When we're young, our ideas about love and marriage are often shaped by idealistic notions that we learn from pop culture and the society around us.
But as we age, sometimes we get a brutal reality check that makes us rethink everything.
For Redditor moneymarriageok, a recent admission to her family about her reasons for getting married sparked some unexpected drama.
So she turned to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong for telling the truth, asking:
"AITA for admitting I got married for money and ruining my cousin's idea of love?"
The original poster (OP) explained the circumstances surrounding her marriage.
"When I was in my second year of university, I found out I was pregnant with my current husband's baby. We weren't officially dating at the time because my husband was a pretty arrogant playboy back then who only did 'casual'."
"After the initial shock and discussions on if I would keep the baby, my husband and his family were very insistent we got married since they're strong believers in a two-parent household and also because my FIL is a semi-public businessman and he thought this would reflect badly on him."
"I said no initially for obvious reasons, but I eventually agreed to it when my FIL offered to pay off all of my student debt and make sure I could finish my degree after I had the baby."
"He offered me a lot of other financial incentives and we have a prenup which will make sure I'll be okay if our marriage doesn't work out (honestly, I had little hope)."
"My husband actually changed a lot after we got married and after our daughter was born so we've been very happily married ever since."
"Not many people know the real reason I got married so quickly in my family. Everyone thinks we were just really loved up and moved fast."
"My younger cousin is 18 and she wants to drop out of university to marry her boyfriend of 2 years. Her parents are against this, but she keeps using me as an example of why it's a good idea."
"I heard this from my mum initially and I wasn't going to get involved since we aren't that close, but it came up during a family zoom party and I said 'actually, I got married for money' when she was talking about how our (my husband and I's) love made things work out for us and it would be the same for them."
"I received mixed reactions from my family. My cousin is devastated and said I ruined her idea of love and being in a relationship was pointless now."
"One of my uncles took it incredibly personally and said I was a gold digger and he felt awful for my husband and how he doesn't know where my mum went wrong with me."
"For context: my mum was a single mother and seeing her struggle was part of the reason I agreed to getting married."
"A few of my other relatives said that that's something you should keep to yourself because it's disrespectful to my husband and our marriage. My cousin's mum is really happy with me though."
"What do you guys think? 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
Most agreed that the OP didn't deserve the backlash she received for speaking up.
"NTA. You told the truth, and it was what she needed to hear. Marrying for financial security isn't weird--it's sensible, and you did what was right for you and your child."
"I'm just glad it seems to have all worked out for the best for you!"—Kiyodai
"Exactly, people marry for all kinds of reasons: love, financial stability, familial obligations, etc."
"My father married my mother for a different financial reason, and not for love. And they've been married 35 years (mom says she realized she loved the idiot after 3 months)!"
"OP might have been a little more tactful with the delivery, but saying she married for something other than 'love' is truthful, and good advice. And OP didn't expect the marriage to last at first, but sometimes situations change people into being compatible for marriage with each other."
"I love my husband but love had nothing to do with why I married him. You can love someone and it not work out."
"You should marry someone you think will benefit your life and who you will benefit. Love comes and goes but other factors like someone's personality don't."—sassyandsweer789
"You are definitely NTA you are not a good digger, it was effectively like an arranged marriage, and they offered you a dowery as an incentive."
"You were realistic and your cousin needs to learn the truth about 'fairytale romances' and 'happy ever after' before she through her life away."—miniatureduck18
"Tell anyone calling you a gold digger to go to hell. As far as I am concerned you would only be a gold digger if you had got knocked up on purpose to trap the rich guy."
"You are even further off the hook given it was his family insisting on the marriage."
"You made the best choice for your future and I am happy for you that your husband grew into fatherhood and to be a good husband. Great result."
"Telling the truth to someone to prevent them from making a terrible mistake in their lives that would limit their future choices was the right thing to do. NTA"—Far_Administration41
But a few pointed out that her delivery could've been a bit better.
"NTA, but the way you approached it isn't great."
"You were young, pregnant, and very limited on options. You chose well, and I would have done exactly the same in your shoes. It sounds like it's worked out well and you have a solid marriage, which is wonderful."
"The way you phrased it on the Zoom sounds very different though. You need to call your cousin and explain exactly what you meant and how everything came about. Love grows, and the idea of love is never pointless."
"It's also VERY much worth pointing out that there was enough financial support around when you guys got married to help the relationship survive."
"Money is one of the biggest stressors in life, and being young, broke, and married is a d*mn sight more stressful than being young, secure, and married, baby or not."—khc9941
"Seriously this needs read."
"So many of these posts are NTA but definitely not handled like a mature adult. There is a very very thick long line between being an a**hole and being right."—greengumball70
Still, some wondered why the cousin would even let the OP's experience affect her own relationship at all.
"The cousin had a fantasy image of OP's relationship that wasn't true."
"The cousin should not use that to justify her own actions."
"If you're in love and you want to get married, someone else telling you that their relationship is different than you thought shouldn't affect you."
"If the only reason you want to get married and drop out of school is because your cousin did it, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons - especially if, as it turns out, the cousin got married because they were pregnant AND STILL DID NOT DROP OUT."
"Honestly it sounds to me like OP's cousin just doesn't want to go to university and is looking for any excuse to quit."—breezybreeee
"You really saved your cousin of possibly growing up thinking there was something wrong with her if her early marriage didn't reflect what yours looked like in the beginning. No other opinion matters here because you went into this with your eyes wide open, and your cousin should too."
"You weren't really a gold digger, btw. You were a degree digger. Which is another way to look at grants and scholarships. lol"
But the most pressing question was clear.
"Info: where is this school with rich playboys that pay you to marry them after they knock you up?"—Mis_Bee_Have
The OP kept mum with the details, responding:
"It was a fairly well-known UK university if that helps lol"
all stars lol GIF by LifetimeGiphy
Perhaps it's for the best that the OP's cousin learned the truth now rather than after she became potentially stuck in a marriage that didn't live up to her idealized standards.