As unfortunate as it is to think about, some families are really terrible for how they collectively treat a few target family members.
In those situations, it’s easier to imagine running off and starting a new life, especially if someone presumably kind brings up the subject of marriage.
But being married will not necessarily fix all of a person’s problems, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit. In fact, it could create brand-new ones.
Redditor airphilter was preparing to get married and was regularly bullied by her older brother’s wife, and the rest of her family supported her sister-in-law’s bad behavior.
Because of how they were treating her, the Original Poster (OP) pondered not inviting any of them for her special day.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my brother and his wife come to my wedding?”
The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) treated her terribly.
“I (19 Female) am autistic and no one else in my family is (I was adopted).”
“One of my brothers Marcus (29 Male) got married to Lilith (28 Female) six years ago. They lived away from here, so I didn’t know her that well until they moved back here a bit over a year ago.”
“I was really happy at first to have my brother around more but that happiness didn’t last long.”
“It started with Lilith referring to me as ‘it.’ I told her she could use ‘she’ or ‘they’ for me but ‘it’ made me uncomfortable, and she apologized.”
“Then she did it another time, and when I corrected her, she said it was ‘just a joke.’ I told her that it wasn’t funny and not to do it.”
“A while after that, I was having a hard time and needed to leave bowling early, and I heard Lilith say to Marcus as I was leaving, ‘Don’t feel bad, it isn’t your fault it’s restarted.’ If you don’t know, ‘restarted’ is a variation of the r-word slur.”
“I was upset and talked to Marcus a couple of days later and told me she was just joking. I told him that it really bothered me and he said he would talk to her.”
The OP later changed her wedding plans because of her sister-in-law.
“Fast forward a bit, and my fiance Shawn (28 Male) showed me a conversation he had with Lilith over text. She had basically insinuated that he has a k**k for r-word girls and that he did a good job finding such a pretty one who can’t think but must be nice in other ways.”
“Shawn was very upset that she had said this and so was I.”
“I tried to talk to Marcus, but he just told me that Lilith has a dark sense of humor and that she didn’t mean to upset anyone.”
“I felt hurt by this still. So, when we made invites, we didn’t include Marcus or Lilith. When they asked about it, I just explained why I chose what I did. They were livid.”
The OP’s family reacted in a very unexpected way.
“Now, all of my family is saying that if I don’t let Marcus and Lilith come, they won’t come, either.”
“They bring it up whenever I see them, or try and talk to them, and they tell me I’m being an a**hole about it.”
“They know what Lilith said, and they think I’m being ‘dramatic’ and ‘weird’ about it.”
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 reassured the OP that such toxic people didn’t need to attend a wedding.
“NTA. You don’t want an unpleasant, toxic person at your wedding.”
“You are not being dramatic. You are not being weird.”
“I’m so sorry your brother isn’t defending you from her abuse. It sounds like you’re right about making some space between the two of you. Unfortunately, your family is outing themselves as people who believe the filth she is saying.”
“I’m so sorry. You don’t deserve to be treated this way. I’m sending you so much love. I hope you have a beautiful wedding.” – Personal_Regular_569
“You’re reacting appropriately to being significantly disrespected after repeatedly asking her to stop. I would be looking more closely at the attitudes of her apologists, they’re likely defending her because they see their own bigotry in her behavior and don’t want to face that it’s wrong.”
“You’re NTA, every person defending bigotry and disrespect is and it would be appropriate to limit your contact with them, possibly to no contact.” – Chance-Lavishness947
“Your whole family sounds toxic and ableist. I think you’ll have a happier time without them and at least go low contact.”
“Lilith is treating you disgustingly. Don’t be afraid to stand up to all these bullies. You can have a fresh start and not settle for horrible people!”
“Good luck, OP!” – unicornhair1991
“If Lilith was brave enough to text all that to OP’s fiancé, it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a whole family group chat where she regularly sh*ts on OP and no one calls her out on it. They’ve become desensitized to it and have possibly joined in because it seems to be the simplest way to stay in Lilith’s good graces.”
“I hope OP doesn’t cave in and invite this person. I can’t imagine the type of ‘jokes’ she’ll circulate around the room at the wedding, or worse, the sort of ‘jokes’ she’ll drop once she gets a mic in her hand.”
“Her family SUCKS.” – ThereAreAlwaysDishes
“Let the others drop out, too. Of course, you shouldn’t have these horrible people at your wedding! What the f**k is wrong with these people?”
“A smaller wedding is much better than a wedding with hateful, rude people and their defenders. NTA. Block Lilith and your brother, and ask your fiancé to do the same, and enjoy your life without them.” – Intrepid_Respond_543
“NTA. Be petty and show them just how petty and weird you can be. Anyone saying they won’t come if they don’t come, rescind their invite. It’s your wedding. You should be around people who celebrate you and love you. Not people who belittle and insult and definitely not people who support them.”
