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Woman accused of 'abandoning' SIL during snorkeling vacation; SIL says, 'You're a bad host.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.

Woman accused of 'abandoning' SIL during snorkeling vacation; SIL says, 'You're a bad host.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.


When this woman feels attacked by her SIL, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for leaving my SIL “alone” on the boat to go snorkeling while I was “hosting”?"

I (F34) recently went on a snorkelling trip with my husband, BIL, SIL (BIL’s wife), and the kids - my sons, ages 7 and 3 plus BIL and SIL’s son age 8.

When I was planning this trip, all of the communication from BIL and SIL was always like “We are so excited to go” or “We are looking forward to it” so I was always under the impression that everyone was going to you know, get in the water and go snorkelling.

Heck, SIL and I were talking about what reef safe sunscreen to buy before the trip.

And then we get on the boat, and we’re headed to the reef. Everyone’s getting their snorkelling gear out, reapplying sunscreen and I started to inflate my toddler’s arm bands. When SIL saw me, she looked a bit confused and asked me whether my husband will be looking after both the boys in the water.

I said my husband will go snorkelling with our 7 year old while I get in the water and stay near the boat with our toddler. I’m 5 months pregnant, and I didn’t want to stray too far from the boat with a toddler.

The day was beautiful and visibility was amazing but no way was I going to let my husband wrangle both kids by himself. This wasn’t a beach, we were literally jumping into the sea from the boat.

She told me she assumed I’d be staying on the boat because of my toddler and my pregnancy.

I told her no, I can’t really do that. Look, both of my kids love the ocean. If my toddler saw his dad and brother get in the water while he’s stuck on the boat, believe me we’d ALL be suffering.

I asked her if there’s a specific reason why she didn’t want to get in the water and she said she’s not a good swimmer. She then asked me whether I’d be okay with my 7 year old going with BIL while my husband took our toddler.

I said no because I wanted at least one adult per child. I told her she could put on a life jacket and join me in the water, but she said no.

She then asked me to stay with her because she didn’t want to be alone. She wasn’t actually alone, the captain was on the boat but I guess she didn’t want to be alone with a stranger?

I didn’t stay on the boat. She only gave me one word answers on the way back home, but I got a message day before yesterday. She basically said that she was wrong to assume that I would stay on the boat, but she thought I would stay as a “good host”.

I told her I’m sorry she felt that way. She called me an ass that can’t even properly apologise. I promptly cut that off and let my husband deal with it. SIL has called me multiple times since but I haven’t answered. My BIL is unhappy that I’m ignoring her and told my husband to make me talk to her.

Before we provide OP's major update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

koalaoriginal writes:

NTA. We all make choices. Chartering a boat to go snorkeling for a day is a pretty expensive outing.

Choosing to not go in the water is one thing, but expecting that the other folks who went on the snorkeling day would also do that because you wanted to stay on the boat is not cool.

She's basically saying you should pay a crap ton of money to sit and chat with her. If that's what she wanted to do, she could have invited you for tea instead.

She should have brought a book. I don't think you owe her an apology, but if apology theatre is what's required here to make your family gatherings tolerable in the future, then you might consider it, knowing that it would 100% be theatre to placate an overly dramatic and demanding SIL.

ablebook writes:

This happens to women all the time, unfortunately— especially if the event is perceived to be planned by them or their spouse.

My partner hosted weekly Saturday gatherings with his friends before we started dating and before I moved in— he continued these gatherings after I moved in. I’m not a super social person; I get exhausted easily. So I just viewed it as his thing and I knew I could just go to my bedroom and do my own thing when I got tired.

BUT apparently, since I’m a woman, the boys decided that meant they could invite their girlfriends. It was fine with my partner, so whatever.

But suddenly I’m perceived as a host. And the girls would throw the wildest bitchfits because I wouldn’t cater to them. Or worse, I enjoyed playing video games with the boys— and they would get pissy that I “abandoned” them.

All of this drama literally just because I’m a woman. None of the men ever had any of these expectations. This is a very specific situation, but I’ve experienced this same thing many many different times in other scenarios. So annoying.

reasonablestable writes:

You chose the safest option: one adult per child. Also you stayed near the boat with the toddler, so it's not like she would be looking at empty ocean, you would be in fairly close reach.

I think it was very selfish of her to expect you to choose a less safe situation of putting multiple kids with one adult, or that your own child wouldn't be able to swim, so that she, a grown adult, would have you to babysit her on a perfectly safe boat, because of her irrational fears.

helpold writes:

NTA and she's being weird. I went on a trip with my cousin that involved snorkling, she's not a strong swimmer either and thought she could do it but she couldn't. Did she ask me to stay on the boat?

No, she encouraged me to go with the rest of the group and took photos of the group in the water. Same thing happened with my husband on a different trip (he's also not a strong swimmer, both of them have asthma) couldn't do it, told me to go and have fun while he took photos and enjoyed the sun. You SIL is being weird and projecting her insecurities on to you.

rovingo writes:

I LOVE the ocean and go on every excursion I can when on holidays. That said, there have been 2 times where I ended up sitting alone on the boat with the captain, both times by my choice.

First time was my first scuba excursion in the ocean after taking lessons in the pool. I couldn't clear the pressure in my ears after many attempts, and had to call it quits before I ruined it for everyone else already down and waiting below. Second time, I discovered that the flippers provided rubbed my toes raw, and once again, I climbed back on board and spent the time lazing in the sun while everyone else snorkelled.

I didn't blame anyone for not joining me, and neither did I whine and cry that I'd been abandoned. I just chalked it up to a nice hour in the sun working on my tan, and looked forward to the next time. Your SIL is a crybaby, and you are most definitely NTA!

And now, OP's major update:

BIL and SIL are welcome to manage their son however they want, however I am insistent that my children should have an adult each with them in the ocean. So unfortunately for SIL, that means my husband and I needed to be in the water.

I used to surf almost everyday before I had kids, and switched to just swimming when I got pregnant. Swimming helped so much with my sciatica. He was just using arm bands this time, but I agree I should buy a proper life jacket for him.

But if she calls her husband back in, her kid can’t snorkel. I was adamant about the one adult per kid thing so if her husband stayed on the boat, her kid would’ve had to stay as well.

BIL knew she wasn’t a good swimmer, but she’s apparently gone snorkelling while wearing a life jacket before but decided not to this time for some reason.

Looks like OP is NTA. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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