AITA for talking to my BF's estranged mother without his permission?

  1. Yes, exactly. You’ve decided to “see for yourself” by talking to his mum when there isn’t a need to. Op is curious and wanted to know why - that was the motivation.

  2. I know an EXTREMELY manipulative malignant narcissist who is NC with his family because they don’t help him hide his pathological, self-aggrandizing lies. His wife didn’t find out until she caught him cheating that his family never knew about her and that their supposed racist attitude toward her and their mixed-race children was completely made up, as was his ENTIRE backstory (that included a dead first wife and daughter who never existed). Don’t ALWAYS assume that people who go NC are the injured party. Sometimes they just don’t want the people who know what they are to scare off new victims.

  3. This honestly reminds me of that reddit post where the op's brothers fiance invited their estranged mother to the wedding and he left her at the alter.

  4. Exactly never judge a person by their professional personality. My bio mum is a community darling. Worked for the mayor, the cancer council and had been publicly awarded for her philanthropic work.

  5. OP had a fifteen minute conversation in public with a total stranger and now thinks she knows Sam's mother better than Sam does after thirty years of life

  6. People saying “your mom is so nice” to me when I was an abused teenager made me feel like I was crazy. There is nothing quite like having people tell you your abuser doesn’t seem “that bad”

  7. My mom could be screaming at me like I was the worst person in the world but the second the phone rang she was sweet as pie.

  8. Not just that, she could show a happy and kind face to the outside while she could have been a nasty piece of work at home. No one would have thought how nasty my father was because he always appeared to be like a nice helpful guy but at home he was witholding money because he felt like a god when we had to ask him for money, he had shady businesses etc. Some people just know how to appear likeable when they are rotten to the core.

  9. I totally agree with you. When this happens in books and novels that Character B would insert themselves to "mend" the relationship between Character A and their parents when Character A clearly has informed Character B of not having intentions being family with Character A's parents. This post irked me so much. It reminds of when my friends say my (abusive) parents are "very nice" in the few instances they've met.

  10. Agreed. My mother seemed nice to everyone else. She did philanthropy, received lots of praise from colleagues and supervisors in her industry, had lots of friends… didn’t change the fact that she came home and beat me bloody on the regular.

  11. If you could spot abusers so easily no one would ever be with one. Hell kids grow up in the same house and some are abused and some are not, but hey she seemed nice so let's all be one big happy family. Op is a huge asshole and her boyfriend owes her no apology.

  12. Exactly. Narcissists put on an act around other people - they are super nice and sweet and you can’t possibly understand why someone would be no contact with them. How could they possibly be an abusive person, they are so nice….

  13. A humongous YTA for a humongous failing partner. You betrayed him, messed with his old wounds, and demand to tell you about a possible trauma? Yak yak yak

  14. In a professional setting about her research. This has nothing to do with the bf and she is allowed to do so since the mom didn't know who she was. But she definitely should not have said anything about her being nice.

  15. I mostly agree. But she talked to her purely in a professional setting. So the talking itself is not a betrayal - especially since she did not identify herself. Personally, if I experienced her being so nice while knowing my SO was NC, I would be running insane scenarios in the back of my mind and flipping out over how fake she must be and how hard that must have made my SO's life. I would not go back and tell him how nice she was and piling on. A charismatic + abusive parent usually equals an abused child noone believes who therefore has no support and must explode his entire world to get away.

  16. Yeh… who yells and be rude to the audience when they are the speaker at a conference ? The mum didn’t know who she was of coz she’s gonna be nice.. very insensitive and inconsiderate.

  17. There's a very big reason why he's NC with his "nice" mom that you do not know and will not tell you. It probably still traumatize him.

  18. Exactly! My father is a neurosurgeon and I’m NC with him, and OF COURSE he is polite and respectful at work but he is a whole different person outside of work. Just because someone is highly regarded at their place of work DOES NOT mean they’re like that with their family. OP you’re being so naive, also to kinda take her side just because she was nice over your partner of two years? What the hell…. YTA

  19. YTA. How someone is in a professional setting doesn't mean that's how they are in their private life. You likely just came home and told your boyfriend that his abuser seemed really nice. Which is a horrible betrayal.

  20. No one is ever entitled to disclose their abuse. I’ve known my boyfriend for two and a half years, and we’ve been dating for about a year and a half. I know he was seriously abused during his childhood. I don’t know the whole story, nor do I care to know unless he decides to disclose it to me, in which case I’ll listen. Until that time comes, if it ever does, it’s none of my business. I can’t expect him to retraumatize himself just for the sake of my knowledge.

