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Bride-to-be begs fiancé to sever ties with late wife's increasingly hostile family. AITA? UPDATED 4X

Bride-to-be begs fiancé to sever ties with late wife's increasingly hostile family. AITA? UPDATED 4X


"AITA for forcing my fiancé into cutting off his late wife’s family?"


I, 25f, am getting married to my fiancé, 29m, in May. When we first got together he told me that he was married from 20-22yrs old to his high school sweetheart (we met when he was 25) but she passed of sepsis from a botched surgery. He didn’t cope well and stayed in contact with her family, namely father and two sisters, 19 and 24.

It was a soft spot for me for a while at the beginning because there was so much history they had that we would not have and it was tough knowing that she was all around him.

I never told him and decided to work through it on my own, especially with the fact that he would often spend time with her family during our relationship. Her birthday, their anniversary and anniversary of her death, he’d spend the day with her family.

It was uncomfortable at first knowing the man I loved was reminiscing about love he had with someone else but I kept trying to see it from his perspective and the last couple years I am completely secure in our relationship and it doesn’t bother me much any more.

Well, he proposed this time last year and I was over the moon. I love this man with all my heart but I recently learned that he never told them that we got engaged. I’ve been trying local coffee shops the past few months rather than my usual run and tried a new one.

His late wife's sister had worked there and other than being awkward, she did a double take of my engagement ring and looked really unhappy. I didn’t mention it and left.

My fiancé told me that she kept messaging him on social media about it and I wasn’t happy that he kept it a secret. He apologised and was very depleted by it all. He said that he didn’t want to hide me but he didn’t want to hurt them either and that both of us were a huge part of his life.

I understand that and let him off the hook slightly, just told him to be upfront with them from now on. That was that. At least I thought so. A week ago, on Sunday, I got a message from the 24yr old asking if I was happy with myself, that I would never replace his late wife and that if she was still alive he’d chose her over me every time.

She even said that he only kept me around for me money and something to stick his d*ck in. I ignored it but I can’t say that it didn’t effect me. When you’re in my position, all these points are ones you have to work through and it’s not easy to get over those insecurities.

It feels like a knock in the teeth when they’re used against you. I mentioned it to him and he comforted me and reassured me. He said he’d set boundaries with her and I’d never have to hear from her again. Fine by me.

That was until i found my car with ‘wh*re’ and ‘grave robber’ smeared in red paint. I had saved for this car for a year and it was expensive, very expensive. The tires were slashed and the windows cracked.

I asked the store a few doors down for their CCTV camera footage of that night but it was blurry and didn’t catch much. It did manage to catch half a licence plate though and the colour and make of a car. It was his LWs youngest sister’s car.

I told him I was filing a police report and he asked me to hold off until he talked to them first. I told him no but I would if they paid for the damages and apologised to my face.

He set up the meeting for last night and it didn’t go well to say the least. Everyone was shouting. The sisters told me they, yes both of them, had nothing to be sorry for and that I should leave their family alone, including my fiancé in their family.

He told them that it wasn’t fair to him to be lonely forever and that he’d hoped they’d be supportive of him finding love again. They told him he was betraying LW and that he never loved her if he’d marry someone else.

They didn’t have a problem with him having a new gf because he’d ’realise she was the only one for him’ and get tired of me. Now that hadn’t happened, they were putting their foot down. The youngest told him to tell me that they were right and that he’d never love anyone like LW. My fiancé broke down at the table.

I picked him up and made us leave. I told them I’d be filing a report and suing for damages, and the next time they saw us would be in court. When we got back and calmed down I gave him an ultimatum. Either he cuts contact or we call of the wedding and go out separate ways.

I wasn’t going to live my life with this harassment and someday subject my children to their bullying. He said they would never bully a child but I shot him down and said he didn’t expect any of this either.

He called their father, who was fairly chill about it all but still defending his daughters. They say I shouldn’t control him and that I’m horrible for cutting them off. I don’t know what to do. I can’t live like this and I don’t think I should have to just because we’re getting married.

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


NTA. I understand why he keeps in touch with them and views them as family, but if my family treated a partner this way I'd go no contact until they could treat us both with respect. He may be dealing with some guilt about moving on but if you can work through your hang ups regarding this, so can he.


