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Woman's BF told to leave holiday dinner for being 'disrespectful' to blind SIL.

Woman's BF told to leave holiday dinner for being 'disrespectful' to blind SIL.


"AITA for not defending my BF when my brother asked him to leave?"

My (28F) boyfriend (27M), Ryan, likes to help others. He is the type of guy who would give a coworker money for their rent or buy groceries for our neighbor. However, he can take it too far at times. He often tries to help people without asking if they need or want his help.

Every year, my brother (35M), Paul, and his wife (33F), Lily, host a holiday dinner. This year Ryan attended for the first time. Before we left for their house, I told Ryan that Lily was legally blind and had been her entire life. She knew what she could and could not do. I told Ryan to only help Lily if she asked for help.

We arrived early so I could help Paul and Lily cook. While we were cooking, Ryan kept telling Lily things, like “Lily, if you’re looking for the salt, it’s to your right” or “Lily, don’t put that there, it’s too close to the edge.” Lily and Paul both told him that while his commentary was somewhat helpful, it was completely unnecessary. Still, Ryan did not stop.

However, things became tense when Lily went to go chop vegetables. When she pulled out a knife, Ryan stopped her and asked if he could take over because he didn’t want Lily to “hurt herself.” Lily said she’d be fine, but Ryan insisted she give him the knife. Finally, Paul got annoyed and told Ryan to stop. Ryan did stop, but he kept hovering over Lily while she was chopping.

I asked Ryan to sit down until dinner was ready, but Ryan insisted that he just wanted to help. Finally, Lily asked him and I to help set the table and greet people arriving. We did, but things were still tense. I did pull Ryan to the side and reminded him again to only help Lily if she asked for it. He agreed, but I could tell that he was still upset.

Everything finally boiled over after dinner. My nieces (5 & 3) have a game they love to play with their mother. They will hand Lily something, and Lily would have to guess what it is. Lily would sometimes make a couple of clearly outrageous guesses (like saying an egg is an elephant or a shoe) to make her daughters laugh.

After dinner, the eldest handed Lily the salt shaker. When Lily guessed it was a phone, Ryan piped up and said it was a salt shaker. Lily laughed it off and explained the game to Ryan, but I could see she was annoyed. My niece then handed Lily a coin. When Lily guessed incorrectly, Ryan loudly told Lily it was a coin. This was apparently the last straw for Paul.

Paul demanded that Ryan leave since he clearly couldn’t respect Lily. Ryan insisted that he was trying to be helpful. However, Lily said it was probably best if Ryan and I left. I quickly gathered up our things and managed to convince Ryan to leave.

Ryan is currently pissed at me. He said I should have defended him, especially since I knew he was only being helpful. He also insisted that I should have stood up against Paul’s “overreaction” (Ryan’s words). I’m now wondering if I should have defended Ryan. AITA

Info from OP:

Ryan said that as a child, he was taught to always be ready to lend a helping hand. I know that he often volunteered and went on missionary trips with his family while growing up.

They have met a couple of times before when Ryan went with me to pick something up at their house, but this is the first time they’ve “officially” met.

He’s not on the spectrum. Or at least he was never diagnosed with autism

Here's how people judged the situation:

analyst19 writes:

NTA. Ryan refuses to accept when someone tells him “no” and “stop.” Use this information wisely.

Uppercreek101 writes:

Help is the sunny side of control

jackieblueideas writes:

If you really wanted to help, you'd listen when I tell you what I need, but instead you do what you want, because you don't want to help, you want to control while keeping your self-image of good person.

abovewater_fornow wrtes:

Yup. NTA. Making sure HE feels useful / important is more important to him than actually being helpful to others. To the point of being hurtful and offensive to them and still not stepping back because butting in is what makes HIM feel good. Big red flag.

PeppermintMocha5 writes:

NTA. Ryan didn’t deserve to be defended there. I’m sorry, I’m sure you love Ryan but good lord he sounds insufferable. He wasn’t being nice. He was being patronizing.

Sources: Reddit
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