Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy fiancé inadvertently got my autistic brother to do something embarrassing and...

My fiancé inadvertently got my autistic brother to do something embarrassing and now my brother is extremely ashamed and feels betrayed by my fiancé

So…good god I honestly have no idea where to start with this one.

So I’m 26 and female and earlier this year, my mother adopted an autistic son (15) and he’s such a precious human being. He’s just a ray of hope and happiness and radiates it everywhere he goes, and I’m so lucky to be his big sister. However, he doesn’t really have any friends at all and I really wanted him to have someone he could hang out with and have fun, so I asked my fiancé if he could take him out on a guys day, and he obliged. On Saturday, my brother, my fiancé, and my fiancé’s best friend all went to the movie theater.

Now from what I’ve heard, this is what happened: my brother said he was worried he’d have to go to the bathroom during the movie because he drank a lot of soda at lunch, and my fiancé and his best friend jokingly said he should just pee on the floor because “it’s much more convenient and you’re actually helping the theater staff by giving them stuff to do.” They we’re obviously just being stupid and joking around, but my brother didn’t realize that. So in the middle of the movie, he got on his knees and pulled the front of his shorts down and…well you get it. (he said there wasn’t anyone around them and no one saw so at least there’s that)

They both felt horrible and after they brought him home and told me what happened. I was really annoyed with them and then I sat down with my brother and asked him about it and tactfully explained how that behavior is abhorrent and antisocial and should never be repeated. He felt insanely stupid and got so embarrassed he started crying, and as a result he’s refused to talk to my fiancé or even really leave the house for non school related things.

My brother feels like an idiot and is too embarrassed to leave the house, my fiancé and his best friend feel absolutely terrible, and I’m annoyed, upset, and feel bad. What the hell can even be done at this point?

Tl;dr: my fiancé jokingly suggested to my autistic brother than he should pee on the floor of the movie theater and he didn’t realize my fiancé was joking so he actually peed on the floor of the theater, and now my fiancé feels terrible and my brother is too embarrassed to leave the house.

EDIT: it wasn’t an accident on both sides. I fully admit this was entirely because of my fiancé and his best friend, but what I was trying to say is that they’re not bad people. They 100% didn’t realize he would take them seriously and were just trying to make a dopey joke and treat him like one of the guys. I know that doesn’t excuse their behavior, but just because they did a shitty thing doesn’t mean they’re shitty people.

Also, my fiancé wanted to talk to him in person to apologize but my brother doesn’t want anything to do with him. Now he’s writing him a letter that I’ll give my brother if he wants to read it. My fiancé also bought books off Amazon about autism and the behaviors of those on the spectrum to hopefully develop a connection with him in the future.

EDIT 2: I absolutely didn’t use those exact words when telling my brother his actions weren’t correct, I was just using them to convey the sentiment of what I told him. I very gently told him that going to the bathroom is something we need to do in private and it’s not seem as normal or acceptable to do it in a public setting. Then after I hugged him and told him it was ok and that he just misunderstood and he wasn’t stupid.

View Reddit by lizzieizziefizzieView Source



  1. I feel like it’s fair for them to think that they could make a joke and not have expected your brother to take it seriously. I’m sure not EVERYONE with autism would’ve taken it seriously. However, they should’ve definitely been a little more cautious since they don’t really know much about autism is and probably didn’t think it was even a possibility that your brother would take them seriously. I don’t think either of them did it with any malicious intent— I myself make stupid jokes like that and wouldn’t have expected it to be taken serious, and I know/have met all kinds of people with autism.

  2. Did your fiancé know your brother would take something like that literally? That will make all the difference. If he was truly ignorant about how an autistic person is likely to react to a statement like that, then you might be able to work past it if he’s truly apologetic and makes it up to your brother. But if he knew and did it deliberately, that’s cruel and unforgivable.

