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Woman doesn't want to be close to SIL with autism, 'It's too cringe.' AITA? UPDATED.

Woman doesn't want to be close to SIL with autism, 'It's too cringe.' AITA? UPDATED.

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When this woman is severely uncomfortable around her neurodivergent SIL, she asks Reddit:

"AITAH for not wanting a relationship with my sister in law because of her autism?"

My (F,26) sister in law (F,22) has always wanted a sisterly relationship with me. Her brother and I have been together for over 10 years and in the beginning of our relationship I did try to have a relationship.

I took her shopping, nails done and haircuts. She would come to me for advice and I would always listen to her. She’s nice enough but then I started noticing certain things that she did in social settings that bothered me.

She was always rude/frank with waiters and servers, she was very loud and over shared details no matter how gross or inappropriate it was.

She also has no self awareness, including not getting embarrassed about not having enough money for things, asking for people to pay for her, saying out loud that she doesn’t have enough for tips in front of servers.

She will also forget to wear deodorant no matter how many times family gently points out that she needs to. That’s when I realized that she might have autism. I asked my husband about this and he confirmed that his sister lacked social awareness and was diagnosed with autism at a young age.

I didn’t have a problem with it except for some very cringey and embarrassing experiences in front of people until she became very comfortable around me. She started to point things out about my appearance very heavily when we became close.

Not only did she point it out but she pointed it out in public or in front of several people or when all the attention is on me.

She would say things like “Oh your underwear is showing” in a loud voice “I can see your cleavage” during prayer when everyone’s quiet. I would confront her about this gently at first and say things like “please correct me in private and not in public” but she would always react very child-like.

Cry uncontrollably and tell me that I’m hurting her feelings and she was just looking out for me. At first I complied but the more comfortable she got with me the worse it got. She would always say something about my appearance especially about my cleavage or bra or just in that area generally.

I have bigger breasts and they come from a conservative family and this was the excuse I gave myself to try and be understanding. This commentary about my appearance was frequent though and constant and I tried my best to ignore it due to her not having social awareness about it.

The most recent time though and probably my braking point, we were at a bridal shower and I was taking pictures with the bride to be while everyone was lined up to take pictures and generally just standing around the picture taking area.

My sister in law in a very loud voice said “YOU’RE SHOWING YOUR BOOBS AGAIN! YOU NEED A NEW BRA OR SOMETHING!”

I was wearing a v neck dress and showed a bit of cleavage. Nothing inappropriate or severe. Everyone looked at me and started whispering. It was genuinely so embarrassing.

After the party several people came up to me and said they didn’t see anything wrong with what I was wearing and asked/implied if my SIL embarrassed me on purpose.

I again confronted her about this, less gentler this time, and told her that I do not appreciate her very public and loud commentary and I also told her to refrain from commenting about my body from that point forward.

Again she cried hysterically and told me that she was just loving on me and that I was being harsh. At this point I just don’t want to have a relationship with someone that just doesn’t have the capability for social awareness.

I’m not saying I’ll cut her off, ofc I’ll still be cordial and nice but I don’t want a relationship in a sense of brunches and coffee dates and coming over to each other’s houses.

I’m tired of being embarrassed and then being misunderstood when I speak up for myself. I understand that she might not even have the capability to change but AITAH for not wanting to be friends, sisterly towards her anymore?​​​​​​

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

yunnofyork writes:

"Don't mention my breasts in public" sounds like a very reasonable thing to expect a neurodivergent person to remember. It requires no analysis on their part. If she remembers her name she can remember 'no tit talk'.

It seems her family hasn't been correcting her from day one and now when it happens she sees it as mean-spiritedness. It shouldn't have to be your job to fix any of this. They sure seem to have taught her cleavage = embarassing, though.

cursed818 writes:

NTA. She is weaponising her autism at this stage. You have corrected her behaviour multiple times: she knows she's doing something wrong. Autism isn't a lack of understanding, it's a different perspective.

She is absolutely capable of understanding that she is hurting you. She just doesn't care to change her behaviour.

Therefore, she's lost all rights to spending time with you. She keeps whining about you hurting her feelings? But she is purposely hurting your feelings. And your feelings are just as important as hers.

seamadden7 writes:

NTA. This is on her parents for not teaching her more explicitly. Pointing something out ‘gently’ to an autistic person often means that people use euphemisms, that the autistic person doesn’t understand, or minimises the issue, which the autistic person then takes at face value.

YWNBTA for leaving things as they are. If you wanted to, you could consider having a discussion with her and her family together to explain that her behaviour made you unhappy and uncomfortable, and it’s something that she should work on if she wants a similar friendship with someone in future.

This is quite an ask though, so don’t worry if that feels like too much for you.

twobioness writes:

NTA. she's gotten away with this shit for so long. the crying immediate stuff isn't autism, she's not saying she can't help it she's making excuses, making it your fault.

A lot of autistic kids or kids with ADHD find their parents just start excusing everything they do which then teaches that kid the same as any NT kid that if they cry about things and their parents/friends just ignore it, they can get away with doing anything they want.

Being autistic doesn't mean she has no duty to change or help control her behaviour and if she refuses to be kind to people then they have absolutely zero obligation to spend time with or be friends with someone.

She got worse the closer she got, meaning the closer she got the more she got jealous and wanted to make you feel worse, to make herself feel better. If she wasn't doing most of this before, it's not something she can't control, it's something she's choosing to do.

Tell her straight up, the waterworks are done, you see them as manipulative and if she can't control herself then you can't be friends in the future, it's up to her to be a good friend or not.

judgebizness writes:

The autism might be why she has no filter but the guilt trip whe ncrrected tells me thatsi not why she is sayingthose things. She more than likely is looking for attention and even negative attention is attention.

When she says don't correct her you hurt her feelings or makign her sad point that her acting up like that hurts you or amkes you sad and if she cant remember the rule of no talking about anothers body the nshe cant go out with you.

If she can try to manipulate you with she is just looking out for you then she can learn appropriate behavior and manners.

And now, OP's update:

I do love my in laws dearly and they’re nice people but it’s very widely known in their family that she has been babied because of her autism and your comment has definitely given me a different perspective. Sometimes it’s what you’re taught. Thanks.

My husband's been very supportive. He’s hurt and feels bad because it’s his sister but knows he has to and does stand up for me. Called her, texted her, yelled at her a few times, even called her names. He’s a lot harsher than I am but I figured he might have that right since they’re family.

So, is OP definitely NTA here? What do YOU think? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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