Weddings are big events for anyone to plan, but they can even be debilitating for someone with crippling anxiety and other mental health concerns.
Though a person should not feel like they can’t have a fun wedding at all, they may discover their wedding season will look a little different than the “norm.”
And it’s up to their partner and the wedding party to support them, said the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor roseblood_red felt anything but supported when she accidentally discovered a big event was being planned without her consent.
When her partner and mother failed to help her, the Original Poster (OP) was unsure what to do.
She asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I be the a**hole) for conveniently being busy the day of my surprise bridal shower?”
The OP did everything she could to make her wedding day manageable.
“I’m getting married in a couple of months. The stress of planning is ramping up, even though I timed things well and switched things up so there would be less last-minute panic.”
“I’m not going a strictly traditional route, and I didn’t want a bridal shower. I get super anxious being the center of attention – it’s really uncomfortable for me, even amongst my closest friends and family.”
“Second to this anxiety is the fact that my mental health is… not good. In fact, it’s swiftly getting worse. I’m on medication and seeing doctors, rest assured.”
“But the stress and the requirements and the constant demands for my attention are mounting and my brain is legitimately unraveling.”
Then the OP found out about the surprise bridal shower.
“I recently found out that my friends (not even sure which ones) are planning to surprise me with a bridal shower. I overheard my fiancé asking a friend of mine to assist. I was a bit distraught but thought I may have misheard.”
“I asked my mother about it. She looked uncomfortable and said that she and my sister had both tried running interference, saying they knew that I 100% did not want a shower, but they were ignored.”
“I know they mean well – not many know about my current mental state – they mean only to bless me. However, I am on the verge of tears just thinking about a whole day being dominated by having to be ‘on’ and the center of attention.”
The OP was conflicted about a possible solution.
“I managed to figure out the approximate date of this nonsense. My question is, would I be the a**hole for taking myself away for that weekend for some peace and quiet, without letting on that I’m aware they planned something?”
“I’m fully frantic, and totally torn between disappointing the kindness of my friends and the potentiality of a full day of anxious agony.”
“Please tell me if I just need to grin and bear it graciously or if I would be really out of line to just quietly take a break.”
“I don’t think I’m in the correct headspace to make a good decision.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP had to prioritize her mental health first.
“Uhh…yeah, my wedding was it. That was the big shin-dig. No bridal shower, no bachelorette party (my MoH and I are both disabled and were saving our energy for the Big Day), nonna that nonsense.”
“It is not obligatory, you do not have to do it. I would have liked to have some time with my out-of-town friends after the wedding, but we all knew I would be completely flattened and exhausted by the wedding.”
“I spent 3 days so badly dead from the wedding that I basically left the bedroom for meals and nothing else. You do have to be up-front with your needs for people to get it, though.” – KaliTheBlaze
“It doesn’t seem like you told your friends you DON’T want one. So you really need to tell them all loud and clear. If they don’t know, then just bailing at the party is a jerk thing to do. IF they know and they won’t listen and still throw the party – then NO you would NTA from my POV. You tried and they didn’t listen.”
“I’m going with NTA if you went on a random getaway that happened to line up. I just got married (I had to reschedule my wedding 1) for [the pandemic] 2) 24 hours before my wedding we had emergency weather and had to completely change everything in less than 24 hours notice – so I feel you on the completely stressed/overwhelmed feeling.”
“If my friends had purposely planned something I DID NOT WANT and I said no to over and over – it would be painful and heartbreaking to see they did the thing I explicitly asked not to. Just because ‘it’s nice for you’ excuse – don’t let people bully you into something uncomfortable just because ‘they are trying to do something nice for you, just deal with it.'”
“That’s such complete BS when people stick to that logic. They ARE NOT trying to do something nice for you – They are doing something fun for themselves that they expect you to just get over it and deal with because everyone thinks you should…” – ryoko_kusanagi
“I was going to suggest canceling the wedding and eloping instead, but OP you absolutely need to hammer out this fiance problem first. He might think he’s doing what ‘every bride’ wants, and that is a big shower, but he needs to comprehend you and your personality, etc do not fall in the ‘every bride’ category.”
“Make sure he understands no, means f**king NO, and if there is a shower that he knowingly and willingly helped plan, the wedding is off and couple’s therapy is on (or maybe the whole relationship is off, too?).” – Autumn988
Others agreed and said the OP’s partner and maid of honor needed to support her.
“I would assume your maid of honor is in on this ‘surprise’. You need to call her up, tell her you already KNOW about the surprise, and you really, really, really HONESTTOGOD don’t want a bridal shower.”