  3. Yikes that’s rough. Give him time and hopefully your brother will come to accept fiancee’s apology. He made a mistake and seems to want to do better. Something similar happened in my family, in the 90’s, we didn’t know my brother had autism and were just ignorant of the signs. We were at a restaurant and my brother said he didn’t like the soup. Our dad jokingly/sarcastically told my brother, who was 14 at the time, to just pour it out under the table. So my brother did. This caused issues for sure.

  4. I think maybe the way you told your brother not to do that again is also playing into things here – to tell him something he did was abhorrent and should never be repeated, if that’s the language you used, is kicking your brother when he’s down and probably made him feel even more ashamed about the situation than a gentle council about where to go to the bathroom

  5. I think that’s just a really bad accident. It doesn’t sound to me like your boyfriend did it maliciously as some people seem to believe in the comments. I know roughly what autism is and that there are different severity levels, but we talked only about the basic in school. I still wouldn’t expect him to just take your fiancé’s words that literally. I wouldn’t focus on fiance, but your brother’s reaction. Now that your family knows it’s important to work on this. Imagine his classmates say something like that or one day his coworkers. Others won’t know he’s autistic and that they should speak with him in a certain way. That can have a huge impact on his social/work/love life, people won’t forget and he might end up bullied. People could use him for their entertainment or use him to do something illegal. I’m worried about the possibilities.

  6. As someone never been around or dealt with someone with Autism or that level of it, I prolly would of been ignorant and fallen for the same trap. Especially if no one told me if I should or shouldn’t watch what i say. I have almost a similar type of humor and like teasing myself. I wouldn’t made the same joke but I think I would have something just as stupid. I would feel extremely guilty if I was in your fiance situation. From the sounds of it, he’s genuinely feeling bad and trying to make it right while also getting educated on it.


    For your brother, I don’t know. From the sounds of it he’s extremely embarrass and emotional about the situation. I can only let him know he didn’t mean for it to happen like that. Let him have some time to himself to sort his feelings. Time solve will solve itself, maybe?


    Honestly, you should of said something to your fiance. I don’t think it very common to handle people that autistic and know how to handle them. So it partially your fault or anyone who knew but didn’t say anything in advance.

  7. One way of knowing if your fiancé truly cares about your brother is to see his responses and how he reacts to knowing more about autism. It seems that you care about your brother but your fiancé needs to support you when it comes to your brother because interacts that your fiancé has with him could show signs of maturity either way.

  8. I hate that people are saying your fiancé should have known and that it’s his fault. It’s evident through his actions that he treated your brother like a normal human being. Sometimes that’s all that special needs kids want to be….is normal. Or at least treated like they’re normal. It’s heartwarming that your brother was willing to take him to the movies and it sounds kinda cheesy but also that he talked to him like he’s normal, make jokes with him, etc. Not your fiancé’s fault at all and he surely shouldn’t “research” before he talks to your brother. I hate that everyone feels they have to talk to autistic children differently or treat people with special needs like they’re idiots or sub-human. He could’ve stopped your brother before it happened, but to say that he shouldn’t treat your brother like a friend is cold.

  9. I think both you and your fiancé messed up. If your fiancé doesn’t know a single thing about autism, why did you both think it was okay for him to take your brother out unsupervised? You didn’t think it was important to make sure your fiancé understood how he should interact with him? Your fiancé didn’t think, hmm, maybe I should do one google search about the big dos and donts of talking to autistic people? Even if your brother had been neurotypical, I still have some concerns about your fiancés judgment and maturity level. Your brother expressed a genuine worry and your fiancé’s reaction was to make a joke. That wouldn’t have been cool regardless of autism.

    Also, I certainly hope you didn’t use the words abhorrent and antisocial when you explained to your brother that he shouldn’t do that again. You made it worse by having a really intensely negative reaction and making him feel even worse about it. You should have been gentler with him.

    You and your fiancé both messed up and you both need to chill out a little. It’s only been a few days. Tell your fiancé he is not to attempt contact with your brother for a while and respect his wishes. Give your brother time to process. In the meantime, think hard about how (not) thoughtful and (not) gentle your fiancé is and if that’s really the kind of person you want to bring into your family.

