It can sadly take very little for family members to become estranged.
One simple argument, one thoughtless action, or one poor decision could be all it takes for family members to cut off all contact with one another.
Sometimes, the passage of time makes people realize how much they miss having these family members in their lives, resulting in a slow or immediate reconciliation.
Other times, the damage is more lasting, and forgiveness simply isn’t on the table.
Redditor EarthToEddie hadn’t spoken with his brother in years, owing to some bigoted beliefs on his brother’s part.
Hence why the original poster (OP) was so surprised when his brother asked him to be the best man at his wedding.
Something the OP wasn’t even willing to consider.
After being scolded by the rest of his family, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my brother I won’t be the Best Man at his wedding?”
The OP explained why he wasn’t yet ready to stand by his brother’s side on his special day.
“My brother & I have never liked each other.”
“We had a huge fight three years ago where I came out as gay & he was angry about it.”
“Said our deceased dad would be disappointed in me.”
“I told him that he’s got some nerve because all he does is ruin people’s lives & get women pregnant.”
“After the fight, we both vowed to never speak to each other again.”
“Out of the blue yesterday, I get a call from him asking me to be the Best Man at his wedding.”
“His closest friend passed away last year, so my mom feels it’s ‘only right’ for me to step in as his Best Man since I’m his only brother.”
“On the phone, he said, ‘Let’s let bygones be bygones. I need you’.”
“This didn’t move me at all because he hasn’t called me once in 3 years to make amends. Why would I go out of my way to do that?”
“I don’t even know his fiancé or kids.”
“I declined, and now my whole family is upset with me.”
“Everyone’s calling me selfish, saying I need to be the bigger person.”
“It would be very uncomfortable for me to go through this whole wedding process with people I basically don’t know.”
“Am I wrong for this?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to be his brother’s best man.
Everyone agreed that since the OP’s brother showed no sign of remorse for his past behavior towards the OP, he was under no obligation to support him on his wedding day, with many finding the behavior of the OP’s family no better than his brother’s.
“Why do I imagine OP’s brother thinking, ‘Well, I tried. Now the family can be mad at OP instead of me. So glad OP refused. I shudder to think of OP being at my wedding as Best Man’.”-Monimonika18
“The fact that he called you after you both vowed never to speak again after his best friend died, there wasn’t anyone else who would step up for him?”
“Not a single friend who would be honored?”
“Yeah, that says a lot.”- clpolk
“I’m sorry for his loss, but that doesn’t mean that everything gets to automatically be forgiven between the two of you.”
“Massive NTA.”- author124
“Your whole family being upset with you certainly shows where he’s gotten his sense of moral high ground BS from.”
“I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this.”
“Maybe he should ask himself why he doesn’t have more than one friend suited for the role.”-FearNokk
“Ask him, and your family, this.”
“Would he have reached out, and ‘let bygones be bygones’ if he didn’t need something from you?”
“I doubt it.”
“Regardless of who was ‘at fault’ in the past, you still need to take care of yourself and your mental well-being.”
“I cut off my emotionally abusive sister two years ago, and I GUARANTEE she will never reach out to me on her own accord.”
“But I KNOW if I ever win the lottery or something, that night I will get a ‘heyyy, I miss you, can we fix things?’ text, because she would want something from me.”- NotUntilTheFishJumps
“This is the usual ‘but family’ nonsense.”
“No-one minded when you didn’t speak to each other for years.”
“You were presumably also his only brother before his friend died.”
“Everyone saying that is being selfish.”
“Being the bigger person means ‘do what I want because I want to get my own way and what you want doesn’t matter’.”- diminishingpatience
“It’s pretty selfish to just randomly throw this on you without talking things through first.”
“And with no apology.”- ionlyreadtitle
“No is a completely fine answer.”
“You could still go, if not for your brother, then the free meal, free cocktails, and your mom.”
“But in that order lol.”- MotherBike
“You’d be the bigger person by attending his wedding at all.”
“You are not obligated to be IN the wedding. Even if you weren’t estranged, you would still not be obligated.”- apothekryptic
“He hasn’t spoken to you in three years and then just calls out of the blue to ask you to do him a favor.”
“The fight was essentially over him blaming you for your sexuality.”
“Your brother literally has no one closer to ask than a brother he hasn’t spoken to in years.”
“Added all together, your brother doesn’t sound like a nice person.”
“Maintaining No Contact would be a good idea.”
“Also… Any of those other family members who are giving you grief are welcome to be your brother’s attendant.”- teresajs
“Why is it always the victim and never the perpetrator who has to be the one to let sh*t slide?”
“They’re basically saying your brother is an a**hole, we know he’s an a**hole, but we’re going to ignore it because he’s straight.”
“It’s on your brother to build the bridges he burned.”
“NOT the other way round.”- pancho_2504
“Not the hypocrite.”- mishmashdoh
“He’s not actually sorry, and I will bet good money the other reason he asked is that your mother made him do it.”
“Even without the context, you were in the clear, with it?”
“Is he gonna freak if you bring your partner to the wedding if you are in a relationship?”
“Is he actually gonna treat you like his brother and best man, or are you just a replacement who need only show up the day of the wedding?”
“Doesn’t really matter because weddings and the run-up to them are not the time to be working on strained relationships.”- Fun-Replacement1998
“You do not need to be the bigger person.”
“You need to make the best choice for yourself and your mental health.”
“If that means remaining estranged from your homophonic a**hat of a brother, then everyone else can mind their business.”- photosbeersandteach
“If his best friend has not died, he never would have called you, it seems.”
“It sounds like he doesn’t really have friends and now is trying to guilt you into standing up on his wedding day because of it.”
“That is not your problem, and there is likely a reason he doesn’t have anyone to stand up.”
“Weddings are super expensive and time-consuming for the bridal party in the best of times, so in the worst of times, this would just escalate the situation between you and your brother.”
“And it sounds like any problems that would arise your family would make out to be your fault.”
“Not with the headache.”- Midlife_Crisis_46
“Take it from someone who put up with an abusive older brother for far too long, the ‘be the bigger person’ line was used on me every time they needed me to eat the sh*t to accommodate his bullsh*t.”
“Don’t do it.”
“Love yourself more than your family loves you.”
“There is no way that someone who is on your side would want you to stand by someone who is homophobic to endorse his marriage when you KNOW he would never do that for you.”-LemonPepperChicken
“I want nothing to do with you until I need you to do something for me.”
“Yeah, that’s not how healthy relationships work.”
“Block him.”- Foggy_Radish
“I would be like, ‘but I’m gay, remember?'”
“Your estranged brother has made it clear you are second best for ‘best man.'”
“Being part of anyone’s wedding party is an invitation, not an obligation.”
“You are free to refuse.”
“Given your history, as you write, you have no obligation to your brother.”
“As a gay man, I’m sure you’ve experienced the truth that ‘family’ is often the one you choose, not merely the one you happen to be born into.”- j4ckb1ng
It’s rather hard not to feel that the OP’s brother was asking him to be his best man out of convenience more than anything else.
As it’s fairly easy for him to say, “let bygones be bygones,” when he made no effort to improve things between them.
Had he offered a simple apology first, maybe then the OP might have at least considered the offer?