in ,

Groom Furious After His Fiancée And Her Mom Decide His Disabled Little Sister Isn’t Flower Girl Material

Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/Getty Images

Ableism is discrimination directed at disabled people.

THROWAWAY7079371 experienced some ableism firsthand, directed at his little sister, while planning his wedding—and is on the precipice of a serious crisis because of it.

On the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA,” he detailed exactly what happened:

Aita For arguing with my fiancee and refusing to let her niece be the flower girl instead of my sister?”

Our original poster, or OP, talked about how challenging planning this wedding has already been with an unruly mother-in-law-to-be:

“Mine (M[ale]23) and my fiancee’s (F[emale]22) wedding is this month. Wedding planning has been literally a nightmare. Her mom keeps stomping boundaries and changes any plans we come up with to have a ‘decent’ wedding and not let me ‘ruin’ it and embarrass her.”

“Her mom thinks I’m a kid she calls me ‘son’ and it’s so annoying and inappropriate. My fiancee is the youngest in the family and I’m the youngest son in law in the family that’s why I got this nickname.”

OP was really looking forward to his little sister being the flower girl:

“Anyways. My fiancee and I already discussed and decided to have my 9 year old sister be the flower girl. She has mild cerebral palsy but she’s functioning and does good at school. She’s had people make comments about her and she’s very sensitive so she’d get upset because of these inconsiderate people’s comments.”

“My sister’s is on cloud nine ever since she was told she will be the flower girl. She got her dress and so far she’s tried it on more than 5 times asking me when I’m going to have the wedding which is sweet.”

But then, MIL came swooping in:

“Thing is My fiancee came to tell me last week that we will be making changes in terms of menu/invitation cards because her mom recommended other things instead of what we agreed on. According to her mom I have no idea what a ‘good decent wedding’ look like and wanted to save us (herself) from ’embarrassment.'”

And things really crossed the line:

“I let it go. And didn’t say anything. Because my fiancee told me these are small issues and that I needed to go with the flow. Okay no problem but to suggest that we picked the ‘wrong’ girl to be the flower girl was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She actually said she wasn’t sure how my sister will behave at the wedding and that we shouldn’t take chance and just pick her niece instead.”

Immediately, OP went to his sister’s defense:

“I told her no not gonna happen. Like I gave my parents and my sister my word. no way I’m going to make her upset and sad and let the niece take her place.”

And his fiancée…did not react well:

“My fiancee threw a fit and said I was overreacting. That my sister still gets to wear her dress but sit with the crowd instead of walking down the aisle. We been arguing over this the whole week and I’m now supposed to call her and say okay but I refused and I’m standing my ground and wanting my sister to be the flower girl despite what others say because this offends me and my family.”

“People say that we can have more than one flower girl but my mother in law doesn’t think my sister should even be included as one. She wants her sitting like a guest the whole time thinking she might ‘misbehave’ where in fact my sister isn’t like that at all. She’s well-behaved and smart, even better than other kids. My fiancee seems to agree since she wants me to say yes.”

OP wanted to know–had he done anything wrong?

Reddit decided guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Overwhelmingly, Reddit came down in favor of OP.

“OP, my dude. Listen to how your fiancee is speaking about your sister. Think about how you’re going to be stuck with that MIL for your entire marriage, and think of how either your wife is bending over backwards to please her or agrees with all this ridiculousness. You think this is just about a wedding? You really think that all this capitulation isn’t setting a standard for how you and your opinions will be treated in the future?”

“You need to sit your fiancee down, alone, and have a long conversation about her behavior, and that in no way at all is it acceptable for her mother to be acting like this, for your fiancee to let her walk all over you both, and most importantly that your fiancee is not ever going to speak about your sister like that again.”

“Your sister is 9 years old. She is a young, impressionable child who has more than enough to deal with as it is, more than any child deserves to. Are you going to bring your fiancee into the family, around your sister, with her thinking she can treat your sister like some wild animal?”

“Look, I’m never one to support the idea that a man ‘needs to check his woman.’ The phrase is disgusting. As a big brother though, and as a person, you need to give your fiancee a swift and definitive reality check. This is not her mother’s wedding, it’s your wedding too, and she does not demean your sister like that. Ever.”

“NTA, but you will be if you just bend over to all of this heinous nonsense just because it’s easier than arguing with her. Three years down the line when MIL is running your lives and your wife is blaming you for it all you’ll be wishing you had fought back. Your relationship isn’t lost but you need to get back on the same page before you go any further.”~Sgtmeg

“NTA of course. This is a real deal breaker and the gf needs to understand the relationship ENDS if she continues her behaviour and her mother is not controlled. Your gf has announced publicly who she is- a horrible person- believe her. Why are you planning to share your life with this woman- answer honestly. Only you can decide if you can live with always being an outsider and a non factor in every decision- imagine your first child and being told by her and her mother ‘the rules’ for being allowed to touch your own baby. Can you live like that? End it here before you destroy your future.”~Fragrant-Juggernaut

“Yes, NTA, but sadly I think OP probably shouldn’t have his sister be a flower girl. Since he probably shouldn’t be getting married at all.”

“OP, never get married hoping your partner and relationship will be different and better in the future. You get married if you are really happy with who your partner is, how they act now, and your relationship as is.”

“Do you want a lifetime of your MIL controlling your life and your wife telling you have to do it, your wife bullying people including children, your wife going back on what she tells you and getting angry for it, your wife expecting you to cave and apologize and never accepting when she is wrong, etc.”

