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Internet Backs Man for Gifting 'Unavailable' Brother-In-Law Parenting Book

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/5/2022 Taylor McCloud
Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum defended one man for giving his brother-in-law a much-needed parenting book for his birthday. © guruXOOX/iStock / Getty Images Plus Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum defended one man for giving his brother-in-law a much-needed parenting book for his birthday.

Members of a popular internet forum rushed to the defense of one soon-to-be father who was accused of humiliating his brother-in-law on his birthday.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Throwthe4257 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) recounted multiple heated reactions with his sister's husband and explained how a recent birthday gift caused tensions to boil over.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for giving my [brother-in-law] a parenting book for his birthday and embarrassing [him] in front of everybody?" the post has received nearly 7,000 upvotes and 700 comments in the last 10 hours.

Writing that he regularly visits his sister, who has two children and is seven months pregnant, the original poster said he noticed that his brother-in-law rarely helps with any parenting duties.

The original poster also said that when he and his wife revealed they were expecting their first child, his brother-in-law made sure to wreck the exciting announcement.

"My [brother-in-law] does little to nothing around the house or even child care," OP wrote. "My sister is 7 months pregnant [and] he keeps making her lift heavy things, run after the kids, bathe them and cook for them."

"He claims he's not usually this 'unavailable' but since it's 'football season' then he needs to catch up to all the games," OP continued. "I was getting irritated ... especially after he ruined ... my wife's first pregnancy announcement by asking my wife if 'she was sure I will be a decent father.'"

For his brother-in-law's recent birthday, the original poster said he was having trouble deciding on a gift, but finally found something perfect and waited for the perfect moment to present it.

That moment, however, turned out to be yet another interrogation of the original poster's wife.

"[He] didn't stop nagging my wife about the pregnancy saying that there's an 80 [percent] chance I'll turn out to be a deadbeat dad," OP wrote. "When it was time for gifts ... I got up [and] handed him a book on parenting ... called 'The Gift of Failure.'"

"He just gave me a look then stormed off ... my sister ran after him then came back later saying he's calmed down after she turned the [TV] on a football game," OP continued. "He sent me an email later saying I embarrassed him and mocked him in front of everybody and demanded I apologize publicly."

Across the internet, family and marriage websites have examined tense relationships between in-laws and have provided potential resolutions for a myriad of related issues.

But while Family Education and other outlets recommend that individuals remain openminded about their in-laws and set boundaries when necessary, tension between in-laws can be more complex and often unavoidable.

Recently, Newsweek has reported on numerous Reddit threads detailing furious clashes between brothers-in-law and other family members, including one brutal and public takedown similar to the original poster's, and an additional pair of threads in which two scorned sisters-in-law called out their sisters' husbands for their childlike and "incompetent" behavior.

In all three instances, Redditors sided strongly with those willing to stand up to a nasty and angry brother-in-law and commended the mental fortitude necessary to do so.

In the case of the original poster, the reaction was largely the same, with Redditors commending OP for fighting back against his brother-in-law's actions.

"[His wife] has to stave off his tantrums with distraction ... like a toddler," Redditor u/that_ginger927927 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 11,000 upvotes.

"Definitely [not the a**hole]," they added. "He needs a wake up call."

Redditor u/ExcitementGlad2995, whose comment has received more than 3,500 upvotes, echoed that sentiment and shifted some of the blame to the original poster's sister.

"She might need a wake up call too," they wrote. "The way [he] is acting makes it so she has three soon to be four children to take care of.

"I hope she starts to realize that and decides whether she wants to be a mom/wife to an adult," they added.

In a separate comment, which has received more than 1,000 upvotes, Redditor u/Katana1369 also commented on the original poster's sister but, unlike u/ExcitementGlad2995, held her husband culpable for refusing to help at home.

"He was projecting his bad parenting on you," they wrote. "You'll be able to embarrass him every day simply by being a good father."

"I feel so sorry for your sister but she obviously has chosen to be a single parent in spite of having her children's father right there," they added.

Newsweek has reached out to u/Throwthe4257 for comment.

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