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GF tells BF, 'it's me or your family,' learns why siblings are so attached to him. UPDATED 2X

GF tells BF, 'it's me or your family,' learns why siblings are so attached to him. UPDATED 2X


"AITA for giving my boyfriend the ultimatum to spend more time with me than his family?"


I'm probably going crazy, but I need to get this off my chest and some opinions that aren't close to us. My BF(24M) and I(22F) have been together since high school, we met when I was 15 and he was 17, we hit it off massively and have always been each other's best friend.

He had a strained relationship with his family, divorced mom and dad. Dad had a family with a new woman, mom was single and focused on him. When he was around 19, his mom remarried and the new guy had two daughters he brought into the relationship.

My BF has TAKEN to his step sisters and is an all around amazing older brother. That's where the biggest issue takes place. The girls were around 13 and 10 when they came into the picture, and my boyfriend would be there for them through ANYTHING. It quickly went from us having two date-nights a week, to one date night and one 'group babysitting session.'

I was fine with it for the first year, but after I graduated high school - and started going to community college, I wanted more, you know, private time. My boyfriend still lived at home though, and I lived with my parents. If he came over to my place - we'd be able to get private time and space.

My parents are cool with it, but the issue is, he never wanted to leave his sisters alone. My boyfriend's stepdad and my boyfriend's mom would constantly skip town or go on trips or go visit friends and my boyfriend would always offer to babysit. He said he was always wanting siblings who loved him, and now he does kinda deal.

Well, this has been going on for years. I had asked my boyfriend if we could go on a trip for our SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Because I'm just NEEDING to spend time with him. Originally our plan was for him and I to take a week-long Disney trip paid for by my parents, amazing - right?

Three weeks before we're supposed to leave, he hits me with a "My stepdad is saying the girls gotta go with us if I'm going to go."

ME: "What? That's crazy, he's not paying for it and neither are you. He can't withhold you from going."

Him: "He's having a hard time and says if I go for a week he's going to relocate my stuff from the house, Mom's agreeing with him."

Me: "Well fine, you can come live with us. (Me and my parents, my parents love him.)"

Him: "I don't really think that's fair to my sisters and mom. Can I pay for them to go with us?"

Me: "No." I didn't say anything else.

He got p!$$ed at me, and I explained, straight up, that I'm sick of his sisters always being IN our life. I understand he's excited to have loving siblings, and that he loves them very much. But he isn't their parent.

He isn't in charge of them, and the fact that his mom instantly was ok with sticking him with the parental role from the get-go and shoving the girls off on him was a huge nasty red-flag.

He left, p!$$ed as f with me. Apparently told the girls. His oldest stepsister, who is like 17-18, is blowing up my phone talking about how I'm trying to isolate him from his family and I need to learn to fVkk off when it comes to them???

She said that I can't CONTROL how much time he spends with his family and that I shouldn't tell them they can't go if they can afford it????? His youngest stepsister sent me a text about how she's sorry that she did anything to make me hate them??

I DID NOT SAY I HATE THEM. My boyfriend is acting like my issue was with THEM. When my issue is with us not having a GOOD private life together. I told both of them, copy pasting the message from one sister to the other:

"I have no ill-feelings with either of you, I just wish I could spend private time with my boyfriend, who is also your brother that you live with, without you two always being there. I would love to plan a vacation with all of us at some point, but this was a vacation that was for me and your brother." Neither have responded to me.

I sent a text to my boyfriend after it all saying, "Hey. I just need you to know that I don't hate your sisters. I love them. But I need 'us time' and I can't continue this relationship if you can't learn how to prioritize me as much as you prioritize them."

He hasn't responded.

Their stepdad called my dad and basically told him off for being picky with how he chooses to spend his money? My dad didn't like that one at all, they were buds in the past but a few years ago his stepdad insulted my dad in some way and my dad hasn't wanted to talk to him since then.

My dad told him to go "F himself and that my boyfriend better beg to be allowed to step foot in his house after this." So, I'm trying to handle that reaction. Nobody is responding to me, and I'm just losing my shit.

I contacted our mutual friends, adding a few to a group chat, told them whats up, one told me that the girls were abused by their mom? and their dad is a horrible person. So, my BF is the only person they have to rely on in that family.

But at the same time, I feel like that's partly just excuses. They said that I'm being too harsh on him, and that I can't 'spring this on him' years after it became a issue?

The others in the group chat either were big on saying I'm being too harsh, or really really against me saying the girls are sweet and I can't expect to punish them for me wanting more attention??? Nobody seems to understand, and I'm just, I'm losing my mind. Am I wrong?? Am I the a-hole??

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this initial post:


It's time to cut your losses. He's made it clear where his priorities lie. It's not with you.

Stop trying to make fetch happen.


So… the older step sister is 18 and needs your boyfriend to take care of her? That’s sus.


His family sounds like a royal pain in the azz. You're NTA here.


NTA. But this will be your life for as long as everyone is alive. So you have to decide if you want to spend 1 day a week with him while he is off with family, or if you want to leave. He is no longer the young man you met and his life is drastically different.

