It’s a common concern that spouses might not get along with their in-laws.
Somewhat more unusual is when a spouse’s frustration stems from how well they get along with their immediate family.
Such was the case for redditor Throw44WParty, who wound up putting a strain on his marriage, when he agreed to be one of his brother-in-law’s groomsmen.
Looking for clarity as to why this angered his wife, the Original Poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow redditors:
“AITA for agreeing to be a groomsman for my BIL’s wedding even though my wife doesn’t approve of the marriage and is boycotting the wedding?”
The OP shared some of his family history with fellow redditors, as well as his brother-in-law’s rather shaky relationship history.
“So, I (37 Male (M)) have been married to my wife (36 Female (F)) for just over a decade.”
“We have three kids together; one daughter and two sons.”
“She has a younger brother who’s 31.”
“Just weeks after I started dating his sister he and I hit it off and became fast friends; hunting, fishing, off-roading, etc.”
“I think of him as my little brother.”
“Anyway when he was still in his early twenties he ended up getting a girl pregnant.”
“After getting pressured by both my in-laws as well as her family he ended up marrying her, but it was a mistake.”
“He never loved her, he was never all that into her.”
“They just got together one night out of boredom and ended up producing a child.”
“But as far as both families were concerned that was it; they needed to get married and start and maintain a family.”
“His ex was actually fine with it, but he wasn’t.”
“I think she loved him, but he never loved her.”
“He loved the son that they had together, but not her.”
“But my wife absolutely loved her and thought that she was the best thing that ever happened to her younger brother.”
Things became even more complicated when the OP’s brother-in-law met someone else.
“Anyway, he ended up having an affair with his now fiancée.”
“It was wrong, obviously, but he was just so unhappy and according to what he told me he felt so trapped.”
“Eventually once the affair was found out it led to the end of his marriage.”
“Fast forward a couple of years and now he is getting married to ‘the other woman’. “
“They’ve asked my wife and me to be a bridesmaid and groomsman.”
“My wife has categorically refused.”
“She says that she refuses to endorse their relationship that started out under bad circumstances and refuses to send the message to her nephew that she thinks it’s OK that his father cheated on his mom.”
“My wife wants me to also boycott the wedding but I won’t; I’ve told my brother-in-law (BIL), and good friend, that I will absolutely be in his wedding, whether my wife is there or not.”
“I know that what he did to his ex was wrong, but they never should have been married in the first place, and he’s my friend and I want him to be happy, and I know he is with his current fiancée.”
Fellow redditors weighed in on where the OP fell in this particular situation:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
The OP shared in the comments section that he was aware of his Brother-in-Law’s infidelity before it became public.
“I knew about it a few weeks before it all got exposed, since he knew that the walls were closing in and he came to me for advice.”
“I didn’t help him keep it a secret, but I did let him get the truth out on his own terms as best as possible.”
This new found information resulted in a steady majority finding the OP the a**hole in this situation.
There were some who were more sympathetic to the OP’s plight, and felt that being in his brother-in-law’s wedding was fine, as long as he and his wife could be on good terms about it.
“I can understand your wife’s stance on this – you say ‘he’s my friend and I want him to be happy,’ and she feels the same way about her ex-SIL and her nephew, whom your BIL made very sad.”
“I can understand your stance too, and it’s probably the one I’d take – bygones and all that.”
“But I think you need to ask yourself whether you’re prepared for the permanent breach it may cause with your wife.”
“If there’s a way to do handle this more sensitively, pursue it.”
“You owe your wife understanding as well as your brother-in-law.” – WebbieVanderquack
Others had no sympathy for the OP or his brother-in-law, and were less than thrilled with the OP’s cavalier attitude towards adultery.
“If you go, you will create a rift in your marriage.”
Don’t jeopardize your marriage for an adulterer.”
“Being in an unhappy marriage does not excuse cheating.” – Stitch_Craft
“Stop making your BIL/best friend a victim.”
“He is an adult and could have divorced his wife if he was so unhappy rather than being a cheater.”
“You also not being very subtle about how you feel about his ex wife, you think she trapped him with a baby.”
“According to you he is a victim and his ex wife is to blame for everything, trapped him with a baby, made him very unhappy and ultimately forced him to cheat on her.”
“Edit- you also don’t mention your BIL telling his ex wife about his unhappiness, instead he choose to bad mouth her.”
“You also sucks as a friend for not advising him to get a divorce or get marriage counseling rather than speaking ill of his wife behind her back.” –_Miv_
“These comments are bizarre.”
“Full of sympathy for a man who cheated on his wife for ages because he was a coward and a liar, based only on OP’s version of events.”
“No sympathy for his wife and child.”
“Nobody clocking the fact that if his wife isn’t defending her own brother, it’s probably because he has caused such substantial amounts of pain to other people that she can’t justify it.”
“You have sent a very clear message to your wife.”
“That you will help, support and defend a cheater as long as the reason for cheating is good enough…and in this case that amazing reason for cheating was uh ‘BIL wasn’t happy enough, and rather than being straightforward and honest and breaking up, he chose to hurt two innocent people instead.'”
“Can you even imagine the conclusion she is drawing about your marriage right now, that if you decided to cheat…then you would (and BIL would hide it from her in support of his ‘bro’).’
“Loving your gross speculation btw about how ex wife was fine with a pressured marriage because you think she loved him…you clearly never knew or cared about her, so why are you trying to insist on her state of mind?” – Meatkingofchicago
“Do you want your wife to think you’re cheating on her?”
“Because this is how you get your wife to think you’re cheating on her.”
“You want to go this wedding you need to do serious damage control with your wife, because you’re setting yourself up as the pro-adultery party, and that’s not something she’s going to look kindly on.” – bob_the_driver
Indeed, whether intentional or not, the OP’s brother-in-law not only ended his marriage, but has also now put a strain on his sister’s marriage.
It also seems unlikely that the OP’s wife and soon-to-be sister in law will be fast friends like he was with his brother-in-law.
One can only hope that they’ll all be able to get together and speak civilly, as a family, sooner rather than later.
Maybe even before the wedding?