  21. Exactly this... My mother is a well respected teacher that is doing all sorts of extra things like writing books and so on. Everybody comments on how lucky I am to have had her as a mom. Truth is I had a shitty childhood because of her manipuling, lying, abusive (also fysically) and controling toxic traits. Professional and private setting are a huge difference. YTA

  22. I would lose my shit if I was him too. I am NC with my father. He was emotionally, psychologically, and physically abusive. He puts on an excellent front to others as he is naturally charismatic (which is how he sucks people in). As a fellow PhD student, I am very disappointed with OP’s naïveté. Also the supreme lack of respect toward their BF. OP is a major YTA.

  23. I think you were okay until you came back and told him she seemed really nice. You don’t know what went on between the two of them, and it really isn’t your business. Talking to her professionally is one thing, but that was on her professionally - it was a comment on her personality / personally. Soft YTA.

  24. Yeah, I think if she came back to her boyfriend and said "Just wanted to let you know, I did speak on a professional level to your mom, but I didn't mention anything personal at all, nor did I mention I knew you", then I think that would be fine for her to say.

  25. This is when I went from N T A to YTA. Asking a question during the Q&A was fine, but saying that she seemed nice?? My mom was abusive my entire life and people love her, thought she was great. OP has no idea what his mom is actually like. If someone came and told me my mom seemed nice I'd be furious, specially if that was someone who knew I am NC with her (which for me is everybody).

  26. Yeah, that’s what stuck out to me. Abusers are very good at covering up that part of themselves, and can seem “nice and patient”. While I do want to believe OP wasn’t attempting to be malicious or anything like that, as a victim of abuse who went NC with my father…that in particular felt extremely uncomfortable and off to me. While I don’t think he should’ve reacted in the way he did, I know I’d absolutely feel heartbroken and betrayed if my partner started speaking with my father regardless of context.

  27. She determine that? Honestly i think she was not the Ah until « she seems nice » if it was a conference for the research idc who that imma ask just for my research. That’s why i’m there.

  28. I disagree. I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years. If I said to someone "I don't interact with X anymore and don't want you to either" and they accidentally meet him, talk to him and come back telling me he's nice, it's 100% my fault.

  29. Exactly!!! OP went into this situation absolutely blind. Does her bf have to tell her every detail about why he went NC with his family? NO, of course not, but he could give his gf a general idea. OP didn’t seek the mother out, and without knowing anything they were in a professional environment. If his family is dangerous then OP deserves to know as well for her own safety due to her proximity to him.

  30. Tbf I think I would leave too for a bit if just to cool things off. Especially if I was scared, like OP was. This is a mess of a situation and I agree ESH. I don’t see this relationship really going forward if they can’t be open with each other.

  31. YTA, you have ZERO right to know why he is NC with his family. If he decides to tell you, that’s his choice.

  32. I would say at some point she may need to know a little. Abusive people can also go NC with their own family. Like those people that say everyone else is the problem and they never do anything wrong. It could have been a traumatic experience that made someone go NC, or they could be hiding something. But I dont know the context of their relationship or anything so Im not at all speaking towards this specific situation.

  33. What?!?! They’ve been together for 3-years and he has obvious triggers… if you are in a loving and trusting relationship, at some point you should tell your partner why you don’t speak to your family anymore.

  34. If was with someone for 3 years and planned to spend the rest of my life with them, I would like to know why I’m avoiding my Partner’s family.

  35. If you are seriously involved with someone, you should at some point have a general idea of what their family dynamic is about. The person who says they’re NC could be the bad guy, and they don’t want to talk about it because they know they’ll be seen as such.

  36. If you’re in a long term committed relationship you do have a right to know the situation in some form. It’s not realistic or healthy to hide/refuse to discuss a huge aspect of their life. They have been together for 3 years. If you’re together that long and building a life together eventually those hard subjects have to be addressed.

  37. I disagree a bit. She's been dating him for three years. Of course no one is ever "owed" the truth about abuse, but one would think a relationship going this long kind of demands honesty about the past. It's his choice, but it also is a little strange I think that there isn't even a hint given to her in three years about what might have happened.

  38. INFO: Did you talk to her as a speaker or as your boyfriend's mother, and did you mention Sam at all to her? If you didn't then I don't think you did anything wrong as networking is important to PhD students to get careers in their field. Maybe just don't mention it to him tho. If you did then I would say that I could see why he's wrong as she was likely cut off for a reason. That being said at 3 years, I'd have to question why he hasn't told you such a big thing in his life especially to the point of blowing up on you like that.

  39. Some people just don’t understand that parents can be complete monsters behind closed doors while being absolute angels to the public. My parents were those kinds of people. I’m in my mid 30s and still get people demanding why I don’t want contact with such “wonderful” people.

  40. INFO did you introduce yourself as his girlfriend or did you just have a conversation as another conference attendee?