Definitely file for damages and sue them!!


NTA. What they did is completely unacceptable and I'm glad you're standing your ground and filing the police report. Look into a restraining order as well, since you must still have all the proof of the messages and such.

As for your fiancé, I understand why he kept in touch with them, but he messed up big time by not telling them he's moved on and loves someone else. He's hid you from them, which is stupid as what did he expect? He needs to grow a backbone and put them in their place.

The next day, the OP returned with an update.

"AITA for forcing my fiancé into cutting off his late wife’s family? MINI UPDATE"


Hey everyone, just a mini update to clear some things up before I have a discussion with my fiancé either later today or tomorrow about my ultimatum. I didn’t sleep at all yesterday or the night before, for obvious reasons.

There’s a ding on my phone at least once an hour from them saying one thing or another, mainly the 19yo and I don’t know what they’ve told people but I’ve got a message from one of their uncles and grandparents calling me horrible stuff too. So obviously they’ve been spreading what’s happened this week and twisting it.

I haven’t blocked them because I want to gain as much evidence as I can for the inevitable case. Regardless of any outcome with my fiancé, I will be suing and filing a criminal case for harassment and vandalism and looking for a restraining order. I just haven’t had the mental fortitude to do so yet. I’m hoping my fiancé will help me.

I haven’t spoken to my fiancé since the argument at the table, other than to tell him they go or I do. It was my choice to give him a couple days space to come to terms with everything and I will contact him when I’m ready.

All of this, from the first message till now has been a week. It’s a huge weight to contemplate leaving people you’ve known for 15 years and who you grew up with. He did set hard boundaries with the sister from the coffee shop as I’ve seen the messages.

He said, paraphrasing, ‘you have no right talking to OP at all if this is how you’re going to behave. She doesn’t deserve this and you’ve gone too far. Why are you being like this?’ And she responded with more name calling and back and forth.

He ended by saying not to message me again and to make sure everyone else does the same. I was happy with that. At this point only one person in that family had an issue, to my knowledge, so it was silly to have him cut all of them off. It may not be enough for some but it was enough for me to feel safe and comfortable.

For those saying he needs therapy and counselling, he’s already getting it. He’s been getting it since before we even started dating after an incident at work. I don’t know about any of their family though. The first time I had a conversation with any of them was that night.

Some people are wondering what LW died of, and it was a botched weight loss surgery where she died of sepsis. People were wondering if he was somehow the reason behind the surgery, hence the family’s insane reaction, but he was not in the slightest. He likes bigger women and wouldn’t pressure something like that onto her, speaking from experience.

I also want to clear up the not calling the police about the car thing. It was entirely my idea to not file charges in exchange for a face to face apology and damage payment. He only wanted me to wait so that he could talk to her to see if she regretted it and then have her father pay the damages.

At the time, we thought it was just the 19yo that smashed up my car, not both daughters. Neither of us wanted to ruin her life. When I found out it was both of them, it was full steam ahead. Thank you all for your messages and hopefully I’ll have a positive update for you tomorrow.

Edit: I chose for him to take this space apart, it’s not him being indecisive. I said to take time and that I’d reach out so that his decision is thought out. It’s for me. I don’t want to be chosen only to be three kids down the line and stuck in a resentment filled marriage. It’s for me. Please understand that.

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


I wonder if one of the sisters wanted your fiancé for themselves. Hence the extreme reactions.

The OP responded here:


So many people have said so and I honestly feel quite sick.


Hmm. Would make sense, but grief does weird things to people, too. Could be that keeping your fiance in the permanent role of LW's husband helps them feel like they haven't entirely lost her.

I hate to say it, but I agree with other posters: you should at least take a step back from wedding planning and give yourself time and space to re-evaluate your relationship with your fiance.

I get that he's in a tough spot and this doesn't mean he's a bad person, but his reactions are concerning. At the least, you would need to accept and make peace with the fact that he is sufficiently conflict-averse that you will not be able to rely on him to back you up or help you in situations involving interpersonal conflict - and that's a lot of situations.

The next day, the OP returned with another update.

