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Woman snaps at young uncle who was raised like a brother, 'I'm not your kid's aunt.'

Woman snaps at young uncle who was raised like a brother, 'I'm not your kid's aunt.'


Family is far more about feelings than the technicalities of "blood relation," but some people are still more literal about it than others.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for saying she doesn't want to be called "aunt." She wrote:

"AITA for saying I don’t want to be called 'aunt?'"

My (32F) father is 20 years older than his younger brother, David (34M). Due to various factors, David spent a majority of his early years with my parents. By the time I was 10 and David was 12, he moved in. David and my dad look nearly identical and people always assumed that was his son. My parents always said he was their first kid, they loved him like a son, etc.

I always felt a bit weird about this. David is a nice guy, but he’s not my brother. I never understood why it was my parents’ job to pick up the slack of my grandparents’. It caused a few disagreements in my youth that always boiled down to “David has nothing, you have everything, be nice”. I hated that I essentially went from an only child to a younger sister without being asked.

I never looked at David as a brother but obviously, due to our small age gap, I never saw him as an uncle. To me, he’s just family. We get along well. David is now married with a daughter, Aria. My parents are “grandma and grandpa” to her. It does make me feel some sort of way that they’ve christened her as their first grandbaby, but I’ve accepted I can’t control how they feel and relate themselves to David.

So long as when my husband and I have kids they’re the same to them (and I know they will be), that’s fine. The real issue is that David, his wife, and my parents have tried making me “Aunt Tabitha”. I don’t like it. Aria isn’t my niece. I tried to just refer to myself as my first name with her but the hint wasn’t going through. As Aria is too little to speak (8 months), I planned to let it go for now.

Yesterday, we were at my parents’ for Christmas. Aria was being fussed over, as usual. When it came time for David and his wife to help her unwrap the gift my husband and I got her, David told Aria “this is from Auntie Tabitha and Uncle Mike!” Without thinking I said “ just Tabitha and Mike.” David gave me an odd look but went back to unwrapping.

Later on, privately, David asked if I was okay. I said yes, why? He said I got weird during gifts. I said not weird, just factual. I’m not Aria’s aunt. He was still confused. I said I’m not his sister. This seemed to hurt his feelings but he said okay, apologized and said he’d never say it again. My mom pulled me aside later and said I was cruel to David. She said he considered me his sister.

I simply said I’m not, and I’m not that baby’s aunt. My mom gave me a disgusted look. She and my dad barely spoke to me the rest of the night, though David and his wife were polite. My husband feels there were better ways of going about it. AITA?

Redditors swooped in with their opinions on the matter.

Doodly_Bug5208 wrote:

NTA, but I wouldn’t get too comfortable with what they call you because kids learning to talk tend to choose the name they give you anyway and it tends to stick. My niece (whom I love as much as if she were my child) is 14 this year and even though my brother has called me Aunt (my name) in front of her since she was born, she still calls me KK (my initials). She has since she was old enough to talk.

thenord321 wrote:

If you were to say "cousin Tabitha" you'd be factual right? Saying "just Tabitha" implies you are rejecting all familial bond with these people and is am AH move.

Millicent1946 wrote:

YTA, lord, get some therapy.

TheDepressedCow wrote:

YTA, you sound so bitter about the fact that David was raised by your parents. It’s been 22 years and you’re still pressed about it?

faequeen_ wrote:

NTA- your delivery seems rooted in past hurt but regardless you should be called what you want. My partner refers to all his aunts and uncles by their first names where I on the other hand refer to my aunts and uncles and THEIR cousins as aunty and uncle.

I do recommend you allow him to be called what he wants (uncle I guess). For everyone that thinks this will be confusing: they can pound sand. Your kids and his kids just need to be told “that’s what they want to be called.”

People are clearly divided on this, but the scales are fully tipping toward YTA.

Sources: Reddit
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