For any of us with a special someone in our lives, we can always hope that our family and friends will like and accept them.
Because the decision we’ll probably have to make if they don’t is heartbreaking, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ThrowraMom567 found herself potentially having to choose between her family and her future husband because they wouldn’t stop bullying them.
When they pushed back against her calling them out, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she did the right thing.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my mom, ‘No apology, no wedding invitation,’ after seeing the wedding gift she gave my fiancé?”
The OP’s mother tended to overshare her opinions.
“I ([female] 25) am getting married to my fiance ‘Kevin’ next month.”
“My family loves Kevin and Kevin loves them.”
“However, my mom is the ‘brutally honest’ type who constantly dishes out her opinions and thoughts on what people wear, how they look, how well off they are… Mostly negative, tasteless, backhanded comments.”
“She says she can’t help it and that no one should be offended when she’s just being honest.”
The comments really hurt the OP’s fiané’s feelings.
“When she met Kevin, she kept making comments about him, his car, his degree, etc. With time and strict conversations, I was able to get her to show some respect.”
“But she kept annoying Kevin by constantly talking about his hairless face.”
“(His face is clean, he doesn’t have a beard or mustache, which he can be very insecure about. He comes from Irish origins, so he’s White and he has no facial hair, while I’m Hispanic.)”
“Mom made jokes with her husband about how ‘unmanly’ it is to not be able to grow a beard or a mustache.”
“Those comments hurt Kevin so much.”
“I had a very, very stern conversation with her and she said, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize those remarks were offending him, I was just teasing him,’ or ‘You know me, I’m just giving my humble, honest opinion, so he shouldn’t take it personally and should learn that this is how I am.'”
“She ended up sincerely apologizing to Kevin and we left it at that.”
The situation got worse at a family gathering.
“As the wedding was approaching, Mom decided to give Kevin a wedding gift and also to let him know how sorry she was for her past behavior.”
“She invited the whole family for dinner and decided it was the perfect time to hand Kevin his wedding gift.”
“He thanked her but she insisted that he open it right there and then and show everyone what she got him, since she knew him that well already.”
“He opened the box and found a set of shaving tools with shaving cream.”
“Kevin stopped for a second and kept staring at the gift.”
“My stepdad took it and showed everyone, and then mom and others started laughing, while stepdad kept saying, ‘You get the joke, Kev? You get it?’ and my brother started running around the table, laughing with everyone.”
“Kevin got up and walked out.”
“I was so mad, I lost it on Mom, asking why she did that and humiliated Kevin in front of everyone.”
“She told me to relax, she was just messing with him.”
“But I said she knew how he felt about this topic and demanded she apologize.”
“She said no, since she wasn’t responsible for his reaction, and thought he was going to laugh along.”
“I angrily said, ‘No apology, no wedding invitation, period’ and then walked out.”
The OP’s mother did not appreciate this.
“She freaked out, calling and trying to say we overreacted to a joke.”
“My brother said I was crazy to exclude Mom from my wedding over something so stupid. He said Kevin should get over it, since it was a joke.”
“But I refused to send an invitation and withheld until or unless she apologizes.”
“They think I’m unreasonable for choosing this to be my hill to die on and called me disrespectful for how I treated my mom.”
The OP added a side note about the family’s dynamics.
“I’d like to point out that my brother and stepdad and uncle sometimes take part in teasing Kevin. My brother (who’s 31 years old) would sometimes either brag about his goatee mustache in front of Kevin or tell an indirect silly joke about this topic, which would irritate Kevin and just spoil any family gathering we have.”
“But mom is the one who started this whole campaign, and I’ve already had conversations with her about it.”
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 needed to more directly stand up for Kevin.
“‘I won’t let you bully him at this specific time and place’ isn’t standing up for OP, it’s her standing up for her wedding.”
“Actually standing up for him would look more like this, and would have happened the second time it ever happened:”
“‘Kevin and I will no longer be associating with you, unless and until you make clear, positive, and sustained change in your attitude and behavior. Goodbye.'”
“The first time it happened, of course, would have involved OP setting a clear boundary that this behavior would not be tolerated.”
“The issue here is that OP grew up with this, so sees it as ‘normal.’ It isn’t normal.” – Cent1234
“Then you have some serious soul searching to do here. It’s become an us (your family) vs him (your fiance) situation.”
