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Man meets with brother family disowned after he cheated on ex, 'this is your fault.'

Man meets with brother family disowned after he cheated on ex, 'this is your fault.'


It can be hard to find a balance between keeping it real when a loved one messes up, and needlessly punishing them.

At what point are you enabling someone's mistreatment of others, and at what point are you endlessly piling on someone who made a human mistake? There's no easy answer to this, especially when they're family. But there is the internet, a place where strangers gather to assess the philosophical and moral implications of conflict between strangers.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his depressed brother he has only himself to blame for fractured family relationships.

He wrote:

AITA for telling my “depressed” brother he only has himself to blame for our parents not wanting to talk to him?

My (M34) younger brother, Matt (M31), was engaged to this woman, Emma (F30), for the past year. Everyone in our family, my sister, parents, and myself, thought they were a perfect match. Emma was very polite, well educated, had a great family whom we had met a few times, and was head over heels for Matt.

Fast forward to three months ago, and Emma finds out Matt cheated on her with this other woman, Cindy (F25). Needless to say, the marriage has been called off, and everyone has been beyond angry with Matt. Our parents haven't spoken to Matt since the fallout of what's happened, and even I have only spoken to him twice (each call lasting less than 5 minutes) since then.

Our sister has also not spoken with him either. This morning, I received a call from Matt saying that he wanted to reconcile with the family. He mentioned how upset and depressed he's been since making 'the worst mistake of his life' and how much he regrets his actions. I was listening up until this point, but got annoyed when he started mentioning how Cindy wants to meet our parents and the rest of us.

He told me that he left our parents a voicemail a few days ago, but they haven't responded, and that he feels isolated from our family. I point blank told him that he only had himself to blame for this and that he clearly didn't think what he did was a mistake since he was still with Cindy.

He said he just wanted us to give them a chance, but I told him I had to go to work and left the call while he was finishing a sentence as I was very frustrated with him. AITA?

People jumped on with lots of thoughts.

BoyoDee wrote:

Kinda hard for it to be the worst mistake of his life when he is currently dating part of the mistake. NTA.

painted_unicorn wrote:

NTA mostly because he can't say he made the worst mistake of his life and regrets it only to double down on the mistake. It's disingenuous, like buddy, you can't be serious. He's saying that to sound good but it's fake.

EDIT: No, actually, it wasn't a mistake, it was a conscious choice that he made. And in regards to it not being OP or parents' 'jobs' to punish him: he doesn't get to skip off with his new gf and everyone has to put up with it and play nice with someone they're mad at. He screwed up, knew he was doing it, and now there are consequences.

Traveling-Techie wrote:

To remain honorable all he had to do was break it off with Emma before pursuing Cindy. Many people face this type of challenge and do the right thing. Not him. NTA.

Icy-Stick6175 wrote:

I guess you can’t help how you feel, what your brother did was vile and selfish, tho I’m kinda shocked none of his 4 immediate family love him enough to try to salvage the 31-year relationship ship with him. None of them enjoy his company and care about his well-being enough to keep contact. Your whole family’s reaction is very off-putting.

The only way I can rationalize it is that you guys didn’t have a particularly strong bond with him before and liked Emma and who he was when he was with Emma way more. I would get this reaction if this all happened a couple weeks ago but it’s odd to write him off forever.

GoldenGoof19 wrote:

So…I’m probably going to be downvoted here but YTA and so are your parents. Matt made his bed when it comes to Emma, and their relationship ending is the result of that. And yeah, you’re valid to be angry with him over that. But it’s been THREE MONTHS and you’re still cutting him off? Your own relative? You’re choosing his ex’s side over your own brother? Yes, he 100% sucks for what he did.

And yes, you’re 100% valid for being angry with him. But what he did is ultimately between him and Emma. And if he is actually depressed because of this, what happens if he ends his life and you and your parents didn’t help him when he reached out to you? Reddit is gonna downvote me all to hell for this because they view cheaters as very black-and-white.

So I’m going to reiterate - cheating is NEVER ok, it’s never something that should be excused within the relationship. But you and your parents were NOT within his relationship with Emma. And the fact that you are all cutting him off like this tells me you have a huge issue with boundaries, and you and your family were too involved in his previous relationship.

I have never cheated, nor will I ever cheat. I’ve been cheated on and it sucks. But I never once expected my ex’s family to choose my side over their own child/brother. Never. That’s so weird to me. You do you. But he didn’t cheat on you or your parents. And you acting like he did is so weird.

GreenEyedMojo wrote:

YTA. Everyone here acting like cheating is the worst thing in the world. He’s your family, he made a huge mistake, but you are all AH for acting like he did something to you that deserves being cut off No one has any idea what happens inside a relationship…so what, are you guys going to give him an ultimatum that as long as he is with the new girl you’ll have nothing to do with him? Get over yourselves.

neglectedjade wrote:


You and your family are reasonably hurt and offended on behalf of Emma, who is almost certainly hurt more.

That said, if your brother is going to pursue Cindy, you can't control that. Your brother is likely going to remain part of your life, and if he decides to marry Cindy, she is going to become part of your family, like it or not.

Even if he and her started things out terribly, that doesn't mean you have to or ought to shun her permanently. Unless you plan to cut your brother out entirely, you're going to have to deal at some point with the people he loves, too.

After receiving a good deal of feedback, OP shared some updates:

UPDATE - More context: For everyone suggesting that Matt found his true love in Cindy. That's questionable from my perspective. He still claims his current relationship with her is a mistake, and I'm fairly certain he has said as much to her in the past.

UPDATE 2 – After reading some of the comments and doing some self-reflection, I have decided to reach out to my brother. It's true; he's done something terrible, and there is simply no other way of seeing it.

However, despite the disappointment, I still do feel that I have a responsibility towards him at this low point in his life, especially considering that my parents and sister probably won't be reaching out to him.

I called him (the call lasted about 20 minutes) and offered to meet him in person, which did seem to cheer him quite a bit. I, however, made it abundantly clear to him that I have no interest in meeting Cindy. At this point, he said something that confirmed my suspicions on what he thinks of Cindy but was still pretty surprising to hear him say.

He told me that he's open to the idea of dumping Cindy if it helps build back his relationship with our parents and sister. When I asked him if he was sure about that, he said that she was 'small-time' and that she 'knew the risks' of getting into a relationship with him so her feelings would be on her. This whole situation sucks, and I don't even know what to feel or think about it anymore.

One thing seems clear: OP's brother is very good at wasting women's time.

Sources: Reddit
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