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'AITA? My BIL demanded I disown my ex-SIL. When I said no, our entire family was cut off.' UPDATED

'AITA? My BIL demanded I disown my ex-SIL. When I said no, our entire family was cut off.' UPDATED


Navigating complex family dynamics can be a minefield, to say the least.

In a popular online post, a woman asked if she was wrong for sticking up for her (ex) SIL. She wrote:

"AITA? My BIL demanded I disown my SIL, when I said no, our entire family was cut off."

My BIL (let’s call him Jack just for story purposes) was married to now ex-SIL (let’s call her Tanya) over 15 years ago. They had a very toxic marriage, and he was extremely ab*sive to her, and her children she had before they got married. One of her sons is EXTREMELY traumatized by Jack.

I met Tanya and her daughter with Jack (let’s call her Zoe) when I was 2 months postpartum with my first and only child. I was extremely depressed, very anxious, and just overall miserable. Tanya was the only person in my family to take time out of her day to check on me, care for me, help me, and more importantly be there for me. She’s the one person aside from my husband to keep me on this earth.

I look at her as a second mother, and I know I can call her any time, for any reason. Jack remarried my now SIL( let’s call her Katie). But I really even hesitate to call her that. She’s cold, cruel, and mean. My husband told me she didn’t used to be like that, but Jack manipulates her, lies to her about his marriage to Tanya and she believes him and stands by him no matter what.

You go against him, you go against her. My husband and I took a trip for Christmas to visit his family for Thanksgiving, and I told my husband specifically I wanted to see Tanya and Zoe while we were there, and I called Tanya to make plans. After we see Tanya, and she also asked my MIL to see my husband's grandparents, who live next door. She says yes, but wait until none of us are there.

While she is visiting with my husbands grandparents, me, my MIL, and Katie went thrifting, and my husband, FIL and Jack went golfing. I guess at some point, he noticed Zoe was at grandpas house, and called her, and heard Tanya in the background. He’s mad, but calm and gets off the phone and is venting to my husband. Somehow, it gets brought up that I had invited her to see grandpa.

But I didn’t, my MIL did. Jack calls Katie and tells her to get back to the house, and that they’re leaving. Katie then tells me if I don’t cut out Tanya, I’ll never see their kids (my niece and nephew) ever again.

When we got back, Jack was cussing my husband and FIL in the garage, calling me a b#$ch, and saying I’m psycho. My FIL defends me, and my husband tells him to stop, and Jack acts like he’s going to hit my husband.

MIL breaks it up, they gather their s**t and leave. I haven’t seen or heard from them in two years now. Last Christmas was really hard on my MIL. She cried so much, and I felt so guilty. I begged her to let me say whatever I needed to so we could see my Niece and nephew again, but she told me no.

Everyone has convinced me that I’ve done nothing wrong, and I’m not the AH here. But I miss my niece and nephew SO BAD. I’m not typically one to admit doing something I haven’t done, but I just want access to my niece and nephew again. And I don’t want my family getting hurt by Jack and Katie anymore. So please tell me. Am I the AH?

The internet was concerned and invested.

Theory420 wrote:

NTA. Some people are just controlling and the only thing you can do is tell them is to 'F Off'. From your description, Jack and Katie are part of that group. Stand strong and stay the course.

blueraptir wrote:

NTA. On top of this, one day, if you don't see them soon, your niece and nephew may actually try to reach out to you, if they come to the realization that their parents are this bad, at which point you can offer hen support if they need it and you want to give it, and tell them the truth as to why you were never able to reach out.

wlfwrtr wrote:

NTA What makes you think that after 2 years of listening to Jack put you down that the niblings want to see you? It's best to wait until they're adults and can think for themselves. Sounds like Jack has hurt the whole family in one way or the other and you apologizing would make it appear that what he says against any of them may be true.

Reaverbait wrote:

The first inkling I had about a family member was my nephew looking at me with a strange expression instead of rushing at me like usual. I realised much later that he must have been overhearing the shit they were saying about me...

No idea if he'll remember me by the time he's an adult.

OP jumped into the comments with an update.

Just for some more context on Jack, Jack loves to play the victim card. He claims he was physically and emotionally abused by my FIL, who isn’t his dad. Both my MIL and my husband call Jack out on it, and have proven that nothing he says has ever happened. He has never been ab*sed in any way by my FIL.

My FIL is a wonderful man and grandfather. He’s always treated me like one of his own. It goes totally against the character of the man I know to believe he would ever knowingly abu*e anyone.

The comments kept rolling in.

Novel_Ad1943 wrote:

His own parents defended you in the moment. They continue to affirm you. Of course MIL and everyone else is sad not to have the kids in their lives. She’s likely also sad that her son is such a bitter, angry person. But nothing you did made him that way and nothing you say now will undo anything, but likely will invite turmoil back into everyone’s life.

The only person who can change any of it is him and it will only happen if/when the consequences of his actions become costly enough that he’s willing to change. His parents love him and want him healthy more than they want his presence. Please respect them and don’t undermine that process.

Bbt_winsma wrote:

Has anyone thought to do a Wellness Check on the kids? If Jack was ab*sive to his first family it's more then likely he is to the second family as well. Especially since his wife thinks he can do no wrong, there's a possibility she could be ab*sive also.

With them going No Contact with your family, it would make any ab*se going on easier for them to hide, and the kids don't have anyone to talk to. Ab*se isn't just physical it's mental and emotional too. I would talk to your husband and see what he thinks, maybe even your ex-SIL to get more info on what to look for. NTA.

cassowary32 wrote:

NTA. I do hope you still have a relationship with Tanya and Zoe. It was probably just a matter of time before Jack flipped over something.

Chakramama318 wrote:

NTA- Katie is trying to use her children as leverage to control your behavior simply because you kept a friendship with your ex sil. Not because you are a bad influence on the kids or a dangerous person- she wants to police your relationships. This is emotional blackmail. Stop feeling bad. This isn’t on you and if you apologize you give her permission to walk all over you.

Nester1953 wrote:

You did nothing wrong. And apologizing isn't going to fix Jack and Kate and turn them into reasonable people. They've cut themselves off for years no for a ridiculously bad reason. And they'll do it again, complete with emotional blackmail, if you give them half a chance.

I get that you want to see the niblings, but unfortunately bringing them into your life brings their parents who will, I promise, find something else to to overreact to.

NTA. Let them go. Sorry.

OP is clearly NTA, this is just a sad situation all around.

Sources: Reddit
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