salons. My fiancée (then my girlfriend) has blonde hair but it’s not her natural color.
Ever since my sister left the armed forces she has had her hair all different colors from natural ones to unnatural ones.
She changes the colors herself instead of going to the salon. Since she is so experienced coloring and even cutting her own hair my fiancée asked me to introduce us so she could ask my sister to do her hair.
My sister said no to doing her hair after the introduction to my surprise.
Her logic was that her own hair is light blonde so it’s easier to put colors in when all of those colors are darker whereas my fiancée has black hair and pretty much every color would mean using bleach. My sister also said if she messes up coloring or cutting her own hair she can cut it more but she’s never done anyone else’s hair besides her own and would be too afraid to mess up, especially because she has basically zero experience with bleach or coloring hair blonde.
Her refusal left a sour taste in my fiancé’s mouth. The minimal time the salons were open between the various public health orders and closures here meant my fiancée was constantly on a waitlist. She even tried finding an appointment for a different salon than her regular one but couldn’t get one.
It was well over a year and a half before she could get her hair back to the way she had it before. Her self-esteem took a big hit, and my sister would not try to help her or even offer her tips on hair coloring hurt.
My sister saying no meant my fiancée didn’t really warm up to her and now that we’re planning the wedding she doesn’t want my sister there because the bad feelings have never gone away.
I try not to get in the middle of things but my fiancée is adamant. My sister is either really good at hiding her own feelings or she is oblivious to how my fiancée feels.
Besides my sister, I only have 8 other relatives total whereas my fiancée has a giant family, several other younger siblings, and cousins that are all married with kids and a whole host of aunts and uncles.
I don’t know how it would look if my sister is absent but I don’t want fiancée to be miserable at our wedding. My mom and her husband say they would encourage me to invite her and to try to mend the rift and hard feelings and I would look bad if she wasn’t invited.
They aren’t paying for anything so this is just their opinion but I’m wondering how true it is.”
Another User Comments:
“YTJ for going along with your fiance’s attitude. And she is definitely the jerk.
Your sister had reasonable, legitimate reasons for not wanting to color your fiance’s hair. She’s not a licensed beautician and has only worked on her own hair.
Bleaching naturally black hair is a complicated process from what I have read. Had your sister agreed, and made a mistake, I imagine your fiance would have been upset about that too. Your sister didn’t want to risk messing up your fiance’s hair and causing her to get angry.
It seems like your sister was put in a no-win position no matter what she decided.
Your fiance should have accepted your sister’s refusal with good grace. Instead, she has chosen to sulk and punish your sister. Over hair, for heaven’s sake! What a ridiculous issue to hold a grudge over.
She should apologize to your sister and not banish her from the wedding. But I doubt she is mature enough to do that.
Being unable to get her hair cut or colored is a silly reason for your fiance to claim her self-esteem was lowered. Is her self-esteem so low that a haircut would affect it?
The fact that she’s demanding that your sister be banned from the wedding shows how petty and self-centered she is.
If you marry her, I suspect she will develop other conflicts and grudges with your family and friends.
Are you sure you want to marry her? I wouldn’t if I were you.” Paevatar
Another User Comments:
“YWBTJ. Your sister is not a professional colorist or stylist. She is used to cutting and dyeing her own hair.
She does not have the experience of working with the amount of bleach your fiancée would need to achieve the colors she wants. Have you never seen any videos of people that fail at bleaching their hair? No amount of coloring can cover up the damage a bad bleach job can cause.
Your sister did a service to your fiancée by saying no to a task she does not feel confident pulling off, and it would be highly unreasonable to not invite her to the wedding because of it.
Also why the heck would you marry someone whose grudge against your sister is so strong, that they see a reasonable refusal as an infliction major enough to uninvite her from the wedding?” snarkadoodle
Another User Comments:
You really wanna marry someone who has a personal vendetta against your sister because she didn’t feel experienced enough to do this woman’s hair? Either way, your sis loses. If she did your girl’s hair and messed it up, which is guaranteed if she has no experience with bleach, the end result would be the same.
Furthermore, if your gf actually loved you, she wouldn’t be trying to damage your relationship with your family. This woman is so obviously entitled, selfish & petty, & clearly doesn’t care about your feelings. Are you really that oblivious, or is your self-esteem so low that you think this is the best you can do? Either way, your sis doesn’t deserve to be treated that way, & I doubt Sis hasn’t noticed but is just trying to be RESPECTFUL of you, ya know, something your girl doesn’t have for you.” corner_tv
10. AITJ For Rarely Doing The Dishes And Leaving My Wife Do Them?
“My partner does most of the cooking because it is important to her that we eat meals together and if it’s up to me to make meals I would skip many of them because I get absorbed in my work or simply am not hungry at the same times every day.
So instead of asking if I’d like to eat lunch, she just says “it’s lunchtime” or whatever. Which works for me, since she’s making food it keeps more of my time free so I don’t mind stopping for a bit just to eat.
However, I don’t typically help her with the dishes unless I ask her to make something special for me like cookies or brownies or some treat like that.
In those cases, I usually do all of the dishes afterward. But for daily meals, I don’t do any, in general. This is because of our kitchen organization.
Before we started seeing each other, I liked to do the vast majority of the dishes in the house I shared with my college friends because it meant I got to decide where they were put away.
The kitchen’s organization was essentially decided by me because I was the one cleaning it. However, my girl has her own very strong opinions about how our new house’s kitchen should be organized. In previous living situations, I had had more say in such matters, but by this point, I have had zero input on where anything in our kitchen is.
On top of that, she has very specific rules regarding where dishes go at various points of cleanliness. She usually prefers them to go next to the sink when dirty, but sometimes things that are dirty go in the sink for reasons I truly do not comprehend, and the dishwasher must never be directly filled by me because I won’t do it right – and at any rate, she insists most dishes be washed by hand both to save water and because a lot of things we have aren’t dishwasher safe (some of which definitely aren’t but some things I would put in the dishwasher because it’d be totally safe IMO but I don’t because she disagrees).
We also have a drying rack for dishes which she loves to use but I always used to prefer simply drying dishes with a towel and putting them immediately away to save counter space. And finally, I think it’s gross to have the cat food container up on the counter because of the faint kibble smell it emits, and would prefer to keep it on the shelf next to the cats’ food bowl, but she always puts it on the kitchen counter because “the shelf is in direct sunlight which can ruin the food”.
She says I’m not doing my fair share of housework by refusing to do the dishes – and in general, she does do much more cleaning around the house than I do because she’s much more bothered by slight messes than me (she’s even hired a maid to help which is an unthinkable expense to me, but apparently well worth it to her).
My stance is that because she retains such absolute control over the state of the kitchen, its maintenance and upkeep is her responsibility. Is that fair, or AITJ who should just clean half the dishes since I dirty half the dishes?
UPDATE: A lot of people seem to be under the impression I do no housework.
Because of the maid, the vast majority of housework to be done is in the kitchen on a daily basis. So my girl absolutely cleans more than me. But I cannot fathom why people would assume I never pick up around the house, or even do my own laundry (??) or take out the trash (that’s nearly always me) or do yard work (again generally my responsibility).
And also many people are suggesting a compromise. This is not an option. Her rules are absolute and will not be bent.”
Another User Comments:
“I went through this exact same scenario with my now wife.
Look, I get that you’re used to doing things a certain way and your standards for cleaning may be lower.
Women often have had higher expectations of them to clean and be clean than guys, so lots of college guys are slobbier. But when you’re in a relationship, you need to STEP IT UP. Most of what’s described is just trying to be diligent, and if she is asking you to change how you do things, you should adjust.
If you think you’re just bad at cleaning dishes, then talk to her first to say you want that to be her chore, and then DO MORE around the house to make sure the work is equal.
