Family relationships are difficult.
Whether your genealogy is simple or complicated, we all know how hard it is to stay on the good side of everyone you're forcibly connected to by blood, marriage or otherwise.
But sometimes, things are made more difficult than they have to be. Especially when you don't get the chance to explain.
It's time we return to our favorite subReddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A**hole?"
Responses can vary, but are supposed to be one of these acronyms to c:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA -You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- INFO - Not Enough Information
Today, CoolJunket tells of her rather unconventional situation.
It's a doozy.
"When I was 12 my parents divorced and began seeing other people."
"When I was 14 dad met someone, "Helen". Helen had 3 sons. The oldest son, "Jake", was only a few months older than me. Of their 6 combined kids (I have 2 brothers) I was the only girl and was excluded a lot by dad, who would take all 5 boys to do "guy stuff" while I was left to my own devices. As a result, I only met my potential step brothers less than 5 times in the entire 2 years dad and Helen dated, and when I did it was all 8 of us at once, so there wasn't much 1 on 1."
"When I was 16 dad proposed to Helen only to realise he still loved my mum. He and mum got back together shortly after, and remarried when I was 18."
"When I was 25 I ended up indirectly working for Jake. We recognised each other and had a quick chat every now and again but due to the nature of my work we couldn't have any sort of relationship (including friendship) in case it looked like favouritism."
Okay, that's a lot, but it's all required to understand the situation CoolJunket is in. And unfortunately you can't really sum that up very easily.
Watch me try:
Her dad dated another woman, Helen. Helen had a son named Jake.
Helen and dad broke up. Dad got back with mom.
Jake and CoolJunket inadvertently got involved in each other's lives as adults. Now they're dating.
And we haven't even gotten to the part when things get complicated.
"At 26 my contract ended and I moved to a new workplace. On my last day at my old workplace Jake asked if we could exchange numbers. We got together a few months later. We agreed to take it slow due to his son so it was very casual for the first few months and we only saw each other once or twice each month."
"At 27 I tried to tell mum about Jake. Before I got to the part about him being Helen's son, mum started an argument because Jake has a kid, and I got so distracted by the arguing about Jake's son I didn't even get around to telling her who it was I was seeing."
"I called dad to try and tell him I was seeing Jake and he said he didn't want to hear whatever I had to say because I'd really upset mum and they'd contact me when mum was ready."
If the headline of this article didn't give this away, you have to see the emotional bomb set up right here.
This precarious situation is only missing one thing—an important family event for everyone to accidentally find out about this before CoolJunket can tell her parents.
And wouldn't you know it...
"Now Jake and I are both 28, been together nearly 2 years. We moved in together last August. Mum sent me an invite to hers and dad's vow renewal back in January. Given current circumstances the renewal was moved online."
"I went into the office to take the call, logged in, greeted everyone, and found out a few people were late so we talked while we waited. During this Jake's son came in asking for help with his homework."
"Jake then came in to take him out, and dad saw him and went 'Jake?'. Mum said 'who's Jake?'. Dad said he was Helen's oldest son. Mum asked me what was going on and I told her we're a couple."
"Suffice to say, this was not taken well. Mum looked upset and physically left the room and dad apologised before ending the call and going after her. The call was still active and everyone else on it sort of said 'what the f**k OP?' so I just awkwardly ducked out."
CoolJunket received lots of calls from the rest of her family to apologize to her parents for "ruining" their renewal. However, she feels differently.
As she says:
"I am an adult. I am sorry my parents were blindsided but I won't apologise for my relationship, plus if they'd heard me out 6 months ago they wouldn't be blindsided now."
And so she asks the internet the age old question.
Was CoolJunket wrong here?
The answer from the internet was a resounding 'NTA'. But there's a lot more they were curious about here.
For instance, why didn't the family take a greater interest in CoolJunket's love life?
"NTA you've been with him for two years and your parents never thought to ask about him? Or try and meet him?" - henchwench89
"Nope. We took things slow for year 1 and then when I tried to break it to mum we had the argument that ended with her going no contact."
"I have posted about him on Facebook (photos and statuses) so if they'd looked at my page they'd have figured it out and we are linked on Facebook. I'd assumed someone would have known." - CoolJunket
"NTA - it sounds like your mom becomes incredibly melodramatic at the drop of a hat. It is not your responsibility to manage her outbursts. I mean, sure, you probably should have made a bigger effort to disclose the info, but I also see why you just gave up after what sounds like a difficult first try." - Alert-Potato
Sure, CoolJunket could have done more to explain to her family what was going on, but her mom seems to really cut people off for extended periods of time.
Stories about parents online, especially in this subReddit, are often not great. And this story is not an exception.
Reddit was very curious about the mechanics of this family.
"Your mom didn't want anything to do with you for months just because you're dating someone who has a kid? And everyone in your family is fine with that?" - DoctorsHouse
"Well, like I said it was an argument. I didn't say anything offensive/insult her but I raised my voice and mum doesn't like that."
"She'll yell at you, but if you yell back she's immediately in tears lamenting about about how she 'failed as a mother', and the second people see that they're on her side." - CoolJunket
"NTA. Honestly don't know why they would even get upset about who Jake is? Your dad and Helen broke up 10 years ago. These people sound ridiculous" - mothertothemax
This was a very popular story online with people far any wide chiming in on the scenario. Some reassured CoolJunket she wasn't in the wrong, while others asked for more information.
But mostly, you just got people incredulous that her family is so petty.
@such_hockey_wow @AITA_reddit THAT “if you come all is forgiven” LINE 😬😬😬THE GASLIGHTING IS PUTRID HERE— vivi(d) @ PRISM△TIC B△RRIER (@vivi(d) @ PRISM△TIC B△RRIER)1588961902.0
@angelt18 @AITA_reddit Why is everything so confusing today??? Take me back to simpler times— ¤ Pennie ¤ (@¤ Pennie ¤)1588954804.0
@arannea @AITA_reddit Mom she was so mad that Jake had a son and doesn't believe step-family relationships are vali… https://t.co/5pMohJtsb0— Swearwolf (@Swearwolf)1588961266.0
@xstar_girl @AITA_reddit i wonder if mom got so upset because it reminded her of when her husband left her for a wo… https://t.co/KZTp9BTXMI— fightme tuscadero (@fightme tuscadero)1588956833.0
CoolJunket has support from Jake's brothers and his mother Helen, so at the very least she has someone in her corner.
Hopefully her parents learn to see past all this and make things right. And maybe next time, they'll stay in contact with their daughter so she can tell them things beforehand.