He relies on his current parents to let him have a home so he is the type to abide by whatever they want because he pays for nothing. Him not wanting to move in with you because of the sisters must be something his parents said to him.

He is their free babysitter so they can do whatever they want. They don't give a shit about him or you. I wouldn't be surprised if the sisters shower him with love at the request of the parents to keep him thinking he needs to drop anything and everything in his life for them.

But your bf made his decision. He may care about you, but he loves them. He can not change nor does he want to change. So your only option it to lay it out to him that he can see his family all he wants, but he needs to stop dropping his plans to cater to them.

If he has no plans, then of course go babysit or hang out. But if you 2 have plans, errands, or want to spend alone time together, that takes precedence over mom and dad wanting to go out to eat or go away for the weekend.

But I think you and your bf are just now incompatible and if you stay, it's not going to get any better and you have to realize that. How it is now, is how it will be for the long future ahead.

The OP responded here:


I love him so much, but this may be reality.

I just hope he'll talk to me later when everything has cooled down. Thank you for the comment, even the end. It's harsh but I also needed to hear it.

Two days later, the OP returned with a full update.

"[UPDATE] AITA for giving my boyfriend the ultimatum to spend more time with me than his family?"


Stuff happened. I'm not going to try to include a timeline because everything has been very confusing and I stayed up till 4am past couple of nights and just... time is an illusion. Anyhow. My boyfriend finally contacted me.

He came to my house, not texted or called. He begged my father for forgiveness for HIS step father's actions. He started crying, my dad hugged him and brought him inside. I was pissed, I started screaming at him. My dad told me to let him speak.

My boyfriend basically admitted that his stepdad was a piece of poo, and that he mistreated his daughters. They'd go to their mothers, but she is equally as bad. He witnessed them being mistreated by their father when they first came into the picture. His stepdad never tried with him, because he was too old and fit and my boyfriend would have floored him if he tried.

There has been a few physical altercations between them. The sisters see my boyfriend as their only safe space and both of them wrote me hand-written apologies.

It wasn't anything fancy, but my boyfriends knows me well enough that "A text won't do it for her. If you're sorry, write it out or tell her face to face." They weren't strong enough to face me though, but that's fine. I don't... blame them, this situation is just messed up.

My boyfriend told me that the friendships and personal situations going on involving his life, while we were growing up, were his business in his eyes. Everything that was hurting him, everything that hurt our friends.

He was always the one people called on because he wouldn't tell and that it wasn't just a "I don't want to tell you" kind of way, it was a "This is their and my lives, and there is a inability to vocalize how much things can hurt, or knowing something is wrong and telling someone else only to know they'll be more upset for you than you're upset for you - sucks."

He knew if I ever found out about the mistreatment, I'd have told my dad. He said this in front of my dad, and my dad said it was understandable? Like Dad? hello? Because "You'd take the girl's father away from them, and unless your mother is willing to adopt them both, you'd lose the girls entirely." My dad seemed to get it before I got it.

The conversation lasted a few hours and my boyfriend asked me if I could forgive him. I told him only if things changed somehow. I asked how I could help. He said I couldn't. He asked to speak to my father in private, they did. Then they left for a bit.

The girl's and my boyfriend have been staying at my house since they got back. Law inforcement has been by a few times. Apparently my dad is protecting the kids now and my boyfriend is going to start a case against their father. My dad is acting as a voice of support/reason. My dad has some sway around here and so people listen to him.

My boyfriend is asleep in my bed right now. It's the first time he's felt like he has been allowed to sleep in forever. His sisters are asleep on an air mattress in the living room. Both did end up apologizing to me. The Disneyland bit was because they were scared to be left home alone for a week without my boyfriend there.

Nothing more, they were downright fearful to be alone with their father and my boyfriend's mom. Apparently she's been awful to them too, without my boyfriend knowing. They told everyone about it last night. There is a lot going on. A lot of it is confusing to me and it's been a whirlwind.

Disney has become a family and girls trip if the cops/courts/whoever will let us. My mom and dad will take the girls and me and my boyfriend will have our original plans. If not, my mom and dad have promised to be there for the girls. My Mom's been teaching his youngest sister, asking how to do braids and stuff. It's been sweet.

My friends kind of are upset with me, because I pushed my boyfriend to tell me a lot of their personal secrets and issues, and then I blew up on them for not telling me. It wasn't my place, I know that. I just had to know how much was going on behind my back involving my boyfriend. I didn't need to know, I just wanted to. He told me begrudgingly, and that's my bad 1000%.

I didn't realize half the responsibilities people relied on him for. Everyone relied on him. It's depressing how much I didn't know, but it's also relieving to know that he's genuinely that great of a guy and I'm going to do my best to make it up too him.

Here were the top rated comments after the first update:


I believe that you are not 100% guilty of how you reacted, since you could not have guessed what they were going through, because no one told you! I think they should start communicating better and therapy is essential for that!