"AITA for forcing my fiancé into cutting off his late wife’s family? UPDATE"


Well what a wild morning I’ve had. My fiancé came over bright and early this morning and I’ve never been so damn tired. You may want to take a seat because this will be long. Sorry in advance.

First of all, I want to set the record straight here. A lot of people are coming for my fiancé over not cutting them off from the get go which I don’t think is fair. He’s a very mild mannered, calm and calculating person and that’s who I always knew he was.

Nothing has changed. If he had been Rocky Balboa and flipped the cafe table shouting obscenities, he would not have been the man I fell in love with. He did exactly what I expected him to do and exactly what I was comfortable with. You may be attracted to other things in men and expect other things and that’s awesome, but not me.


I text him saying I thought it was time to discuss this and he was back at home not a half hour later. He’d been staying with a friend the couple nights we had no contact. We sat on our bed to talk because my back is sore from all the packing and I wasn’t gonna force myself to sit at the table.

Before we even got to talking he asked if we could cuddle for a minute. It definitely took some of the weight off and we were able to talk like a couple and not awkward strangers.

Regardless of some peoples beliefs, we do love each other and it took me a very long time to feel confident in that fact. Before anyone calls me a doormat again, no, I was still sure I would stick to my ultimatum.

The first thing I asked was if he felt he had enough time to make his decision and he said he didn’t need time. He was very shocked and bewildered at how so much could change in just a week and how everything he knew was shook up that he couldn’t think and went numb.

He did apologise that he didn’t take a more defensive stance at the cafe and he doesn’t want to make excuses for it. An explanation was that he genuinely didn’t expect such a vitriolic response.

He hid the engagement because he knew they weren’t over LWs death and would be upset at the news. It wasn’t like I would feel upset by them NOT knowing, which I wasn’t really. He’s known these girls since before they were in double digits and he would never have thought them capable of it. It came so far out of left field that he froze.

I asked him if there was any possibility that either of them had a thing for him and he looked very confused and disturbed. I said how I’ve had people tell me it’s not uncommon for siblings to do this after loss and he thought on it. Turns out you were right.

He said the 24yo, about 8 months after LWs death made a move and tried to kiss him. He immediately left and told her mother about it (mother and father are divorced now but weren’t then.) She was a minor at the time and messaged him saying she would be 18 soon so it wasn’t a big deal.

Her mother made her see the school councillor and didn’t allow her to be alone with him for a while. It was years ago so he’d forgotten it even happened. He said he was sure that wasn’t the case now because it had been so long but I’m not so convinced. Not that it matters anymore.

He opened up his Facebook and gave it to me to read. 24yo had been messaging him which he ignored. She ranged from telling him off to crying and saying how betrayed the family was to trying to manipulate him against me.

He said he was sure that he needed to put them behind him, and had been thinking it on and off since he proposed, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. After this week, the fire was lit and he knew what he had to do. It was all just abstract until suddenly it was very real.

He asked me how I’ve been coping and I told him. I felt like I’d done everything right but somehow things turned out worse than if I’d been the jealous type and stopped their contact at the beginning.

I tried to be understanding and put in so much effort to be secure in myself and our relationship only for everything I worked on to be thrown in my face like I was a mistress that was cheating with him. He didn’t blink the entire time and just listened.

He said he should have been more observant and realised I was struggling with this so that he could help me but I’ve always been the ‘strong one’ so he neglected to and he’ll do better.

As I’ve said in a few comments now, his parents had him in their late 40s and are retired. He hates to involve them in negativity but I was stunned when he said he’s been talking to them about this since the first Facebook message.

They were very understanding but his father took a tough love approach. He said the best quote I think I’ve ever heard. ‘Get your act together before the jig is up.’ They offered to come stay for a while and help us move. I don’t think that’s necessary but I really appreciated the thought.

On the subject of moving. I made it clear that I would not be living in this house any longer than I had to and he completely agreed. His parents offered to find us a place in their state if we wanted to have more of a support network and I’m honestly considering it after all this.

They’re only a state away from my own family so we’d be a lot better off. His job is remote and I should be able to find work there easily enough. I’ve been in contact with a friend who’s a mechanic and they’ve quoted me between 1-2k for the damages, but that’s an ‘at cost’ estimate as a discount.

