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'AITA for telling my cousin to ____ off for trying to tell my brother I'm not his dad?'

'AITA for telling my cousin to ____ off for trying to tell my brother I'm not his dad?'


Family comes in all shapes and sizes.

The 'traditional' portrait of a father, mother, and kids erases a lot of different family structures, including LGBTQ parents, adopted families, chosen families, and families where various non-parental members become the sole guardians.

Frankly, how a family is structured is no one else's business, so long as there's safety and love - that's all that matters. Anyone who tries to 'gotcha' someone about their family structure likely has some internal work to do.

These dynamics came up in a popular post on the AITA subreddit, where a man asked if he was wrong for cussing out a cousin who brought up that he's actually his 'son's' brother.

He wrote:

AITA for telling my cousin to f**@ off for trying to tell my brother I'm not his dad?

I (26m) have been raising my brother (7m) since he was a baby. Our parents died in an accident not long after he was born.

No one in my family wanted to take him in other than one set of grandparents who were too old to look after a newborn. I wanted to take him in anyway so I wasn't upset that no one was fighting me on it.

The other day my grandparents came up to visit. They brought my cousin (20f). I honestly don't like this cousin since she starts drama and seems to thrive on it.

But I thought she could keep her mouth shut for an hour while our grandparents visit so wasn't bothered by it. That was until I caught her telling my brother that I wasn't his dad. I knew then she was trying to start drama.

My brother calls me dad and I call him my son so from the outside people probably assume he has no clue I'm not his dad but that's not the case.

He has always known I'm biologically his brother and that mum and dad had an accident so I became second dad. He has known this all through his childhood. I told my cousin to f**& off out of my house, out of reach of my brother of course.

She tried to do some sort of gotcha and say 'what, afraid your BROTHER will find out you aren't daddy? Why are you angry at me telling him the truth?' I didn't say a word and just threw her out.

Now I'm getting calls berating me for swearing at her and embarrassing her in front of our grandparents. Apparently, they also chewed her out for it and told her that my brother knows and that she caused a fuss over nothing. AITA?

People were quick to share their thoughts on the conflict.

gleaming-the-cubicle wrote:

NTA. This one pissed me off personally.

My cousin came to live with us when she was 3 so she calls who is technically her aunt 'mom' like the rest of us. She knows our mom isn't her biological mother and she also knows that does not matter.

'Embarrassing her in front of our grandparents'

She embarrassed herself with her frankly cruel behavior.

OP, here is what you should say to your cousin and her flying monkeys:

'He knows I am not his dad. In what world does it make sense to remind a 7 year-old that his parents are dead? That he will never know them? That he wasn't wanted by any other member of his family except his older brother?'

'And at Christmas time to boot? Are you truly that cruel?' Then hang up, shut the door, walk away - do not engage further. Rinse and repeat as many times as it takes to get that message through their thick, unfeeling skulls.

Yes, your choice of words - it could be argued was unnecessary. However, I feel perfectly sum up the surprised outrage you must have felt at her sheer audacity (not to mention her doubling down - that would have warranted me grabbing her by the collar and forcibly removing her, if I had been there).

You have nothing to feel bad about. You are NTA. You taking in your little brother like that when you were no more than a child yourself brings tears to my eyes. Your parents raised you well.

Good luck with little bro and update us how this pans out. I don't normally advocate violence but I am thinking some of your relatives deserve a good poke in the nose here!

St_Bergeron wrote:

NTA. Yeah, it's easy afterwards to say 'Maybe I shouldn't have said exactly this' or 'Maybe I should've done this different'. But y'know what? This girl was trying to hurt your son and your family, and you went into freakin attack mode. That screams 'Dad' in my book and you have nothing to apologize for.

Caspian4136 wrote:

NTA. She knew damn well what she was doing and that was trying to start some major drama for you and your brother.

You don't need that kind of person in your life at all, I'd go NC but only after telling everyone in the family exactly what she tried to do. I'm also glad your grandparents chewed her a new one for it.

FlushPulp wrote:

NTA. Your cousin wasn't trying to cause drama, she was actively trying to hurt your brother and your relationship with him because she thinks she has the power to do it and there will be no consequences for her. The least they can do is embarrass her.

It's pretty obvious that OP is the farthest from TA in this situation. His cousin, however, she deserves several a**hole awards.

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