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'AITA for getting engaged while my mother is terminally ill?'

'AITA for getting engaged while my mother is terminally ill?'


"AITA for getting engaged while my mother is terminally ill?"


Last week I (f36) got engaged to my partner (m27) of a year. We both know it's early, but we also both believe that when you know you know. Today, I told my mother that he had popped the question to which she burst into tears and I got an ear-bending about how selfish I am.

For context, my mother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and was given a year to live upon diagnosis. A year later, she is still doing extremely well with her health and there has been no change in the size of her tumour. As an only child, with no other living family, when my mum passes, I will come into a life changing inheritance.

My partner and I are incredibly happy together and have an extremely healthy relationship. We understand eachother, prioritise eachother, and navigate conflict well. As I have been married before and my ex took me to the cleaners in the divorce, I asked him for a prenup.

He immediately agreed and explained that he completely understands why I wanted one. My mum has met my partner several times and has said several times that she's happy that I have such a reliable and worthwhile man to look after me when she passes.

That was until today, when she unleashed about him being a parasite and how selfish I am for getting engaged while she is still alive. According to her it is something for her to lose sleep over, but she won't explain why despite my asking.

Since my previous divorce she has told me, many times, not to get married again. However I have always maintained that I would want to, should the right man come around. In my mind, he very much has.

I can understand her being upset that she might not be able to attend the wedding, but we were intending to elope anyway. However, I would have thought that me having a stable and settled family of my own, when she passes, would be reassuring. But apparently it's not.

The bollocking from her has been mighty, mostly revolving around how we haven't thought about her feelings before getting engaged. She has told me that she doesn't know me, doesn't like me, and doesn't want to hear from me again. So AITA for getting engaged?

Edit to address some of the common questions and comments that are popping up:

This type of behaviour isn't out of the ordinary for my mum. This is why it has taken me a week to tell her. She is a fairly typical narcissistic parent, and has admitted on a few occasions that she is jealous of my partners.

My mother definitely has cancer and is having a scan in a couple of weeks to assess the tumour. She seems to have responded well to her medications and has gained weight since her diagnosis.

I know my partner and I haven't been together for too long, but I was with my ex-husband for 7 years before we got engaged, and he still ended up as my ex-husband. I don't think the length of a relationship determines how successful a marriage will be.

I have not yet enquired about a prenup as we've only been engaged for a week and wanted to enjoy the initial burst of happiness before starting the admin side of getting married. But when I do sort it, I will make sure that it covers my current assets and any inheritance to come.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


This is perplexing. I would think she would be happy to know that you are happy and be able to celebrate while she is still alive. To expect you to put everything on hold and just wait for her to die is kind of morbid. NTA.


NTA - The parasite comment is weird. Did she elaborate further on this? Do you make significantly more money or does she think he is trying to get citizenship or something? I don't know what part of the world you are living in and if medical costs are a concern.

The OP responded here:


She called him a parasite because it's all "too well timed". I believe she thinks he's proposed because I'm not far off receiving a sizable inheritance, and thus, he will be entitled to some of it if we divorce. However, he agreed to a prenup without blinking. I told her this, but she still persisted with the name calling.

We live in the UK, so all of her appointments are free. She's not receiving treatment because of previous health issues and is only getting 10 week checkups to see how things are progressing.

She has a tendency to lash out when things don't go her way, she always has, and I can understand her feeling frustrated or upset that she won't be at the wedding. However, she won't be concerned about paying for the wedding because we only want a tiny elopement - planning a big wedding just seems too stressful.

Thank you for your kind words. Both my partner and I are still over the moon to begin our lives together, but her reaction has very much taken the shine off a little. It's just difficult that my happiness is so distressing for her.

Perhaps she(as the parent of the bride) feels upset she can't fund your wedding and because of her medical costs. Maybe she is just upset about her medical concerns and lashing out. I'm sorry you are having to go through this at a time you should be elated.


I'm really glad you're getting a prenup. Super important when it comes to inheritance. I'm glad your partner sees that is important. Being terminally ill doesn't prevent your mom from being selfish, unfortunately.

Based on her response, you could lie to her and tell her the engagement is off or you cannot update her on getting married, etc. She's made it clear she doesn't want to be a part of your marriage so respect her wishes. NTA.

The OP responded again:


Thank you for your response. He's very self-reliant when it comes to finances, and he's proud to be able to say that everything he has, he's earned. He didn't even blink when I asked for a prenup, and was very reassuring that he understood why I was asking for one.

I did consider not telling her about the engagement because I anticipated a poor reaction from her, but I'm a terrible liar and I don't like the idea of having to remove my ring every time I see her.

I'm very proud of my partner and my relationship and I don't feel like it's something I should have to hide - if that makes sense? I'd rather front her wrath, and potentially lose my relationship with her than live a deception for however long she has left.

I'm just struggling to assess whether I'm being completely inconsiderate of her, or if she's being insane. I love my mum and I don't want to cause her any undue distress, but I also feel like that should go the same for me.


NTA. And furthermore, like you, I don't understand what the problem is. My mom died from ovarian cancer when I was 21. I know she would have given anything to be able to live long enough to see me married and happy, with someone on my side. I just don't get it.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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