  41. I still think you were getting feelers on her. Did you have to ask those questions? I think you could have lived not talking to her. But using that interaction against Sam’s experience was a very mean thing to do.

  42. I will say that if my partner (or a close friend), without my knowledge, talked to my NC abusive mom, I'd have a lot of anxiety and complicated feelings about it. My mom is extremely charismatic, and that led to a lot of people not believing the extent of the abuse. So even without the monumental shitty cherry on top, to me I think I would still feel betrayed.

  43. You spoke to her in a professional context and it’s not like you went up to her an said “I’m your estranged son’s girlfriend” so you’re not in the wrong there. However, you shouldn’t have gone to Sam and said to him “your mom seems nice” after the fact, especially since you have no idea why he’s no-contact with her. What if she was emotionally, physically, and/or sexually abusive to him? How do you think that makes him feel for you to say that she’s “nice”? Of course she seems “nice” in that context, she has to be, or at least put on the facade that she is, in a conference situation like that.

  44. I completely brushed over the fact that OP told him she was nice to his face. My father was extremely abusive to me, and I had went NC with him. If my partner knew I was NC and then turned around and not only spoken to him but also said he was nice to my face? I genuinely have no clue how I’d handle it or if I would even handle it any better than her boyfriend, I would feel so heartbroken and betrayed just thinking about it upsets me.

  45. I think it was the renewed curiosity about the NC and she was hoping she'd get at least some hint from him if she talked about his mom. Selfish.

  46. YTA - People from functional, loving families don't really understand the depths of toxicity that exist in dysfunctional families. You didn't trust his feelings on the matter, and rather than respect his wishes, you decided that you knew better and overrode him.

  47. When I went NC with my mom, it got really easy to figure out who should still be in my life. Anyone who said what OP said would be out. OP, YTA.

  48. Given she knew he was NC, and still immediately went with “your Mum seems really nice”, I feels she’s at least partly as asshole. I dint think there was anything wrong with the professional discussion she had with the mother, particularly since she didn’t reveal she knew her son, but the wondering why Bf is NC, and telling her Bf she seems nice is very close to saying her BF is in the wrong for being NC. Yes his response was extreme, but I’m not sure how I’d react if someone I loved came in sounding like they were defending people I had reasons to not have in my life.

  49. she said what she did to OP admittedly knowing there was going to be a reaction (said it in the comments) equally doubting someone’s reason for being NC because they weren’t an asshole to a random audience member is also horrible and ‘she’s nice’ is insanely invalidating (and given OP’s comments seemingly intentionally so)

  50. Finally a reasonable response! I get that OPs comment triggered the bf and it certainly was not the right thing to say. However, I don't think she meant any harm (it's a pretty standard thing to say when meeting someone?). And he totally exploded after the one small comment! If he'd simply said "She is different in private and it hurts my feelings that you spoke to her", OP could have cleared up what happened and I feel the whole situation could have gone better.

  51. NAH, just because there's a massive chunk of the story missing here. You certainly did nothing wrong to exchange a few anonymous pleasantries with the woman, but your partner may have an equally good reason to feel (however irrationally) frightened that his worlds are colliding.

  52. YTA. people are so quick to jump on the boyfriend, and for what? you can say all you want that you would not be upset if your parter came home and said your abuser was nice all you want, but you are not the boyfriend.

  53. YTA he hasn’t shared with you why he’s nc you have no idea if it’s a simple squabble or something so dark he can’t talk about it. Based on how he blew up I doubt it’s something small. Public speaking and work chit chat can have a very different personality than how someone is at home.

  54. NTA for talking to her. You talked to his mom in a professional context and did not bring him up or discuss anything other than work. She didn't even know who you were.

  55. Or maybe he's a complete asshat whose mother chose to cut contact. We don't know, because he ain't saying.

  56. NTA. Here’s the thing. It sounds like a chance encounter. Fine. You spoke to her about non personal things and she has not clue who you are. Fine. You told him she seems nice. You’re entitled to your opinion. He is entitled to his privacy. However. Being in an intimate relationship requires some extra trust and you have a right to know if he has some issues that could be problematic down the road.

  57. I agree. NTA. She’s not asking for a blow by blow account but a general high level statement. I am no contact because … my mom was …

  58. Thank you!! I was looking for this take! Like what if he's not the victim? What if he's hiding something? There's not enough information here to go pointing fingers with certainty like majority of the comments are doing. The only reason why people are calling her TA is because they assume that the boyfriend is automatically the victim for going NC with his family. Now, this could be true. He could be a victim of abuse. But again, he could be the exact opposite. The overall judgement leans on the assumption that he is the victim. However, VERY FEW of the people here consider the other possibilities.

