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Man tells wife that her brother's mental breakdowns are 'a choice,' wife loses it.

Man tells wife that her brother's mental breakdowns are 'a choice,' wife loses it.


When this man is upset with his BIL, he asks Reddit:

'AITA for telling my wife that her brother's mental meltdowns are a choice?'

For as long as I've known my wife, her brother (we'll call him Frank) has had mental health and substance abuse issues.

He used to go out late at night with his friends, get hardly any sleep, and would randomly have mental breakdowns, which landed him in a mental hospital at least once, and has led to him getting fired from more than one job.

Finally, about a year ago, Frank got the help he needed and appeared to be doing better. He got a bipolar diagnosis and was prescribed medication.

When he was on his medicine, Frank could function and even hold down a job. Problem is, he would stop taking his medicine. He would also drink/smoke heavily, both on and off his medication, which obviously didn't help matters.

Fast forward to a few days ago, and we'd gotten word that Frank may be about to have another meltdown. My wife seemed upset, but I told her that it's his choice to stop taking the medication, and he knows that he needs to stay off alcohol and other substances, yet he refuses to do so.

Personally, I don't drink excessively or use drugs, and I think it shows a lack of character to do so. Frank still lives with my MIL at the moment, and she allows him to get away with horrible behavior.

He doesn't clean his room or the bathroom, is disrespectful, makes noise late at night, etc. I told my wife that the best thing her mom could do for him would be to kick Frank out, so that he is forced to take responsibility for himself, for once in his life.

My wife told me that I was being cruel and that her brother would end up homeless if he couldn't live with my MIL.

I told her that her mother is being weak and doesn't want to be a parent, and that if we ever had a child like that, he would be out of our house as soon as he failed out of college (which Frank also did).

My wife told me that I was being unfair, and that Frank's illness means that he's going to have to live with her mother for the rest of his life, but I tried to calmly explain to my wife that I know people with bipolar disorder who can live independently, and that she is simply making excuses for her screw-up of a brother.

Anyway, after I made that remark, my wife slammed the door of the bedroom shut and didn't come out for several hours. She has also rejected any attempts that I've made to speak with her about the situation.

I believe that she is in denial, cannot come to grips with her brother's moral failings, and has instead decided to blame me. I want our relationship to be what it used to be, but I simply refuse to play her childish and irrational games. AITA?

Let's find out.

kingsdaughters7 writes:

YTA OP. Now, responding to you comment: Mental illness is nota choice. Choosing to go off meds is. Mental illness is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.

OP is an AH for his entitled, ableist, attitude and his lack of understanding about substance abuse. But he isn’t wrong that Frank is responsible for choosing to go off his medication and that any consequences for doing so are Frank’s responsibility.

He may or may not be wrong about his MIL. That depends on a lot of factors, which we can’t know from the post. (Ie. Does she give Frank money knowing he’s going to spend it on drugs? Are there conditions for remaining in her home? Etc.)

Regardless, technically correct on some points or not, OP’s still an AH for what he said, his ableist mindset, and for involving himself in a matter that doesn’t really concern him, solely to upset his wife and bash on her brother.

sparkyclarkson writes:

YTA Mental illness (including addiction) is a disease, not a moral failing.

Drugs don't control symptoms equally well for everyone, so the fact that you know someone who has their symptoms under control is irrelevant. Imagine saying 'My friend took the same drugs and his cancer went into remission, so the fact that yours didn't reflects what a bad person you are.' That's essentially your reasoning here.

The fact that you are willing to cast aside a child that disappoints you is an excellent reason not to have a child with you.

Looks like OP is TA. What would YOU do if you were in his situation?

Sources: Reddit
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