Most of us have experienced at least one relationship where the other people in our partner’s life, such as their parents, were unbearable.
Perhaps so much so, we couldn’t envision ourselves being in that relationship long-term, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor More-Concern3267 was worried about how his wife would eventually feel around his family because of their habitually toxic behavior.
But when they pulled out all the stops to be unbearable at their wedding, the Original Poster (OP) decided it was time to speak his mind.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making all the women in my family leave after they all showed up to my wedding wearing white?”
The OP recognized a toxic pattern in his family.
“I (33 Male) have a large family, mostly aunts and female cousins aside from my mom, stepmom, stepsister, and grandmother.”
“I don’t know how to say this, but all those women I mentioned above are into teasing and joking. They’ve formed a unit (which I admit is kind of toxic) and they tease and roast every new woman that enters the family by marriage by setting up ‘tests’ to see if they deserve to be part of the family.”
“Or they will roast their looks and styles to the point of breaking confidence and self-esteem down.”
“Then after a few months of teasing, they’ll announce that they’d finally welcomed them into the family. The newest member would join in on the teasing, too, which is crazy, as my dad says.”
The OP wanted his girlfriend to be treated differently.
“When I first introduced my then-girlfriend, now wife, I made it clear that I didn’t want any of the women in the unit to come at her or harass her, not even with a single word.”
“They went behind my back and roasted her looks and job on Facebook.”
“I had them apologize for their behavior, one by one, after they gave the ‘we’re just testing the water to see if she’s capable to be part of the family”/’ excuse.”
“They didn’t want to apologize, but once I said I wouldn’t invite any of them to my wedding unless they apologize, including my mom, everyone immediately apologized and brought gifts for my wife.”
“The first of them to apologize was my stepmom and my SIL.”
But the women were not genuine in their apologies.
“My wedding was two weeks ago. There was talk about the women in the family wanting to pull a prank on my wife by wearing white and calling it the ‘ultimate test’ to see how my wife react.”
“My brother warned me, so I announced that if any one of them showed up in white, I’d have them kicked out, including my mom.”
“They said this wasn’t true and they’d never do such a thing.”
“But then they showed up to my wedding, one by one, wearing white dresses, and each and every one of them was told to leave after they tried giving excuses by either making scenes or getting the men involved.”
“The senior women of the unit, who are my mom and aunts, also showed up in white but refused to leave.”
“I threatened to take harsher action, and my mom was pissed, telling me to step aside, but I didn’t let her in.”
“I had her leave while the men in the family were watching, stunned. My dad was on my side and supported me a lot.”
“I felt absolutely awful because my wedding was being interrupted by them making scenes.”
“My wife was hurt beyond measure, but the women in the family were pissed.”
The OP had an argument with several family members.
“My cousin blasted me on social media later, saying I excluded all the women from the wedding because my wife was so insecure she couldn’t handle another woman’s presence at her wedding.”
“I had an argument with them, and my mom berated me, saying it was supposed to be a prank, but I said they were taking it too far.”
“Mom said I took it too far by kicking them out because they were trying to get a reaction from my wife to see if she was one of those ‘bridezillas’ and were going to change soon as the prank was over.”
“She said I ruined my own and my entire wedding by reacting so aggressively.”
“I stopped talking after she said I had to bring my wife and apologize.”
“I haven’t seen the lot of them in two weeks and they’ve excluded me from everything since.”
“Was I the a**hole for how I handled this?”
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 were disgusted by the level of hazing present in the OP’s family.
“This level of hazing has crossed the line to emotional abuse and blackmail. And that is probably understating it.”
“It’s very good you stood up for your spouse. You handled it well but emotional blackmailers use family to pressure the victims into compliance with the abuse.”
“Most often when standing up to familial emotional blackmailers, it ends with forced no contact for non-compliance. No contact is healthier but it can be hard to be shunned from the family.” – ColoHusker
“This is hazing; that’s the only word for it. It’s repugnant behavior. The women in your family haze new members of their ‘sorority,’ and it’s incredibly harmful.” – Gruaig_Gorm
“I love the ‘We’re doing this for the good of our men’ bulls**t.”
“They’re basically saying they don’t think the men of the family can be trusted to make a good choice about who to spend the rest of their lives with.”
“Like, I realize it’s just an excuse to indoctrinate new women into their mean girl’s club, but they’re reasoning is infantilizing, and it really annoys me.” – Useful-Penalty-5760
“My mom always told me you marry into a family. Even if the hazing is temporary, the mentality behind it is disgusting. They are awful people for thinking their behavior is justified by playing stupid and using a more benign definition of the word ‘prank.'”
“They can’t be that dumb as to really believe that’s what they’re doing. They are plain and simple acting like drill sergeants but with malicious intentions. They don’t want the men in the family to have nice girls. They only want mean girls who are hardened enough to take their crap.” – TheCookie_Momster
“OP should tell them the wedding was a test to see if they were decent enough to be his WIFE’s new family, and they failed. Spectacularly.” – RosalieThornehill
“A prank is only a prank if everyone ends up laughing. Otherwise, it’s just bullying.”
“Who gives a f**k if they intended to change afterward? What, they get to ridicule the bride on her wedding day, but look respectable in the photos?”
“Nope. Nope nope nope.”
“OP, the ceremony was supposed to be a declaration of love, not some frat party mean girl test. Honestly, it’s embarrassing as f**k.”
“Good on you for standing your ground and supporting your wife. Please remember that you didn’t ruin the day, everyone else did. NTA, and congrats on getting married! I wish you both all the happiness in the world.” – CrazySnekGirl
Others hoped that the OP and his wife would go no or low contact with the family.
“So so so many sweet Daughters-in-Law try to make amends by focusing on ‘You hurt me. Please stop,’ but the women in your family know they hurt people with this. And that is the very reason they do it. They intentionally hurt people and only stop once that hurt person joins in on picking on the next one.”
“So I think you and your wife should consider just… not giving these women more opportunities to hurt people you love. You should probably think about going low or no contact. People who intentionally hurt their own son on his wedding day like this don’t really deserve to be a part of your new beautiful life.”
“I’d be worried about how they’ll treat your wife as the marriage progresses, especially if you decide to have children.” – itsjustmo_
“I have a terrible Mother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law, and Aunt-in-Law… They thought it was super funny to roll their eyes, make comments under their breath and make fun of me at every turn and loved to do it as a group (since the very first day I met them).”
“I took it really personally for a long time. And then I realized they’re not better than me, and maybe I’m better than them. I’m prettier, smarter, more educated, and make way more money than these women than sit on their a**es.”
“It’s like a little Chihuahua gang that’s all bark and no bite. All fun and games to them until we stopped talking to them. And they can’t figure out why. OP ain’t the AH. I hope he goes low-contact.” – lovelymonstera
“Suddenly, one day you awake with a strange feeling. You can’t put your finger on it, as you can’t remember experiencing it before. It’s soft and gentle. It’s the air that allows your lungs to expand. It’s the knots in your gut releasing. It’s beautiful. Then you get it!”
“It’s peace. I want that for the OP and his wife.” – Accidental_Tica
“I wonder how many really good women they managed to run off. A few probably said nope, I don’t need this bulls**t, and got out.” – JanuarySoCold
While the subReddit was grateful the OP had stood up for his wife on their wedding day, some were worried there were greater concerns at play than the wife having her husband in her corner.
Dealing with people long-term who are willing to haze and ridicule is taxing, and the wife might decide that being around that family isn’t worth it, even with a husband who has her back.