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Woman Angers Her In-Laws After Calling Out Her Military Husband's Abusive Behavior At His Funeral

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Some live a beautiful life with their spouses – but for some couples marriage can be a burden, or even a curse, when things go wrong.

For spouses who live in an abusive home, and who have relatives who don't want to hear the truth about their not-so-better-half, it's especially tragic.


One wife, now a widow and Reddit user "aitathrowaway419," shared the story of how she essentially lost her entire family when they rejected the truth about her deceased husband in the "Am I the A**hole?" sub-Reddit.

The widow shared that they had married young, but the future had then looked bright. She was going to go to college, and he was going to serve in the military just long enough to go back to school himself.

"I married "Jake" when we both were 19 - I know in hindsight that that was dumb, but it was common in the area. We're from an area with little in the way of opportunities, and while I did well enough to get scholarships and attend college, Jake decided to join the military. We talked extensively about this, and he was vocal in his intention to only join for one term to get the GI Bill and then get out and go to college."

She also pointed out the kind of man her husband was before he ever entered the military.

"When I married him, Jake was a sweet, funny guy who enjoyed cooking and the only things he'd willingly hurt were deer."

But she was also not shy about sharing how quickly all of that changed.

"But after he joined, Jake changed. He got a lot angrier, in general. I'd never known him to have a temper, but he went from never raising his voice to yelling at his family and me when he didn't get his way, to less pleasant behavior when he was drunk."
"And oh how he drank. I have nothing against a beer with friends now and then, but after joining the military Jake was drinking constantly. His sense of humor got a lot cruder, too, 'Dirty little sheet heads!' became his favorite punchline."

From the sounds of it, the relationship was already in a dark enough place, before it got even worse.

"The final straw was when we discussed his plans to get out and go to college since he was looking at whether to stay in or get out. He wanted to stay in. I reminded him he'd promised to get out. He'd been drinking, and things got ugly."
"The wives' club at the base was no help, so I started quietly looking into how to divorce Jake."

When she couldn't find any support in the military for her situation, it was unclear how long it would take to find a way out, until she didn't have to worry about it anymore.

"Then, earlier this year, he died in a car accident. My only feeling was, honestly, relief."

But it didn't stop there. More problems arose later when she attended her late husband's funeral.

"I went to his funeral and didn't say anything at the service, but at dinner Jake's little sister approached me and said she'd started dating a soldier and wanted to know if I had any advice."
"My advice? 'Don't. The military ruined Jake and turned the man I loved into a drunk, abusive a**hole.'"

Of course, this advice wasn't received well, but by more people than the widow would have expected.

"Jake's family predictably erupted in a firestorm, but more alarmingly to me, my own parents have taken their side."

She turned to the sub-Reddit after this happened to share her story and to ask if she was in the wrong for what she had told her late husband's little sister.

Some said with a grain of salt that she could have shared this information in a better setting, instead of a funeral where everyone's expected to grieve and say kind things of the deceased.

"It sounds like they had a very unpleasant relationship but saying something like that to his sister and parents while they are grieving his tragic death is cruel. If his family was not aware of how much he had changed, of course they're going to react negatively to a statement like that, from his wife, at his funeral. There is a time and place for brutal honesty and it is not at funerals." - Warm-Mongoose

But the reactions were resoundingly supportive beyond that piece of advice. Most thought it was even more inappropriate that the sister would ask for dating advice at a funeral.

"Also I find it so odd that the sister asked about dating advice at the funeral." - sxcs86
"She could have waited and talked to her later. It's not wrong to give time to such a crucial question. A funeral is not a good time, period." - BlackSeranna
"OP wasn't yelling it from the roof tops, just answered the question that was asked. Asking that question at the funeral was a bigger misstep than answering it." - px13
"RE: 'saying something like that to his sister and parents while they are grieving his tragic death is cruel.' So is asking a grieving widow about dating, but no one gave a s**t about that." - snorting_dandelions

Not to mention the lack of support her loved ones showed for someone who was abused for years.

"NTA. You were abused, and they don't want to acknowledge that their son abused you. But that's not okay; their son did abuse you, and they should not try to erase your experiences, even for their positive memory of their son. I am so sorry that this happened to you." - PedanticPlatypodes
"To be fair, to me it reads like the following: He wasn't a bad man (at heart) but experience changed him from a man she could love, to an a**hole. I am aware in time of grief, these subtle differences get lost on us, and I can fully understand how that may sound unsettling to hear at first."
"What really strikes me as very disgusting in all of this, is how OP's own parents aren't defending their own daughter. A victim of abuse has every right to call her abuser an a**hole, dead or alive. At his funeral or not. To his family or not."
"They may not be keen on hearing it, and I completely, unfortunately, know where they're coming from. But facts are, well, facts. At the very most I'd leave the conversation, angrily yes, but I'd soon direct that anger to the person that deserved it - not the one that called an a**hole by its name." - ThisAintNoName
"If anything, OP's comment bucked a taboo - she criticized the military as having been a terrible influence on her husband, contrary to the oral tradition of glorifying the military."
"OP is absolutely NTA and she hit the nail on the head; military culture is hostile to spouses in particular, and toward mental health needs. Most veterans develop their drinking/drug problems while still enlisted." - rebel_loves

Though it seems all would agree that speaking up was the right thing to do, timing seemed to be the only concern.

Hopefully with time, the family will come around and offer support to the original poster, who emotionally needs it, rather than prioritizing her abuser's legacy.