Commenters in a popular internet forum supported a woman whose boyfriend did not stand up for her when his brother made an ignorant comment about her infertility.
The anonymous woman, known only as u/Wonderwonder199, posted about the situation in Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum where it received nearly 8,500 upvotes and 700 comments, many from users criticizing the man’s unsolicited medical advice and her boyfriend for not shutting down the conversation.
Infertility is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as being unable to conceive after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected sex. Data from the CDC suggests that about 1 in 5 women in the U.S. are considered infertile.
Most causes of infertility are due to problems with ovulation, but several sexually transmitted diseases and infections including chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) if left untreated. The CDC estimates that when left untreated, nearly 15 percent of women with chlamydia will develop PID.
In the post titled “AITA for calling my boyfriend’s brother ‘ignorant’ for his comment about my infertility?” the woman, 32, explained that she is infertile due to her ex husband cheating on her and giving her an STD.
“By the time the symptoms were bad enough that I saw a doctor, I became infertile for life,” the post read. “I’m not mad, matter of fact that’s the price I had to pay to get away from his awfulness.”
She explained that she started dating an “incredibly kind hearted” man eight months ago and that last week he took her to meet his family for the first time.
In the post, the woman said his family was welcoming but that his older brother seemed “intrusive” by asking her questions about her infertility.
The conversation then shifted to them talking about how she has three cats.
“His brother looked at me and said ‘no wonder you’re infertile! it’s known that cats mess up women’s ability to get pregnant,'” the post read. “I was in shock because of what he said. and honestly? felt so offended on my cats’ behalf.”
The woman said she looked visibly upset and her boyfriend’s brother said he was “just sharing a fact” and that she shouldn’t take offense.
“I replied saying that he wasn’t sharing facts but being ignorant because for one, my cats had nothing to do with my inability to get pregnant but my unfaithful ex husband did,” the post read. “And two, my cats were the ones that supported me when my own husband was being horrible.”
She said it got quiet and her boyfriend and his mom and brother stared at her. She said the rest of dinner was awkward and that on the way to the hotel, her boyfriend said she “flew off the handle.”
He also said that she overreacted and insulted his brother by calling him “ignorant” and that she left a bad first impression with his family. She argued that his brother was the one bringing up sensitive topics at dinner, but her boyfriend continued to tell her she “messed up.”
More than 700 users commented on the woman’s post, with the majority criticizing both the woman’s boyfriend and his brother.
“NTA, but you already had one bad husband, don’t get another one,” one user commented. “This guy is not kind hearted, and he didn’t defend you, blaming you instead.”
“I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself. Everything you did was right. His brother had no business stating what he did,” another user wrote. “I think you know this means that on some level, the family believes your infertility is in some way YOUR fault. Do you want to spend your time with people who think this?”
“Girl, he isn’t that kind hearted if he just sits there and lets his family talk shit to you and says nothing,” another user commented. “And then gets mad at you for calling his brother out.”
Some users questioned how her boyfriend’s family even knew that she was infertile.
“How did the brother even know about the infertility!?” one user commented. “Is her bf going around sharing VERY personal info about his girlfriend to his family before they’ve even met her??!”
Others were stuck on the fact that her boyfriend’s brother was spreading false information about cats causing infertility.
“BIL was trying to mansplain infertility being caused by cats?! And they’re clutching their pearls because he thought discussing OPs uterus was polite dinner conversation??” one user commented.
“It’s also complete bullshit that cats cause infertility,” another user wrote. “Cats have been blamed for so many things in the past; I think it’s because they were associated with witches. But he wasn’t ‘stating a fact,’ he was spreading a lie.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Wonderwonder199 for comment.
Another anonymous woman went viral on Reddit in April after posting about how she hid her pregnancy and birth of her daughter from her entire family. The woman said she didn’t feel comfortable telling them because she was worried her sister, who is infertile, would get upset or angry.
Newsweek relayed a story about a woman who told her boyfriend to “shut up” after he made a crude comment about her sister’s fertility.
In another Reddit post, a woman sparked outrage after she told her cousin to stop wasting her money on IVF.