It is fine to talk and want compromise. She doesn’t have to just unilaterally decide how things work, and you can push back.
How things are organized should be a discussion with compromise. For that matter, I’d absolutely bring up how washing dishes by hand simply doesn’t save water over dishwashers unless the dishwasher is from the 70s. It’s something people were taught growing up that isn’t true anymore.
You gotta step up your cleaning game, do equal work around the house, and talk through any disagreements you have rather than leaving things to her.” Reddit user
Another User Comments:
You admit that you’re not doing your share of chores. You are a jerk for that.
She’s the jerk for organizing things without your input and getting picky about them. I agree that if she has elaborate secret rules for organizing the kitchen, and gets upset when they are not followed, then it’s on her to deal with that.
And, no, she doesn’t get to tell you that you can’t use the dishwasher — what the heck? Loading a dishwasher is not rocket science, and there are a variety of ways to do it correctly. If she’s that picky, it’s on her.
It certainly sounds like you ought to step up to do some more cleaning around the house and even out the workload, while not necessarily conforming to all of her overly-fussy demands for cleanliness.
I hope that she has some wonderful redeeming qualities because she sounds annoying as a housemate.” MystifiedByPeople
Another User Comments:
“Before she hired the maid, who did the vacuuming/mopping/bathroom cleaning?
If it was her or mostly her, that’s an unequal distribution of labor, and that’s a jerk move. She fixed it by hiring a maid.
You need to not mention it as an unthinkable expense because that’s jerk behavior.
If you did half or more of it, that’s when we get to talk about why you’re noticing she won’t compromise about things. Because there’s a pattern here.
She isn’t happy with the way cleaning is done, so she hires a maid.
You were happy or didn’t care how cleaning is done, and it sounds like she’s paying for it, so you make offhanded comments about it but haven’t done anything to change the situation.
She wanted to eat meals together and was noticing you weren’t eating, so she took over meal prep to make it as easy as possible for you to eat.
You would prefer more flexible eating times, so you eat when she makes food for you, not making food for yourself much or at all anymore, and consider your presence your gift to her.
Which it may well be, but clearly she’s taking more initiative. You could tell her there are days you’re going to be busy and don’t want to eat with her/have her cook for you.
You could stop eating with her. You could make your own food or order delivery. Instead, I’m reading mild complaints but not any action plans, so I’m guessing it’s not that big of an issue for you and I can ignore it. That’s what I’d think if I were her.
You don’t like the cat food where it is.
You’re complaining and making other suggestions, but I’m not reading about you moving the cat food yourself or refusing to eat what she’s made you because there was cat food in the place where she made it. So why does she need to compromise?
For contrast, when she doesn’t like the way she’s doing dishes, yes, she’s complaining, but she’s also taking over the job herself.
That’s why she’s not compromising; she can just do it without you. (This is where the accusations of weaponized incompetence are coming from.)
So this is what you need to talk about. You seem to have distilled the issue down to you’re willing to help, but you genuinely don’t know her system.
If you want a compromise, I think you need to be willing to invest in trying to learn her system and/or make meals yourself. IE you need to show initiative that when you want something different, you take steps to make it happen (more than posting on Reddit.) Ideally, she would compromise with you, but come on. I think you can see you’ve got the better deal out of all of this. So… yeah, YTJ right now.” Dreamadi
9. AITJ For Allowing My Brain-Injured Dad With No Filter To Say Inappropriate Things To My Bridesmaids?
“I (32F) recently got married (!!!) to my husband (33M) & had an overall pretty fantastic wedding. The main “issue” is that my father, unfortunately, suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the year prior to the wedding. He’s pretty healthy mobility-wise, but as the TBI was in his frontal lobe, his cognitive function is all messed up.
Dad’s filter & ability to pick up on social cues is…currently out of commission. It’s heartbreaking to hear him sometimes now say racist/bigoted things that I swear would have never come out of his mouth before. And yet, I’m so grateful that he’s talking. It has just recently begun to improve with the installation of his new shunt, so please keep your fingers crossed.
I miss my dad so much. Which is weird with him being right here. I don’t know how to explain it.
The TBI was from a nasty concrete fall, & I was beyond grateful to be able to have him walk me down the aisle. We didn’t know to what extent, if any, he’d be able to participate in my wedding.
I warned my 5 bridesmaids from the beginning (& well everyone ‘wedding’ – in-laws, vendors, our mailman) of my dad’s condition. I explained his lack of filter, what the neuros said, & answered any ?s I could. I asked for understanding & support. All 5 girls seemed to rally around me.
One bridesmaid, “Pia”, is half Indian (I mean, she’s also a fantastic, really smart & hilarious woman – but her race is important here). Pia is very upset with me. Apparently, my dad said “several” off-color things that made her feel uncomfortable during rehearsal/wedding – though 2 were directed at her, & stood out.
1 was that he wouldn’t normally date an Indian girl, but that she was gorgeous & fit, & he’d make an exception for her if he were younger (I know….ew Dad), & 2 a comment about how toned & brown her legs were. Pia brought this up with me after I got back from the honeymoon.
I did remind her that I briefed her on the situation beforehand, that it was my daddy, & I was trying to do the best in a situation I never wanted to be in. Pia said I should have taken more responsibility to monitor my dad, & that there was too much pressure on her to agree “to be understanding” given the brain injury – but there was still no excuse for her dignity to be assaulted.
I may have messed up here.”
Another User Comments:
My late husband had a stroke that affected his frontal lobe. Prior to the stroke, he was always telling me how ‘bonny’ I was. (Love is blind. I’m homely at best.)
After the stroke, I dreaded going home from work because he swore at me and called me a ‘fat ugly loser.’ In time, his original personality reasserted itself and he apologized profusely.
You explained the situation. The only other thing that you could have done would have been to exclude your father from your wedding, and you couldn’t do that. Yes, your dad’s comments were ‘ew,’ but in the scheme of things I don’t think they were that bad.
I can assure you that ‘monitoring’ would have made no difference.
The first time my husband and I went out for a restaurant meal with another couple after he got home from 4 months of stroke rehab, every other word that came out of his mouth was ‘loser.’ Fortunately, we were with friends who knew him well and the wife had been a stroke nurse.
They had visited him in stroke rehab and knew what to expect.
My husband used to be an English teacher.
ETA As others have suggested, the only thing that might have worked would have been to remove your dad from the situation once the problem started.
Yet another edit…
I’ve seen all the comments people have made saying that the brain injury reveals the ‘real’ person.
No, that’s not how it works at all.” PurpleAquilegia
Another User Comments:
“YTJ. Have had multiple cognitively impaired family members (stroke in my uncle and mum, dementia in my grandmother and bio grandfather), I know how mortifying it feels to hear them say something AWFUL and knowing it would never have come out of their mouths prior.
That being said it is not your place to tell your friends to just ‘bear with’ his bigotry.
You should have had a handler with him to redirect and apologize as soon as he said something out of line. Pia behaved admirably, she has a right to be upset; she was harassed – even worse with a layer of racism on top – at a place she was meant to feel safe.
You don’t get to put your friends in unsafe situations (mentally, I’m not saying your father would attack them) because “he’s my daddy and he can’t help it.” He might not be able to help it, but YOU can. There were so many better options here than to just tell everyone “be understanding.”
It’s much easier to be understanding when you can see the family is doing everything they can, they have a caretaker there, they have ways to mitigate what he’s saying, willing to remove him if necessary, etc.
Much less so when you’re harassed and all your friend says is “well that sucks but I did warn you.”” One-Stranger
Another User Comments:
Your friend is right. Your father may not have control over what he’s saying, but you absolutely had the responsibility to monitor him, especially since your bridesmaids likely felt like they couldn’t say no to being around him.
