Commenters criticized a man for revealing that he is still upset that his childhood crush married his older brother and had a child nearly a decade later.
The Original Poster (OP), known as u/Routine-Let-2090, posted about the situation in Reddit’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum where it received over 9,500 upvotes and 4,000 comments. The post can be found here.
Research into sibling jealousy has also shown that envy often turns into rivalry as siblings get older. One study conducted by Oakland University found that about 30 percent of respondents felt apathy or animosity towards their adult siblings.
This animosity can sometimes manifest as jealousy over a sibling’s healthy relationship or job opportunities. Others feel envious of their sibling’s relationships with their parents.
Regardless of the reason, sibling rivalry and jealousy stem a low sense of self-worth and have been shown to cause health-related issues later in life including depression, according to Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.
In the post titled “AITA For Telling My Former Friend Turned SIL That I’m Never Going To Be Her Comfort Person Again?” the 25-year-old man said he had a crush on his childhood friend Emily, 26.
“As a teen I wasn’t very assertive and a little awkward so I never made a move and just hoped that one day Emily would realize that I was the guy for her,” the post read. “The only person who I openly admitted my crush (although it was kind of obvious) to was my brother ‘Liam’ (28m).”
The OP said he asked his older brother for advice on Emily since he was more confident and assertive than he was and would “run through girls like water.”
“Given the situation at the time you can imagine my surprise when I caught Liam and Emily hooking up,” the post read. “I know that technically she was never my girlfriend but it still sucked and I did feel betrayed.”
When the OP found out that Liam and Emily got together once at a party and secretly continued to meet up, he said he felt “completely sick” and distanced himself.
He recalled this being awkward since he often gave Emily rides to work since they worked the same shift.
But the summer of his senior year, the OP told his brother and Emily informed him and his parents that she was pregnant and they were planning to keep the baby.
“My parents weren’t happy while I just got up and locked myself in my room,” the post read. “All I could think was ‘well crap, now she’s never going to go away.'”
The OP said he transferred to a college out of state so he wouldn’t be home as often and even missed Emily and Liam’s wedding by lying that he was stuck in traffic.
“I showed no interest in my niece ‘Daisy’ (8f), although I still make the effort to be polite when I’m around them,” the post read. “Recently, Emily’s father has passed away and she’s really going through it because despite him not being around she always desired a relationship.”
‘Heartless and Sad’
Emily began reaching out to the OP about her dad and he finally agreed to let her vent but after an hour, Emily asked why the OP was “being so cold” and that she really needed a friend.
“I calmly yet firmly told her that we were just kids then and that if she wants that level of emotional intimacy then she needs to go to my brother, her husband, because I stopped being her comfort person a long time ago,” the post read. “Emily cried even more, left, and has managed to send Liam, my parents, Emily’s mom, and from mutual friends to call me up and tell me I’m heartless and sad for being so spiteful.”
The OP said that he is over Emily now but that he still isn’t willing to be as close with her as they used to be.
In an update, the OP added that he currently has a girlfriend and that she knows about his former crush on Emily.
“Also, in spite of everything I did learn to be more forthcoming with my feelings which is why I told Emily that I can’t be her comfort person,” the update read. “Although I will admit that there could have been a better way and better timing to communicate that.”
More than 4,000 users commented on the post, many criticizing the man for still being upset about his brother’s marriage more than nine years after the fact.
“You had a crush on a girl in high school, but never asked her out. Somebody else did, and she married them,” one user commented. “It’s a decade later and you still ignore her kid—who is literally your niece—because you’re salty about it. Dude. This isn’t healthy. Please get help. I have to put YTA but like, this is beyond AITA .”
“You’ve spent 9 years being so bitter. That’s really sad for you,” another user commented. “I don’t think you’re TA for telling Emily you can’t be that person for her, but you’re definitely TA for spending so much time being angry and obstinate. Don’t spend the rest of your life like this , it will only bring more of the same.”
“Look man, I get that your brother did this and was an a**hole, but honestly? You’re taking this one way too far,” another user commented. “If one childhood crush is this devastating that you’re moving states and ignoring nephews and families, this means you should go to therapy to help process the pain.”
“100% YTA. And you need therapy to work through this unresolved obsession.”
“ESH except Emily. She lost her friend and doesn’t know why, and then her dad died. Your brother sucks because he knew and you suck for your poor communication.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Routine-Let-2090 for comment.
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