Life happens and gets in the way of even the events we have been looking forward to the most. That’s a sad fact—as everybody who lived through the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 can attest to.
Years-long plans were put on hold and postponed. And that happens outside of the context of major natural disasters as well.
Such as when Redditor NikiaShaeres had to pull out from her sister’s wedding in order to take care of her foster children. It was undoubtedly an event she was looking forward to, only to have her dreams thwarted at the last possible second.
When her sister did not react favorably to this action, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole” or “AITA” for feedback from objective strangers:
“AITA for pulling out as maid of honor at my sisters wedding?”
The original poster, or OP, said she was meant to stand up with her sister at her wedding, but something very big happened.
“My older sister is getting married in a few months and I was supposed to be maid of honor but two weeks ago I had to make the decision to pull out.”
“My sister is pissed. And I have told her she needs to understand my position here but she claims I’m only making excuses so I said I would let you guys decide.”
“My husband and I adopted our kids from foster care two years ago. Our son was 6 and our daughter was 4.”
“We had them for a year before the adoption was finalized. Days before we all went into lockdown our daughter was diagnosed with RAD (reactive attachment disorder), which in our case meant she was prone to anger and did not form attachments with people, including us, and it was both a relief and a curse.”
“It was a curse because it happened when we couldn’t attend in person therapies and she needed them.”
“It was months before she could attend therapies in person and she did not cope well with being cooped up with us.”
“We finally started to see some improvements with her and life was starting to take some shape. But then life went to sh*t several weeks ago.”
A new development around the kids’ former foster parents sent life into a tizzy.
“One of their former foster parents was in jail and got out. We were notified and the social worker did a poor job of the notification in that she just announced it at the door with the kids in earshot.”
“It resulted in what I would call a relapse of RAD in our daughter and in our son, he became very emotionally distressed and clingy and has needed to go under evaluation to see what the best course of treatment is.”
“Right now I am the parent they do better around, especially our daughter, who is starting to reject my husband again and the healthy attachment she had with him is almost non-existent again due to what we believe is suppressed trauma relating to their former foster home.”
“Right now I am not working. I am basically working through therapies and we have moved to school online for both for the upcoming year due to the challenges we are now facing.”
With all this, OP decided she couldn’t participate in her sister’s wedding, to her sister’s severe chagrin.
“I can’t dedicate time to my sisters wedding. We’re unsure whether I will even make it. I can’t put stuff on my husband relating to our daughter while I focus on maid of honor stuff because it is a safety issue.”
“Their interactions are done with me around or in a controlled environment with the therapist present.”
“My sister does not feel this is a valid reason to drop out. She said I should be putting her first here, and as her only sister, being maid of honor should be important to me. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors thought OP was well within her rights to do what she did.
“‘She said I should be putting her first here,’…lol no.”
“NTA. Your sister does have a right to be disappointed and it sucks that it’s such short notice, but your kids trump everyone else.”
“Your kids suffered trauma and need their mother during this time. Sister needs a reality check.”-ghostofumich2005
“It’s not like this was foreseeable. This is an emergency situation. You are choosing to put the life of your children above all else.”
“This includes you, your husband, and your sister. I’m sorry if she doesn’t like it and yes, she has a right to be disappointed.”
“But where is her understanding and compassion for you, your husband, and your children?! I’m sure you husband is devastated by this too.”
“He can’t feel good about not being able to comfort his own children. But he is putting his feelings aside for his children.”
“You made a commitment to her. But an emergent health matter arose in your life. What of one of your kids was diagnosed with cancer and it wasn’t an invisible illness?”
“This isn’t a situation you want. Nevertheless it is your reality. I hope you all can work through this as quickly and safely as possible.”-paintcounting
“Sister can absolutely be disappointed, you’re right! This is a disappointing thing!”
“What pegs her as an AH is what she did afterwards. When someone you love enough to have standing with you on your wedding day comes to you and says that they are too overwhelmed to be in that wedding, and may not even be able to attend, you are clearly not the victim in this scenario.”
“Sure, you can take a beat to be sad, frustrated, disappointed, whatever. But then, you say ‘is there something I can help you with?'”
“Sis may not be able to physically help with these kiddos, but she can have food/groceries delivered, she can pick up dirty laundry and wash it, she can arrange to clean the house while they take a walk or go to a park.”
“When someone is focused on managing a family crisis, friends and family need to help with the logistics of life to let the people in need focus on their crisis.”
“Take the dog to the vet, mow the lawn, change the car’s oil–the list is literally endless.”
