Families are really hard sometimes, especially when it comes to inviting someone new into the fold via marriage or partnership.
But what if the marriage is within the pre-existing family?
This was a recent topic of conversation on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor kishatu found himself resisting the changes that were coming to his family.
But when he met resistance, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was being too close-minded.
The OP opened with some important background information.
“I (25 [male]) have never had a good relationship with my mother (43).”
“That should already be enough of a reason to not even being brought up as a guest (to her wedding), but my mother (M) thinks otherwise.”
“I moved out when I was 17, right after my father died. My brother (24 [male] now, 16 back then) agreed to move out with me.”
“We’ve been living on our own for 8yrs now. I’m earning a good wage, which is enough to support both me and my brother comfortably.”
“My brother struggles a lot with his mental health but is slowly starting to get back on his feet. I’m mentioning that because M is 90% of the time, in any argument, using my brother’s instability to get what she wants.”
The OP distanced himself from his mother after she started dating his uncle.
“M is planning to marry soon. Her brand new fiancé (V, 51 [male]) is my father’s younger brother, with whom she hooked up not even a year after my father passed away.”
“They got a kid two years after his passing and have been pretty much living secluded from 90% of our/their family.”
“I haven’t even met my half-sister and she’s turning 5 soon. I will admit that I am bitter about that, which is why I might be the biased AH in this.”
The OP also didn’t want to have anything to do with his mother’s wedding day.
“Just a few days ago, M was trying to convince my brother to invest in a bigger present for V, since his birthday was also coming up.”
“Usually, my brother does the gift stuff, asks me for approval in splitting our money, and slaps my name on the tag; but knowing that there was going to be a marriage made me opt out completely.”
“M was extremely upset about that because she knew that meant there won’t be an expensive gift and furthermore no big wedding gift either. Which I suspect was the sole reason she called up my brother to begin with.”
The OP wasn’t surprised when his mother started spreading rumors.
“Since my brother wasn’t bowing down to M as she was used to it, she started breaking all h**l loose around extended family.”
“She complained to our aunt and uncle (dad’s older brother), to grandparents from our father’s side, and so on.”
“M knows her way with words, so I wasn’t surprised that I’ve gotten some decent backlash from ‘ruining her wedding plans’.”
“I was told that M was trying to get the family back together and that, yeah, while it’s ‘unfortunate’ that she’s marrying this guy, that ‘you can’t be helped who you fall in love with’; and that my childish behavior is causing a big conflict in the family.”
“I ended up not responding, just telling my mother that I won’t be her guest and that I hope they rot.”
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 mother had ulterior motives.
“I think the deeper issue here is that a LOT of people seem to think a lot of s**tty behavior is forgivable BeCaUsE fAmIlY!”
“I call shenanigans there. Especially as adults, there is zero reason to maintain toxic relationships because of shared DNA. OP’s behavior may be evaluated by others in the family and deemed to be the problem, but really that’s a them issue. OP eliminating toxicity from her life is a good thing for OP.”
“In this case, it sounds like Mom isn’t upset at the lack of attendance so much as at the lack of benefit to her in the form of an expensive gift.”
“I am rather embarrassed to know that this woman is in my age group because this is some next-level bulls**t I can’t believe my peers are pulling. OP is NTA for having boundaries and not allowing his mother or anyone else to stomp them.” – slydog4100
“It sounds like it’s more about the gift than OP’s presence. That makes OP even more firmly NTA.” – TitaniaT-Rex
“NTA. Your mother not only moved on too quickly for you to process your grief over your father, but she also moved on with someone who is, to you, a blood relative. It’s natural that you can’t support this union.”
“Not only that, but she sounds very manipulative and selfish. I don’t know that telling them to ‘rot’ was a good idea, but it’s probably what she deserved.” – weskit
Others said the OP should at least have a conversation with his mother about this.
“Less now, but I used to see a lot of people going ‘You don’t owe ANYONE ANYTHING, not even an explanation and they should just accept you deciding the terms of their relationship otherwise their not a true friend!’ and like… I just pity everyone in their lives.”
“Of course you ‘owe’ people you are close to if you want to maintain that closeness. It’s not all good times; sometimes the bad times can range from being mildly inconvenienced (pouring yourself into formal wear for a wedding when you normally wear loungewear) to having uncomfortable conversations like listening and apologizing when someone has a misstep.” – liza_lo
“Because many folks don’t get reciprocity in relationships, and how to manage their feelings and their dynamics… in OP’s case given the situation and relationship dynamics between them and their mom, they don’t have to go, they’re not the AH for not going to the wedding, and there’s no obligation whatsoever… but relationships do come with obligations and duties between parties.”
“Life is not about doing what you feel all the time, there are situations and circumstances for it. There are times and moments to do as we please, other times where we put our feelings and wants aside for the sake of those we love.” – dystopianpirate
Though keeping up with family tends to be the goal for most of us, there are certainly exceptions.
The subReddit was a little divided on how upset they thought the OP should be about the new union, but they all agreed attending the wedding and giving a gift wasn’t an obligation.
If anything, the OP should at least have a conversation with his mother in the future to make some sort of amends.