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'AITA for telling my sister-in-law I won’t dress modestly around her husband?' UPDATED 5X

'AITA for telling my sister-in-law I won’t dress modestly around her husband?' UPDATED 5X

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There are times when you need a chorus of strangers to assure you that you're not crazy. Luckily, the internet is forever here for that.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was TA for telling her SIL she won't "dress modestly" around her BIL. She wrote:

"AITA for telling my sister in law I won’t 'dress modestly' around her husband?"

I [33F] have been married to my husband [33M] for 4 years. One year ago I had my daughter. When I was a teenager I had been s*xually assaulted my a family friend multiple times. This has left me with a lot of complex feeling about my body. My ab*ser told my parents that the ab*se was my fault because I dressed “sl*tty” around him. He was 40s and I was 14.

For years I would only wear baggy clothes and not do my hair and makeup. I’ve gotten some Therapy and worked hard to overcome these feelings of self blame but being pregnant and having a baby messed with my body image a bit. I have been working out a lot and am really liking my body currently. It feels very freeing.

My SIL [29F] knows all about my past ab*se and my issues with blaming myself and my teenage clothes for my ab*se. She is married to my BIL [30M] and the 4 of us have always gotten along. We are going on a trip with my husband’s parents, My BIL and SIL and there two boys [8 and 6M] my SIL texted me and asked me to not bring any bikinis because she had two young boys.

I thought this was weird but I told her that I wouldn’t if that was important to her. She came over last weekend and I had clothes out to pack for our trip. She wanted to see what I was bringing (she framed it in a fun, lighthearted way) she saw my bathing suit and asked me why I was bringing that since she asked me not to bring a bikini. I told her it was not a bikini but a covering two-piece.

She got very quiet and started looking through my pile of clothes. I also had a maxi dress that has spaghetti straps . Again she asked me if I could bring some “more modest” I told her I was uncomfortable and it was such a big deal for her boys to see me in a dress? She finally admitted that she did not want me to wear any “flattering” clothes or bathing suits around her husband.

She said her husband had been struggling with a p*rn addiction and the clothes I was bringing “would make it hard for him” and would be “tempting.” This is where I may be the AH. I was so grossed out and angry. I told her very assertively that she was crazy if she thought I need to cover my body to keep her creep of a husband from jerking off to me.

I told her how wrong she was to say that to me when she know my past issues. I also told her she is gross for at first using her kids when the real reason is she didn’t want her husband looking at me. She started crying and left. She called my husband (her brother) later crying and asking him to “make me” bring more modest clothes.

My husband completely took my side and told her if it’s such an issue for her husband then maybe they should not come on the trip. My MIL has now gotten involved and is asking my to bring a more covering bathing suit and modest clothes.

Shortly after posting, OP shared two clarifying updates.

EDIT: For context. My husband’s family is extremely religious. Think Duggar family religious.

EDIT #2: Sorry I never post on Reddit. I’ll give more info that has been asked. My BIL has never made me feel uncomfortable. In fact, I thought we had a good relationship. He was not raised in the Pentecostal church but did join when he married my sister in law. My husband and I both grew up in church but have since left.

My MIL has asked me to bring modest clothes but she has not mentioned an addiction issue. I assume she knows but when I look at her messages objective it could be very possible that my sister-in-law told her I was bringing very skimpy clothes. Also, my husband is paying for the trip completely. I bought my dress recently. I thought it was beautiful and I was so excited to wear it.

Especially since I had a baby nine months ago. I might even return it because it feels like it’s tainted and I just think of my in-laws when I wear it.

TLDR: my sister-in-law wants me to wear modest clothing so that her husband isn’t tempted around me. I refused and yelled at her.

The internet had a lot to say about this scenario.

strangeloop414 wrote:

NTA- wear whatever you want, whenever you want! You have been through enough in your life with people judging your appearance and trying to gaslight you into thinking your appearance somehow causes trouble. I am so sorry for what happened to you when you were younger, I'm proud of you for putting in the work to overcome something so awful.

