Telling a loved one the truth about how they're making you feel can present a chance to grow closer to each other. And sadly, it can also grow into a rift even when your intention is transparency.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for being upset about how her sister's baby shower plans are shaping up. She wrote:
My sister, let's call her Anne (31) is three months pregnant. Anne is my only sibling and this is her first baby. My dad passed away 4 years ago and it only been mom, Anne, and me for a long time. Mom and I have been really excited to welcome a new member of the family. Since Anne is my only sibling, I thought (assumed) I would be the baby's godmother.
My sister made it seem I would until her husband told her I would need to be married in order to be the godmother. I'm very much single and have no plans to marry. I don't think it's in the cards for me. I was sad to hear this and kept how upset I was to myself. If the catholic church says I can't be a godmother then who am I to argue. I took Anne to the Prego Expo, along with our mom.
We started talking about the baby shower and doing a little planning during and following the expo.Today I got a text message from Anne, telling me the date and location of the baby shower. I asked her why she was doing it in that location since we talked about another location. She said her husband's brother and his wife liked that place and they wanted a DJ at the baby shower and for it to be a party.
I was taken a bit back since I thought mom and I would be doing the planning. Especially since mom will be paying for the location and she has a limited income. Anne then proceeded to send me screenshots of table center pieces and shower decorations that she wanted me to make for the shower. I was upset and it took me a minute to understand why I was crying.
My plan was to ignore her for a few hours while I settled my feelings. But she kept messaging, demanding a response and I finally texted her back. I told her I was upset about not being a godmother and that I felt her husband's family was taking over the planning and how my feelings were hurt. Anne texted back that it's her husband, that she never confirmed the location and that I'm making no sense.
I texted Anne back, telling her that helping plan means involvement, and that I felt like I was not involved instead I was being told when things are happening and rudely being told I needed to do the decorations. I also texted Anne that I clearly misunderstood my level of involvement and that I felt I was justifiably upset but that I will get over it.
She has not responded. My mom is now mad at me for upsetting Anne and she's worried it will affect the baby. So now I feel like crap. I know it's Anne's decision on how much I am or am not involved in. My feelings were hurt and I should have kept them to myself since Anne is pregnant and it can affect her baby. Am I the AH?
WielderOfAphorisms issued a warning:
NTA. Beware your BIL is on a path to isolate your sister from her family. He is commandeering the event and putting you and your mother in a defensive position. While I understand your hurt, please keep an eye on what’s going on with your sister. Religion weaponized to exclude family is just control masquerading as righteousness.
And OP responded:
I think maybe this is another reason why I was so upset. Before my sister married, she was a social butterfly with a large group of friends. I was the weird introverted one. Her two best friends for most of her life are gay and her husband did not want them at the wedding. They don't speak to her anymore. She has had a falling out with most of her friends and now she has no real friends.
While I know people's lives change when they get married, having no friends is weird. Mom and I have talked about our worry that she is being isolated and that one day her husband might try to isolate us from her.
Which is why mom keeps quiet on some of the things she might not agree with regarding her marriage, lack of friends, and general isolation. This whole godmother/baby shower thing is triggering this worry.
You do NOT have to be married to be a godmother in the Catholic Church. One of my best friends is a godmother and unmarried. Did you confront your sister with this fact?
NTA. Okay so I’m a godmother to two kids. I was always supposed to be the godmother for the first. Even before she was a thought. Second born was my baby. Parents couldn’t handle the thought of having one godparent so I got paired with a random. Not great.
Second godchild it’s just me. Essentially the thought was “I want you to be their godparent because you care for them. Whoever you marry we will just consider the godfather and your godchild will call them that.” SO MUCH BETTER. I'm sorry man, family drama is horrible.
NTA. In the Catholic Church, the two godparents do not need to be married to each other and don’t need to be married at all (my single uncle was my brother’s godfather plus I just googled it to confirm my suspicions). After reading some of your replies I am also concerned that her husband is isolating her. He may (it seems he has started trying) to isolate her from you/ your family).
If you talk to her alone maybe bring up what you see and let her know that no matter what you are there for her and she always has somewhere safe to go (I wouldn’t say this via text or cellphone call because you don’t want her husband to hear this).
Your sister may respond in anger, lashing out, or pushing you away but it’s important that she knows what you see (so she knows she is not crazy when she starts to see it) and that she always has someone and somewhere to go.
Many years ago I was in a similar situation where the bf I lived with was isolating me from friends and to an extent family (my immediate family made sure they kept in regular contact with me). He was emotionally and physically abusive (though no one knew this) and made me feel like I was crazy and couldn’t leave.
Then one day my parents told me (out of nowhere) that I would always have a home with them and they would always support me no matter what. I left him the following weekend. Make sure your sister has that.
It's clear that OP is NTA here, and her BIL is trying to isolate her sister.