Having a close sibling to confide in can be a massive help throughout a typical life full of sudden shifts and difficult choices.
But things grow complicated if the confided info has direct negative consequences on an innocent human being.
A pregnancy lie is exactly such a situation. For one trusted sister, things turned out as messy as one can imagine.
Redroosterhat is a Redditor user who takes both family loyalty and fair honest communication to heart.
Unfortunately for her, she has a rather chaotic sister with whom to uphold those values. Being the unconditionally agreeing, nonjudgmental ear apparently grows taxing when the information is a totally hurtful bombshell.
The very first line of Redroosterhat's recent sister-toil situates her sister with some serious mental health struggles.
"So my older sister has severe issues, including some kind of undiagnosed psychosis and borderline personality disorder."
Despite those struggles, the narrator's sister managed to find herself a solid romantic situation.
"Last year she started dating this really great guy that she met in her church group. He sort of knew about her issues but not completely. She was really good for a long long time."
But just when things were getting cozy, in came the bombshell: when an argument threatened that solid start to the relationship, her sister lied to the new boo, claiming she was pregnant.
"She confessed to me and our mom about it because she was scared that if she told him she actually lied in the heat of the moment he'd leave her. So she told my mom that she was gonna wait a few weeks then tell him she 'miscarried.'"
"I was really upset and told her this is messed up of her to lie like this, but both she and my mom agreed this was the only way to 'keep' this guy around."
But the family damage-control pow wow wouldn't only prove so effective. For the narrator, stress and discomfort slowly swelled as things continued to go unaddressed.
"Well it had been more than a few weeks but she hasn't said anything to him. She was still pretending to be pregnant!!! And she said it's getting harder to lie to him because he keeps trying to go with her to her 'doctor's appointments.'"
"During this time I suffered a lot of anxiety having to be in on this secret with both of them."
That mental toll would become unsustainable, culminating in a sudden mall parking lot breakdown.
"Last weekend my boyfriend and I were out shopping when we bumped into the guy in a parking lot. I had been avoiding him since this whole thing started because it made me sick to think about being dragged into it."
"He was really eager to chat with us and after a while I couldn't help it and it all just came out. My bf was trying to calm me down but I literally sobbed and spilled everything and honestly it felt so much better just saying it out loud to anybody."
The moment of pure honesty would have its ramifications for the keeper of the lie. Redroosterhat's sister faced some trouble with the boyfriend after he learned about the coercive control method.
Of course, our bean-spilling narrator would catch a stern fury from her sister.
"He and my sister are obviously not doing well. Fighting all day, and she is no longer talking to me."
"My mom is so mad at me she said she can't even look at me anymore."
All assessments of fairness aside, the narrator genuinely feels terrible, entirely conflicted between her clear gut tendency toward honesty and the demands of family loyalty.
"I feel immense guilt but also relief for no longer having to carry this secret but now I think my family will blame me for my sister's unhappiness forever. My mom still believes if we went along with my sister's plan they would still be together.
The Reddit community, however, did have some things to say about fairness. Colorful things.
"Your sister needs psychiatric help. The boyfriend deserves to know the truth. Your mother is also an a**hole for encouraging this behavior from your sister and expecting you to lie for her."
"Lying to someone about having a miscarriage is heinous. This poor guy would be mourning the loss of his child that never even really existed." - somegirl8972
"Don't feel guilty AT ALL! You did the right thing by telling him the truth. He needed to know and I'm sure he's thankful to you that you told him the truth." - frisbeebread
"You didn't seek him out to tell him. You just weren't willing to keep up a horrible lie. Lying about pregnancy is one of the most manipulative things you can do to try to keep someone."
"Your sister needs serious help, so does your mother. She should not be encouraging this kind of behavior while acting like you're the one in the wrong." - whatshername235
"It's not your job to be her secret keeper, and honestly? I think you helped this guy dodge a bullet. A crazy, gaslighting, manipulative bullet." - smoothsilence
"Hopefully he will run screaming from this toxic relationship and have a much better life."
"NO ONE deserves to sacrifice their mental health to be in a relationship with your sister AND mother, including you." - NotSorry2019
"There's a reason you felt such a sense of relief as you told him, you were party to something really wrong." - Internal-Response
Some spoke from experience, assuring how much she helped the boyfriend in the situation.
"In being honest for your sanity's sake, you may have done her "boyfriend" a big favor. It seems like this relationship isn't probably in his best interest."
"I can say from experience that being entrenched in a relationship with someone who uses manipulation and dishonesty, especially over something like a fake pregnancy or missed period event, is only going to be damaging to his mental and emotional well being." - get_post_error
"My ex-wife (who also has Borderline Personalty Disorder) also pretended to be pregnant to win an argument and only ended up telling me the truth a month later."
"I was so traumatized by the experience that it's a big part of why now I don't ever want to have children ever." - LandgraveCustoms
One empathetic comment came from a user who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, just like the sister who told the lie in this story. The user didn't take her side, but added complexity.
"As someone who has BPD and has told similar desperate 'please don't leave me' lies, I get the impulse and I totally understand the after-the-fact panicky 'how the f*ck do I get myself out of this without losing this person?' feeling and scheming."
"I get that your sister was not doing it with the intent of hurting this guy, she just wanted to avoid the pain, and in her emotional mind this seemed like the only way."
"But the reality is, even so, she is the a**hole here. And so was I on the many occasions that I hurt others because I was terrified I would die of the pain if I didn't." - SiriuslyLoki731
It appears that getting past this particular situation, though most immediately important, will no provide ultimate solution to the narrator. Perhaps the vast array of comments given will prompt attempts to support her sister through greater, far-reaching change.