OP responded:

Thank you so much 💕 I’ve done really hard work to be able to function and be a good Mom. Unfortunately I think I may be going back to Therapy after all this.

Anon_commenter wrote:

NTA - And DEF NTA since I read in a comment of yours that your husband is actually the one that is paying for this whole trip. Are you F'ing kidding me? You guys are paying and they have the audacity to ask the ones funding a trip for them to cover up!

I would find the skimpiest bikinis and outfits I could find and then tell them they are more than welcome to take their judgemental, mooching asshole selfs back to their own houses if they didn't like what you were wearing to the place that you guys paid for.

OP responded:

The whole reason my husband paid for the trip so that they are two boys can have some fun. They never get to do trips because their parents do not have the financial means. I think that’s the main reason I feel guilty about telling them they can’t come. It’s my brother-in-law that should feel guilty.

juphilippe wrote:

I’m so sorry you’re handling this sort of past trauma and current guilt. But here is where you draw the line in protecting your peace. If you and your husband want to offer something special for the boys, you can save this money and sponsor something for them in the future. But now is not the time to make yourself vulnerable to a misogynistic SIL and a creep of a BIL. Protect your peace.

OP responded:

That’s really good advice. I hadn’t really thought that we could use the money to have the boys do something without us. That’s fun. my daughter is only nine months old and I definitely don’t want to creep around her or a woman who enables him.

Not long after receiving some support and advice, OP jumped on with an update on the post.

UPDATE: wow thank you so much for your support! Especially those of you shared experience with in the past. My husband has been away for work but landed early this afternoon. On his layover he cancelled the reservations for the trip. He is currently on his way to his sisters house to confront my BIL.

His plan is to show up to their house unannounced and take brother-in-law out for a drink. And talk to him away from my sister in law. I will post an update tomorrow. Thank you all so much for your kind words 🙏

People were fully invested.

Trailsya wrote:

NTA.

Don't go on a trip with them and tell your husband to stand up to crazy MIL.

No-You5550 wrote:

Yes, the BIL stays home or you do. At this point I would not feel safe around him. If his wife and MIL seem so sure he can't control himself I would believe them. He might see your toenail and go crazy. NTA.

DataGOGO wrote:

Or much more likely; He is just a normal dude that married into a super religious family. One day he got caught jerking to porn on the internet, and his wife flipped s#$t. He is prob sitting at home with no idea that any of this is going on and would be horrified to know what his wife told his MIL and SIL about him.

shesinsaneanditsucks wrote:

NTA- if he can’t handle being around women then he should stay home. There will lots of other women around who will be dressed sexy, revealing, not revealing, modest, in between. They can’t control them so what they razor focused on you? Are they basically saying that this family is harboring a predator who will be tempted to what? Attack you? Harm you?

And you will be safer if you dress more modest? How many women have been attacked in modest clothes? How many children? It doesn’t matter what you wear, or how you act, if you’re around a lunatic r*pist you will be attacked not because you did anything wrong but because they’re sick.

They’re the problem. It’s one thing to go on a family vacation and wear a string thong and let your cheeks out, and wear underwear to dinner- But regular clothes that are “sexy” are not the problem. How insecure is she? How weird is her husband?

How long has your name been in conversation? Why does it matter? Who digs in your stuff? Who calls their parents and gets them side with them? Like, I would go, but I would consider him a incredibly unsafe person to be around and would never be comfortable and him, not a drink, not a ride a home, not even clean the kitchen alone with him comfortable.

OP followed through on her promise and shared an update the next day.

I want to say thank you all for your support and advice . Especially thank you for people who damned me with their personal stories of abu*e and church trauma. I’m so grateful for you sharing your stories. To answer if you have any questions. I am very average looking, but by conventional standard. I have a nice body.