You created a situation for your friends to be harassed, or at the very least be made to be extremely uncomfortable, and when they told you your response was an incredibly dismissive ‘oh but I warned you! Also, you saying it’s your daddy as if that makes it any better, is so freaking gross.
It doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t excuse your lack of personal responsibility or your willingness to put your friends in an awful situation.
ETA so many of the N T J and N T J comments are focused on the fact that her father’s actions aren’t intentional and that TBIs are tragic and awful injuries with really serious consequences.
I agree. But the father’s actions aren’t at question here, the OPs are. She knowingly put her friends at risk of harassment and took no personal responsibility for it. Warning them in advance does absolutely nothing and the bridesmaid said she felt pressured to accept the situation. That’s awful. The situation is terribly sad, but it was also completely avoidable.
In her response to her friend and in her comments, the OP has shown no real compassion or concern for the harm she caused her friend.” PestoPanda674
Another User Comments:
OP, you and your family are clearly brand new to managing a family member with TBI. You dropped the ball with providing the support your dad needed to keep his behavior in check, but i suspect that’s because you haven’t had enough time to even learn what supports are needed.
Like, how long has it been since his injury? I’m guessing no more than 1 to 2 years, and probably far less?
There is often something especially awful in figuring out how to adjust to life when a close family member has a TBI, especially when the TBI is a result of trauma and the family member was previously healthy.
I sometimes describe it as a form of death. The person you knew is in some ways gone, and this new person you may not even recognize is in their place. And, you’re supposed to love that person the same and give them the same status, even when they’re essentially a stranger, even when they’re saying or doing things you find abhorrent.
And, it’s all the more confusing because sometimes they are the same person you love and have a history with.
Although i think you tried your best, you still need to try to repair what you can here. Apologize to your friend and anyone else your dad may have offended or mistreated.
If there are options to make amends, do so. Most importantly, try to network with family support groups or other professionals to get more info and help learn how to help manage your dad’s condition better going forward. TBI causes a lot of serious problems with impulse control, thought processes, and social behaviors.
It’s really important, especially for someone recently injured, to have support that includes helping them relearn those skills and removes them from social situations where their behavior is problematic. It can become extremely dangerous to them if their behavior problems extend to physical acts, especially as violent acting out is common.
It’s also often confusing, frustrating, and embarrassing as a person with TBI may often either not understand why they’re acting as they are or why they can’t control their impulses. They may not even realize what they’re doing at times. Support groups and medical experts can help you and others close to your dad learn to identify which problems your dad has and how to help him better cope with the TBI changes.” evil_nala
8. AITJ For Telling My Stepdaughter She Doesn't Deserve Refunds For Guests Who Didn't Attend Her Wedding?
“My stepdaughter Tara, 27, recently got married. I’ve been with her mother for 10 years total so she didn’t grow up with me around. She has her father and his family in her life. She is not extremely close with my side of the family and that’s fine. 6 days before her wedding my father died unexpectedly.
The people invited to her wedding from my family was myself, my two kids, my brother, and one of my sisters.
I flew out to see my mother immediately and was gone 2 days. My wife wanted to stay behind to help Tara with her wedding prep. My mom and aunt handled the funeral arrangements.
They were aware of Tara’s wedding and tried to be mindful of it and also give our family time to get in town for the funeral. One funeral home serves the area my parents live in and the dates available for service were 3 before the wedding, day of the wedding, day after the wedding.
They went with the day after. My siblings skipped the wedding since they live in different states and would only be able to get time off and afford to travel for one ceremony, so they went only to our father’s funeral. My kids and I stayed for Tara’s wedding, took photos, and left right after the ceremony since it was a 6-hour drive, and airline prices were insanely high and I’d already dropped a good bit of funds on the first flight after dad died.
Day after the funeral, those of us who missed the wedding were sent requests for $125 by Tara as a refund for meals and favor bags. My kids and siblings asked if she was serious and I told them I’d call her to find out. When I called, she said she was serious and we had cost her big bucks and owed her for missing her wedding.
Tara and my wife think we all should have stayed for the wedding and reception and left afterward. I told them both before the wedding that wouldn’t be doable and why. My brother and sister couldn’t afford two plane tickets or get that many days off, and they had sent their apologies and wedding gifts to her.
I also pointed out we couldn’t all fit in one car to drive there. My wife insists I should pay all the refunds and my mother shouldn’t have scheduled a funeral the day after the wedding and worse for me to leave on Tara’s wedding day.
I might be a jerk because I told Tara we gave her and her husband a few days’ heads up we wouldn’t be attending the reception so it’s not like they got blindsided and to demand refunds over a funeral was beyond unreasonable.”
Another User Comments:
The rule is pretty simple here:
You can cancel a social event if what comes up is less pleasant than what’s on deck, as long as you’re telling the truth. So canceling a date because you have food poisoning, rescheduling book club because you have to work, and, yes, missing a wedding reception due to a death in the family.
You can’t cancel due to a better offer. For example, deciding you’d rather stay home in pajamas or deciding you’d rather go to a concert, or bailing on friends because someone cute asked you out. The rule is particularly true if someone has spent on your behalf.
You were well within the bounds of etiquette to miss the wedding reception due to a death in the family and an out-of-state funeral.
You were gracious to attend the ceremony, that’s the important part of the day.
At any wedding, there will always be people who have stuff come up, that’s just life. I had a relative not attend last minute, I expressed concern then moved on.
Sending an invoice instead of a condolence card is just bonkers.” rotatinggruhnama
Another User Comments:
I’m 9 months pregnant and feeling petty. So this is my stance.
How entitled and emotionally abusive and downright horrible is someone to do that to people who are grieving. For your wife to agree with her entitled daughter and not see a problem with that I horrible. He was her father-in-law for 10 years.
I’d estimate how much I spent on her over the years on gifts and whatnot. Then tell her here’s her bill since you aren’t family because people don’t treat family that way and she can subtract what your family owes her from that. Then I’d cut contact because she obviously doesn’t care for you, your children or family’s feelings.” mom_of-littles
Another User Comments:
“Good Lord, NTJ.
It is in spectacularly poor taste to send an invited guest who couldn’t make it to the wedding a bill for any reason, let alone when the reason is the funeral of your father. I am behind appalled that rather than putting a stop to this incredibly childish and cruel behavior your wife is instead encouraging it.
I would be beyond furious in your shoes. Heck, I’m furious on your behalf. Who the heck does your stepdaughter think she is to demand such a thing and what the heck is wrong with your wife that she’s enabling this absolutely appalling behavior?
If you have somewhere else to stay for a while I’d suggest going there. Both to show your wife how serious her despicable behavior is and to also give you a chance to heal. My condolences about your father.” grissy
7. AITJ For Expecting My Photographer Cousin To Still Give Us A Discount After We Initially Back Out?
Yeah, it sucks, but they did it to themselves.
“When me and my wife were planning our wedding my cousin offered to take the pictures. My cousin Laura is a professional photographer. She is self-employed and does everything herself, but she said for big events like ours, she will hire a photography student for the day to help her.
Laura said if we wanted she would take our pictures and instead of charging her usual amount she would only charge us the fee she pays to the student helper for the day. So her stuff would all be free for us.
We appreciated it, but in the end, we decided not to take her up on the offer because we had been trying to save as much as possible.
The place we had the ceremony and reception was still costly even though it was outside their busy season. Also, we didn’t want to cheap out on the food or drinks for our guests, we didn’t want them to leave hungry. Plus even with my wife buying both dresses on sale it was still costly to have them altered.
