Woman's boyfriend furious after finding out she was a surrogate for her older sister

Woman with a pregnant belly
The woman is now wondering whether she was in the wrong for not mentioning the surrogacy. Photo credit: Getty Images

In relationships, it's quite normal for your partner not to know EVERY. MINUTE. DETAIL about your entire existence. 

Some people are oversharers and some are private, but no matter where you fall on the spectrum, some things just don't need to be shared - that's what diaries are for.

But a woman who failed to tell her partner about a past experience was left questioning whether she was in the wrong after he became angered by her lack of transparency. 

Taking to the Reddit forum Am I the Asshole - a space for people to anonymously share their pressing moral predicaments with the strangers of the internet - the woman said she had been a surrogate for her older sister, but had never mentioned it to her partner of two-and-a-half years.

The woman had only been 20 when she carried the child, but decided to take on the surrogacy as her sister, who was desperate to conceive, had suffered several miscarriages - as well as battling ongoing fertility issues.

Although she had carried a child for her older sibling, the now 28-year-old explained she has no maternal instincts and doesn't want children of her own - a stipulation her partner had accepted despite him feeling differently.

"When we began to get serious I told him I didn't want to have children… he wanted kids but we talked it over and he decided he could live without them," the woman wrote.

"Things were fine until we were visiting my family a few days ago for my dad's birthday. [My boyfriend] saw some old pictures of me when I was 20 and clearly heavily pregnant. He was upset and asked me what this was and thought I'd had a child and gave them up.

"I explained to him that my older sister and her husband had been struggling with fertility and she'd had several miscarriages, so I offered to carry their child for them… My seven-year-old niece was the result of this.

"I in no way feel maternal towards her, she is their biological child and I've never felt I was anything but the handy oven for that bun. I never brought it up before as I didn't think it mattered and it was so long ago that it wasn't really anyone else's business. 

"He however feels differently and when we left, he told me I should have told him and said how it wasn't fair that I'd been willing to give my sister a child, but wouldn't even consider having one with him."

The woman said she felt his response was unfair, noting there is a difference between carrying a child and raising a child. However, she apologised to him for her indiscretion.

"I told him I was sorry but I honestly hadn't felt it was his business as it had been years before we got together. I then reminded him how he had been the one to say he could live without children as I'd warned him long ago. 

"He is still upset with me, I honestly didn't think I did anything wrong here."

She then turned to the strangers of the internet for their verdict: "AITA [am I the asshole] for not telling my boyfriend that I'd been a surrogate before we were together?"

Readers resoundingly agreed the woman was not the asshole in the situation, although several advised her to think carefully about the future of her relationship moving forward - with children clearly being a contentious issue. 

Others noted her boyfriend's reaction, while perhaps understandable, was also over-the-top and insensitive, given that he seemingly accused the woman of applying double standards. Many warned her his response was a red flag.

"He reacted on a big scale and that is understandable, but he is basically saying 'you had a baby for them, you should be willing to have one for me, too' - which is not cute," one said.

"You both made the wishful mistake of thinking he could just be OK without kids when you both know he wants them. He is not okay with it and if you don't have kids, he will resent you.

"If you do choose to have kids for him, you will resent him and possibly also the kids. Please think this through carefully."

Another wrote: "Something I don't think should get lost in the weeds is that he clearly still wants children and this is a huge compatibility issue.

"And I love that you carried a child for your sister, I would do anything for mine as well and I wouldn't tell anyone I birthed their child that wasn't in my life at the time. It sort of puts an asterisk on the child that doesn't need to be there if no one wants it to be."

A third agreed: "If her partner actually does want children, he'll resent her for the rest of forever if he sees her as being the force denying him that. I can't think of a single greater incompatibility in a relationship."