Weddings and family are both already complicated things in life. But when Redditor PriyrPo considers excluding her sister, things become exponentially more difficult with her parents.
The original poster (OP) isn’t sure if she’s a jerk to exclude her sister who has some issues understanding physical limits with other people. She decides to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit the board’s titular question.
OP has to know:
“AITA for not wanting my disabled sister at my wedding?”
First, a quick preface from OP:
“The title sounds awful but please read all the way til the end. DO NOT SPEED READ THIS.”
She then goes into her situation:
“My (22f[emale]) sister ‘Anna’ (21) is ‘special need’. She has severe autism and while she is verbal most of her communication is ‘physical’ like sign language due to her social discomfort.”
“She does speak around family though and has pretty bad cognitive skills. She can’t comprehend boundaries and lives with our parents so they can best watch her.”
“I am getting married in 3 months. We planned a simple wedding and reception at my fiance ‘Michael’s’ parents barn and farm.”
“Since it’s all gonna be DIY and we aren’t planning anything too expensive, we can do things pretty quickly since flowers, food and decor will be provided by his family.”
“I sent out invites last week and I asked that Anna not come. I told my parents I understood that would mean they may not show up but it was just a heads up.”
“Why no Anna? She has an issue with touching Michael and trying to kiss him. At times when we were at my parents house Anna would try and grab Michael’s hands, try to lean in to kiss him or would have a really bad shutdowns if she wasn’t allowed to be directly next to him.”
“We’ve tried speaking to her but there’s only so much we can do when she doesn’t really understand. I told my parents I just want one day for Michael to be my partner and not Anna’s comfort person.”
“They called me selfish and asked how I expected them to agree to something like this. They told me Anna is disabled and may never experience a wedding of her own and while I have Michael for probably the rest of our lives she’ll have no one and that Michael and I can be a little more understanding to the reality of her life.”
“I feel like a total a** and what they’re saying has really gotten to me and I’m starting to question my decision. AITA?”
OP is trying to have one day to herself, but it’s coming at the expense of her sister and parents. Who is at fault?
Reddit commenters determine whether or not OP is a jerk.
This is done by including one of the following in their reply:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The commenters decided that OP is entitled to a day for herself. While it’s understandable that the parents are upset, they also need to understand why OP is asking this.
She’s not wrong to try and keep her sister from her future husband to prevent an awkward situation.
“NTA. I don’t care if I get downvoted. You’re right, she is incapable of leaving your fiancé alone on the only day she needs to leave him alone.”
“Best wishes to you and your future husband!!” – rileygreyy
“Your partner deserves to not be sexually harassed every day, but ESPECIALLY on his wedding day. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t understand, she still can’t do it.”
“If your family won’t prevent her from doing things, than she isn’t allowed in those situations.” – MuchPreferPets
“NTA. Neither is poor Anna. It’s your parents.”
“They told on themselves, because it sounds like they expect you to share your spouse with her to make her life more ‘fair’ somehow.”
“It really, really sounds like they’ve been secretly encouraging and supporting this behavior. The most charitable thing I can come up with is maybe they’ve deluded themselves into thinking ‘anything to avoid a meltdown’. But that way lies madness.” – Massive-Emergency-42
“NTA. It would be unfair and unkind to Michael to force him to endure that on his wedding day.”
“Make it clear to your parents that you’re not looking for ‘agreement’ — Anna is not invited, period.” – Jallenrix
Other people were a little more understanding and felt for Anna.
“NAH. Your fiancé shouldn’t have to put up with being sexually harassed, even if your sister isn’t being malicious.”
“Your parents are—understandably—upset that you aren’t inviting your sister. You two grew up together and they probably imagined you two being there for each other’s milestones.”
“This doesn’t mean not inviting her is unjustified, it’s just where they are seeing things from.”
“This situation absolutely sucks all around. Maybe a solution will come with time.”
“Best of luck with everything!” – sh0n01
“Well, it is clear a lot of people here do not understand Autism. Your sister’s behavior is communication. It probably not being understood by anyone.”
“She is trying to operate in a world whose rules make no sense to her. Each autistic person is unique.”
“It is your wedding and you can control your guest list. There is no argument on that.”
“My real issue in this is that there is so very little being done to try to understand what is being communicated and a lot of people below trying to judge behavior based on their set of standards that do not apply in a reasonable fashion.”
“Anna probably understands more of what you are telling her than you realize and she is trying to communicate something important back to you and your fiancé and so far have missed the discussion.”
“I assume she has therapists working with her and would suggest talking with them since they probably have been working on trying to understand her lexicon (if they are at least half way decent) and see if they can help puzzle the message out.” – S_Kilsek
OP eventually gave an update, and it sounds like things haven’t gotten any better.
“Update: My parents called me letting me know they won’t be coming and that it’s best I don’t bring Michael around anymore since I’ve ‘chosen some man over my sister’.”
“They told me that Anna wanting to kiss Michael and hug him is normal for a women her age and that she doesn’t understand what her feelings mean. I suggested they try to redirect her during the wedding but they said Michael is gonna be family to her and he needs to ‘get over it’.”
“I suggested they watch the wedding via web and they said that’s not fair and that they deserve to see things in person. I asked if I could pay for someone with proper credentials to watch her that day while they attention and they asked what I would do when they died and if I’d pawn her off every time.”
“I dropped the unfortunate truth bomb that I don’t want to put any more of my life aside for Anna anymore. I did it up until I turned 18. And that Anna is not my life’s responsibility and I won’t be her keeper.”
“I assured them I’d pay for her care but if she’s okay doing this to Michael then I worry for if I ever do choose to have children and what she’d do to them They said I was sick for suggesting she’d do anything to my future children and hung up on me. They sent a lengthy text telling me not to contact them until I could ‘do the right thing’. So thts where we are right now.”
She also gave a warning to those who tried to use this space to be insulting.
“PLEASE READ: This is NOT an excuse to talk badly about disabled people’s nor is this an opportunity to air out your hatred for them. My sister is not a scapegoat to hate disabled people.”
“She is a human being with feelings, she is not a statistic, she is not evil. Please stop treating my sister as if she’s a malicious monster, this debacle is between me and my parents.”
“Leave her out of it, please. I am begging you, I don’t want to hear why you think my sister sucks.”
Whether or not OP has a right to not invite her sister, her parents have some issues with letting Anna do anything to avoid a meltdown. They might need to find a different way to try and communicate.
It’s difficult to understand Anna, and it’s difficult for her to understand, but that doesn’t mean the answer is to just let her do anything on OP’s wedding day.