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'AITA for ruining my brother and SIL's pregnancy news by sharing news of my diagnosis?' UPDATED

'AITA for ruining my brother and SIL's pregnancy news by sharing news of my diagnosis?' UPDATED

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"AITA for ruining my brother and his wife's pregnancy news with the news of my recent diagnosis?"

Bit of backstory, my brother and I are very close, his wife and I not so much, we've had our fair share of tension. Anyway I fell sick in the middle of may, but held off getting checked out because of covid and safety reasons. Eventually when June started I decided to go check it out, turns out it was stage 2 breast cancer.

I decided to tell my family 2 days ago since lockdown laws have been lifted, so I invited everyone over and when I told my brother and his wife he said okay that's fine because he has news to share too. So our family gathered and my brother decided to go first (he did ask me) and he announced that his wife is 4 months pregnant. Of course everyone was overjoyed.

After about an hour they asked about my news, and I knew this was probably the last time in a long while before I had everyone here in person, so I told them. And of course the initial joyous atmosphere was gone. The rest of the evening was a lot of support for me and not a lot of attention on my brother and his wife.

My brother didnt seem to mind this, as he was quite distraught with my news, but I saw his wife pretty upset and cornered off. So I decided to approach her, and I apologized for the timing of it all. She told me I could have waited a bit and skyped everyone with the news, as it's just stage 2, and let my brother and her have this moment with their family.

I told her I initially called this meeting for this exact reason and she said she knows but I knew my news would damper everyone's mood. So I told her shes being ridiculous and I wanted to tell my family in person, since they are my family after all. And she burst in tears and demanded to go home, which my brother obliged to even though he was confused.

He promised he would come see me soon since he stays close by to me. Later that evening I get a message from him asking if I told his wife that she isnt part of the family and that I deliberately wanted the attention on me, because that's what shes upset about.

Also the next day my parents called me to check up on me and my mom mentioned that my brothers wife called yesterday evening really upset telling them what "I said" and claiming I'm jealous because shes pregnant and I'm trying to ruin her life. I told my parents what actually happened and what i really said and its caused not only tension between his wife and me, but my parents and her too,

and now shes also blaming me for my parents not being her biggest fans. My brother is torn but has been trying to talk to her, which results in more tears and a strain in their marriage. All this drama is making me think that I should have just called up everyone rather, or just told my brother that his news had to wait, even though that would have been selfish of me.

I really wanted my family's support that day, but I'm starting to rethink whether it was worth all this drama and potentially causing further problems. So reddit, AITA?

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

LeftHand_of_Kindness said:

NTA - You called the meeting for your news. Also, if sharing it in person was unimportant then why couldn't your SIL share the pregnancy news over Skype? Her own reasoning should have been good enough for her. And good luck with your treatment.

IridianRaingem said:

NTA. You’re the one who called the family gathering. They hijacked your gathering to share their news first. She doesn’t get to be angry with you. SHE could have waited another month or so. She also could have said something sooner.

sustainablyshort said:

NTA. “Just stage 2”? It’s still cancer. You could have responded by telling her she’s “only four months pregnant.” That’s how ridiculous that statement sounds. She seems incredibly manipulative. I’m so sorry about your diagnosis. Hopefully your brother stays close, and at least you have the support of your family (and of Reddit). Good luck with your treatment!

Prince-Lee said:

NTA. I was so ready to call you YTA from the title alone. But you arranged this meeting to break the news of something very serious, and your brother decided that it was time to break news as well.

Could you have handled this better? Well, yes— you could have asked him privately what his news was when he said he had something to announce so that it didn’t get awkward like this— but regardless, the blame does not fall on you at all.

But the fact is that cancer is... Like, a bit more of an important thing to announce than a pregnancy, and the SIL made a huge misstep getting jealous and saying what she did (Skype? Really?!).

She’s definitely the asshole here. There are things more important than a pregnancy, especially because a pregnancy has a lot more of a time frame to announce than a disease you’re going to need to get some pretty obvious treatment for. Also— I wish you a good recovery.

Verdict: NTA.

EDIT: Just wanted to add a few points. When brother told me he had news too he was really super excited and added it as a just by the way I'll announce mine too, he did apologize and admit afterwards if he had known what my news was he would have held off his, because right now what's important is my recovery.

