Family are meant to be the people who least judge us and our significant others, but sometimes they end up being the exact opposite.
And when family levee judgements against us and our significant others, it hurts more than pretty much anything else ever could.
Redditor Kaiahi found herself in such a hurtful situation that she had to turn to the popular subReddit “Relationship Advice” to get some clarity.
“Cousin asked me not to bring my disabled husband to her wedding.”
Our original poster, or OP, cut right to the chase on how deeply her cousin hurt her.
“My cousin (34F[emale]) was due to have her wedding earlier this year. It was postponed because of current events. She lives overseas and we had booked plane tickets to go to it. About three months before her wedding she messages me (36F) and suggests that I leave my husband (37M[ale]) at home because she, ‘doesn’t want me to have the burden of having to look after someone’ then she followed it up with, ‘I’m saying this with love’.”
And though she pushed back…
“I was extremely hurt by this comment especially as it was full of judgement and not love. No one else is being asked to leave their partners at home. I didn’t say anything to her because I didn’t want to ruin her big day, so I let it go. I did however tell her that my husband was not a burden and I’m sure she wouldn’t say that about her fiancee. She dropped it.”
She’s now wondering what to do about the possibility of going next year.
“Now we have a flight credit and her wedding has been rescheduled. Her parents have done a lot for me (let me live with them etc.) and I’m very close to her sister. However, I really don’t want to go because of what she did. So, what should I do? And if I don’t go, what should I tell her and my husband? To be clear, I never told my husband what she said. He loves my family and it would hurt him so much. Also, if it matters, my husband has cerebral palsy and uses crutches to walk. Thank you so much!”
Hold OP’s cousin accountable and then do whatever OP and husband want.
“Talk to your cousin. Wedding or not, she needs to take responsibility for what she said. She’s a grown ass adult and if she’s going to dish it out, then she needs to take it too. Tell her that the statement was uncalled for and inappropriate jab to your marriage and that for you to attend her wedding, she needs to apologize.”
“I would talk to your husband because I think he should be in on it because it involves him too. You can’t protect him from everything and he’s your equal as a partner. (I’m sorry if it sounds unwarranted to make that statement, I have no clue what your marriage is like so call me out if you think I’m overstepping).”~seolarmoon
“I wouldn’t go to the wedding. I use the flight credit to take hubby on a vacation. When your aunt/uncle ask you why you you’re not going. Forward them the message from the bridezilla. Tell them you couldn’t go to wedding where your husband wasn’t welcome because of his disability. That her ‘concern’ for you was more about appearances than anything else. So you’ve decided to stay home with the man you love rather than go to wedding where he is not welcome.”~nickis84
“I’d call your cousin and say:”
“’Hey Cousin, I’m calling because I can’t stop thinking about our last conversation. When I married Husband, we said for better or worse, in sickness and health, just as you’re about to do. I wanted to let you know that as my partner he is my rock and the farthest thing from a burden. We are a team and a package deal.'”
“OPTION 1: ‘Is there another reason you did not want him to attend? I know having a picture perfect wedding is important to some people.’ Pause. Cause I would bet my next pay check that’s the reason. She’s shallow and doesn’t want pictures that have crutches in them.”
“’Well, as I’ve said, Husband and I are a package deal. We wish you the best, but won’t be attending.’”
“OPTION 2: ‘Therefore, since Husband is no longer invited, neither of us will be attending. We wish you the best and hope your wedding is everything you dreamed it would be.’”
“If your relatives say anything, then you say ‘We were excited to attend together, but since the airfare is non refundable and we bought two tickets we decided to use it on a vacation. It would have been a waste to only use the value of one ticket.’”~TorandCadie
“Tell your cousin that because of her ignorant and judgmental comment, you won’t be attending her wedding. She’s an adult and should face the consequences of her actions. It being her day does not give her the right to be discriminatory and insensitive.”