We didn’t want to go into debt or over budget. Me and my wife did many things just the 2 of us, like the invitations, the programs, the centerpieces, and other small things ourselves. For the pictures, we ended up getting 3 of our friends who volunteered to take them. In exchange, we gave them unlimited drinks.
One of them had an iPhone 13 and the other 2 had Kodak Easy Share cameras. We also asked guests to send us any copies of pictures they took. Laura was there a regular guest.
I know I’ll get flamed for cheaping out on the pictures but I admit this was a mistake.
Some of the pictures were nice but nothing like a professional photographer could do. We have decided to redo them. We aren’t redoing the whole wedding, that ship has sailed. But we would like to have some of us, our wedding party, parents and families or the place we got married.
The place we had the wedding agreed we could come for a couple of hours on an off day during the week. Our wedding party and families also agreed to dress up again and come for pictures. We told Laura we would like to take her up on her offer. I wasn’t expecting her to walk it back.
Laura said since it’s a busy time now she has less time and also since the students are going back to school soon they will also have less availability. Now she’s saying we have to pay her normal price plus whatever the student is paid and our available dates to do this won’t be as open.
I need a gut check: Are me and my wife wrong because we expected Laura to hold up her original offer. We already have to pay for my wife’s hair and makeup plus for the bridesmaids and for me and my groomsmen to rent tuxes again. If she didn’t want to do it for below the normal price she should not have offered.
I understand we should have used a professional but that ship sailed so are we wrong for expecting to pay the original price Laura said?”
Another User Comments:
Laura offered, you declined. Do you realize how much work it is for a wedding photographer to do their work? It isn’t just snapping a few photos.
It takes a lot of practice. There is also a lot of post-production work.
That would have been her gift to you, and an expensive one.
Now, you want another one.
Either pay Laura or hire someone else. Don’t expect a freebie.” Algebralovr
Another User Comments:
“YTJ. You are under the mistaken view that any offer is still on the table – you closed out the offer when you turned her down.
She did want to do it at below the normal prices but you rejected that. I don’t know why you would think you are STILL entitled to it. She did you a favor already by offering a reduced price. She’s already spent time coming to your wedding. Now you think you are entitled to not just additional time from her, but also effort, all for free? I think you need to look at the ship of getting professionally done photos for free, much less according to your schedule, as having sailed as well.
Just why do you think you are entitled to expect all of this, as well as be entitled to be disappointed when it’s not just dropped in your lap? Honestly think you deserve to either pay full price or have no professional photos, given your sense of entitlement.
ETA: Since you are thinking of this in terms of her original offer, arguably, her time at the wedding was worth slightly less since she was going to attend it anyway.
But now she has to properly take time out of her schedule, which presents different circumstances, including a different opportunity cost – that clearly warrants a new offer with different terms.
Poor Laura. You looked a gift horse in the mouth and now you’re upset that you won’t have the chance to do it again.
Another User Comments:
“YTJ, she gave you a great gift and you turned it down. That alone wasn’t very nice. Especially your reasons why and that’s showing a huge amount of disrespect for her job and passion.
Doing a reshoot costs her even more. She was already a guest at your wedding so that part wouldn’t have bothered her.
Now, she too has to free up her calendar (blocking out paying customers), make the trip with all of her material, and find someone to help. All of this takes time, which is costly. A lot of photographers struggle too, working impossible hours to get by.
But taking a photo is not the end of the journey.
That’s why your current photos are disappointing. She has to upload all pics, make a selection, edit them,… For you to expect her to do all of this for free is not very empathetic.
Look at this from her perspective: hired an expensive venue bought expensive food, rented tuxes, bought two dresses,..
But now she should do what she does for a living for free because you’re short on savings? That’s taking disrespect to a whole other level. How would you feel when someone asked you to take a vacation day from work to come to do some work for them for free? And then having to work at least a day at home finishing it up?” Petrake
Another User Comments:
There is no more offer. You broke the verbal contract when you turned it down. She offered it during the slow season when she was not busy. Now here you come LAST MINUTE wanting FREE work during her busy season when the cheap help is no longer available due to college being in.
She is fully booked meaning she will have to TURN DOWN PAID WORK AND LOSE INCOME just so you can cheap out on her dime. She is self-employed and ONLY makes profit during the wedding season. She doesn’t have a stable income year-round. She needs to make all her profit in a short amount of time for the entire year.
If you have never worked on commission/self-employed in a seasonal industry you need to understand that. She has to work like a dog during the busy season so she has earnings left over during the slow season when work is hard to come by. You want to erase her ability to take paid work during her limited paid season that must support her all year round? She offered you a gift on your wedding day and you declined.
Now the offer is OVER and DONE. The offer was never open-ended to be used for anything at any time you wanted it. It was only offered on your actual wedding day. And you didn’t want it then. You can’t hold her to a “contract” you broke in the first place.
Also, you act like you are doing HER some sort of favor for paying for your own crap. Well…we already had to pay for bla bla bla. Well YEAH. It’s YOUR crap to PAY for in the first place. If you want it you pay for it like everything else or you don’t get it. If you can’t afford it, tough crap, don’t do it. No one else is responsible for the costs of the things you want to buy or do. Like….come on now.” dogchick1985
6. AITJ For Kicking My Father-In-Law Out Of The House?
“My (29f) husband (30m) and I have liked each other since we were 11 & 12yrs old. We ended up having our son E (11m) pretty early in life but we managed, and I think we’ve done pretty well for ourselves considering it all.
My FIL (60m) has been staying with us since he and my MIL’s divorce.
She got the house and he’s been having a hard time finding a place so my husband offered up our guest room. He’s not bad company, and my son really loves his granddad so everything has been okay up until now.
My son came home from school the other day looking kind of nervous and a little upset.
E is a really sensitive kid and I was worried about him starting middle school because I know how cruel kids can be. I thought that maybe he was being bullied or something like that so I sat him down and asked him about it as soon as I noticed things weren’t okay.
What he actually ended up telling me was that he likes a boy in his class, and he was worried about telling me or his dad about it.
I told him that his dad and I couldn’t care less about who he likes and that all we want is for him to be happy.
He ended up coming out to both of us later that night and asked for a rainbow flag to hang up in his room so I went and got him one while he was at school the next day.
My FIL saw me hanging the flag up on the back of my son’s door and asked me what the heck I was doing.
I told him that E had asked for the flag to be put in his room and my FIL started going on a tangent about how “his grandson isn’t like that”. He said a whole bunch of other BS too that was very offensive and downright mean and basically started outright insulting my child, so I told him if he felt that way, he needed to grab his things and get the heck out of my house because I won’t tolerate his bigotry, especially not when it’s directed towards my child.
He packed a bag and went to my SIL’s house. She called my husband and told him I threw their dad out, so my husband came home and asked me what happened. I told him, and he said that his father is just from a different time and while it isn’t right of him to say those things about E, I was wrong to tell him to leave because he’s family.
My thing is, our son is our family too. He’s our child and his safety and happiness should be our priority. What kind of parents would we be if we let someone who hates who he is, live in our home?
I told my husband that if his father isn’t willing to grow and change then I don’t want him coming anywhere near my house, and now my husband is mad at me.
I don’t think I overreacted here but maybe I did. Was I wrong to throw him out?”
Another User Comments:
Relevant story time: my mom lives in an assisted living place and one of her friends who recently passed was 100. All of the people in this story are white.
She was having breakfast with him and two other friends and they were talking about a couple of ladies in their early 90s who have been known to make racist and homophobic comments in that offhand way that makes you want to throw things.
One of the other people at the breakfast table said something like, “They’re just from an older time. Things were like that in their day and age.”
My mom’s 100 yo friend then said, “I’m from an even older time and I’ve never spoken like that.”
So yeah, FIL can kick rocks and your husband can go stay with SIL as well.