A few people have said to get a real statement and to shop around. The real cost is between 4-5k and that’s just for the noticeable damage. My friend thinks they’ve done something to the engine so thank God I couldn’t drive it anywhere. He thinks I may be entitled to a replacement car all together. If so, I will be sure to sue for it and that’s not gonna be cheap.

After all the emotional things were discussed he mentioned when would I be comfortable enough to go to the police. I made clear he was okay with that or id go on my own. He said, the surest I’ve ever seen him, that this is what needed to be done and he wasn’t going to let them continue.

He’d done enough to try and shield them but he wasn’t going to let it come at my expense. I’m currently in the bath frothing in bathbombs but we’ll be going to the station as soon as I’m done.

He’s down stairs right now printing out the new quotes from the mechanics and the messages 24yo sent him over the past couple days so we can go prepared. People have said that nothing will come of it, and you may be right. But I have to try. Hoping my local police don’t have anything better to do. It’s a small town.

To finish, I made a point of asking again if he would cut them off or I had to go. He didn’t miss a beat and said that they’re no longer going to be a part of his life, even if I decided to leave.

He did ask for one last meeting to say goodbye to her parents and to put a close on that part of his life, and to explain to the girls that this is not my fault but his decision after seeing how cruel they were capable of being. After that, we would block them on everything and move forward. I was completely fine with that.

So, there we have it. Writing all this out and being able to talk to people about everything has been both helpful and a good distraction from the dumpster fire that was my life and everything worked out as well as I could have hoped. We’ll see how his meeting goes with them. I’m sure they won’t be very happy about it but that’s not my problem. Thank you all and I’ll update after they’ve met up.

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


The 24 year old was jealous that he didn’t pick her and still stay in the family Good for you though.


I bet she's had a crush on him ever since her big sister introduced him to the family. Sisters can have weird competition dynamics when it comes to guys...


I didn't see the original posts until now. I did think your fiance's response was way too weak initially, but he's rectifying that now.

The next day, the OP returned with another update.

"AITA for forcing my fiancé into cutting off his late wife’s family? UPDATE 2"


Hey all! So, seems I’ve been naughty because I got temporarily banned on here for 3 days. In chat someone was calling me every derogatory and sexist term imaginable but I was put in time out for defending myself. I appealed but the appeal took the ban time anyway. Oh well. Sorry this update is taking so long for reasons stated above.

So we drove down to the police station with our block of paperwork and had a couple hours talk. They were so sweet about everything. As some of you expected, they did say I should have come earlier but they didn’t really care because it was only a few days.

They said that it often takes people about this amount of time to actually file charges if they weren’t in immediate threat or danger (so unless someone was about to throw punches.) I handed them everything and it looks like I’ve got plenty of evidence.

They’ll be contacting my insurance on my behalf to get the ball rolling and so they can come to do a check of my car themselves. And then they can open a claim with me if I want.

(They’re not filing a claim, they’re just notifying about the criminal damages) I’ve filed criminal charges for harassment and vandalism and they’ll notify me with more details about my restraining order this week.

My fiancé told the police that he was planning on meeting with LWs family and asked if that would contradict my case and they said no. We’re not married at the time of filing so legally we’re too separate entities in the case. Or something. So, my car is totalled. My mechanic friend, I’m gonna call him Tom because I can’t keep saying ‘my mechanic friend.’

So Tom and his partner at the shop did a full check on my car and this is the damage they found: Shattered windshield, 4 slashed tires, two broken windows, paint (obvious, I think), unknown substance in the engine oil, battered bodywork. They said with this amount of damage, I should just go for a new car so that’s what I’ll be doing. If anyone is curious, it was a Volvo.

I’d always wanted one and managed to buy one new two years ago. Either they get me a new car if they’d be set back about 60k. Either way I’ll be alright. The amount classifies the vandalism as a felony so they could be looking at jail time too.

My fiancé met with the family on Saturday and Tom sat by the window. I currently live in a one party state so as long as my fiancé consents, the recording can be used in my case. While it may not be as drama filled as some of you may want, it was still pretty stressful to see.

