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'AITA for keeping my marriage and home ownership a secret from my parents?' UPDATED

'AITA for keeping my marriage and home ownership a secret from my parents?' UPDATED


"AITA for keeping a massive secret from my parents?"

Here's the original post:

My parents (F 66 and M 70) and I (F 32) have had a bit of a strained relationship since I was young. My sister was always favoured while I was treated as the maid, which is why I left home as soon as I could. Over the years, our relationship has had its ups and downs, but I would never describe our family dynamics as being particularly normal or healthy.

I married my husband (M 36) when I was 23 and he was 27, and my parents just about hit the roof. They have never really taken a shining to him and threatened to disown me if I went through with the marriage. When he and I would visit their home, he is subject to the same expectations as I am, whereas my sister gets to put her feet up and relax.

Needless to say, my husband does not hold my parents in particularly high regard. My parents emigrated overseas about ten years ago, and my husband and I have only seen them three times in person since. We do chat over FaceTime/Zoom semi-regularly, but the relationships all function better if we aren't breathing down each other's necks.

Recently, my husband and I bought our first house and we are over the moon! We plan on growing our family, and we now have the space (and the garden) to do so, I am beyond thrilled.

My parents are kept on a strict information diet and we did not tell them that we had bought - mostly because they are renting a storage unit not far from us, and we did not want the drama of my parents wanting (read: expecting) to store all of their furniture in our new house.

We also did not tell them that our new house is much more spacious than our old place. As far as my parents are aware, we just moved because it is closer to my husband's job.

Unbenowns to me, my parents have been in the country for about a month and ran into a childhood friend (D F34) of mine yesterday. D told them that I had invited her to coffee today, and it would be so lovely if they came with her and surprised me. D had no way of knowing that I had not told my parents about the spacious new house until they all walked through the front door and my mom lost her mind at me.

The main points from my mom's yelling was that our relationship has been good recently so how could I have kept this secret from them; my husband and I were selfish to have all this space with no regard for the fact that they are renting a storage unit; and that my parents are hurt I don't include them in all parts of my life.

Unfortunately, my husband arrived home not long after the tirade started and he told them to stop making a scene under his roof. That is when the other shoe dropped that we had bought instead of rented.

Ultimately my parents left after telling me that a true daughter would never keep secrets like this, and I am left feeling like everything could have been avoided if we had told them from the beginning. To be frank, though, I honestly never expected them in my house - they do not have the address and they live overseas!

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


Their reaction demonstrated that your fears were justified. Rather than being happy for you they were miserable for themselves. Ugh. NTA


NTA. It's a really weird twist of fate that occurred and made them know about the house. You decide what information you share with who and it's your house so your rules.

"how could I have kept this secret from them; my husband and I were selfish to have all this space with no regard for the fact that they are renting a storage unit." Hum, they were in the country for a month and didn't tell you. It shows how they are interested in your life... Also exactly like you predicted, they want to use your house as a storage unit.


A bit rich that they’re mad at you for keeping secrets, yet they’ve been in the country a whole month and it was your friend who found out first. Personally, I think it’s sus that D is your friend yet somehow didn’t know that a surprise visit from your estranged mom and dad wouldn’t be welcome. Is she oblivious, kept in ignorance over the situation or just a shit stirrer? NTA

Nevyn-57 said:

NTA - You didn't inform your parents of the purchase for all of the reasons that proved to be true. All they wanted was to use you as a storage facility. Because someone is family, we shouldn't feel obliged to have them as closest friends too, they become that, by being friends first, not family.

And said:

NTA. The reason your relationship with your parents had been so much better recently is BECAUSE you have boundaries on what information you share with them due to their behaviour.

Share what you are comfortable with, which might be very little. Low contact or no contact with your parents is also totally acceptable. if your parents want to be a part of your life they have to accept you only share what you are comfortable with.

Three months after her original post, OP shared this update:

First and foremost, after my husband had practically forced my parents out of the house, he and I sat down and had a bit of a chat about our options moving forward. From his perspective, he has watched me struggle with my parents for years, and he thinks that we have given them more than enough opportunities to behave in a fair and reasonable manner.

I said that I had hoped them moving overseas would mean that we could have a relationship on equal terms rather than them imposing their rules on us, but that has clearly not happened. I also spoke to my husband about my general feeling of abandonment when it comes to my parents, which is why I have worked so hard to keep them happy.

I have spoken about this quite a lot to my therapist, and I think the time in our lives has come for me to stop trying to force a relationshipwith toxic people. It is unfair to me, it is unfair to my husband, and it will be unfair to our future family.

On that note, we have some very exciting news - I just found out that I am pregnant! We will wait until I am three months before we start telling people, but I am so excited that I couldn't resist telling all the kind people who helped me out so much the other day.

I also had a bit of a chat to D, who was a bit of a deer-in-headlights the other day. Just to answer some questions that I was asked a few times in the comments:

Q. If D is a childhood friend, why would she invite your parents to your house? Surely she would know the situation?

A. D and I grew up together, but unfortunately lost touch after high school. We only recently reconnected (maybe two or so years ago), and in that time, I have not really had much to do with my parents. D remembers how my parents treated me as a child, and she knows that they now live overseas, but I don't often talk about them.

Q. Why would D invite anyone, let alone my parents, to my house?

A. When D ran into my parents, they told her that I had already invited them to dinner that same day but it would be a nice surprise if they showed up early with her. She had no reason to not believe them, and was under the impression that they would be welcome in my home if I had already invited them.

Q. Is D a busy-body/sh*t stirrer who intentionally invited my parents knowing the chaos that would ensue?

A. D is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and she comes from a very functional and loving family. While she remembers the mistreatment I endured as a child, she always assumes the best of people and figured that for every bad thing she saw, there were also good moments. D's biggest sin in life is naivety.

Q. Did I get upset at D/Did D get caught in the crossfire when my parents arrived?

A. Ever since I was a child, when my parents yell/get generally upset at me, I just shut down. I struggle to even look them in the eye, let alone get involved in the yelling. When my mom walked through the door and started getting upset, I mostly stood there in silence.

D stood around in awkward silence (exactly like when we were children) until my husband showed up, and D mouthed to me that she was leaving and slipped out the door. She also sent me an apology text that night saying that she had no idea and did not bring them to start a fight.

I realise that I need to be a bit stronger when it comes to my parents, and I am so grateful that my husband always stands up for me against the bullying (probably why they don't like him), but it is incredibly difficult for me to say anything to them in those moments. This is something that I am working on in therapy.

The juciest gossip of all is that my parents were in town for my sister's wedding! My sister and I are not close at all based entirely on the fact that she loves the attention my parents give her, and has never once tried to say anything to them about their mistreatment of me, but I didn't even know she was seeing someone.

Anyway, looks like I am the black sheep in their family and not really wanted, but my wonderful husband is all I need. For now, he and I have gone no-contact with my parents/my sister (although my sister seems to have imposed that on me anyway), and we will focus on our new baby.

I have been planning all the beautiful fruit and veggies that I'll plant in the new garden, and we are thinking about painting the baby's room in a couple of weeks. D dropped off some of her delicious homemade jam, and life goes on. Thank you again to everyone who offered advice and/or left a compassionate comment.

Sources: Reddit
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