  59. ESH - telling Sam his mom is “nice” when you know he’s NC was really ignorant and tone deaf of you. Obviously you don’t know why he’s NC, but you can probably assume it’s nothing good. Abusers often look like good people to the public. My dad did and he was emotionally and verbally abusive my whole childhood.

  60. If you didn’t identify yourself to his mother and only spoke about research, then definitely NTA. He must have had a really bad relationship with his mother to react the way he did. Hopefully he cools down and explains everything to you.

  61. Ever read that story about the family that was NC with the mom after she left them and then the bride went and called the mom because she seemed so nice and invited her to the wedding of her and the middle son and shit blew up from there?

  62. I mean technically he doesn’t owe her any explanation but she doesn’t owe him a relationship if he can’t even open up to her after 3 years. Yep she’s leaning towards asshole for the ‘she seems nice’ comment, which is bad but in her defence she was probably trying to find out the reason for NC as he’d retaliate to her insensitive comment and provide the reason. Which IS an asshole way to go about it. But he rlly needs to open up if he wants the relationship to progress to marriage etc

  63. Soft YTA for breaking a clear and obvious boundary your boyfriend has established about his family. You didn’t have to go talk to his mom you CHOSE to because you were nosey (I have been to academic conferences and keynote speakers are usually quite popular after their talks so it’s not like you were the only two people in the room). Your boyfriend doesn’t owe you a narrative of his trauma and since you can’t respect his boundaries you kind of proved you don’t deserve it.

  64. YTA. You knew who she was before talking to her. Then when he got understandably upset, you left? Acting like he was going to abuse you because he “raised his voice”???

  65. YTA You're not for talking to her in a professional setting, but making the comment about her being "nice" to someone who you know is no contact with her, she seems nice in a professional setting, but she's probably not behind closed doors.

  66. Esh, you talk to her in a professional setting about work. That is not the same as talking about him or family or personal anything personal. He has no right to be upset about that. You can't help that she was a keynote speaker and you would questions about her research. However, you do not get to ask/demand that he tell you about his trauma. If he is no contact with his family, he has his reasons and he does not have to disclose that to you. Both of you need to apologize and have a serious talk about how to go forward with this considering she might be a keynote speaker going forward. Is not fair for you not to be able to learn and is not fair for you to demand to know about his trauma

  67. YTA, you went about this the wrong way, why would you tell someone who’s firmly NC with someone that they’re “really nice”? Sure, maybe he overreacted, but there’s probably a good fucking reason he’s mad as shit right now.

  68. NTA. Here’s the thing, without context, someone’s behavior CAN APPEAR extreme. A lot of people on here are projecting their own experiences of trauma into this scenario. If he chooses not to communicate what the issue is at hand, which is certainly his choice, then he cannot fault a partner for making decisions based on extremely limited information. Simply saying to someone, “No, you cannot do X because I say so…” is controlling behavior, and that is not fair to a person who is supposed to be your closest ally and confidante.

  69. YTA. Do you know who was considered. I’ve by acquaintances? Ted Bundy. Sociopaths and your run of the mill abusers are often considered nice and charming - it allows them to get away with their abuse. You have no idea what she did to your Bf but it must have been extreme for him to go NC. I am not saying that he shouldn’t explain, but you have no right to demand especially when you dismissed him by defending her personality to him.

  70. I’m with you that OP doesn’t have the right to demand an explanation but why do you assume the mother did something awful to the boyfriend? It’s just as likely he did something awful and is trying to hide it.

  71. So because she was polite to you, you think that gives you the right to force your boyfriend to retraumatize himself? What if she was physically or sexually abusive? I sure as shit hope your PhD isn’t in psychology or anything to do with human beings, because you have the emotional maturity of a raw egg.

  72. I don't think it matters, OP knew he was NC with his family and knew it was a touchy subject. To choose to then talk to the woman knowing that something happened between the BF and his family just seems a little uncalled for. She didn't have to stay and chat.

  73. I've been on both sides of this. I dated someone who was estranged from his family and told me a bunch of stuff about his mother that turned out not to be true. I wish I would have known earlier so I could have broken up with him. He was crazy. I also have a mother who's extremely friendly in public, but in private was super controlling and emotionally abusive. Occasionally she was physically abusive. It sucks when people tell you that your mom is so nice when she was actively making your life miserable. It's very naive of you to not realize that narcissists can pretend to be nice when it benefits them, and only become abusive when someone doesn't do exactly what they want. They're very good at faking being personable when they need to. That's one way that they manipulate people. I don't think his reaction was great either, but you poked at something that is super painful for him. If I've been dating someone for 3 years, I would also expect to at least have some idea of what happened for them to cut off their entire family, and it would probably be a deal breaker for me if he wasn't working through it with a therapist. I'm going to have to say YTA for the way you approached it with him.

