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'AITA for telling my sister that she shouldn't overvalue herself and prepare for the worst?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for telling my sister that she shouldn't overvalue herself and prepare for the worst?' UPDATED 2X


Calling someone out is bound to cause some backlash, it's just a part of it.

"AITA for telling my sister that she shouldn't overvalue herself and prepare for the worst?"

I (21f) Have an older sister "Eve" (29f) who had her first child, "Lori" (1f) and while this should be a time of joy an excitement there's actually a lot of tension and brewing resentment between her, our mom, and her husband "Jack" (29m).

Despite it being unplanned, Eve's pregnancy was wanted and Jack was an involved partner. He went to most of Eve's appointments, took the birthing classes, and supported Eve's decision to just have our mom in the room while he wanted outside when she gave birth.

The plan was for our mom to be by Eve's side in the room and to help stay for a week after Lori was born. Everyone was cool with this but unfortunately our aunt got into some drama with her husband in another state and our mom rushed over to be at her sister's side.

Eve was already in her 3rd trimester so Jack didn't like the idea of our mom going and voiced it. Our mom tore Jack a new one and Eve even got on his case about it so he apologized. However, Eve ended up going into labor and Jack ultimately was the one in the room while our mom was away.

When she called, our mom expressed being sad over not being there for the birth of her first grandchild and she and Eve decided that no one else in the family would see Lori until she got back. Without discussing it with Jack. He was understandably not happy as his mom lived about 45 minutes away and was looking forward to meeting Lori too as she was the first grandchild on both sides.

Eve pulled the "I just gave birth" card and Jack reluctantly allowed it. On the day that our mom was supposed to come back she missed her flight and couldn't get a new one until the following morning. Our mom could've just rented a car but she didn't want to spend the money since the airline wouldn't refund the money.

Jack was brought up allowing his mom to come again, but Eve refused, citing that he already agreed. Unfortunately, Jack's mom was in a car accident and passed before ever getting to meet Lori since Eve wouldn't even allow a video chat. Jack was distraught, he moved to the guest bedroom, went to the f-neral alone and refuses to engage with Eve at all.

Jack's side of the family keeps calling and messaging Eve to tell her what a selfish and awful person she is and Jack refuses to defend. Eventually, Eve got sick of it and packed up and left to our mom's house to "teach Jack a lesson" but he hasn't texted or called.

Our mom thinks that he just needs some space and that he'll call soon but I just laughed at that. Didn't mean to though. My mom and Eve asked me why I laughed and I tried to brush it off or even leave but they couldn't let me and pressed for answer.

Eventually, I told her that while the accident wasn't her fault she did keep Lori away from Jack's mom meeting her for a week and now she never will. There's no way Jack is going to ever love you enough to forgive that and that you should prepare for the worst. Eve started to bawl her eyes out while mom berated me so I left. AITA?

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

Edit: Just to clarify because I keep seeing this when the accident first happened Eve has apologized three separate times (Jack has admitted to this) and Eve intended to go to the funeral with him but he drove off without her.

Jack does interact with Lori it's Eve that he's icing out and my niece is the only thing he's willing to talk to Eve about. Jack had been living in the guest room for 5 months before Eve left. She's offered to go to couple's counseling but Jack has refused.

People had a lot to say in response.

Fantastic-Mango-7440 wrote:

Probably would get downvoted, but who cares? NTA. Your mom showed time and time again that her first niece granddaughter isn't that important to her. The fact that Jack's mom would never meet her niece is something that Jack would never get over and he is right.

His mom was denied acces cause the other grandmother would rather cater to her adult sister than meeting her granddaughter. That woman died with the wish to see her first granddaughter. Jack and the rest of the family are never going to forgive your sister for this. Hopefully they won't take it on the baby.

flotiste wrote:

NTA. The fact she's not even remorseful, or there for her husband WHEN HIS MOM DIED shows exactly where her priorities are. What a stupid, petty thing to force him to wait, and even pettier to walk out on him like HE did something wrong. Jesus, how heartless. Yeah, I'd be stunned if he came back. I know I wouldn't.

OP responded:

To be fair she did apologize (Jack didn't respond) and was getting ready to go to the funeral but Jack drove off without her.

SaboraHoku wrote:

NTA. It seems like this is pretty cut and dry. Eve put her and her mother's opinion first and Jack lost something he'll never get back. Why isn't Eve trying to win Jack back? Has Eve even admitted that she could have let Jack's mom meet her grandchild without hurting anyone?

Zannie95 wrote:

NTA - I think that Jack is probably 50% heartbroken that he lost his mom & 50% feels guilty that he didn’t push harder to have his mother meet the baby. That is a very tough thing to overcome. Eve had better prepare herself to have shared custody at the least. Your sister & mother are a piece of work.

And what is it with these “only my family can meet the child first”? Once the baby is born, they have 2 parents with extended family. Just because I gave birth it didn’t mean my husband was the lesser parent.

Dangerous-Winterelf wrote:


She's sad and crying? Good. Someone needed to give her a reality check since no one else would. Pretty clear mom won't, because if she does, she would have to admit her own fault in this.

Unless she, for some reason, didn't know your sister was blocking access to the child with her MIL. But I doubt she didn't know.

This isn't some "I'll pout for a few days at mommy's place, and then he'll come begging for me" minor thing.

He lost his mom. He won't ever have the joy of sharing his new role as a dad with her. Her won't even have a single picture of her holding her grandchild All because of a wife who wanted to play power games. And make it into "her child," frankly put. And not their child. I doubt he will ever forgive her. Not even with the world's amount of couples therapy or talks.