I’m 5”6 and 120 pounds. Since I had my daughter, I’ve been going to Pilates three times a week. For the first time of my life have some abdominal muscle, which I’m very very proud of. I don’t mean this as a subtle brag!!!! I also put a good amount of effort into the way. I look such as doing my hair and make up and wearing well fitting clothes. My sister-in-law is a very attractive woman.

She is much taller than me. She has gained about 40 pounds since she had her kids. And I know that she feels a bit self-conscious about it, but she said she’s not willing to change. She said that she’s a mom so doesn’t matter what she looks like. I wonder if she’s having a bit of depression because she’s about how now she stays without even showering.

Again, I’m not saying myself to my sister-in-law just trying to give a better picture. So for the update, to make things clearer. I will refer to my husband as Tom and myself is Kate. I referred to my sister-in-law Jill, and my brother-in-law as Jack. My husband showed up at my in-laws house unannounced last night.

He said my brother-in-law was happy to see him and he asked to go for a walk with him so he could talk. One thing that was interesting is that my brother-in-law wasn’t under the impression but the trip was still on for this Saturday. My husband said this is the most awkward conversation he ever had.

He started by asking Jack, my brother-in-law he started by asking jack if him and his wife are having any trouble because his wife had mentioned that he had a p*rn addiction. My brother-in-law rolled his eyes. Said he’s only looked at p*rn once since Christmas. He looks at it Once every couple months. His wife is convinced it’s an addiction.

He told my husband it’s frustrating because he feels shamed for normal s*xual desire. He also confided into my husband that him him and his wife has not had s*x in over a year and he’s not sure what to do. He said he has suggested counseling, but his wife only wants to see someone from the church was NOT a licensed therapist.

My husband said “Well Jill said it was enough of an issue that she didn’t want Kate to wear a two-piece bathing suit or a sundress on the trip because it would be difficult for you.” He said my BIL very surprised and upset, and asked a bunch of questions about the incident. my husband said that my brother-in-law was mortified!! My BIL said “Does Kate think I’ve been thinking about her in that way?”

My husband told him that was what Jill implied. Again, Jack was mortified. He profusely apologized to my husband and said that it’s not the case at all. He said he wanted to apologize to me directly, but he didn’t wanna make me feel more uncomfortable and he was so sorry. My husband asked him if he had any pictures of me and his phone that he had taken without my consent.

Immediately said absolutely not, and gave my husband his phone and told him to look through it. my husband also asked my brother-in-law Jack if he had made any comments about my body to his wife or others. Jackson said that he had made a few comments that he thought were innocent but in the lie of day he can understand how they could’ve been construed otherwise.

He said that he had made comments when I was pregnant about me being “glowing.” He also said that recently he has been talking to his wife about how he thought it was adorable that I had made a point to work out and make time for myself after my baby was born.

He said that he had mentioned I had looked good and he knew how hard that is to make time to work out with a little one. Jack apologizes that he realized that these comments he thought were innocent might not have been the most appropriate and then going forward.

He will be careful, but he says his wife and others. My husband told him that even though the air has been cleared, but the trip is off. Jack said he completely understood and he would tell his boys this morning. And that he would be talking to Jill.

About an hour ago I got a text from Jill saying. “my kids are devastated. I hope you’re happy.” I have ignored her. My husband is going to talk to his parents today. And wants to give it a few days before you talk to her sister. That’s all for now. Thank you again for all of your support!

Commenters had a lot to say about the update.

judging-Aholes wrote:

It's unfortunate that really the whole problem is that Jill is insecure and, it appears, a bit jealous of you. If that's all Jack, I don't see the problem. At least now you know Jack hasn't been a creeper toward you. And yet again Jill can't take any responsibility for her actions and is trying to blame you.

You aren't the cause of her kids being devastated. This situation and not being able to go on this vacation is completely on her shoulder. I hope that you, your husband, and the family still go and get away for a bit though. Would be nice to relax after all the BS.