  74. And this is why you don't come to Reddit for serious problems. " Sam" is way out of line. He cannot expect to force you to blindly obey him with no.ZERO. explaination - not even "well my mom did something terrible which I'd rather not talk about. ". Nothing. He has the audacity to blow up at you for speaking to his mother when it was work related. So what if you said she seemed nice. That isn't saying "I think she's nice. "

  75. Exactly. I only come to this sub to be entertained. The fact that people straight up assume the boyfriend is 100% innocent when they know NOTHING and proceed to call OP TA over that assumption.... is proof that this sub is a joke.

  76. YTA. It takes a lot to push someone to go NC with a parent. You violated your boyfriend’s trust and think YOU are owed an apology? I expect he may break up with you over this.

  77. YTA I feel like your actions at the conference were fine (participating in a professional Q&A and not revealing to her who you are) but you definitely became the AH when the first thing you said was "she's really nice". You met her in a professional setting, you don't know her personally. Based off of his response (when you've never seen him get angry) should clue you in on how serious this is. Likely she abused him and he's probably had many people deny the abuse because she's "really nice" and professionally successful. And the fact that he's never gotten angry with you before, and this is how you responded... you owe HIM a massive apology. I can understand wanting to know about your partner's past, but it's unethical to demand an explanation before he's ready to share, and most likely you've made him much less comfortable sharing now

  78. YTA You are dating Sam. His relationship with his Mother is none of your business. He has this boundary, and you are nosy. I don't believe he owes you an explanation.

  79. I mean, I feel like, "you are dating Sam, his relationship with his mother is none of your business," is a bit of a stretch.

  80. My advice don’t assume and take someone’s side just because they told you so. You are entitled to making your own informed opinion and not adopt someone else’s and be submissive. OP you don’t need to know his mother or have her in your life, however, for your sake and sense of security, I would want to know about my significant other’s past. You don’t have to pressure him to tell because if he didn’t tell you after three years he may never will or just lie about it. Just ask people who knew him before and be discreet about it. Maybe hire a private investigator.

  81. You owe him an apology not the other way around. Deciding to go NC is an extremely hard decision….sometimes it definitely needs to happen. He doesn’t owe you any explanation why he chooses to not contact his family. YTA for that statement alone. You betrayed his trust. You didn’t have to ask questions honestly. You could’ve listened and learned and called it a day. But you think you get to decide someone’s character while they are at work. You’re weird and I hope he breaks up with you especially because you seem manipulative. You afraid at the way he reacted to your betrayal and now are demanding an apology….yeahhhhhh okay

  82. NTA. OP has been dating this person for three years and knows nothing about his family or his past in that matter. Maybe saying really nice wasn’t smart but OP probably is wondering wtf is going on because he won’t tell her anything. I get the YTA if it’s been months, but 3 years is so long. OP just wanted to know some info and him blowing up on her and acting like that without explaining what’s going on is his fault.

  83. NTA. You didn't tell her who you are. And I can't blame you for being a bit curious - it's only human. Also he hasn't told you why he doesn't talk to them, so you can't know how bad it is. He seems to want to control you without explaining why.

  84. You didn’t start out the AH, but what on earth makes you think you’re entitled to the explanation as to why he’s NC? If he was comfortable he would have told you by now. Judging by how you handled this, he was right not to have since you’re now likely an ex. Just because his mom was nice to strangers doesn’t mean she’s a great parent. You clearly have no idea how horrible some families can be if you don’t understand what it takes to go NC. Everything you did shows how little you actually respect him and his feelings. You are the one who needs to start apologizing. YTA.

  85. He may have a history with opening up to someone and that person used it against him and now he is really careful about it. And OP is now using his problems and insecurities with his mom against him with demanding an explanation or she won't come home. That will certainly teach him that he can trust her blindly without backfiring at all

  86. YTA. Not for speaking to a speaker at a professional event but for going home and telling your boyfriend that his mom is actually nice as if he’s crazy to be no contact with her. I’m sure that wasn’t a decision he came to lightly and for you to belittle that difficult choice because you spent a negligible amount of time with her seems very inconsiderate and ignorant.

  87. YTA If you had to talk to his mom in a professional setting then who cares. But people's professional demeanor is a hell of a lot different than their actual demeanor. Obviously she's not going to treat you like whatever she did to her son. You should've just acted like she was nobody which essentially she is. You knew he was NC so this is nobody to you.

  88. I see everyone's talking about how OP is definitely an asshole and YTAs all over the place, but I think the problem here is the lack of communication between the OP and her bf - together for 3 years and still not a word about his family or why he went NC, sounds like a lot of patience is needed not to be curious about Why NC. Especially if she comes from a functional family where NC is unimaginable. When you are in a relationship with someone, it is normal to share even the deepest secrets and fears, supposing that there's trust, love, and honesty.