You’re NTJ, and you sound like an amazing mom. I’m really glad your son has you in his life. People like your FIL are why he was scared to come out. When really it’s people like FIL – and your husband too, who enables that crap – who need to be afraid to come out and be their true, dark selves.” britt_gingee
Another User Comments:
“Your FIL “doesn’t know any better”? Like heck he does; he knows alright – he “knows” darn well where LGBT people “belong” and is making sure y’all know it too.
Your son is at such a vulnerable age and place in his life right now, having just come out, and he did NOT need to hear what his grandfather was saying.
And then, instead of protecting his own darn son like he was supposed to, your husband got mad at you for doing so!! His and SIL’s defense of FIL shows you exactly where they stand and unfortunately, it’s the Nazis at dinner analogy all over again – if there’s a Nazi at a table and 10 other people sitting there talking with him, you have a table with 11 Nazis.
So far, you haven’t mentioned your husband’s reaction to your son coming out. I suspect that if pushed on the issue, your husband probably hopes that your son is just “going through a phase” and will grow out of it eventually (he might or he might not, either is fine but what I’m trying to say is it isn’t your husband’s place to decide).
I sincerely hope, for both of your sakes, that he comes to his senses soon.
Obviously NTJ.” catra-meowmeow
Another User Comments:
“You gave him, what, 60 seconds to reconcile his love for his grandson and the prejudice against same-gender orientation he grew up with and decide which he wanted to give up? Most grandparents figure it out and realize their grandson means more to them than the abstract social prejudice they learned as children, but it sometimes takes a little time.
That’s how minds and attitudes have been changing for 40 years.
You don’t describe any emergency that would have kept you from waiting until E’s father got home to discuss it with his father. Your son’s “safety is your priority” makes you sound like one of those bigots who pretend to be terrified for their child’s safety if a trans child used the same bathroom as your child. Now you have cost E his loving relationship with his grandfather, made a family-altering decision without including your husband, but you can indeed be proud that your progressive attitude is unimpeachable. From the account you provided, I think YTJ.” Alteripse
5. AITJ For Denying That My Friend Was A "Victim" In His Relationship?
“I (28M) have a friend “Bill” (29M). We are part of a whole group and have been friends for at least 10 years, and some of the men and women have even ended up marrying each other. Point is, we have all known each other for a very long time. Now, Bill has always displayed narcissistic personality traits.
Especially in his past relationships. He’s a very condescending person and thinks that he’s better than everyone else because he has a well-paying job, owns his own house/car, and all of that. In comparison, some of the other guys still live with family and such. In his mind, they haven’t “grown up” and he’s better than them.
It’s usually easy to ignore because he’s very charismatic and brings in new people to the group. In past relationships, he has been really awful, (giving his partners a checklist of stuff they need to change to be with him, commenting on their appearance, etc.), but because a lot of this was years ago, I think most of us hoped he’d grow out of it.
He always describes all of his exes as crazy, and we usually believed him (some we could confirm were crazy because we met them, and, with the ones we didn’t meet, we just believed his stories.)
Enter his new chick, “Sarah” (33F). They started seeing each other in July 2021. We all got to know her and she is awesome.
She’s very down-to-earth and friendly. She has basically become friends with everyone. Well, Bill asked Sarah to move in with him at the end of April 2022. She did since she saw the relationship getting more serious. Then at the end of June 2022, Bill randomly broke up with her. When asked what happened, he says that he just hated that his house no longer felt like his house because of all of her stuff.
Which everyone thinks is ridiculous. Well, unfortunately, with the housing and rental market being what it is right now, Sarah had trouble finding a place to move to that would meet her needs. She found one place that she took, but the place isn’t available until September 30, so she had to stay living with Bill.
I know from talking with both of them, that Sarah wanted to be as mature and friendly about the whole thing as possible, but Bill has done nothing but be as antagonistic as possible. He’s done stupid stuff like blaring the tv when he knows she’s trying to sleep. And he’s also done really cruel things, like calling up a booty call, putting her on speaker phone, and talking to her about when they could hook up when he knew Sarah could hear it.
Anyway, the guys were all hanging out, and Bill kept complaining, trying to sound like the victim in the situation. And I finally said, “stop trying to play the victim. No one here thinks you’re the victim in this. Actually, if you could have been mature about the breakup, then there wouldn’t be any victims, this would have just been a relationship that hadn’t worked out.
But you made Sarah the victim with all of your actions. So just stop complaining and get over it.” Everyone else agreed with me, but Bill got mad and left. AITJ for how I handled it?”
Another User Comments:
“NTJ. I do feel like it’s better not to say stuff like “everyone thinks X” when you’re confronting people about their bad behavior.
Even when it’s true. I’ve seen people react very defensively to it, and it makes the rest of the group feel awkward. It’s best to say “I think that X behavior is unacceptable” and let others chime and say “I agree.” Then again, some people are emotionally immature and they spiral at even the most sensitively delivered and good-faith criticism.
(I don’t like to stay friends with people who act like that but whatever.) If you want to start a conversation, you could start by saying that you misspoke and that the real thing is that you yourself think that he’s out of line and he needs to change his attitude.
And see if he is more reflective when he’s less emotionally flooded. If he’s not, then well you tried.
Ultimately, I think your intentions were good. It sounds like he respects you more then he respects his ex, so your criticism is harder for him to ignore. Leveraging your relative power in order to advocate for the less powerful is always an anti-jerk move.
If you want to stay friends with him, I think you should do 2 things. First, you can call him out more often when he’s acting like a jerk, in a calm and manner of fact way. Second, you can start looking around for new people for the friend group who are also charismatic extroverts.” DazeIt420
Another User Comments:
“ESH because, by your own admission in the main post and then in some of your replies, Bill is not just a raging narcissist who treats his “crazy” partners extremely poorly (and kicks them out 2 weeks early, making Sarah scramble for a couch to surf until her new place is available)….but he also treats his friends badly.
In a comment below you mention how an old friend of Bill’s (since they were in diapers) won’t hang with him anymore. And by your own post, he’s condescending and thinks himself better than those who make less, don’t own their own cars, etc.
Bill sucks, but dude – you’re almost thirty.
Why are you still hanging out with this guy? (And don’t say, “he brings new people into the group” because I read “new people” as “victims/fodder for his raging narcissism).
ESH – you are the company you keep.” ArtlessDodger10
Another User Comments:
“90% NTJ / 10% YTJ.
Allow me to explain…
I had a situation almost identical to yours this year with a friend of mine.
She had exhibited behavior that was toxic but I never checked her on it for one reason or another. Whether it really wasn’t any of my business, it wasn’t the right time, I didn’t want to stir the pot, etc. then came the day that I finally had enough and checked her on her behavior.
The problem was that her behavior was indeed crappy, but because I had never said anything she never knew how I (or others) honestly felt about it. So when it was finally said, it came out harsher than it needed to and she was offended and left, much like your friend.
In the end, I decided I wasn’t the jerk for voicing my opinion on it, but that I could have been better about saying so earlier in a more diplomatic way. I just never did because it never seemed worth it. Until suddenly it did, you know? But I know she was surprised to suddenly hear it and my delivery wasn’t the kindest.
Sometimes it’s hard in friendships to ride that line of “do I mind my business or do I say something?” We should be able to rely on our friends to keep us humble and kind, because if not them, then who will? On the other hand, it’s never fun to be the friend who has to say something and check on someone. It’s so much easier to just ignore and “live and let live,” but if you care – it matters. Maybe reach out to discuss it in a diplomatic way. If they aren’t open to it, then you can at least say you tried, you know?” tarynwrites88
4. AITJ For Telling A Crying Girl That I Don't Care Since She Was Rude To Me In The Past?
“(17F) Our school year began on Monday. Last school year, I had two friend groups but a girl “Lori” joined the second group and bullied me. She was overly mean to me for no reason. Like, we would be sitting at the table, and Lori would announce “Oh, Matt texted me that the girl next to me was pretty.” Then would turn to me and say “Obviously, he’s not talking about you, Chloe.