Adventurous_Basis280 wrote:

Holy crap, sounds like your sister in law is having some serious issues. She doesn’t want to have s*x with her husband but also doesn’t want him to take care of himself. Sounds like she is just reflecting all of our insecurities onto you and blaming it on the BIL. Hopefully this opens his eyes and he takes action. If she is saying this type of crap to you, who else has she been lying to about him?

oldwitch1982 wrote:

Right?? This is all on Jill. She’s creating scenarios for herself, her husband and even in her own imagination. She needs real therapy. Her insecurities are why the trip is cancelled. It’s not because of a dress or bathing suit. It’s because she won’t fix her marriage and just expects Jack to comply with HER. No regard for his needs and feelings. She’s toxic. OP NTA.

wlfwrtr wrote:

Have to wonder what stories SIL has told MIL and FIL for them to jump to her defense? What stories has she spread at church since she wants their help with counseling her husband?

OP jumped on and shared another quick update.

My brother in law sent this text to my husband about an hour ago.

“Please share this with Kate, if you feel like she’s in a good place. Kate I am so terribly sorry. I know this is really uncomfortable, but I just wanted to let you know that I have never used any thoughts or images of you in a s*xual way."

"I feel sick to my stomach, having to say that. I really truly apologize if I have made comments that made you feel uncomfortable. I’m sure there’s more I could say but I just wanted to let you know how truly apologetic I am for the whole situation."

"I understand if you do not want to see me and Jill for a while and that’s totally OK. Please don’t feel bad about the trip. The boys are boys are fine.”

This was a good apology, and I tend to believe him.

The comments kept rolling in.

ice_wolf_fenris wrote:

Is there a chance Jill is cheating on Jack? Just the no s*x for a long time gives me that vibe.

OP responded:

I would be shocked if that was the case. She was 18 and he was 19 when they got married. He’s the only man she’s ever been with. Interestingly enough, they got married so young because they were having s*x and her parents found out and pressured them to get married.

[Deleted commenter] wrote:

It's unfortunate that really the whole problem is that Jill is insecure and, it appears, a bit jealous of you. If that's all Jack, I don't see the problem. At least now you know Jack hasn't been a creeper toward you. And yet again Jill can't take any responsibility for her actions and is trying to blame you. You aren't the cause of her kids being devastated.

This situation and not being able to go on this vacation is completely on her shoulder. I hope that you, your husband, and the family still go and get away for a bit though. Would be nice to relax after all the BS.

OP responded:

My husband still has PTO next week. He is going to see if we can change the plan tickets and go somewhere just him, me and our daughter

littlebitfunny21 wrote:

If Jack is telling the truth- I suspect he is particularly since he so willingly handed over his phone and expressed both a desire to apologize and awareness you might not be comfortable around him - then damn that poor guy. His wife is making him out to be a s*xual predator. I hope he can get a divorce.

OP responded:

Also, my husband believes him, and I trust his judgment. My husband said if he’s lying, he’s gotta be as sociopath or something, because he seemed very sincere and forthcoming.

Adventurous_Basis280 wrote:

Holy crap, sounds like your sister in law is having some serious issues. She doesn’t want to have sex with her husband but also doesn’t want him to take care of himself. Sounds like she is just reflecting all of our insecurities onto you and blaming it on the BIL. Hopefully this opens his eyes and he takes action. If she is saying this type of crap to you, who else has she been lying to about him?

OP responded:

I suspect she has also been spreading the narrative to her parents because my MIL originally also asked me to not bring the dress and to pack more modest clothes.

Historical-Goal-3786 wrote:

My concern is what she is teaching her kids.

OP responded:

This also concerns me. Up to this point my husband and most answers that we left the church. My husband’s family knows our feelings. But we know that they can live their life the way they want to. I’m just afraid that her boys are gonna grow up with some twisted ideas about s*x and women.

Bothered me about growing up in the Pentecostal church. That boys were told they couldn’t be alone with girls because they would be too tempting. It made me feel like it teachers boys they don’t have to control themselves.

OP is clearly NTA here, luckily, it sounds like she at least cleared things up with Jack. Jill, is another story entirely.

Sources: Reddit
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