  10. > I was really annoyed with them even though it wasn’t really anyone’s fault

    I disagree. I get that your fiance and his friends didn’t do it intentionally, but they fucked up, big time. Who the fuck says something like that to an autistic teenager? How can they be so clueless?

    I feel sorry for your brother. You should work on helping him get over it, remind him that it absolutely wasn’t his fault and that your fiance was the one who fucked up, even if it wasn’t his intention. Then your brother can decide if he wants to accept your fiance’s apology.

  11. I’m 100% on your brothers side.

    Your fiance knew your brother has autism and your fiance must be stupid if he didn’t realize that your brother doesn’t have good social skills, given the fact that your fiance convinced your brother to do that.

    If your fiance ment that he is sorry he would go back to the theater and clean the pee up and/or say sorry to the staff that he – your fiance – ped there.
    If he isn’t willing to do that then I don’t believe he is sorry.

    And your brother doesn’t feel that your fiance did betray him.
    Your fiance DID betray him.

    Your brother is going to spend the rest of his life around people like your fiance and either you’re on this side or your brothers life would be better without you.

  12. … wasn’t inadvertently, or by accident, they thought it would be funny to get your brother to do that, to embrace him.

    That they felt bad afterwards doesn’t mean shit. They knew what the likelihood of putting your brother up to it would result in him actually doing it.

    You need to apologise to your brother, as the blame squarely lies on your fiancé and his friend, and you made your brother feel worse by embarrassing him further regardless of if you meant to or not.

    And as for your relationship with your fiancé. Time to re-evaluate it. Is this someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with? He’s shown you how he treats someone you embraced as family, and is a vulnerable member of society, and it’s not good. How is he likely to treat you or any children you have in the future?

  13. I feel sorry for everyone involved.

    Writing a letter to explain the fiancé’s joke would be good. It’s good that your brother learns about sarcasm and that some expressions explore the absurdity of the opposite for fun.

    It’s not too bad though. I hope they tipped the theater staff generously and explained the situation.

  14. While I’m all up for banter I don’t really understand how it got to where it did. While reading I thought one of them was going to joke about peeing in an empty cup or something. The whole bit about it being good for the staff is straight weird IMO. Like even if it gave them work to do them cleaning up your piss probably isn’t something they want to do.

    Hopefully things work out but my comedy radar is broken on this one.

  15. I can’t see how this can be an accident. You’ve got to be cartoonishly ignorant to not know at least a little bit about autism. And their “joke” doesn’t sound real. It sounds intentional but done in a way that they could cover it up by saying, “we were just joking!” I think your fiancé and his friend are bullies.

  16. I personally would never forgive if someone did that to me. I doubt there is any FUTURE for your fiance and your brother. Even if he didn’t know your brother doesn’t get sarcasm he sure as hell did know your brother was actually worried about this.

    How is he your fiance and still doesn’t know this huge thing about your brother?

    The more I think about it the less I believe the fiance.

  17. I’m 26 also and have an older brother on the spectrum. My fiancé and his friends would never EVER say anything like this even as a joke. This makes me want to cry for your brother bc if it happened to mine.. I would HURT them. Accidents happen but he better redeem the fuck out of himself

  18. Your poor brother. Many people with autism take everything literally and don’t understand joking or sarcasm. I’m so sorry this happened. I’m sure in retrospect you now realize that they should not have taken your brother out with such little knowledge of autism and how to communicate with your brother. I have a 13yo nephew with autism and worked with children and teens with disabilities, so I understand how easily things can be misunderstood. I really hope your fiancé can find a way to apologize and make it up to him. Telling your brother it was your fiancé’s fault and he feels horrible might be a start. Once they’ve talked and he has apologized to your brother, try to let it go and don’t bring it up or let anyone else bring it up again. It’ll just cause more embarrassment. If your brother doesn’t bounce back, you might consider a therapist to help him process his feelings. Best of luck!

  19. Make sure that your fiancé is being careful with the books that he’s reading and “educating” himself with. It’s best to learn about autistic people FROM autistic people so if he looks specifically for books by autistic people about autism then that would be best.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular