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'AITA for cutting off a family friend after his grandson broke off our engagement?' UPDATED

'AITA for cutting off a family friend after his grandson broke off our engagement?' UPDATED

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We all have different boundaries with exes, but it can be hard to draw those when you love their family.

"AITA for cutting off a family friend after his grandson broke off our engagement?"

I'm a young woman in India, and I've been in an arranged marriage with "Shashi" since I was a preteen. The match was arranged by our grandfathers, who grew up together as children in the same village. Shashi's grandfather was the first to leave the village, and after a few years my grandparents followed and they were reunited.

They didn't set up the match immediately, but when I was 14, my grandfather unfortunately died of cancer, and his last wish was for me to marry well. Growing up my father worked as a long-distance truck driver and my mother was a live-in maid. I was raised mostly by my grandmother in a one-bedroom apartment. Any money my family earned went toward my education and upkeep.

Shashi's family was much better off in comparison, which is why my grandfather made the request. Shashi's family never seemed to like me. Even as a child... I thought I liked Shashi, but in retrospect the feelings were obviously not mutual. I also have a cousin, "Meenu". Meenu is my paternal cousin, and since my dad didn't have a good relationship with my uncle, neither did we.

Things changed when I reached my teens and Meenu and I were accepted into a prestigious academy. Although I only managed to squeeze in on a scholarship. Regardless, we spent more time together and she even came with me and Shashi on our occasional "dates". Acting as a chaperone on my grandmother’s request.

After I graduated from college, my parents finally started pushing for a wedding. We set up an official engagement party but a few days before, Shashi finally came clean and admitted that he's been dating Meenu for about 3 years. I was shocked, heartbroken, and frankly disgusted.

I understand if he refused to marry me out of principle against arranged marriages, but to continue the match while dating another woman? He made me the mistress in my own relationship. My parents were heartbroken for me. My grandmother was furious. She also severed the friendship between her and Shashi's grandfather.

After their spouses died, she and Shashi's grandfather became close friends as well but no more. It's been about two years since all this happened. I got a good paying job in my field and moved on from the mess. The problem now is Shashi's grandfather. Even though Shashi's parents and siblings didn't like me, his grandfather did, and we often met in the park to play board games together.

Even though the engagement fell through and Shashi is currently married to Meenu, I haven't had the heart to stop these meetings altogether. But now, whenever we meet, he either gossips about the couple's marital problems or asks to pass on a message to my grandmother since she still refuses to talk to him. Finally, I just snapped and blurted out. "I don't care."

Before getting up and leaving him in the park. Since then, I've blocked his number and skipped 3 of our usual meeting days. Since then I can't help but feel guilty. I feel like he's just lonely and in his own way thinks he's helping me out by babbling about Shashi and Meenu's marriage problems. It's annoying, but I still think I was too harsh. AITA?

The internet had a lot to say in response.

Big_Alternative_3233 wrote:

It’s unclear whether you tried dissuading the grandfather from spreading the gossip before you abruptly cut him off. He probably didn’t know that this was a boundary for you.

OP responded:

I’m sorry if I made it unclear in the post. I have talked to him on both the gossip and the updates about my grandmother. For my grandmother, I told him that she will talk to him when SHE wants to but I will not be the messenger unless she asks. About Shashi and Meenu’s marriage, I first mentioned that I didn’t want to hear anything about them.

He said he understood but then he just started slipping in comments under the guise of complaining about his “nosy home”. I try to change the topic when he does that since any issue he had always linked back to the marriage.

Best_Salad_1035 wrote:

This poor boy probably didn't want to marry you at all and was probably under pressure from his family.It's good that he broke the engagement (made by his family and not by his own choice) because it probably saved you from a horrible marriage.

As for the old man, how could he know that bringing up the subject could irritate you so much if you didn't communicate it to him? He certainly wasn't thinking badly. You should have communicated your limits to him.

OP responded:

I’m not upset that he broke off the marriage itself. You’re right, he did not want to marry me. I’m upset because he chose to keep going along with it for YEARS. All while having a relationship with another woman. He never once told ME that he was against the match. I would’ve broken it off myself and actually spend my teen and college years dating someone who actually liked me like he got to do.

Only his grandfather insisted on the match, his parents and sister would’ve been overjoyed if he didn’t act like a coward and told me the truth instead of pretending to be my boyfriend for years.

Maleficent-Big-4778 wrote:

You should apologize and tell him while you enjoy your meeting for games in the park you do not wish to hear about your ex fiance’s marriage. There’s no way he could know that it bothers you if you’ve listened to it all along.

Six weeks later, OP jumped on with an update.

Hello everybody! Thanks to the few people who commented on my first post. There was some confusion about the details, but still some of you gave me some insight into the situation. While I did tell Shashi's grandfather to stop mentioning Shashi's marriage with my cousin, in retrospect I realize that I was more firm about the matter with my grandmother and him in comparison.

Before, I thought he was trying to be sly by sneaking in mentions of Shashi's marriage problems, but now I see that he really thought he was validating me even after my first warning. I decided to give the grandfather another chance and planned on establishing my boundaries again. This time more firmly. At this point, I've skipped four of our usual park meetings, and I'll admit I miss him.

My father was always so busy trying to provide for me, and my grandfather died when I was young, so Shashi's grandfather was kind of my only consistent male figure in my life growing up. However, while I was trying to figure out how/what to message him to reconcile, I got a call from a random number. It was Shashi. I immediately hung up on instinct. After another attempt, Shashi just texted me.

Apparently his grandfather had been eating less and less lately. Only a few spoonfuls at a time. I guess he took my silence and missed meetings as me cutting ties with him for good and went into a deep depression ever since. Of course, I felt guilty and worried. Shashi's grandfather was healthy for his age, but he was still old and not eating properly for weeks was horrible to think about.

Shashi called me again and this time I answered. He made some dry comment about being surprised that we were still talking after all these years. Something like, "Whenever he mentioned going to the park to see his favorite grandchild, I thought he meant one of my cousins, not YOU."

I decided to ignore his tone and just told Shashi that I had already made up my mind to reconcile with his grandfather and to please tell him that I would be happy to see him as soon as possible if he would like. He said he would and then went quiet. In a strange voice, he mentioned that his sister had seen me and my friends coming out of a popular bridal shop in our area.

Apparently, she was there preparing for her own wedding when she saw me. He was clearly trying to sound casual, but it only made me angrier. One, we are NOT friends or even acquaintances anymore for him to try to make "small talk" with me. And two, after years of no contact, THIS is what he asks about? Pathetic.

I just said that the appointment was for my friend and that I'm glad his family found someone to marry the brat. His sister is older than both of us and called ME "used goods" after the engagement fell through.

Needless to say, I don't like her. He tried to say something else, but I cut him off and hung up before he could. Sorry if that all sounded overly dramatic. All in all, I'm meeting Shashi's grandfather tomorrow at our usual place. I'll try to update again if anything happens, but if not, thanks again to the people who took the time to comment on my last post.

The internet was glad to hear OP is mending things with the grandpa.

2dogslife wrote:

OP, I am so glad you are reconnecting with your friend. It's OK to repeat to him that you don't want gossip about certain people. I am sure he's just repeating his news, which probably doesn't go that far.

mak_zaddy wrote:

I hope S didn’t try showing up today.

DawnShakhar wrote:

Good for you! I was a bit sorry for the old man. I'm glad you are reconnecting.

Hopefully they can get back to park hangs, ASAP.

Sources: Reddit
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