Accepting one's sexuality is not always an easy thing to do.
It can often take years to come to terms with, if at all, and damage can be done along the way if you're not careful.
Redditor Zealousideal-Kick688 recently butted heads with his gay brother after discovering the things he'd done along his path to self-acceptance.
So he turned to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to see if his reaction was off the mark, asking:
AITA for yelling at my brother for cheating while he was finally “accepting his sexuality"?
The original poster (OP) explained how his family's uncomfortable past led to the clash with his brother.
"My brother (M30) and me (38 M) grew up in a very religious household."
"My father was all about good Christian family values and yet, ironically, he cheated my mom all the time and he expected for us to accept it. I hated his guts but my brother always tried to please him, to have his approval."
"When he was a teen, we shared a desktop computer and he sometimes forgot to delete his browser history. I noticed he went many gay support sites so I thought he might be into guys."
"I never asked because A) it was his choice to tell me when he was ready, and B)I didn't care. He was my brother and I love him."
"I understood why he would keep it quiet tho. If he came out when we were living with our father, I knew sh*to would hit the fan."
"Years passed and he didn't came out even after losing contact with our dad. I thought that maybe he was just exploring his sexuality back then or he was bi or whatever because he got a gf and married her five years ago."
"This girl, let's call her Julie, is an angel. She got along with everyone and she became fast friends with my wife, who sees her as her little sister of sorts."
"I owe her a lot because she was instrumental into making my wife accept she needed help after going through a terrible postpartum depression."
"Fast forward to this week. Julie call us sobbing and tell us my brother is cheating on her and that his lover is a male friend of his from work. This has been going on since 3 years ago or so."
"I went ballistic and I called him. I told him he was doing the same thing to Julie as our father did to our mom. My brother then tells me he was struggling with accepting he was gay all this time and that I should be more understanding."
"He accused me then I was so mad because he was gay and implied I was low key discriminating him. I told him that cheating is cheating and that Julie doesn't deserve this."
"We haven't talked in days and I am starting to feel guilty. Maybe I should have been more tactful? I don't know, I just feel that cheating doesn't have a free pass at all."
"People in Reddit, AITA?"
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They agreed cheating is cheating, regardless of the circumstances.
"NTA. My uncle did this to my aunt. Once they, separated he moved his boyfriend in to the house they were still sharing because my uncle's spending had made them land rich and money poor."
"My uncle is an a**hole. Not because he's gay but because he cheated on his wife for years instead of filing for divorce and expected everyone to be cool with it because he was finally embracing his sexuality."—Facepalmawall
"NTA, it's not about who he cheated with or what gender he's into, it's about being unfaithful to his wife!"—My-Username-Is-Dis
"NTA. Cheating is cheating no matter your justification. You didn't get upset because he was gay, you got upset because his wife called you crying that she had been cheated on."
"Figuring out your sexuality does not give anyone the right to hurt another person quite so deeply as he did his wife."
"He's well within his rights to find out who he is. He is not within his rights to step on others to do so."—Panaccolade
"NTA. Your brother is, gay or not. Dealing with his own struggle doesn't give him any right to harm Julie in that way."—MotherofNugget
The fact it was going on for three years didn't help the brother's case at all.
"If he needed to explore his sexuality, fine. It happens. There are a lot of men who get married either denying or not realizing they are actually gay."
"But he needed to end his current relationship before starting a new one."
"And three years??? That's an extremely long time to just be exploring. Your brother is definitely TA."—myredditorname
"THIS. If he had fallen in love with this man and maybe hooked up once or twice and then realized he had been too afraid of his own homosexuality and came clean, that would be understandable."
"Instead, he sh*ts on his wife for three years, using her, all the while cheating on her with the person he really loves. OP is absolutely NTA here."—Samhain34
"NTA. Cheating is cheating, no matter who with."
"You're not "discriminating" against him for being gay, but rather for being unfaithful to his life partner and risking her health by exposing himself to other sexual partners."
"How dare he claim he's the victim in this situation, when he's hurt someone who really didn't deserve it."—Katt_ler
"NTA. 'Discovering his sexuality' (which I highly doubt he was still doing after three years with this dude) doesn't excuse the fact that he's been cheating on his wife for years."
"Holding him to the same accountability most people would anyone else isn't discriminating. He's hiding behind the fact that he's gay/bi (I don't remember him specifying) to try and gaslight you."
"He's been with this guy for three years, plenty of time to divorce the wife instead of hurting her further."—MindlessRobot_7
After receiving feedback, the OP updated everyone to let them know he'd reached out to his brother to clear the air about where his anger was coming from, saying:
"I sent him a lengthy email talking about how I suspected he was gay all this time and that I was sorry he felt he couldn't trust me."
"I explained to him I didn't care about his sexual orientation and that if I was mad, it because he cheated, nothing else. I told him I thought that his behavior toward Julie was reprehensible, not his preferences."
"I said he needed to apologize and the responsible of his actions. Maybe go to counseling with her so she could get closure?"
"I don't know. Whatever he can do some good to her it will be the right thing to do at this point."
Here's hoping the OP's brother takes those words to heart and recognizes the hurt he's caused.