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Bride Irate After Widowed Sister Refuses To Attend Wedding For Fear It’ll Trigger Her Trauma

Silhouette of woman in a doorway.
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Weddings are a joyous occasion.

To most people anyway.

Sadly, not everyone looks forward to attending weddings, or has a particularly good time when they go.

As they can be a painful reminder that you have yet to find the love of your life, and find yourself seated at the “singles table,” where the prospect of finding a match doesn’t look promising.

Or, they can be a reminder of happy memories which have subsequently become painful.

Weddings were a sore spot for the sister of Redditor BuddyCamp875.

As a result, she made the decision not to attend the original poster (OP)’s wedding.

A decision which did not sit well with the OP one bit, who made no effort to hide her dissatisfaction from her sister.

Wondering if she was being insensitive, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for thinking that my sister is selfish for wanting to skip my wedding cause of her ‘trauma’?”

The OP explained why she didn’t feel her sister had a valid excuse for not attending her wedding:

“I (25 F[emale]) am about to get married to my fiancé (28 M[ale]), and we already got the wedding list down.”

“However, my sister (25 F, Irish twin) just rejected my invitation cause apparently she doesn’t believe she can be at my wedding without her ‘trauma’ being triggered.”

“Her husband died six years ago, just ten days after they got married, and now my sister thinks attending another wedding would trigger all of these memories, and it would be too much for her.”

“Even tho she knew her husband would die soon after their wedding cause he had late-stage cancer (and that was the only reason they even got married) and it was six years ago, so by all means. She shouldn’t be so traumatized that she’d avoid any and all weddings, including mine.”

“Honestly, I feel like this trauma thing is just an excuse not to come ’cause we’ve always had a rocky relationship, but c’mon now, it’s my wedding. She should put that aside and support me during my biggest day.”

“Also, her friend called me to complain about how our family ‘harassing’ my sister to come to my wedding, sending her into depression and even making her skip work.”

“I admit I did get my family to try to convince my sister to attend my wedding, but nobody has been harassing anyone, and I feel like she’s once again playing the ‘depression card’ so she can get away with her unfair treatment of me.”

“But now even my fiancé is on her side and wants to leave her alone ’cause it’s not worth it to ‘bully’ anyone to come to our wedding.


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who generally agreed that the OP was indeed the a**hole for the way she treated her sister.

Everyone agreed that the OP was being very insensitive to her sister and had no right to judge how she should and shouldn’t feel. Others wondered why the OP was even angry as she didn’t seem to be particularly close with her sister.

YTA, the way you talk about her.”

“Why do you care so much that someone you don’t seem to even like is not coming to your wedding?”- AnOutrageousCloud


“You invited her, and she doesn’t want to come. You have no place forcing her regardless of her reasons.”

“As for her reasons, she got married at 19 to her first love, who died of cancer, leaving her scarred forever, and just because it was six years ago and she knew he’d die, she should be fine.”

“You don’t make that call.”

“You lack empathy.”

“Also, if she was attention seeking, she’d come and make this about her, but no, she chose to stay away and I think it’s the right decision.”

“Grow up.”- JullabyBye


“If she doesn’t feel comfortable coming, you shouldn’t try to bully her about it.”- yar1279


“There’s no time expiration on trauma and grief.”

“She’s being open with you on the reason why she doesn’t want to go and her triggers.”

“You’re just brushing it off as an excuse.”- infinitestarlet

“Not only are you TA, but your post demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about how trauma, grief, and recovery affect people or even work.”

“My wife died ten years ago on her 29th birthday.”

“I’m still incredibly f*cked up from it despite a decade of counseling, intensive trauma therapy, and medication.”

“If a family member suggested I ‘suck it up’ and endure an incredibly triggering event, and then insinuate that I’m being selfish for protecting my mental health, I’d seriously consider cutting them out of my life for good.”

“I don’t know you from Eve, but just judging by this situation, you’re a monster.”- NoHopeOnlyDeath


“Bold of you to invalidate someone else’s trauma.”

“Can’t imagine why.”

“Of course, you ARE the main character after all.”

“You’re THE a**hole.”- ReviewOk929


“Just seeing the quotes around the word trauma makes you the AH.”

“Let it go.”

“’Depression card’? “

“I sincerely pity your fiancé, marrying a stone-hearted woman.”- Sock-United

“I’m sorry, are we now dictating what people can and can’t be traumatized about?!”

“YTA.”- gengrish


“My dude, having a bunch of people gang up on her is definitionally harassment.”- gleaming-the-cubicle


“This is AWFUL.”


“You’re gaslighting your sister to make her do something she’ll be MISERABLE doing, and all you seem care about is yourself.”

“How dare you question how a person grieves for their spouse!??”

“Weddings are hard for folks with romantic trauma.”

“This is bridzilla bs.”

“Stop it.”

“Have some compassion.”

“Everyone’s life does not revolve around your wedding.”- EvolvingWren

“Jesus f*cking Christ YTA.”

“You don’t get to decide she should be over it.”

“And your family sucks for piling on.”

“Consider registering for empathy because you clearly have none.”- Physical_Stress_5683


“Do you actually want your sister at your wedding to celebrate with you, or are you just looking for an excuse to be awful to her?”

“Really, she’s ‘playing the depression card’?”

“Her husband died.”

“Ten days after her own wedding.”

“I get that it happened a few years ago, but she’s allowed to still grieve about it.”

“Why do you want her at your wedding?”

“You said yourself that your relationship is rocky, and you seem to have a very low opinion of her.”

“So why are you insisting?”- schoobydoo42

“Wanting your sister there is nice, but YTA because you’re minimizing her feelings.”

“Let her skip & get your family to back off.”

“Stop bugging her about it.”

“P.S. some people mourn for the rest of their lives & can’t get over the pain.”

“My mom lost my older brother when I was 3½.”

“I’m now 48, and she’s been mourning him for 45 years.”

“It ate at her for decades, still does, which is the main reason I’m NC with her.”

“I’m not saying this for attention or to compare your sister’s grief with my mother’s BUT people do grieve in their own ways & for as long as they want.”

“Not your place to say otherwise.”- zadidoll


“You don’t get to decide when someone is done grieving.”- Jacobsen_oak

“It sounds like you don’t like your sister very much, and you’re very critical of her.”

I can see why she does not want to have a traumatic experience in your presence/on your special day. There won’t be any understanding for her should she need to leave the event suddenly.”

“She declined an invitation to your wedding.”

“It was her mistake to tell you why she was declining the invitation because here you are passing judgment on her reasons, experiences, and trauma.”

“I have a child with cancer.”

“The stages of diagnosis, treatment, learning likely outcomes, seeing outcomes — each of these is a tremendous trauma.”

“During a very traumatic part of her life, she was married to the person she loves, and ten days later, her spouse died.”

“This person’s cancer was not the ‘only reason they even got married.”

“This person’s cancer meant this was their only opportunity to be married.”

“YTA.”- SpontaneousSystem

“Has your relationship with your sister been rocky because you have been like this in the past as well?”

“Makes me wonder- are you inviting her to rub it in her face?”

“My sympathies to your sister.”

“Please pray that your fiance does not find this side of you before the marriage.”

“Hard YTA.”- Far_Opening2859

It’s always sad to learn that certain friends and family members won’t be able to make it to a wedding.

However, since it’s abundantly clear that the OP’s sister wouldn’t be enjoying herself at the wedding, it’s hard not to feel the better decision would be for her not to come.

Especially considering that from the sounds of it, her presence wouldn’t even be particularly missed by the OP.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.