  89. NTA you didn’t ‘talk to her’ in a friendly conversation type way, you spoke to her in regards to her presentation and career. While I don’t think a presentation and Q&A session really gives you much insight into her actual personality and viewpoints that might have contributed to the NC, you also didn’t cross any lines with what you did. However, I don’t think he owes you an explanation into the NC. Perhaps if you were married but just dating, no matter how long, some personal family things can remain personal in my opinion. However he seemed to have flown off the handle for no reason and I find that concerning. I believe he owes you an apology for that.

  90. NAH. Three years into a relationship and he won’t tell you why??? Personally I’d be questioning just how much he trusts you at this point in time though.

  91. I am conflicted when answering this question. Though it may be that his mother is horrible and he went NC with his family for that reason it would make sense as to why he may freak out. However, there are some people that cut others off if they try to hide from the consequences of thier actions. It's a good idea to have a conversation as to why he has NC to gauge the situation better. Until more information about his situation is known I can't make a fair assessment.

  92. NTA. Why? Because there are always two parties to a NC story and her bf of three years does not want to share even the slightest hints on what his story may be. If he truly plans to have a future with OP, he should have come clean about the situation two years ago. He did not have to share details if he was abused or neglected as there are plenty of ways of sharing such stories with a partner that you trust without going into the depths of the trauma again. But not mentioning one damn thing to someone you have been with for three years simply states that he does not trust her at all and she should move on in her life without him. His reaction was also completely out of proportion since he already knew that OP was participating in the keynote that was relevant to her field of studies and he confirmed that it is indeed his mother. He had no right to yell at her for engaging be it out of personal or professional (or both) curiosity. Not to mention that yelling is also a form of abuse, for all those stating that he was the one who was abused (does not give him the right to abuse others).

  93. I'm sorry that happened to you, and thank you for sharing your story. I agree that there's a high probability something similar is going on with OP's BF. I hope your vivid story gets thru to the folks who've automatically jumped to the conclusion that BF was abused and that nice mom is secretly evil.

  94. I'm going to go against the grain here. NTA. You were there to learn and she was the speaker. Should you have compromised your education? I do think that you shouldn't have said anything to him about her after he told you it was his mom. It was about her research and had nothing to do with him and his relationship to her. Had you discussed him with her, then you would absolutely be an asshole.

  95. All these Y T As are bizarre to me. She was at conference in a professional setting and spoke to the speaker about their research for OPs PhD (which she probably would have done anyways). OP did not disclose that she knew her son. BF has no control over that nor should he.

  96. All those commenters probably expect OP to blindly believe her boyfriend without any context, which is just dangerous. If after even a year you can’t trust your significant other to know the most basic reason (meaning no details) about you being NC with someone, causing them to make the wrong decisions because of the lack of information they have, then clearly you aren’t prepared for that relationship. There were even comments talking about how a person those commenters knew went NC with their family because THEY were the problem.

  97. Idk maybe he has some deep dark secret he doesn’t want you to know which you might find out if you talked to his family or maybe his family are all very toxic. How is a person to make a judgment on this? It COULD be anything 🤨

  98. nta because it was in a professional setting and about work. And because you were open about all of it with him His reaction is scary and his being angry at you for breaking “rules” were not told to you before are concerning particularly if you work in the same field. Being estranged from abusive parents myself. I do not beleive you can get an understanding of what happened in his relationships with them from seeing one of them briefly while they are working.

  99. ESH. After 3 years your relationship should have trust to discuss this past issue. You were wrong by being so blind at how sensitive the topic is. He clearly has distaste for his mother and you are acting like she’s amazing!

  100. NTA, I don't get all these people saying you didn't have to speak to her. She's a keynote speaker in your field, why wouldn't you speak to her. Also you didn't reveal any information about yourself and asked him about her first.

  101. I guess you did work talk and she don't know you. I f that is the thing then, please explain to him it was not at all personal it was all professional. She doesn't know me. NTA.

  102. well if she managed to be nice to you at a professional event for 10 minutes, it must mean your boyfriend is overreacting, right? you've spoken to her at a conference so now you are the expert on how nice she really is? YTA for telling him that she "seemed really nice". you have no idea why he went NC with her, you have no right to invalidate him by telling him about your experience with her in an attempt to negate his. let's be clear here. it's fine that you ended up speaking to her in a professional context, and your bf is in the wrong for trying to control that aspect. what makes you solely YTA though is the fact that you tried to bring your experience back to your bf as though you can convince him that she's actually a great person. because that's what it sounds like you were trying to do.