They met at the same cafe that we did before and Tom sat a few tables away. Fiance arrived after their father and before them. For the best because they managed to have a calm conversation for once.

Fiancé told him how he was feeling and FIL was very understanding but still trying to minimise. He was saying things like ‘you know they miss LW’ and ‘they’ll come around and just need time to come to terms with you moving on.’

He kept trying to initiate paying for the damages but fiancé wouldn’t talk about it until the sisters arrived. It was like butter wouldn’t melt with the 24yo but 19 came in like the Tasmanian devil.

My fiancé didn’t acknowledge anyone until it had all settled down where then he said this would be his last meeting with all of them and they’d be going their separate ways.

He turned to the girls and said that he would miss who he thought they were but the way they could treat people horrified him, especially me. He said that this was all him and they needed to accept that I was not to blame. He even said that it was me who offered the apology in exchange for not filing charges.

The 19yo then interrupted asking what charges and that no one was going to charge them for ‘barely touching’ a car. She was a dear in headlights when he asked what they’d done to the engine oil and the two looked at each other.

Seems they didn’t expect me to find that out. Queue up the grovelling. 24yo actually tried to touch his hand and told him he had to stop me pressing charges because this would ruin her and interfere with 19yos college. He said it was too late and the cops should be issuing a warrant soon (it can take a few days. I thought it was an instant thing but apparently not.)

This is when their dad got involved again and said for everyone to calm down and fix this ‘like adults.’ Now he wants his girls to be adults. I see. He asked if fiancé would convince me to drop the charges in exchange for that apology and he’d pay the damages.

When my fiancé said it was 60k, the eyes he gave to those women would shave the hair off a cat. The video wasn’t the best but I swear I could see the colour drain from their faces. I may sound awful but I enjoyed it. Call me what you will.

They kept going on about apologising and that they’d pay but he just said it was too late and he was done. He’d tried to be civil but they were the ones that wouldn’t let it go. 24yo actually asked him to set up a meeting with me so they could get to know me and put it all behind us.

He didn’t reply and after the silence they piped up again like ‘so she won’t even meet us? So she’s behind all this because she doesn’t want us around. We’ll see about that.’ (Not using exact quotes because I don’t know if I’m allowed so not risking it.) Things like that.

They went on and on and frankly it was funny more than hurtful. But they did incriminate themselves more and more for my harassment case and the nail in the coffin was when 19yo said ‘if we can do that to a car, imagine what else we could do.’ That, my friends, is both a confession and a threat of bodily harm.

My fiancé said one loud stop before wishing FIL well and telling the girls to not come near me. He then got up and left. That’s where the recording ends because we wouldn’t be able to use anything afterwards anyway.

As for moving, we’re pretty much all packed up and have a truck coming on Friday. We’ll be staying with his parents until we find a place. We’re looking at buying this time but might get an RV in the meantime so we’re not all stepping on each other. I doubt his parents would mind at all but...

This is the last update for a while I think. I have a wedding to finish, a venue to change, new invites etc and less than 2 months to do it. Send help. But thank you all for being ears and helping me get through this. If only to distract me from ruminating and digging a huge mental hole.

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


That's so scary? They already know there's gonna be charges put against them and they still went ahead and threatened you? I'm so glad you have the footage, that your fiancé is a stand up guy who has put in the work to move past his grief and support you, and that you both are ready and set to move. I wish you all the best luck in moving and I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful wedding!!


Thank you so much for the update, OP. Unbelievable that they have escalated to threats of physical harm. It’s stories like these that always make me wonder where people get the courage / audacity / will to KEEP GOING.

Like, you’ve been caught, you’re in the process of being charged with a felony, you’re 60K in the hole, you’ve lost your ex BIL from your life forever, and you’re going to issue a physical threat now? You’re going to say, “we’ll see about that”?

I don’t have the right words because that’s mind-boggling behind comprehension. I’m just glad your fiancé and you are doing all the right things. And truly, I have to commend you for being more rational and level-headed throughout this whole thing than the vast majority of us could be. It truly paid off. I wish you well.


It boggles my mind that these girls can act this way and the father is still trying to sweep it under the rug. I understand they are all mourning the LW but just wow.

5 days later, the OP again returned with an update.