“You and your husband are a team, and you’re right to stand by him. If you don’t want to tell him what she said, then simply say that you and she had a falling out, or come up with a different reason.”~_lost_in_thoughts_
And all agreed that what OP’s cousin said is incredibly offensive to disabled folks.
“That would be extremely offensive to me if I had a disabled spouse. I think you should tell your husband and let him decide if he is as offended by this as you are and let him decide whether or not he wants to go.”~oops3719
“Does your cousin’s family know about your cousin’s request? This could get ugly if you don’t show up and your cousin paints you as the bad guy. You say you’re close with her parents, so you might want to address this with them to try to ‘inoculate’ yourself against any potential drama. Of course that could create trouble in itself, but it still seems like something to consider.”~OddyTheOddball
“I think you should definitely address in further detail with your cousin how out of line what she said was. You do not owe her any passes because she has nice parents and a nice sister. I would personally still attend her wedding just to have a lovely evening with hubby and avoid her as much as possible without causing unnecessary tension, but if you personally feel deeply wounded by what she said, absolutely do not go!”
“Addressing whether to tell your husband what she said, I, again, can only speak from the point of view of my own relationship: we tell each other everything big to teeny tiny. We don’t leave each other out of the loop on anything. But, if that is not how your relationship works and if it will hurt more than anything, maybe only tell him if you decide not to go.”~23ekr
“You are an incredible person who elegantly and tactfully handled your cousins’ ableist request. My SO has a visible disability and if I was in your shoes I would have lost my mind.”
“You should talk to your husband about it. It’s hard because it will hurt him but he needs to know about the cousin and what happened. Then the two of you can work out a plan. I am in a strong, don’t go to the wedding and feel free to calmly explain what happened to anyone who asks why you didn’t attend.”
“If your cousin asks, a simple, ‘Your comment about my husband was ableist and I am no longer comfortable attending your wedding.'”
“Then take that flight credit and the money you would have spent and go somewhere with your husband once it’s safe to do so in your part of the world.”~thatcousinfromCA
Most people’s advice also included using that flight credit and taking a better vacation with it.
“Reading all of the suggestions here.. you don’t really owe your cousin or anyone an explanation as to why you won’t make it to the wedding. A good enough reason is Covid and postponement of the wedding.”
“If someone said that about my husband or someone I loved I wouldn’t be able to get over it. Life is so short and precious. Accidents and illnesses can happen to any one of us and we could end up on crutches or a wheelchair anytime.”
“Just say our tickets were non refundable and then the day before you’re supposed to fly out to the wedding place say sorry husband is sick and we won’t make it.”~SS144000
“I would not go. She acted like your husband being disabled is the same as when people say they want an adults only wedding so adults can ‘have fun and not have to take care of kids all night.’ Which while we’re at it is also is kind of insulting to a lot of parents who don’t consider it a burden to enjoy a family even with their children as company.”~shellybearcat
“‘I’m saying this with love’ is the same thing as saying ‘Whatever you do, do it with love.’ It’s an except to do or say something excessively rude, controlling, or even violent, as long as you…do it with love. It’s absolute bullsh*t.”
“Don’t go. Don’t RSVP. Don’t respond. No freakin’ way would I leave my husband home to go do anything just because the people I’d be with have an ‘ism’ about his disability. This goes beyond disrespect and disregard all the way to bigotry.”~Thwaffle_maker
“I would respond that WE have decided not to attend because we do not want YOU to have the burden of worrying whether WE were having fun or not. (Since you know that’s what she is so concerned about.) No further explanation needed.”
“You should then use your postponed reservations to go on a vacation for just the two of you. Possibly on the same weekend. Maybe even in the same city. OR wherever they are planning their honeymoon, perhaps at the same time.”~Kevlar5427
OP is right to be offended.
Also, OP is within her rights not to go to her cousin’s wedding. OP loves her husband, and has a flight credit and some extra money to show how much she loves him–so there might be a solution embedded in the problem already.