  103. ESH. I think sometimes Reddit is not the place to go to fix relationship problems. Whenever a partner has cut off their family but don't want to talk about it at all, be prepared for triggers and behaviors that don't quite make sense. In this case, I think OP accepted this blind spot in her relationship with her bf and naively stepped into a landmine. She wasn't intentionally setting out to hurt her bf by stating how her professional interaction with his mother came across to her. She has zero clue why he has cut ties and it also seems that he has not shown a heightened level of emotion when it comes to the topic in the three years that they've been together. Imo, it sounds like she had accepted that he was NC with his family and didn't think much of it until she randomly encountered his mom at a professional event. Curiosity ensued and I think that's a natural reaction. OP did not break her BF's confidentiality by informing his mother of who she is. So there was respect and awareness there. OP did put her foot in her mouth with the she seemed nice comment. It was thoughtless. And, again, it sounds like she came from a place of naivety and curiosity and completely did not see that she was stepping all over an emotional trigger for him. And he was taken aback that his gf of three years who never pushed him to share that part of his past, was suddenly stepping on that trigger. I don't think OP is an AH for being unintentionally thoughtless and not realizing her ignorance on the depth of this issue for her BF caused him to become triggered.

  104. YTA, as someone who is NC with their own mother for reasons I just didn't want anyone to know before I finally got the help I needed and was ready to talk I know what he's going through. I am a much better person now and it took 16 year's, but my wife never pushed or rushed me. You may have broken his trust or worse. Be thankful if he still wants you in his life, but if he's smart he'll see this ass a red flag and GTFO.

  105. All was good until you came home and told him “she’s really nice” you have absolutely no idea what he went through with his family. No contact does not just happen randomly, it’s a big decision that is always made for a reason. Also, you demanding an apology and an explanation is simply disgusting. You are not entitled to an apology when you told him someone who has clearly caused him lots of harm was “super nice and sweet” (by the way, she’s just doing her fucking job), and you certainly have no place to know why. At all. I am no contact with some of my family and I would be absolutely devastated and hurt if my girlfriend went and spoke to those family members without me knowing and then came to me and started talking about how great they are.

  106. YTA. No one cuts their family off for shits and giggles. If he didn't want to talk about it obviously it was a traumatic experience for him and you bragging about how "nice" she was and demanding an explanation after he already told you he wouldn't be discussing it shows your ignorance and utter inconsideration. He doesn't owe you an explanation and he damn sure doesn't owe you an apology. You fucked around and found out. You'll be lucky if you even have a bf after this.

  107. YTA: no not for talking to his mom because you were in a professional setting but because not only did you send a picture of the name so he had that on his mind. You came home and said she’s nice. And then got mad because he yelled at you for saying that and invalidating his feelings. Then demanded an apology and making tell you why he went no contact even when he told you he didn’t want to talk about it. His response is coming from someone who has trauma. Also for everyone for the nta need to stop victim blaming and thinking he’s hiding some dark secret. Yes we don’t know why but his response tells me he has trauma from something that happened. And then people on here saying after three years you should trust your partner and open up. No the fuck he does not get to tell why you he went nc especially if he said he doesn’t want to talk about it. I get it sucks feeling he doesn’t trust you however he’s protecting himself and probably is afraid of your reaction and judgement. Clearly I can see you don’t mind stomping all over him. Should he have blown up at you like he did no. However if you’re saying it’s the first time he has then clearly this upset him and probably freaked him out. You got scared and left which is understandable but you also pushed all that onto him. Then you demanded an apology a “genuine” one and demanded to know why he went nc. Talk about entitlement to someone’s trauma. It’s clear he has some based on the reaction especially for the first time you said he’s yelled at you. Either you sit down and talk and listen to him which I doubt you’ll do and continue to try to push and push for him to tell you. Also for everyone else saying therapy some people don’t want too and sometimes it doesn’t always help. He might be scared to open up.

  108. Slight YTA, Sam clearly has some unresolved issues with his relationship with his family, but this really wasn't the way to approach the subject with him.

  109. YTA. OP, you do realize that people have many faces, right? A "professional" is not going to show you the same face they save for family or friends. It's none of your business why he's NC. He is so you respect that and leave it alone. It doesn't concern you. It's not nice that he scared you but you crossed a line. Yes, she was a keynote speaker but you could have just attended the event, asked your questions and moved on. You belittled your boyfriend's feelings and basically rubbed it in his face.

  110. YTA. For being a PhD student, you are pretty dense. Lady was just doing her job, definitely not an indicator of how they were as a mother. Then to trot home and tell your BF that you not only communicated with his NC mother but thought that she was nice is just a real guy punch. You have no context on their relationship and should just have left well enough alone.

  111. NTA...After three years together, you deserved to get a short explanation from him as to why he is not in contact with his family. Everyone who says that you betrayed him, what about the fact that he doesn't trust you after 3 years to say in one sentence why he doesn't talk to them. I wonder who is the real reason behind their communication breakdown, maybe he's the one. The woman doesn't even know who you are because you talked to her only in a professional manner, and he went overboard yelling at you.