Drop the ponytail and maybe you won’t look like a boy.” Lori would also purposely bump into me and laugh when I fell. But the one time a teacher called her out, Lori lied it was an accident and didn’t get in trouble. People in the group would laugh or join in whenever Lori bullied me.
Even this one person who I believed was one of my best friends told me it wasn’t a big deal and to “just grow up and learn to take a joke.” I realized this friend group would always value Lori more than me, so I cut them all off and only hang out with my not-toxic friend group now.
I would run into Lori sometimes in the school bathrooms, but every time she would refuse to look at me and then start hysterically laughing with her friends after I got into the stall. I just learned to ignore Lori.
On Friday, I left class and was going home, when I saw Lori sitting on the steps with her face in her hands.
I tried giving her as much space as possible and go up the steps without her noticing me, but then Lori came up to me saying she needed help. Her afterschool tutoring place has a van to pick up kids, but today the van left without her and she forgot her phone at home so she was freaking out.
I reminded Lori how rude she always was to me and why she was asking me for help. Lori started saying how her parents were gonna be mad at her and she’s having a really hard time right now because they’re divorcing. I have divorced parents myself (they split up when I was two, so it doesn’t bother me.) I know divorce hurts for most kids and I felt a little bad for Lori.
But I was mostly angry that she didn’t apologize to me yet was still expecting me to drop everything and comfort her after she treated me like trash. I told Lori that “Dude, I really don’t care. Go to the main office and ask them for help. My parents are waiting for me.” The parent thing was a lie, but I just wanted to get away.
I told my dad and brother “Tom” about what happened during dinner. My dad said he was proud of me for standing up to Lori and that I don’t owe bullies anything. But Tom told me after dinner that even though Lori was a bully, she’s going through a hard time (Tom’s older, and the divorce had a big impact on him) and she didn’t have anyone else to turn to.
And telling Lori “I really don’t care” was a bit too mean. He said I should have been more forgiving to Lori because we could have become real friends after it. Tom then said even if Lori was still a bully, part of being a good person is to treat others well even if they don’t reciprocate.
I don’t agree with Tom, but I’ve thought about this all weekend. So, AITJ?”
Another User Comments:
I think there are probably more eloquent ways to tell people like Lori off… but why do you have to watch your words when she doesn’t? I think some people learn best through experiences.
Lori was cruel to you and when she asked for help, she did not get it.
You didn’t leave her alone in the middle of nowhere, she was at school.
The office will have ways to contact her parents. And if she gets into trouble, then that is not your business.
I went to school with a “Lori” type. She was constantly making fun of people for how they looked, their weight, and their hair.
She picked on me for being chubby, though I was a healthy weight, just not skinny. She called people names. She said people were dumb.
Well, in our junior year, she gets really sick. Has to go on steroids. She gains weight, cannot focus in school, and is away a lot… so she repeats junior year.
We all moved on to the senior stuff and she was with a class of people who did not like her. She had bullied them. Her only friend was in our grade, but they became friends with nicer people and were much more pleasant.
She begged, BEGGED, to be allowed to go on the senior trips with us.
She begged to hang out with the seniors. We were kind, in that we didn’t bully her, didn’t bring up her weight gain, didn’t call her names or mock her intelligence. But we all, as a group, told the teachers we did not want her on any of our trips and at any of our dances.
And she learned, pretty quickly, that her attitude made her very unpopular and lonely.
She changed a lot and from what I heard from people, she was a totally new girl senior year.” Jazzlike_Crew_3956
Another User Comments:
“You helped, you gave her a solution for her problem that she hadn’t apparently thought of. That is a form of treating others well.
“I really don’t care” was Extra, but hard to blame you for after all you went through. But if you’re looking for how to do better, leaving that out would work.
Your brother is naive. Lori would not necessarily have wanted to become good friends just because you helped her once when none of her little cliques was nearby, nor would it have been wise for you to trust her enough to resume being friends with her.
In fact, the way bullies think, her bullying could escalate because she’s afraid she was vulnerable to you so maybe you’d use that against her unless she makes sure you’re kicked to the bottom of the social ladder with her friends.
And your brother is wrong she had no one else to turn to.
You told her how to get help, and go to the office. And if she goes there distraught and mentions the divorce they might have a counselor they can set her up with.
Given her past physical bullying of you, it’s not beyond possibility that she would repay any kindness of letting her use your phone to try to keep it and pull info off of it to use against you or damage your phone.
If someone is untrustworthy to you once, shame on them. If they’re untrustworthy to you twice, shame on you.
Another User Comments:
“NTJ. You did nothing wrong, you do not have to help someone who has wronged you, whether or not they have apologized. You are under no obligation to do so, and hopefully, Lori will accept this for the lesson that it is.
Treating people poorly results in you getting treated poorly, when perhaps you needed a little bit of help.
Your brother is correct, to a point. Helping people when they need it can indeed change their outlooks, make them better people, and if we all took a moment to help someone, the world could indeed be a better place.
That is by no means a guaranteed thing, and some people will always take advantage of the kindness of others.
He doesn’t know what you have gone through, he cannot know whether or not she deserves help. Only you can determine that, no one else.
We don’t know what our actions will lead to until it is too late to change them.
Would helping her have softened her? Maybe, maybe not. The way I look at things is this: if I help you, I expect nothing in return. Do your good deed for the day, but don’t expect a thank you or an apology, or even a return of a loan. If you cannot afford the mental energy, the time, the physical effort, or the monetary loss, then don’t help.
You are not anyone’s doormat. But keep yourself open to giving help when you can.
You are under no requirement to help anyone, especially not a bully, regardless of what they’re going through, thus NTJ. You also handled yourself really well without being needlessly cruel. Well done, keep this in the back of your mind, and move on.” Optimus3k
3. AITJ For Leaving My Job Over $20?
“Honestly I’m quitting this stupid freaking job tomorrow. I went to work today and I’m a waitress I was serving a table and they were being very rude. I didn’t say anything mean back or anything I just kept being nice to them regardless.
When I brought their food, they asked me to come back and they ripped up their food with their hands and told me how freaking vile the food was and how they weren’t going to pay for that dish.
I talked to my manager and she said it was fine and to just knock it off the bill. At the end of their dinner, they come up to me, and they say, “I do not want to support this restaurant, do you get to keep the tips on the card?” And I said “no,” he said “do you get to keep change tips?” and I said not usually.
He paid with a card and then handed me a 20 and told me to break it into two tens. Which I did and while I was handing them back he said this tip is for you, not for the business; I don’t want to support the business, but I do like you as a waitress and told me to keep a ten.
I set the ten aside and finished the transaction and then once he was done, I pocketed the ten.
My boss texts me after work and says you stole from me; I was missing change from the register, so I watched the security cameras and you stole. I will be deducting you 20 bucks.
Don’t do it again. (It was a tip which means it was impossible for the amount to be wrong unless I handed the wrong amount back to someone.)
I told her what happened and she sent me a video of me breaking the 20 down and pocketing a ten and I said yup looks like I broke the 20 down and kept ten just like I said I did.
I told her Im not coming back in tomorrow other than to pick up my last paycheck and that she can find some other poor 16-year-old who will work weekend nights alone.
I don’t get to keep tips it was never stated that I don’t get tips but my employee told me they usually don’t let you keep tips and I have never received a card tip.
