It’s a rare relationship where an affair will not prove to be a dealbreaker.
But sometimes an affair may be the beginning of something new, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After Redditor TorontoMapleLeafs3’s first wife had an affair with his brother, he was surprised that he was able to find another woman he wanted to have a relationship with.
But when his parents demanded that his brother be able to share in his happy day, the Original Poster (OP) had other thoughts.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for announcing the reason why I didn’t invite my brother to my wedding and exposing him to the entire family?”
The OP struggled after the ending of his first marriage.
“I (30 Male) got married two weeks ago. I was married before but it ended after I found out that my older brother Thomas (34 Male) got involved with my first wife.”
“It was devastating because we were close and had a great relationship. I also helped him so much while he was struggling and seeing how he repaid me hurts to this very day.”
“I stopped talking to him and Mom and dad forced me to keep it a secret. Because I was too weak to argue with them, I just kept my own distance.”
His family almost soured the beginning of his new happiness.
“Then I met my now wife. My family loved and embraced her as their own. My mom and dad treat her like a queen, which helped repair and solidify my relationship with them.”
“However, as the wedding was approaching, they told me they expected me to invite Thomas.”
“I, of course, refused, but they kept guilting me about what the relatives and other guests would think and say when they don’t see Thomas there.”
“I fought with them about it until the day of the wedding. It turned out they’d invited him behind my back, but I found out and stopped them in time.”
The OP decided to take matters into his own hands.
“They came to the wedding looking p**sed, asking what we were going to tell people when they ask about Thomas.”
“I told them I’d take care of it.”
“And what I did was take a moment while everyone was paying attention, grabbed the mic, and flat-out announced this and said, ‘The reason I didn’t invite Thomas to my wedding is that I was worried he’d steal my now wife just like he stole the first one.'”
“I said it playfully to not make it sound so tense, but most of the guests looked shocked and started mumbling.”
“Then it went awkwardly quiet for a moment, and then we moved on.”
“I saw Mom and Dad walk out while looking at me grudgingly.”
The OP’s parents did not take well to the toast.
“Later, they started lashing out about how I just exposed Thomas and caused him to be shunned by the family in the most hideous of ways.”
“I told them that I already said I didn’t want him there, yet they tried to push him on me repeatedly by saying, ‘what are people going to say,’ so I told them the reason why he wasn’t there in a playful way, but they (the guests) still got the message.”
“Mom started yelling about how everyone will now look down on and shun Thomas.”
“She called me pathetic and cruel for still punishing him and gradually ruining his life despite him apologizing and trying to reconcile.”
“In my opinion? Some things are just unforgivable.”
“We’ve been on horrible terms since then.”
“My wife said at least now they’re off my back about what people would say about not inviting him.”
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 thought it was important for the OP’s brother to be held accountable.
“Seriously, the actions of OP’s brother had consequences and now the actions of OP’s parents had consequences too.”
“He cheated with your first wife. Your parents blindsided you by trying to sneak in your brother. You would have never needed to make that statement if your parents didn’t try to be sneaky.”
“I would take it another step forward and tell your parents that if they continue to escalate the situation anymore, you will out your parents as accomplices to your brother/1st wife’s infidelity. No actions towards injustice is just as guilty as the guilty party, in my opinion.” – snazzyjazzy921
“Congratulations to you and your wife!”
“NTA. If they’d respected your wishes, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point. Inviting him behind your back is just wrong.”
“I can see how they’d want you and your brother to have a relationship, but your brother destroyed that, and it’s up to you when or if you ever want to have a relationship with him again.”
“Also, it sounds like they’re probably more concerned about the shame of people knowing what he did, which is also not your problem.” – HeldBackByGravity
“There were like a dozen different excuses they could have used. ‘We are so sad Thomas couldn’t be here but he has the virus/flu (insert any contagious illness).’ They didn’t have to resort to pressure and guilt.”
“They shielded Thomas from the consequences of his actions by keeping it a secret all the while making OP feel that pain over and over again each time he had to pretend. The parents suck.” – Athenas_Return
“It amazes me how so many people seem to think exposing evil behavior is worse than DOING the evil behavior.” – Militantignorance
“Exposing crappy behavior and actions doesn’t ruin reputations, it corrects reputations so that they’re more accurate.”
“Sweeping it under the rug because ‘what will the cousins think of us’ is exactly how abusers get away with stuff for so long and are able to find so many more victims, because the faćade of that person being nice and wholesome hasn’t been shattered with the truth and they’re able to convince new people to fall for their bulls**t.” – Righthandedranger
“By trying to keep it on the down low, they didn’t condemn the cheating and fully expected OP to forgive him for it.”
“It also suggests they care a lot about the public image the extended family sees, which is also an AH move when it invalidates OP’s feelings about his brother and ex-wife.” – ScorchieSong
“NTA. Your brother brought it on himself.”
“And your parents… Good grief! If that was how they repaid you in terms of repairing the relationship, then perhaps you are better off without them.”
“And I don’t often suggest NC (no contact).” – Delicious_Wish8712
But others were worried about this lesson happening on the OP’s wedding day.
“You don’t owe Thomas anything, but it was an inappropriate thing to do at your wedding, in my opinion. Not for Thomas’ sake, but for your wife and yourself, taking the focus off your love and happy union onto past family drama.” – snufflepagus7
“OP basically got up and threw down a drama bomb on their wedding day. Not only that, but how he said it kinda implies that he believes she can be ‘stolen,’ which makes it sound like he doesn’t trust her or she doesn’t have agency. On their wedding day.”
“Unless she knew in advance and supported it, ESH but her.” – bluedoor11-11
“OP: You were an a**hole towards your wife. Your parents were putting their own desires for stability ahead of your needs and you have no obligation to protect your brother’s reputation after he betrayed you; however, that does not mean you can turn everyone’s attention away from celebrating your marriage to instead focus on family drama.”
“It was uncalled for and extremely rude to your wife. This is not even getting into your implication that your wife would willingly cheat on you with your brother.”
“Your wedding day is about you and your wife. Unless you ran that speech by your wife first and received her approval, you were absolutely an a**hole toward her by making that statement. Even if your wife was not bothered by the statement, making that announcement without her prior approval is a d**k move.”
“ESH.” – DAC_Returns
“How deeply insulting to your wife to announce to both your families that you think she’d cheat on you with your brother if she ever got to meet him! That might not be what OP meant, but it’s what he said.”
“Not to mention the most talked-about moment of her wedding, within her family and friends who have no reason to know who Thomas even is, is going to be her new husband’s trashy announcement about his first wife.”
“I would be humiliated if my husband did something like that at our wedding.” – Bananapanda123
“That announcement sounds so awkward and uncomfortable, it would steal all the attention on the wedding day.”
“Like yes, people should know what the brother did, but I bet most of the guests will mainly remember the gossip about his first marriage instead of their wedding.” – arsenal_kate
“Nothing says ‘I love you’ like airing your family’s dirty laundry during your speech to your new wife. Wow, dude. Half the guests probably don’t even know your brother, don’t know the situation, and definitely didn’t need to find out at the freaking WEDDING.” – Weird-Roll6265
“As I read the announcement part, I cringed so much. This is gonna haunt OP in so many ways in the future. Dumb move.” – NickDanger3di
While the subReddit was collectively appalled at what the OP’s brother had done to him, and how his parents had attempted to cover it up, they were more divided on how the OP handled it.
Some thought it was right to expose his brother’s infidelity and to hold him accountable. Others agreed, but perhaps not on the most memorable day of his relationship with his new wife, their wedding day.