“I know you love her but love is not all you need. It will only be harder to end things after the marriage. You could postpone the wedding and tell her she has to make serious changes if she wants to be with you, but I think we both know she doesn’t love you enough to treat you with respect, value your opinion, or stand up to her mother’s control. She’s been making that pretty clear. I’m so sorry.”~TheHatOnTheCat

“There’s keeping the peace and being a doormat, my friend. You are the latter. Your fiancée is showing you who she is. She is her mother. If she isn’t telling her mom to back off for the wedding planning, you’re about to sign on to a 3-person relationship for the rest of your life. What you want, what you think, what you need will mean diddly squat forever. Seriously, do not do this. You can find someone else that will love your sister like you do. Save the money, deal with the heartbreak AND GET OUT.”~NeedACountdownClock

In fact, people really think OP needs to completely rethink this engagement and wedding.

“NTA, listen OP, marriage is a team sport between you and your partner. It needs to be, and should be, you and your partner against the world. My wedding lead up was a sh*t show from both sides of the family. His mom got drunk the night before, made a huge scene and threatened to derail the wedding. My husband immediately shut her down, shut the rest of his family down who were trying to defend her, all to come to the defense of me and my family (and he and my mom haven’t always been on great terms, honestly). I’ve defended him when he was unemployed early in our relationship and my mom had more than one nasty comment about it. It has been, always will be us against the world. We have been together 7 years, married for 4. While in-law drama will not always be perfect, it is made significantly easier knowing he has my back against his family and I have his back against my family. Think long and hard about whether or not you can live like this for the rest of your life, and if you would want your own future children seeing you constantly being undermined.”~sci_geek102

“You marry someone hoping they won’t change, not that they will. Your MIL is a terrible person, and your fiancee is going to be just like her. Your little sister deserves better, and so do you. Don’t marry this woman. You will regret it. And if you allow this, you’re only reinforcing every bad thing people have ever said to and about your sister. And worse, she will know you agree with them. Big brothers are forever.”~silentwalkaway

“Let’s take a stroll through your next 20 years. You’re married and looking into buying a house. MIL finds one just down the street from her. Inconvenient to your workplace? Who cares. Don’t be so embarrassing thinking you know anything about home ownership. Steamrolled.”

“Time to have kids? IDK, but MIL sure does. When to start, how many to have and how far apart to space them. And they must be named after MIL’s parents, of course. Don’t bother with your childish opinions.”

“Buying a new sofa for that house down the block? Defer to the expert.”

“Oh, and speaking of your kids- your sister probably can’t be trusted to hold the baby. And birthday parties- she might act up and ruin it. Maybe she should really stay home instead.”

“Holidays? It would be unseemly not to spend them all with the in-laws. What will people think if you go somewhere else to celebrate. Really, OP. Think of someone else for a change.”

“Can you handle this on top of your MIL’s attitude toward your sister and your fiancee’s support of that ableism?!”~finallymyusername

“NTA at all. Your sister isn’t just excited about wearing the dress, she’s excited about playing a role in your wedding. It would be unfair and ableist to take that away from her now.”

“Stand up for your sister – she needs to know that you love her and respect her and that her disability doesn’t make her any less worthy. Make sure your fiancee understands that what she’s asking you to do is abhorrent. If she doesn’t see this, I’d honestly reconsider the wedding. There’s no excuse for bullying a child like this.”~Jaded_Cryptographer

“NTA That’s such a cruel thing for your future mother-in-law to say about your sister. The ‘wrong’ girl, seriously? And your fiancée is OK with that? You are totally in the right for sticking up for your little sister, but it seems like you also have bigger troubles given that your fiancée doesn’t seem willing to stand up to her mother.”~Spotzie27

After all, what will OP’s life look like if he’s always being asked to submit to MIL’s will?

“NTA. Don’t marry this woman. Her mother runs her life. She’ll do anything to please her mother. She’s the real problem. Not to mention the offensive and disrespectful things her mother has said about you and your family. Do you really want to live like this because your whole life is going to be exactly like this.”~lizzyborden666

“NTA OP. You’re getting flooded with too many red flags, from an overbearing and disrespectful mother in law to a fiancee who doesn’t have your back. Take a step back and reevaluate the whole thing. Speak to your bride-to-be and convey your concerns and see if she is willing to listen.”

“Hit up a lawyer and enquire about annulment options after the wedding, so you will be wiser and more prepared in the event things go south. If all else fails, cut them out of your life immediately to avoid a toxic marriage.”~MasterBlogroll

“NTA. I obviously don’t know your fiancé but I’m going to make a judgement based on one thing.”

“You’ve got a vulnerable child who is over the moon to be part of your wedding and your fiancé feels her mom’s wishes are more important. Or, worse yet, she also thinks hurting this child will ensure a more ‘perfect’ wedding. Not to mention she doesn’t understand or maybe care that this could heavily damage her relationship with her new in-laws. Cause, honest to god, I’d never forgive someone who did this to my kid.”

“I don’t know if your fiancé is toxically influenced by her mom or she’s just a junior. Either way think hard before you join up.”~Pistalrose

“My younger sibling is disabled. When my older sister was planning her wedding, her fiance wouldn’t let our younger sibling be in the wedding, citing various flimsy reasons (pictures, how would it work? who would look after them?). It was the beginning of the end.”

“Your fiancee gave you the greatest gift she could ever give: truth. If she is willing to see your sister as a burden or an eyesore now, it’s not going to get better later. It will just get worse with time, and especially if you want kids in the future.”

“Absolutely NTA.”~venus_4938

OP has some thinking to do now on whether or not he wants to go through with this marriage at all.

In such a difficult situation, we wish nothing but clarity and peace to all involved.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.