  112. Wow. I am speechless. You inserted yourself in someone else's business and now demanding to be told why they are NC. What the hell is wrong with you!???

  113. For the most part, I think you're not the asshole here. She didn't know you're dating her son, you didn't tell her, you just had a professional conversation and didn't get personal, and I think that's okay. He said that was his mom, but from what you said, it doesnt seem he told you not to talk to her or anything. I also dont think it makes you an asshole to want to know why he's nc,,, but i also think it doesnt make him an asshole not to tell you (but still think he should just to let you know-- you've been together three years and youre bound to run into some of his family sometimes)

  114. Just because someone is nice in some settings, does not make them a good person. Hitler was nice to a lot of Germans, does that make him a good person? I’m sure he had an excellent reason for having decided to never talk to his own mother, considering the fact that most abuse victims and similar can’t do the same. YTA

  115. I think it’s fine you spoke to her about research but I don’t think it’s fine you talked to her with the intention of trying to make her seem nice in your eyes. If you bf is NC you should 100% believe him that it was necessary and not try to undermine his feelings, which you totally did. You’re literally telling someone who was probably abused that it wasn’t a big deal and that she seems fine. That would really hurt my feelings if my partner took one small interaction with my NC person to decide that my pain/feelings weren’t necessary. YTA.

  116. Esh. You should be allowed to ask her professional questions about your research without telling her you’re dating her son or talking about anything personal. But just because someone is professional to a work colleague does not give you the right to start asking him why he’s nc and acting like he might be unreasonable. You have no idea why he went nc and he shouldn’t have to tell you his trauma to get you to respect his boundaries.

  117. TRAUMA. The reason he blew up at you was because he likely has PTSD from his upbringing. Why else would he have put himself through the heartache of going no contact. And you - you aren’t just failing to support him, you are making it all about you, acting as if you know better, after a superficial meeting; questioning the validity of his experience and perception, and demanding that he share with you details about something that is deeply painful. YTA and sound entitled and uncaring. I don’t know why he would ever trust you enough to confide in you.

  118. YTA - not for the question you asked TALKING to her, in the professional setting that you did is not the problem here. Going home and asking him why isn’t even the problem, an early days relationship, and a relationship of 3 years living together is a different relationship. If you had simply asked him because you’d actually spoken to her and wanted to find out more from him, and get to know his situation better then N T A.

  119. Yta. Not for a professional conversation that was had at a conference but for everything after. Do you have any clue how hurtful and infuriating it is to have someone defend your abuser to your face? Because I bet a trillion dollars that abuse is at the root of this. How dare you demand that he defend himself and his decisions to you based on a 15 minute, work related q&a? "She seems nice." So do a lot of horrible people.

  120. YTA. You can't determine the totality of a person with one brief (non-personal) conversation. You saying "she seemed nice" was a total slap in the face to your boyfriend; it was like you were saying he had no basis for him going NC.

  121. YTA. I'm NC with my entire birth family. Parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, their friends, old family friends, new family friends, spouses of family... the whole lot. My husband knows better than to try have a relationship with my family, and it's not even because he's banned from talking to them- it's because he respects and loves me, respects the choices I made, respects how I feel, he cares about me as a person, even if he doesn't fully understand the deep trauma.

  122. ESH. I'm honestly a little bit baffled by all of the blunt "YTA" answers here. There is absolutely ZERO context for why the BF went NC with his mother, but everyone is immediately jumping to serious abuse. There are umpteen dozen different reasons to go NC with a family member, and some of those are nowhere near abuse. Could it be? Absolutely. Is it a guarantee? Absolutely not.

  123. NTA... If your question were purely academic and in line with your work, you have done absolutely nothing wrong.

  124. NTA if you said nothing to her that any audience member might have said. He owes you an explanation if he wants you to join his NC. Despite how much some redditors think NC is the solution to life's difficulties, he has no right to ask you to participate in it without explaining why. To me, this is a major red flag after 3 years of dating.

  125. Damn. Some people have incredibly abusive parents who look kind, loving, patient, understanding and damn near angelic to the outside world but are truly nothing short of demonic to their kids. Talking to her is no issue, you were at a conference and she was doing her job, you telling you boyfriend, "Oh, this person who is your immediate family that you had to make the hard decision of cutting off completely seems soooooo nice," is such a shitty thing to say. He has every right to feel betrayed, think about how uncomfortable he must be to not want to talk about it your entire relationship but you approach his probable trauma like a fun little Scooby Doo mystery you'd love to solve. A lot of people have said NC isn't an easy thing to choose to do, why are you so interested in hearing why he's gone NC to the point of questioning the validity of his choice?

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