Especially when she can't even show the decency of apologizing. She has shown him a very. Very ugly side of herself. From keeping the child from his mom, pouting, leaving the home. No apologizing. Being stubborn. And it's time she took a look In the mirror. Marrige is about being a team. Not "my wishes counts more than yours."

rapt2right wrote:

NTA. Your mother made a choice to miss the birth AND to not rush back. Your sister effed up HUGE by promising not to allow anyone else to meet the baby before your mother returned and now that error in judgment has taken something from Jack that cannot be mitigated, ever.

His grief will forever be tied to his (completely understandable) anger & his guilt at playing along with your sister's selfishness. He is not coming back.

Two months later, OP shared another update.


It's been a couple of weeks and due to people still occasionally asking I thought I'd give a people some quick updates to the situation. Here are the basic bullet points:

My sister has now been officially diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and that is the trump card/Hail Mary of the situation.

My sister and her husband are living together again and in couple's therapy.

My sister is in individual counseling.

My niece has now been officially introduced to a few members of her paternal size and they all love her.

Jack's family have ceased their negative comments about my sister but she says that they're still pretty formal and distant towards her. I honestly don't know if she'll ever be in their good graces again and will only put up with her for my BIL and niece's sake. My niece's name first and middle is going to be legally changed to whatever Jack wants.

For the next five years BIL's side of the family is getting priority when it comes to any and all holidays.

My mom will be on a strict info diet when it comes to the baby. No pictures unless Jack approves.

This is all I know for right now and my mom is NOT happy with any of this and is calling Jack a controlling AH but my sister is holding firm in an effort to save her marriage. She claims that BIL and her are making progress in counseling and I hope for her sake that it's true.

It's gonna suck not being able to see my niece as much as I wanted for the next possible few years but compared to never being able to see her at all (like Jack's mom) it is what it is. I know a lot of you may not be happy with this update but it is what it is for now.

Commenters had a lot to say.

crocodilezebramilk wrote:

Did Jack not have any say in his own daughter’s name?

How enmeshed is your mom and sister why your mother got to push Jack out of the whole thing?

OP responded:

From my understanding Eve picked the first and provided a list of middle names that Jack could choose from, and then my niece got Jack's surname.

sheramom4 wrote:

I don't how I feel about this. Changing the baby's name after a year to whatever the husband wants? Priority for holidays for five years? No pictures for your mom unless Jack approves of it?

This seems like jumping from the frying pan directly into the fire. If these are the terms set up by Jack in order to "save" the, I doubt the marriage counselor knows about these specific ones I mentioned and two, is it even worth saving?

Your sister has no autonomy over their child, no autonomy over her schedule, no ability to share a photo with her mother. You have limited contact with your niece. Who really won here other than Jack and his family who might, someday, be nice to your sister?

Yes, your sister was wrong in the original post. Of course she was. But not ONE things on this list can change what happened. Not one. And this parts of this list sound like they could lead to some DV situations in the future on Jack's part. Isolation from support systems is one of those factors.

OP responded:

"Who really won here other than Jack and his family who might, someday, be nice to your sister?"

Jack's mom suddenly passed away, and she was a loving and sweet person. I wouldn't exactly call it a "win."

Also from what Eve has told me it's not "isolation" so much as strict boundaries. Eve said that these restrictions were only for the baby and that she's able to still have regular contact with whoever she chooses.

SyntiumWasTaken wrote:

I don't get why your contact with your niece have to be limited? I'm not sure the marriage will last anyway, with these conditions.

OP responded:

Right now it seems like Eve is just doing whatever she has to do to keep Jack from leaving her as well as getting back on Jack's family's good side.

Reasonable-Sale8611 wrote:

Well I read the original post and Jack is clearly taking revenge on Eve. Although Eve was a bit "extra" in how she went about the birth, waiting a week (or a week and a day) for Jack's mom to see the baby is not a crazy delay for which a woman should be castigated.

Many, many people have to wait months to meet their grandkids because of distance or other reasons. The fact that Jack's mom got in a tragic accident on the exact same day as Eve's mom's flight was delayed, was just an unfortunate and highly unlikely series of events that no one could have predicted.

It is extremely common for first time mothers to want their own mother to have first preference in seeing the baby. Giving birth is a vulnerable time for a woman and it's normal for the woman to want her own mother there and for the young mother to assert her right to have control over how the birth and the early days of her baby's life should go.

If Eve's mom had been in an accident on her way back from her trip, and had passed away that day instead of Jack's mom, then it would be Eve's mom who wouldn't have met the baby.

It's just the luck of the draw that it was Jack's mom who passed away. Accidents happen, people pass away, this is life. Now Jack is restricting access of Eve's family for FIVE YEARS, no pictures of the baby to Eve's mom unless Jack approves, and gets to CHANGE THE BABY'S NAME TO CUT OUT EVE and IMO all of that is clearly getting revenge and is a red flag IMO.

Yes, it is controlling, and has it occurred to you that maybe the reason Eve was so pushy about her mom having first look at the baby is because Jack has always had tendencies to be controlling and has always expected his family to come first over Eve's?

OP responded:

I won't deny that Jack is taking full advantage of Eve's willingness to do whatever it takes to save the marriage, but Jack has never come off as a controlling person in the past (I mean he didn't put up any opposition to Eve's requests/demands since finding out she was pregnant) but Eve has a support system if she feels like it's getting to be too much. I'm not going to get involved until I suspect v-lence.

DubiousPeoplePleaser wrote:

Honestly, I blame your mom. She created this entire mess with her selfish behavior. She’s the one that left. She’s the one that didn’t care enough to make sure she got to the airport on time. She was the one telling your sister that he would get over it and downplaying it. She isn’t showing a lot of empathy to you BIL either. Be prepared for counseling to show your sister just how t-xic your mom is.

Sources: Reddit
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