I hope things get better for your boyfriend and his sisters 💕


You are not responsible for info that you were never told. And I consider it a red flag that your BF didn’t open up to you about this before anyone else. Your friends are giving you lip? They’re not good friends. I honestly hope you love this guy cuz I wouldn’t have walked away from him.


Thank you to you and your family for stepping up to help them. I’m glad everyone is getting the help they need.

Six days later, the OP returned with another update.

"[Update 2] AITA for giving my boyfriend the ultimatum to spend more time with me than his family?"


It's been a freaking week. I showed my boyfriend the posts, and there was... a lot. Where to start? Well some court stuff is in progress. The week after next is when stuff is really starting to happen. The girls are allowed to live with us here temporarily.

My dad says I'm "not allowed to post too much details about the GIRLS' private lives online" he quoted privacy and legal reasons with the upcoming court stuff, so just know - things are in progress! I'll post that update once it happens. This is more about my relationship as it stands, and to clarify some information.

My boyfriend only told his BEST FRIEND about the situation. He and his best friend have known each other since diapers, so he was the one that was closer to him all along. He knew the situation, but it was like... hard for him to help or for them to figure out what was best to do.

A few commenters talked about why my boyfriend didn't reach out to other adults, or tell others, apparently he tried. He told his school counselor. I can't go into more detail about what happened THERE right now, but short story is the school failed him and his stepsisters. I'll be telling you all about that in DEBT when I am allowed too.

Friends and I are NOT talking atm. A lot of them don't understand how I feel and I realized that they are pretty rotten to me overall. My boyfriend has gone no-contact with anyone who didn't apologize to me as well, or didn't at least understand the situation to not blame me.

We are starting couples counseling starting Wednesday, this is for a few reasons.

I realized I can't trust him, but I want to trust him. So I told him we need to work out these feelings through counseling.

He needs to talk about what he went through with someone other than just me, his best friend, and my dad. My dad actually REALLY pushed for therapy.

We need to talk about and communicate things in a way that's controlled, because right now we're both too emotional to handle conversations.

I showed my boyfriend my posts the day we decided on counseling. He originally got defensive, but reading the comments people left where they talked about me leaving him, prioritizing myself, he started crying. Like ugly, snotty, heaving crying. I have never seen him cry like that before.

He gave me this super long-winded apology that was basically repeating himself over and over again until he couldn't stop through the sobbing. It was so bad my mom came to check on us, then basically hit my room with a "Do not enter" to the rest of the house.

He talked to a few people after that, when he pulled himself together. A few friends gave me really heartfelt apologies after he explained the situation to them. Apparently I'm... really bad at explaining how I feel. I'll say when I confronted people, I did it in a place of anger.

So everyone was on the defensive instantly, and people thought I had forced their secrets out of my boyfriend in a "its MY secrets not yours to know" but some of our friends understood where it came from that 'we' are a couple.

Some people are upset, they don't feel that I'm 'entitled' to their secrets, and honestly, I agree to a degree. I promised that my boyfriend only told me things that involved HIM. Because HE is my partner. Things are rocky with some people, but we don't have the time for friendships atm.

My boyfriend is officially living with me, sharing my room with me. His stuff (valuables, consoles, etc) is in the basement atm and the sisters are set up in my dad's office until we hear the result of the court stuff. If the court-stuff goes our way, we'll be refurnishing the basement.

People brought up some points about my dad and mom's relationship, and I talked to dad about it. He actually agreed with everyone, and talked to my mom about what she told me.

Some additional context about my dad, he's like 57 atm. He retired early because, as he told me a few days ago, "The biggest mistake of my life was prioritizing a career over my family. I did it so I could have more time with you, later on, but that was wrong of me as I missed so much of your life early on."

Mom apologized to me as well, and said that she has some "F'ed up perspectives based on her own experiences." (She was married once before dad, and that dude abused the F out of her. So she just thought she was lucky to have dad.)

I'm also going to be going to individual therapy sessions with the person who'll be doing our couples counseling, it'll be on Fridays. Thank you to everyone for the advice and support.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's final update:


I really hope things work out for you and your BF and for his step-sisters.


I'm so glad you were able to communicate with your parents and boyfriend and that they are supporting you. The fact that they were able to be introspective and acknowledge what they could have done better is huge. That is amazing. I'm so proud of your parents as well. I'm rooting for you and wish you and your loved ones all the best.


They've been together for 7 years, this has been going on for ~5 years and he never told her anything? I understand it's a hard topic and he was scared, but that's a huge thing to keep secret for so long.


I have some mixed feelings on this one. There's still obviously a lot going on here between everyone and nothing's fully resolved, but they seem to realize that and be taking some steps to make it better?

I do hope that the therapy works for them, as no one here other than the various parents between him and his stepsisters seems to be acting out of malice or ill intent. They're seriously screwed up, but there's some glimmerings of self-awareness there about that fact. That's at least cause for hope.


I'm gonna need a summary about what's going on with the friends and OP's parents. This was confusing, to say the least.

So, obviously, this is a lot to unpack. Do you think the OP made the right call? What would you tell them and their boyfriend's family?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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