"AITA for forcing my fiancé into cutting off his late wife’s family? UPDATE 3"


So it’s been a while, guys. Calling the past few months a rollercoaster wouldn’t quite do it justice. A lot has happened and I hope I don’t leave anything out. Here goes. So, first off. We’ve moved away. We’re only a couple towns over from my husband’s parents (legally but we kinda just live in their backyard)and my own are the next state over.

Hallelujah! It’s been really great living in our new RV and we’ve been able to take small trips now and then too which has been great for a breather. Took a chunk out of our house savings but we’re not too worried about it. Looking for a house has been fun too!

I can’t speak to what might have happened but by a stroke of luck, the warrants came through the day before our moving day and the sisters spent the whole move in police custody.

I’m sure it was not as formal as cuffs and interview rooms but I like to imagine it that way. So we didn’t have to deal with any drama that for sure would have happened otherwise.

As I said before, we didn’t block them because we wanted to keep the line open for more evidence and boy was that a good idea! 19yo has only now stopped sending me messages.

Started off pleading and hoping for a meet up, then went on to calling me names and such for trying to ruin her life, but the past few weeks have been pure rage which has been draining if entertaining. She says she’ll find me and I’d better watch my back blah blah blah.

My printer has been working overtime, as you can imagine. So many receipts to give my lawyer. 24yo is still working on my husband but it reached a head a few days before the wedding. We should have changed the dates but it just wasn’t feasible.

We had family from all over that had taken time off work and we really wanted everyone there after all that happened. She tried to call my husband over a dozen times and actually left 2 voicemails. She was crying and hyperventilating saying how she didn’t want to lose him.

For those of you who said she still had a thing for him, Ding Dong! My husband listened to the voicemails with me and she just rambled, it was actually quite sad. She said that she always thought they would be together because they’ve been through so much together and it ‘felt right.’

She blamed him for leading her on and making her fall for him only to choose someone else that he hardly knew. She even said she felt replaced which made me uncomfortable. All of this all the while degrading him for betraying his LW by moving on at all. I genuinely do not understand her logic.

As for my car, we’ve found out what the unknown substance was. It was antifreeze. The entire engine was written off and, with everything else, my insurance launched a case against them for the cost of a new car.

I was expecting 60k or so but Tom, my mechanic friend, said to ask for more based on current market value and such. They came back with a new offer of 75k. It took over a month for the money to hit my account but I got it.

As for the case, I’m no longer going after them for the repayment, my insurance is, so that’s one less thing I have to worry about. As far as I know, their father is paying for their legal fees but I doubt he’ll pay back the insurance company for them.

There is still a case against them for harassment and threatening behaviour and I’m suing for the money it took to move away and emotional distress. My lawyer says they’ll be liable and it’s looking like they want to settle.

I don’t feel great about going for ‘emotional distress’ but after everything they have done, it sure was emotionally distressing! The courts are moving slowly so I don’t have anything new on the criminal case yet.

Other than that they are going to plead guilty. Shouldn’t be long now and it’s looking like they’re getting probation and mandatory anger management. Not a stint in jail but oh well. At least they’ll both have a record.

My husband was down for a while since we left but he hasn't wavered in supporting me. He's getting back to his old self now that he's settling in at work here and he's enjoying being closer to his parents. It's been great for our relationship too because we all get on so well.

As of the 21st, i'm a married woman. It was very hectic and stressful to change basically our entire wedding in two months but we did it and our guests were so understanding. We had to settle for a few things like our cake and catering, but everything else worked out amazingly.

Now, we couldn’t imagine it any other way. It happened as it was supposed to. All in all, things are going well and thanks everyone who got invested! It’s been a tough journey. I’m just glad to have them out of my life.

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


Congratulations on the wedding! What a horrible journey you had to take to get there though:( I'm glad you've both settled in nicely and I hope for some very happy and very boring years in your future haha.


Best possible outcome! and it looks like 24yo added glitter to the glue she was already sniffing. the sisters using grieving as an excuse for their dumpster fire behaviour, how original.


Finally someone who stands with their partner over nut jobs and knows to pursue legal actions. I hope this follows both those horrible girls for the rest of their lives.

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

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