Anytime you feel like your life is too crazy to handle, spend five minutes reading entries on Reddit about family and relationships. The world is full of people in wild and incomprehensible situations you wouldn’t want to be facing in a million years.
For example, this guy who posted to the subreddit r/AmItheAsshole under the handle u/dahlstrommmmm. The OP (Original poster) has a very OP (Original Problem). He promised his brother-in-law-to-be a kidney and now he’s changed his mind.
OP says he dated a woman named Mia for five years before getting engaged last Spring. Two weeks ago he was shown dashcam footage in which Mia said she still loves her ex, but chose the OP because he was the “better choice.” When he confronted her, she admitted it was true and they broke up.
A horrible situation, but ultimately people recover from heartbreak all the time and we all deserve the chance to find someone who really loves us. There’s just one pretty big thing that’s keeping him from moving on—he had promised to give Mia’s brother, Tom, a kidney. Oops.
“Tom has ESRD and needs a second kidney transplant as soon as possible because the kidney from his first transplant is failing. I’m not that close to him and I was only going to do it because I wanted to help Mia’s family in any way I could because I [thought] they were going to be [my] family. But now that I know that she was just playing me the whole time, I’m having second thoughts. Organ donation is a big deal, I will literally risk my life to give part of myself to someone, and at this point I don’t want to do it for the brother of the girl who lied to me, used me and made me a fool for five years.
Would I be the a**hole if I back out?”
This is a literal life-and-death situation, because it might be too late for Tom to get another kidney. On the other hand, there are people waiting for organ transplants all over the country who any one of us could save by submitting to surgery, and the OP really has no more connection to Tom than any of them at this point. Are you gonna go give your kidney to a rando? In fact, as one commenter pointed out, this surgery will leave him with a scar that’s going to remind him of this terrible experience for the rest of his life.
People are pretty split however, like u/RedWowPower who said the OP set himself up for this by agreeing to the kidney transplant for the wrong reasons:
“Will probably get downvoted into oblivion but I have to say it…
YTA for agreeing to this for the wrong reasons to begin with. It’s very admirable to be an organ donor and to save a life. However, it seemed you only decided to do this to make yourself look good to your fiancé and future in-laws.
The reality is that he could die before he gets a match and all this time he was taken off the list while awaiting your kidney prevented him from being matched with a donor.
Had you went into this with the right reasoning, purely out of the generosity of your heart, your relationship status would have no impact on your decision. I feel so sorry for her brother to have been given so much hope and have it taken away.”
Most seem to think that ultimately, he has full bodily autonomy and no one can be forced or obligated to donate a body part or go through major surgery against their wishes, even if it saves someone else’s life.
But one of the big questions asked by lots of commenters was: Why did someone record his fiancée on dashcam? Sounds like a setup. Reedditor u/thejexorcist wrote that maybe OP was making this decision to punish his ex a little bit, even though it just sounded like maybe she had cold feet and chose her words poorly, probably because she didn’t know she was being recorded:
“I was uncertain of my husband when we first dated/got serious because I was so wrong all the other times I thought I was ‘in love’. My husband was and IS a most ‘suitable’ partner because he’s shown me he’s in it for the long haul and wanted to be part of my family and I would be part of his. That makes me love and trust him even more.
There’s a lot of nuance here and fear (because that is a major surgery) but it sort of reads as though this is a punishment for getting your heart broken as opposed to an actual crippling fear/suitability issue. Giving someone hope for a second lease on life, and then taking it away is going to feel fucked up no matter what the situation.”
See? There are worse situations out there than what’s going on with your life. Unless you’re someone in this family.