“Right now, by forcing Kevin to continue interacting with your family, you’re choosing them. Yes, you correct them, but the bullying happens first. So you’re setting him up to be abused so you can address it then.”
“Your mother might be the ringleader, but your family fully supports her. They’re all culpable. And I bet if you’re honest with yourself you can think of plenty of other examples of family members making rude comments to Kevin, whether about facial hair or not.”
“Kevin is and very much should be questioning your relationship. Your family will never stop. You also need to reconsider the relationship. Are you willing to go NC (no-contact) with your family to support Kevin? Or do you plan to keep them in your life and just hope that they’ll learn to stop behaving like a pack of hyenas after years of abusing him?”
“You need to understand that right now, even your wedding is going to be set up around your family bullying your fiance. Your family is actively trying to screw with one of the most important days of your and your fiance’s life by making Kevin miserable, and you still don’t seem to get it.”
“Honestly, Kevin sounds like a saint and I don’t know of many people that would have stuck with you this long due to the abuse. I wouldn’t have and if I knew of someone in Kevin’s situation, I’d be very pointedly telling them that his future ILs are abusive and, because you allow it, you’re abusive too.”
“Poor Kevin.” – throwaway86753109123
Others agreed and recommended the OP go no-contact with her family.
“You said they love Kevin, but how? They seem to love HUMILIATING Kevin, but I can’t imagine a room full of people who love me making me feel humiliated, and then doubling down on attacking me.”
“You need to think long and hard about how much you can have your family in your life. It’s very likely going to be Kevin or your family, and you’re going to have to choose.” – ErikLovemonger
“The biggest problem with people like this is they often never learn and are always difficult to deal with. My FMIL is like this, and anytime anyone complains or tells her how she made them feel, she does the same thing and just says ‘I’ll say whatever I want to say.'”
“Saying they’re being ‘brutally honest’ is just an excuse for people to be rude while trying to avoid repercussions for their comments. I hope OP can get her mom to realize how hurtful she is being, but if not, restricts contact as much as possible. It’s not healthy to constantly have to hear rude or degrading things that they KNOW are hurtful.” – Fluffy-Relase6637
“Just looking at it from Kevin’s perspective – I wouldn’t want to be at a wedding if people who treated me this way were present. And I’d be deeply hurt if my SO kept close contact with people who treated me this way.”
“Kevin is being bullied by your entire family. And tbh (to be honest) YOU are being bullied too – they don’t want you to marry him and they are trying to drive him away.”
“If I were you, I would go lc (low-contact) with everyone there and elope. Or, if a big wedding is a must, replace all the laughing rectums with friends, polite acquaintances, more people from Kevin’s side of the family, hell, I would trust homeless ladies from our tent park to not make things awkward more than I would trust your fam.”
“Tbh I also wouldn’t care if your mom crawled to you and Kevin on hands and knees in ash and sackcloth at this point. This bullying behavior may take years to forgive and years of slow trust-building to let go of. If you have to demand an apology for something this mean, you’ve already lost.” – hyperfocuspocus
Otherwise, some questioned how long Kevin would stay.
“OP continues to give these people opportunities to treat him this way. OP also hasn’t really acknowledged that while her mom certainly does seem to be the ringleader, the problem extends to pretty much her entire immediate family (and maybe extended family too, IDK (I don’t know) who all participated in this nonsense). Kevin has every right to decide he doesn’t want to deal with this anymore.” – abishop711
“Honestly I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to end the relationship. No offense, OP, but your mum is very, very cruel. She’s not being honest she’s going out of her way to humiliate your fiancé and bully him.”
“Are you sure that she likes him? Her actions speak volumes here. NTA op but your family definitely is and your mum seems like she is a real nasty piece of work.” – throwawaySnoo57443
“I know Reddit often jumps to, ‘cut your family off, no contact’ and I’m not suggesting OP does that but…”
“Why does she want to be around these people? They’re not just unaccepting of her fiancé, they seem to just be genuinely s**tty people and I can’t comprehend why OP wants to spend any time in their presence.”
“Honestly, if my future spouse makes me hang out with a bunch of bullies often… I don’t picture myself hanging around. I know people say they’re ‘family’ like that means something… but I just can’t comprehend voluntary subjecting myself or my loved ones to people so horrid.” – The_Blip
According to the subReddit, the OP had a serious decision to make. How she was standing up for her future husband clearly wasn’t working with her family, so would she give harsher punishments for future behaviors, or would she cut them off?