I have multiple 50-buck tips that I never got to see again but I could justify them taking it by saying the customer wants to support the business. In this instance, I would have felt like crap if I just handed it over. it was specifically handed to me and the man even told me he didn’t want it going to the restaurant.
We just had our other girl who worked nights quit and I’m the weekend person so it’s going to screw them up severely with me walking out tomorrow, and it is only over 20 dollars I feel a bit bad for leaving without putting my two weeks in but I’m also very angry my coworker thinks I’m overreacting and my boss keeps trying to convince me I stole something that I didn’t.
I really don’t know if I’m overreacting by walking out and I’m the jerk.”
Another User Comments:
“NTJ. They are taking advantage of you because you are young. Can’t your parents help a bit here?
Quit and don’t be sorry about it.
The tips are NOT for the business, they are for the waiter. Card tips included.
As a client, you don’t tip by card to “help the business”, you do it because it’s convenient and you don’t have to worry about carrying change with you. The tip is always for the waiter.
Depending on the contract you signed and the law where you live, you could even sue them.
All the tips you received that they pocketed – they simply stole from you. It might be worth it to get advice from a lawyer.
If you end up working as a waiter again, on your next job read the contract carefully. Make sure a clause for tips is specified.” esk_7140
Another User Comments:
No. NTJ. Do NOT go back to work for these jerkwads.
One of my bosses tried to hold my last paycheck when I moved out of state – my Mom went in w the sheriff (might be different for other states) that’s who you call for wage theft in MI, if helpful.
The manager pulled it out of the drawer, because it’s illegal as crap. I’ve worked in 4 states and unless it’s a tip pool, YOU own all your own tips – managers and owners and non-tipped employees (BOH) NOT included.
There’s so much maltreatment in this industry – a lot of times it won’t lead to anything but I did some googling (state name/ fair labor laws/ minimum wage vs tipped employees) – lots of accessible info.
Anyway, reporting this jerk helped w a lawsuit against him and I got like $400 a few years later. It felt good to know I was a part of his stress at least, even though he had def stolen a lot more tips from me.” You_Exciting
Another User Comments:
“Don’t feel bad about quitting.
A lonnng time ago, I was a dishwasher at a restaurant with delusions of grandeur. As a dishwasher, I wasn’t allowed to go out and fetch tubs of dirty dishes in, so they sat and I twiddled my thumbs until they got around to bringing them in. On my last night, the same thing happened, then they got busy.
Suddenly they brought in all the tubs and started yelling at me about needing cups, silverware, the sky is falling, help!!! I did what I could, sliding them in, hauling them out, getting burned, whatever.
But when I decided my time there was done when my shift ended, a weight was lifted and I worked and worked with a smile, and at the end of my shift, I told the manager I was done.
Oh, and it’s not like this was the only thing. If a waitress wanted to take a steak bone home she was stealing their garbage, I mean food! A lot of minuscule bullcrap.
So go with a light heart. I don’t think that in a few years you’ll be kicking yourself for quitting that job. It will just be another story in your life.” horsebedorties
2. AITJ For Not Going To A Big Family Event Since My Mother Wasn't Invited?
Gotta love family drama…
“Basically, my mom and I am very close but she has no other family, disabilities, and cognitive issues along with significant past trauma which can cause her to struggle with emotions at times.
A couple of years ago, my mom was invited to a family games day held by my partner’s family in which my partner’s cousin ended up calling my mom a name.
It was said jokingly but my mom got offended. She was upset, and he called her it again, knowing she was upset. My mom ended up making a bit of a scene and we left to sit in the car to cool down. Eventually, we came back in and apologies were made (though not by the name caller!)
Fast forward several years and my partner and I are getting married.
Last minute we are told we need to rearrange seating plans as my cousin isn’t happy where he’s been sat, partially because it’s near my mom. We’re told he will come to the ceremony and meal but won’t stay for the evening as my Mom is there too. Told that moving his seat is the deal breaker and that if we don’t do that he probably won’t attend at all.
I am upset, but understand he’s important to my partner so agree to move him.
A couple of days later and I am told about plans being made for my MIL’s big birthday. I find my mom is not invited because if she is there then my cousin won’t attend. Mom is allowed to come to the gathering at the house a few days earlier as cousin has already said he wouldn’t be there.
I sent a message to FIL, explaining how I feel uncomfortable with the situation as I know my mom would be upset and feel a little excluded and I would therefore not attend myself so that my cousin could attend, whilst also preventing my Mom from feeling totally excluded. I explain I appreciate he has tried to compromise by “allowing” me to invite mom to the house a few days before, and that I would still like to attend then, but this doesn’t address the underlying issue cousin has with my mom, and that cousins refusal to move past something years ago is causing a wedge.
FIL responds asking how I plan to explain my absence from the party to our children and saying I need to show loyalty to my husband not just my mom. He says now MIL wants to cancel all plans completely as she doesn’t want all the hassle and upset, and I’ve now been told I can bring mom because cousin has “stepped back” to allow us to go as cousin doesn’t want to upset MIL further now that I’ve put them in an impossible situation…
I still don’t feel able to go as there is now a massive issue out in the open between my cousin and me, which I don’t want to spoil MIL’s birthday.
I also know being excluded from another big family gathering, particularly now that my partner and I are married, would deeply hurt my mom.
So AITJ for not attending MIL’s birthday dinner?”
Another User Comments:
Yeah, it’s not a big deal that your mum isn’t going to your MIL’s party (unless they are friends), even though it does sound like they’d like to have her there if it weren’t for your cousin.
It’s totally valid to be upset that this old silly grudge is interfering with things and to decline because you don’t want to impact your MIL’s day with your feelings.
People seem to be getting really hung up on the MIL thing though, and like yeah there’s no family obligation to invite your son’s MIL to such an event, but it’s also not that weird either.
Parents can become friends with their child’s in-laws, in fact when I’ve gone to one of my uncle’s birthday parties, his daughter’s parents-in-law have been there. It’s been explicitly stated that they would invite OP’s mother if it weren’t for the cousin, and I think that all these doubts about how truthful that is, is quite pessimistic and unnecessary for this judgment.
OP has the right to be upset at being told that her mother if being purposely excluded because of a stupid grudge (especially since OP is upset at the cousin, not MIL/FIL), and taking steps to not let those feelings impact MIL’s day is responsible really.” Curious-Insanity413
Another User Comments:
“Late to the game, but after reading the comments on all these posts from OP I have to chime in with YTJ.
Like… yay for being loyal to your mom. But. This is seriously too much.
This day is not about your mom. Your in-laws sound like awesome people. They get to invite whomever they want. If, while making out their list they understand if inviting the cousin means not inviting your mother and they decide to do that, THAT IS THEIR CHOICE.
It’s her birthday. Your mother shouldn’t be there. You are the jerk for making them choose between YOU and the cousin. Which is what you did. You threw a tantrum like a child. You are no better than the cousin here. Tantruming to “stand up” for your mother doesn’t make you noble.
You put your MIL in a hard place on a day that is supposed to celebrate her and made the drama so big she wants to not have a party.
And after all the comments you’re STILL clinging to your mom’s feelings and trying to use the “good daughter” card to justify being a crappy daughter-in-law.
Get. Over. It. Your mother-in-law deserves her party, your mom doesn’t need to go to everything, the cousin can be a jerk. Stop trying to push your mom into every situation to save her feelings. Her feelings are not so important you have to hurt everyone else’s feelings to save them.
That’s exactly what YOU did. Not the cousin. YOU.” Wise-Illustrator-656
Another User Comments:
“NTJ. Between your post and comments, it is clear cousin has some pretty big issues. It’s also pretty clear that your inlaws would rather cater to him than do anything that would really resolve it.