“It won’t be cute. It won’t be sweet. It won’t be fun. It’ll be a HOT MESS! Tell her you absolutely cannot take the stress of being the center of attention at a shower… you’re wrestling with your anxiety now for dealing with the ‘center of attention’ thing at your wedding/reception.”
“Tell her that you SERIOUSLY MEAN IT that you want no bridal shower, surprise or otherwise. That you won’t be attending and their love for you would be shown by giving you the support YOU NEED regardless of what THEY WANT!” – Billowing_Flags
“This exactly! My husband is very supportive of my mental health struggles and he can tell when I need to step away. You need to talk this out with him. He needs to understand that you struggle with mental health and tell him ways that he can help you with that.”
“Before my husband and I go out to do things we have a little secret thing we do that lets him know that I need to go. Our signal is 3 quick taps. Try something like that. Just talk it over with him. Be open and honest.” – Kind_Researcher_5634
“I know you’re already anxious, but since no one is listening to your mother or sister, have you considered going to whichever friend it is that’s planning this and explain to them that you absolutely cannot go through with this bridal shower?”
“Normally the mother of the bride organizes them and it seems a little like your fiancé knew your mother knew better than to throw one and that’s why he interfered (which makes him an AH honestly.) Either that or have you considered telling your fiancé so that he can deal with the person he asked to throw this thing?”
“I don’t think you’re an a**hole for not wanting to do this, but I think the fallout will be worse if you avoid it like you never knew it was happening than to tell them you know and that they need to cancel.”
“People will make comments to you and then you’re either going to have to use energy to maintain a lie (and possibly get ANOTHER party) or tell them the truth and you’ll have chaos on your hands. But if no one can understand that you can’t do this, then you know they’re not capable of understanding that you’re in a bad place and that this isn’t the answer.”
“Either way, I sympathize, I would probably rather give myself food poisoning than have a bridal shower.” – TitusTorrentia
Some suggested creating a “Flat OP” for the event before leaving for a getaway.
“Get a cardboard cutout of yourself.”
“They can sprain their arms patting themselves on the back for giving you a shower you don’t want, without actually having to listen to you.”
“You can have the peace and quiet you need and deserve.”
“Does this sound like I’m being harsh on these people who ‘mean well’? I sure hope so.” – Lucia37
“I think you should tell your MOH to have the party, if a party is what they’re going for (my family desperately want me to have a wedding (pandemic bride) because they haven’t had any fun reasons to gather in 18 months) send a cutout or a doll of yourself as ‘Flat OP’ and tell them to take amazing photos of you at ‘your’ party while you relax at a day spa.” – AlpineRN
“In my reenactor circles, it’s what we do when our friends cannot make it to an event – we make a huge thing out of taking pictures of ‘Flat Friend’ doing all sorts of fun activities. TOTALLY takes the pressure off, leaves you with an album of hilarious memories, ZERO anxiety, because everyone is having EXACTLY as much fun as they want.” – AlpineRN
But a few said the OP would be the AH if she didn’t stand up for herself first.
“YWBTA if you know they are planning it and purposely ruin it by not showing up. They are trying to do something nice. You don’t have to show up but you need to be honest that you’re aware but really don’t want to attend, so everyone else doesn’t waste their time or money.”
“You need to firmly tell them you were made aware of the surprise, you don’t want a shower and explain in detail the reasons why. And thank them for the gesture but ask them to cancel it.”
“I know where you are coming from. I am also refusing a bridal shower because of A. I hate being the center of attention as well and B. My fiance and I already live together and asking people to buy ANOTHER gift on top of the wedding gift and spend money on food/venue for another day seems excessive” – brandy8marie
“You have a third option, besides sucking it up or running away. Stand up for yourself.”
“You go public with it in a mass email to all of your friends/family, telling them that although you appreciate their good intentions, any bridal shower, especially a surprise one, is overwhelming and unwanted and you would appreciate it if they just did not do this. Tell them the very thought of it is causing you distress and if they pursue this they are not being good friends.”
“You are not an accessory for them to play with. You’re the freaking bride, you can have your wedding the way you want it and no shower at all if that is what you want.” – electric29
“Okay, this will likely get downvoted but yes if you did that YWBTA by pretending to be busy. You know it’s happening, tell them you do not want a party because it would cause you pain. In this case, you would not be the asshole because it’s your day and that’s how you feel. However, lying here makes you the a**hole, just be honest even if that’s hard.” – WesleyDonaldson
The bride was thoroughly divided on what to do, but the subReddit strongly supported her in doing what she needed for her mental health. It would be best, however, if she was communicative with the people involved, so they don’t waste time and money on something the OP did not want, unless they wanted to go with the cardboard cutout bride option.