“The upside of not being a sh*tty selfish person is that if Sis helped OP with this crisis, it’s very possible that she can have her sister with her on her wedding day.”
“If OP had the space to focus on her kids and not worry about other stuff, maybe she would have the space to throw on a dress for an evening. Sis is not just an AH, but she’s very short sighted…”-kornberg
“I get that your sis needs SOMEONE right now, but for her, that someone doesn’t actually have to be YOU.”
“She can pick another friend to be MOH or co-MOH, or she can spread the duties around her entire wedding party.”
“At worst, she can hire somebody to do most of the MOH organizing, so you can just show up at the event/s.”
“Your kids need YOU, not just SOMEBODY. And we’re not just talking about your kids, here; we’re talking about her niece and nephew; her family. She’s bridezilla-ing. NTA.”-usernaym44
People also noted while OP’s sister was allowed to be upset, she wasn’t allowed to make OP feel badly about her choice.
“Your sister’s wedding is important. But your children’s health, safety, and wellbeing is even more important.”
“It would be awesome if things improve enough for you to be able to go to her wedding and support her, but as things stand acting as a worst case scenario and letting her know now that you can’t be MOH and might not be able to attend is a smart choice and saves everyone in the long run.”
“Your sister has every right to be upset and maybe even resent you a little bit because it is her wedding, but your reasons are entirely valid. NTA.”-Aethermist88
“EPIC NTA. You’re at an absolutely critical point with your kids mental and emotional health and whole family wellbeing, you don’t have time and energy to spare – that doesn’t mean you don’t love your sister to bits, if you can’t do it you can’t do it.”
“I’d pull out all the stops to make sure you’re there for her on the day, though – even if only for a limited period.”-RafRafRafRaf
“We are in the process of adopting a 9yo from foster care. It’s so hard. These kids need so much. You are right to focus your time and energy on your vulnerable and traumatized children.”
“My only thought… my sister was my MoH and she was very overwhelmed at the time we got married.”
“I told her not to worry about MoH stuff and that I just wanted her by my side. I just had her show up at the wedding in her MoH dress.”
“I even asked one of the other bridesmaids to do the toast so she wouldn’t have to (she has severe social anxiety). Would that be a compromise that the bride is willing to make?”
“Or does she expect you to be off planning her bachelorette party and doing all kinds of MoH stuff? You’re NTA either way, I just thought it might be worth exploring a compromise.”-lurk_no_touch
“NTA. I think your sister must be feeling very hurt and rejected. Making your sister MOH is a sign she sees you two as being very close, and hearing that you can’t make time for her must be hard to hear and process.”
“It is hard for people without kids, or even people with easy kids to understand things can be as hard and moment to moment as your life is, and the idea you can’t take one day off from it.”
“In the end you don’t have room in your life for you sisters wedding right now, and that is not your fault, but she is allowed to be hurt and upset by it.”-Music_withRocks_In
And OP’s sister should become more aware of priorities.
“NTA. Your family is struggling. Yes, she’s your sister, and she’s getting married, but your children need you more.”
“Maybe you could ask if she’d be okay with you ‘trading’ with one of her bridesmaids, so they take over with all of the responsibilities, and you’re still able to be there for your sister.”
“And also explain that your children are going to be nearby (maybe not in the same room, or even the same building) so you can leave as soon as the ceremony itself is done.”
“Your children come first. Your sister is going to be upset. But in the end, you have to do what is best for your children.”-Mi-Nira
“Does your sister literally think the world revolves around her most special perfect wedding day?”
“You are mother and your children come before everything, including your sister’s wedding. You are a hero for taking in these children with very special needs. NTA.”-type1error
“NTA by a long shot. Your children are absolutely the priority and set backs at these ages are far more disruptive to children’s emotional growth than it seems.”
“Other commenters saying things like ‘they need to learn to get over it’ clearly have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to children, children under 5, or adoptive children.”
“Unless you are lying about therapist recommendations or have already dropped the ball on a bunch of MOH stuff with the wedding days away & no time to replace (I don’t think you included how far out the wedding is?) You’re absolutely not the a**hole.”-AcanthopterygiiFirm
“NTA- Does your sister understand what is going on in your house right now?”
“She probably doesn’t mean to come across so selfish, but I don’t think anyone gets what it’s like having a kid with special needs til they try to do it 24/7 (I’m an autistic parent of an autistic child).”
“You’re making the right choice even if your sister is mad, hopefully you can explain to her why exactly you’re needed at home right now.”-Actually_Mom
Missing a wedding is always difficult, especially if you were supposed to play a larger role.
But in then end, OP’s priority is her family. Hopefully her sister will understand that in time.