You are correct that you have as much right to say “if X is going to be there I will not be,” as he does.
That he was born into the family and you married in does not change that. Family is family.
It also sounds like you have for the most part been reserved in your use of that right to not go and are only using it when you know your mom would be invited except for your cousin being a total knee biter.
It sounds like you may be getting a bit more firm about not wanting to be around him in general. But that is understandable.
I know there are some who may be suggesting that you should just accept that your mom isn’t going to be invited to these things and “get over it” or “to just go for the sake of the family”.
Don’t listen to them. There’s a problem with that mindset. It is basically saying that your loyalty should be with your husband’s family, not your birth family.
Stop and think about that for a moment. Why should your birth family suddenly be less valuable to you, less worthy of standing up for than it was?
If that were true, shouldn’t it work in the opposite direction with your husband? If you should be expected to go because “family” shouldn’t they be expecting him to stay away because he should now be loyal to his MiL? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
It sounds that way because it is that way.
You should both be loyal and caring to both sides of what is now the family for both of you. At least so long as they are worth being loyal to.
In this matter of your mom v. his cousin, the evidence points toward your mom being the one worthy of loyalty by everyone.
That’s not to say that there aren’t going to be other times when they (and possibly you) will need to take exception to her behavior. But nobody is perfect.
As for cousin, what it sounds like is that someone needs to come along, sit him down and tell him he’s being an insufferable git.
Of course, that might mean a few people in the family (mainly older) might need to admit that they’ve been coddling him first.
Until then, go ahead and continue standing on your principles. And if pressed on it, just calmly ask in return, “why is it that he gets to come or not come with impunity, but that I’m expected to come at the sacrifice of my feelings and principles?”.
They’ll likely not have a good answer for that. But that’s ok. The uhms and awkward silences will be good for them in the long run.” hard_tyrant_dinosaur
1. AITJ For Not Attending A Friend's 21st Birthday Party Due To Allergies?
“I (21f) was invited to my friend Stacy’s (fake name) birthday celebration a few days ago. She has been very excited, as she is the last in our friend group to turn 21, and has been keeping her party planning mostly secret so she can surprise us all. Turns out, she organized for a few of our friends, as well as some other friends from her college cheer team, to have a picnic at our city’s botanical gardens (I’m unsure if these are global, but it’s basically a large park with lots of different plants).
She picked out a spot right next to the rose display, as they are her favorite flowers and hold a lot of sentimentality for her.
The issue is, I am quite allergic to flowers, think hayfever but worse. I’m not anaphylactic, but my eyes become so itchy they can swell closed, my nose runs like a leaky tap, and very rarely, I can struggle to breathe.
The flower I seem to be most allergic to are roses, as the breathing issue tends to happen when I am exposed to them. Stacy does know about my allergies and has seen me have a few reactions over the years.
I declined the invitation, and naturally, as 21st birthdays are usually an important celebration, she texted me asking why I couldn’t come.
When I told her, she became quite upset with me and said that my excuse wasn’t good enough and that there must be a better reason, and when I said it was my real reason, she became even more upset. She kept insisting that I come anyways, citing that I have medication to help me, but she must have forgotten it was a nasal spray, as when I reminded her she said that it was disgusting, and she didn’t want to see that on her birthday, even though I offered to run to the toilets when I needed to use it.
I tried to compromise with her and said that I’d be happy to wear a mask, as it may help lessen the severity, but she shot the idea down as it was a picnic, so I’d take it off to eat, and she didn’t want a mask to be in photos.
I also said that I’d be happy to take her out for breakfast earlier in the day so we could still hang out for her birthday, but she declined as she wanted all of her friends to celebrate together. I don’t want to miss her birthday, but I don’t want to ruin it my being a sniffly mess, and possibly having a severe reaction.
Another User Comments:
“NTJ. Milestone birthdays are special, but – really – all she is celebrating is the fact she has lived for 21 years. Even if she were celebrating that she solved world hunger and territorial wars, she still could not expect everyone she knows to be able to meet every.
single, cotton. pickin’. tiny detail of her dream celebration.
If she wanted to serve fish at her party and you were allergic, are you supposed to eat the fish because it would harsh her mood if it seemed like someone couldn’t enjoy the food she provided? Would you not be allowed to use an epi-pen because it would be too embarrassing for a guest to need medical attention? Would it be inconsiderate of you to break out in hives because that would ruin her photos? It’s like she needs you to be a posable doll for her tableau of her perfect celebration.
Your friend really needs to get over herself. You’ve declined. She didn’t like any of your ideas to enable you to attend safely. You have more than satisfied your responsibilities as her friend. Send her a card with roses on it and be done.” swillshop
Another User Comments:
“I’m petty enough to go and turn into a drippy mess while keeping my arm firmly around her shoulder the whole time, saying how great it was she insisted I come despite my severe allergies to roses.
Let my nose and eyes run all over her outfit. Then when the breathing issues start, have someone call an ambulance and upstage her party when everyone is more concerned about my health and safety than her birthday as I’m rushed to the hospital. But I’m a petty witch-with-a-b!
Seriously though, I have a friend with similar allergies and she did cause a ruckus at a wedding once when the bride draped the whole church in roses and my friend’s throat closed up almost as soon as she walked in- as a bridesmaid! It delayed the ceremony as they had to call 911.
(bride knew friend’s severe allergies and INTENTIONALLY didn’t tell the friend because she wanted her to be there, KNOWING she would decline if she knew how many roses there would be, then got mad that friend had to be taken out in an ambulance. She had the nerve to say, “but your bridesmaid bouquet didn’t have any roses! I compromised for you!” as my friend was being loaded into the ambulance.)
A botanical garden is going to have A LOT of roses, as well as other flowers, possibly a lot more than you’ve ever been exposed to at one time before.
And it’s not going to be easy to step away if you need air because there will be flowers everywhere. Point out to her that you WILL have an issue and it WILL likely result in calling for emergency services and that regardless of your reaction it WILL be disruptive to the party- I know I’d be concerned if a friend’s eyes started swelling up.
Try saying “I don’t want to cause a problem at your party and being around my allergy trigger will definitely cause a big problem. I want your party to be about you, not my medical issues!” She doesn’t want you to bring your allergy meds, even if you use it in the bathroom, because she doesn’t want to think about nasal spray on her birthday (what?!?), and doesn’t want you to wear a mask because it will mess up the pictures.
She’s not willing to compromise to keep you safe. What kind of friend is she? Honestly, if you can find a video of someone having the most severe kind of the reaction you get, have her watch it and explain that this is what will happen if you attend. Ask if she thinks it would be distracting during her celebration.
I don’t know why some people think that others can just suppress their allergies when it suits them but I think that’s what you’re dealing with here. Extreme tactics may be required. If she still won’t listen, maybe try enlisting a friend or two who understand the situation to tell her she’s being ridiculous.
Heck, show her my friend’s story and ask if that fits her vision for her 21st birthday party.” PineapplePizza-4eva
Another User Comments:
“‘She kept insisting that I come anyways, citing that I have medication to help me, but she must have forgotten it was a nasal spray, as when I reminded her she said that it was disgusting, and she didn’t want to see that on her birthday, even though I offered to run to the toilets when I needed to use it.’
Huh? Nasal spray lasts for hours.
Why would you need to run to the bathroom to use it during the party? Why would you suggest this? The medication would be taken well before the party even started. In fact, if you have a severe allergy to flowers (whose pollen is everywhere during the summer), you’d be on a medication like Flonase, all season long, regardless of symptoms. It’s not something you take once in a while. You take it at the beginning of the season and don’t stop until the season is over and it’s a 24-hour dose.
Either you are a troll or your allergies are not that severe. I call shenanigans.” Turbulent_Cow2355