What do you do when one of your relatives makes you so uncomfortable that you can't bear to be around them on the holidays?
throwitallaway2115 found this out the hard way when she posited a very hard question to Reddit.
Should she go home at all?
She started the story with the 2016 election:
"My younger sister (30F) has been dating "Jerry" for 3 years. He's a loud-mouth who holds ignorant, bigoted, and homophobic views. I have no clue what my sister sees in him as no one in my family shares his perceptions."
"Here's what the first Thanksgiving was like with him (he was meeting my family for the first time). he brought up the recent election and called me a 'snowflake' because he knew I didn't vote for Trump ( I guess my sister told him since I didn't know him before this.)"
"He went on about how awesome Trump was and how awesome this country is now going to be. I didn't engage because I thought he was foolish, how he had no idea who my parents voted for and still thought it was appropriate to run his mouth nonstop at the dinner table the first time meeting all of us."
"After more than two hours of this, my mother finally asked him to change the subject."
After the two hour rant, somehow things just continued to get worse:
"Fast forward to now. He has, on more than one occasion, brought up that if his kids 'ever decide they are [insert vulgar word for gay here that begins with an F]' that he'll disown them, and other awful things along the same lines."
"I'm the only one that pushes back, usually asking him why he'd say that, which usually fires him up even more. There's no having a respectful conversation with him."
"My sister just jokes and laugh it off every time he says something blatantly racist or ignorant. My parents cringe and try to change the subject."
The blatantly racist, ignorant, and homophobic comments pushed the OP too far.
But not before the final straw did.
"The final straw came when he went on social media and made comments about my relationship. He tried to call out my boyfriend and me because we both have good careers and split household expenses."
"He thinks this is wrong because 'you're in a relationship, you shouldn't be nickel and diming each other like you're just roommates, what's wrong with you two? Doesn't he take care of you?'"
"Which is hilarious because he's in his 30's, he moved in with my sister who pays for everything after two weeks of dating, only works part-time by choice and has no savings whatsoever."
"I blocked him and called my mother. I vented to her that I don't appreciate any of misogynistic/bigoted/homophobic views and he's a loser."
"My mom agreed with me but said she wishes we could all get along. My boyfriend and I live a plane ride away and I told her I wouldn't be coming to Thanksgiving this year if he was."
"I said because they, meaning my parents and sister, just sit there while he talks, that that makes them complicit to the hateful commentary and I don't want to be associated with someone like him."
"My mom was understandably upset and said I was her priority since she never gets to see me, but that she couldn't tell my sister not to bring him. My dad is sick about this and wants everyone to shut up and get along."
"I feel I have reached my limit, but some of my extended family members feel like I should just suck it up since it would really crush my parents since I live far away if I didn't see them on a holiday."
The dilemma was understandable.
Would it be bad for OP to not come home just to avoid their toxic possible brother-in-law?
Thankfully, Reddit seemed to agree with the OP.
"-My mom was understandably upset and said I was her priority since she never gets to see me, but that she couldn't tell my sister not to bring him.-"
"your mom doesn't know what "priority" means."
"NTA , the only power you have here is your presence. Providing an audience is as much a tacit support of his douchebaggery as your parents not doing anything to shut him down."
"NTA Your sis's bf is the true A."
"I say NTA because you're weighing your personal comfort/convictions against making your family happy. Personally, I would choose to make my family happy but I don't think picking your comfort makes you an A. You're just deciding to remove yourself from a situation which is unpleasant to be in. Sucks for your parents though."
"Edit: Longterm, go visit parents another time and talk to her sis about her dating choices. There are better fish in the sea than this flounder."
"NTA - I wouldn't want to be around that guy either."
"But nowhere in your post do you describe talking to your sister about her BF. If you hate the guy so much and he's coming between you and your family - you owe it to her to tell her directly as opposed to merely venting to mom."
"As we say in Germany, if there's a nazi at the table and 10 other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with 11 nazis."
"NTA, but you would be if you tolerated him. And to anyone saying there is a difference between this guy and a wannabe-nazi. No there is not."
"NTA If your parents wanted everyone to 'shut up and get along' they would tell this dude to shut the f up with the political bs. They don't want everyone to get along, they just want you to be a door mat about the whole thing."
"I wouldn't go either."
The hardest part is that the political climate in this country has really divided our dinner tables at the holidays.
The trending hashtag "What Liberals Call Thanksgiving" is exposing that.
The problem is that situations like OPs are more and more common.
If you or anybody else is feeling ostracized by family, remember that you have the power, like OP, to take a step back.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.