“The only two people who you need at your wedding are you and your soon-to-be hubby. If anything – anyone who is trying to strong-arm you into getting those two to attend is doing you a favor by showing you that you don’t need them in your life.”
“You’re starting a new journey in life, sometimes people take different roads, and honey, you have to let them.”
“If you allow any of these people to attend, you’re going to be dealing with this for a long time. It’s basically showing them that they can behave this way, and you’ll accept it. Don’t accept it.” – Apprehensive_Pie4940
But others cautioned the OP to put more thought into the age gap in her relationship.
“She’s 19 and autistic, so she probably can’t pick up on the subtle red flags. The SIL might not be so far off, I hate to say it. This reeks of being taken advantage of.” – Macintosh0211
“If you’re a 19-year-old with an abusive family dynamic, you might not be able to recognize unhealthy dynamics in your own relationship, but all you think you want in life is just to get away from your toxic family, so you’ll jump into a marriage that might provide more financial security and the freedom from the people who have been going along with your SIL calling you the r-word.” – AliceInWeirdoLand
“The fact that she’s autistic too opens even more doors for abuse! Please, OP, if you read this from one autistic woman to another, do not marry this man. You still have so much development ahead of you and so much to learn and acclimate to. Don’t marry the first dude who ‘accepted’ you for who you are.”
“As rude as your SIL was, she sadly possibly has a point. Not only did he pick a girl almost ten years younger than him and plucked her right out of high school, it seems (no idea how you even met), but he also went for one that is neurodivergent and, therefore, so much easier to manipulate and control than even your average teenager.”
“Please, I’m about to turn 26. When I was 16, I dated a guy who was 25, almost 26, just as I am now. I’m REPULSED by 16-year-olds. H**l, even 20-year-olds are starting to become annoying and distant. I can’t even imagine what a man who’s almost 30 wants from you.”
“Trust me, you’re in for a s**tty ride, worst case with abuse down the line, and best case you’ll never get to develop as your own person.” – xLadyLaurax
“Lilith is a garbage person. No question. The brother is an a**hole.”
“But aside from the fact that 19 is too young to be getting married, the 28-year-old groom-to-be’s motives are highly suspect.”
“More than likely, he’s looking for a young girl to control, and OP fits the profile.” – 5footfilly
“Forget Lilith. Dump the brother.”
“But marrying at 19 is a bit too young. You aren’t supposed to drink; why would marriage be a better idea? And the idea that a man of his age would want to marry such a younger girl; someone needs to tell you that is a bad idea.”
“If you want to get out of the toxic family, go. But don’t take the marry-a-guy-highway to leave. Find your own strength and path.” – FutureVarious9495
“NTA for uninviting Lilith and anyone else who supports her ableist bullying. Your response is appropriate and you shouldn’t have to be around someone like that on any day, let alone your wedding day.”
“That said, I would like to express some concern for you. Shawn may be a wonderful man who will make a great life partner, but in general, adult men who date and marry teenage women are… problematic. The age gap tends to create a power imbalance because the young woman hasn’t had much life experience, so she’s forced to accept that her older husband knows better, which allows him to set a lot of expectations, and those expectations often favor the older man over his young wife.”
“There’s also a question of why a man is not dating someone nearer to his own age; with a problematic older man, it’s often because women his age hold him accountable for his behavior and don’t let him control the relationship (or he’s fixated on women of a certain age and once his current partner reaches a set age, he moves on to a younger woman).”
“On top of this age disparity, you’re now dealing with drama and a lack of support from your own family. While they do sound toxic to me, if you wind up low or have no contact with them and things take a bad turn in your marriage, you may not have a support network if you eventually need it. Isolation from others can make it easier for an abuser and harder for the person they’re abusing to get help. I hope you have friends or extended family who will be your support network in the future.”
“Again, I know absolutely nothing about Shawn except what you’ve said here. He may be a great guy, a wonderful husband, and happy to be your champion against people who would do you wrong. But please don’t go into marriage blindly. You sound like a kind, intelligent, lovely person and you deserve to be with people who see your value and build you up. I hope this describes Shawn. I wish it also described your family.”
“Know your worth and be willing to keep demanding that people treat you well, no matter who they are. Best wishes for a happy life filled with love.” – oregonchick
The subReddit was terribly offended for the OP about how she was treated by her family and fully supported her in inviting whoever she wanted and disinviting whoever she wanted from any important event in her life.
But they were not convinced that the wedding was the special event that the OP needed right now.
With her age, Autism, and tough living situation, there was a chance that the OP was in too vulnerable of a position to realize she was being taken advantage of. Though Shawn might be a perfectly kind and genuine person, it might be a little too soon to know that for sure.