He also admitted he wrongfully assumed that my news would automatically be good (I'm usually always the happy chirpy one). His wife wasn't too fond of this either. Brothers wife also had a miscarriage beginning of the year, which is why this pregnancy I suppose was extra special. I'm truly happy for them, I just wish she could understand (like one user pointed out) that this isnt a competition.

I dont know why I couldn't tell him over the phone, we are really close and I knew it would have crushed him, I couldn't steal him away at the gathering either because he was the last to arrive, and when he did he just quickly mentioned "Hey OP mind if I go first" and I was frozen on the spot so I said sure. Also pretty silly on my part.

It's hard to explain that feeling where you absolutely frozen and theres a big lump in your throat that prevents you from speaking, but saying the news in the first place was really difficult to begin with.

Edit 2: Just another point to clarify, I'm not a saint, but my brother does mean a heck of a lot to me. It's exactly why his wife and I cleared the air between us before, because I wouldn't deliberately make his life hell by pissing her off. Hence why when I saw she was upset I approached her.

And when she told me I could have skyped i responded with I wanted to tell them in person since they my family and they would probably want to be there with me when I broke the news, I never once implied she wasn't a part of it. My brother and parents know this.

A month later, she shared this update:

Sorry this is so late, a lot has been happening the past month since the news came out, and since I've received a tremendous amount of love from reddit I thought it would be only fair to let you all know what happened. First and foremost, I've started treatment, also one of the reasons I couldnt update sooner. Thank you all for your well wishes, I plan on bouncing back as soon as I can.

Anyway, I could see that my brother was under a lot of stress, and I finally sat him down to talk about it properly, he showed me a bunch of texts that his wife sent him telling him he is a sh!tty father for choosing me over his family, she said I was seeking attention and nobody cares about her.

And one thing that really got to me was that she told him to choose once and for all, and if he picks me he loses her and his child and if he picks her she doesnt want me in their lives at all. I felt terrible, not only for him, but knowing that I could have prevented all this.

I took the time to apologize for putting him in this position, and if I had just pulled him aside soon enough and given him a heads up, he would have truly understood. Brother tells me I shouldnt apologize, because he should have been more considerate, he also mentioned that his wife would have probably still gotten mad at him whether they did or didnt give the news on that day.

So I decided I should invite her over for coffee, to sort out everything. I spoke to her alone, I asked her about everything, she was very cold and didnt really answer, so I started talking first by apologizing if I made her feel excluded from the family or that her pregnancy was of any less importance.

I explained that I should have given them a heads up so we could have avoided what had happened all together and that was my fault, and that I was very sorry but I also mentioned that the way she reacted and went to the extent of lying wasnt okay. She then started crying and vented out about how angry shes been,

and that my brother always put me first and recently they've been going through a rough patch and when he "sided" with me it made her even more upset and feel even more lonely. She admitted she lied to my parents and my brother, saying that she was hoping they would show her more sympathy and when they were cold to her she got even more upset.

After hours of talking she apologized for how she acted and has been acting. And she would like if we moved on from this. My brother came later and they both went home, he texted me saying they both spoke for hours and agreed to couples therapy.

My parents are currently living with me and helping me out tremendously, but they not quite happy with my sister in law yet, although they promise to try to work things out, things finally seemed to calm down, and let's hope it stays that way. None of this would have been possible without the feedback you all gave me, and I'm indebted to that, so thank you!

(ETA: All of you are so kind, honestly, but I wanted to clarify that I'm no saint nor am I selfless, i know what happened wasnt entirely on me, however, in order to focus solely on my recovery I cant be stressed out about this whole situation and have all this tension around, seeing my brother being put in that position and my SIL, as hurtful as she was, being upset and holding hatred can affect herself and the baby,

I did what I could to fix things so that everyone can focus on being healthy and being positive without holding any grudges, I know I sure will. I know my SIL, she can be very stubborn and unreasonable, and if I left things in her hands I'm 99% sure it would have resulted in much much worse circumstances than me putting the first hand forward,

at least now I can focus on my recovery without any distress or toxicity. I'm human, I felt angry, I felt upset, yeah I wanted to give her a piece of my mind. But in doing so isnt helping myself, her, my brother, or my family, only damaging things further. This realization is what prompted me to let it all go and focus on positivity and my mental and physical health.)

Last edit: I spent all day on reddit reading EVERY little or big comment made, and honestly I didnt know you could feel so much support from people you never met. You are all the amazing humans. Thank you, and I'll still read every single comment, but this will be my final edit. And for the people who asked, I'm 24 :)

Sources: Reddit
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