Seldom are rules put in place just for the fun of pushing people around.
Whether those rules are about maximum occupancy or what side of the road to drive on, or not hugging someone from behind, the boundary is there for a purpose.
That purpose can be safety or the setting of an emotional boundary or just financial concern but when you enter someone else’s space, you follow the rules they set.
Of course, not every rule is there for a good reason, and sometimes you might find that a rule set for the space your entering may seem capricious or unnecessary.
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Flower534724 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for bringing my wheelchair-bound boyfriend to my brother’s no +1 wedding?”
OP started with the background.
“My (female,31) brother (male 33) got married days ago.”
“He and his now wife sent me an invitation and mentioned a ‘no +1’ rule.”
“Meaning that I wasn’t allowed to bring my wheelchair-bound boyfriend of 4 years with me.”
OP explained her reasoning.
“I tried to discuss an exception for this rule because for one, my boyfriend is family and no one would deny that fact.”
“And two, I could not find proper arrangements to have someone watch him (I’m his primary caregiver) while I was gone.”
“I brought him with me to the wedding.”
“My brother and his bride were livid and picked up an argument with me about it. My brother said some hurtful stuff but I was glad he didn’t say it in front of my boyfriend.”
“I told him it’s not like my boyfriend was making a fuss or being distracting (he just remained quiet and respectful of everyone around him) my brother argued that non of that mattered and that the trust and respect he had for me was gone the minute I decided to stomp on his wedding boundaries and override the rules.”
“My parents understood my side but also said that it was my brother’s wedding and I should’ve respected the rule he had for non-official couples.”
“We’ve not been talking since the wedding.”
“I tried calling him but keep getting hung up on. His wife texted me yesterday to stop calling.”
OP was left to wonder,
“Its not like I brought a hyperactive child to the wedding, I think he might have overreacted but I’m not sure.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Many were left confused.
“Is your boyfriend an adult?”
“If he needs personal assistance, why isn’t he the one arranging that while you’re gone?”
“And why do you refer to personal assistance as ‘watching him’ like you’re getting a babysitter?”
“Did your boyfriend want to go? Why isn’t what he thought/wanted a factor in this story at all? Why do you generally talk about him like he’s a child (e.g. ‘it’s not like he was making a fuss’)?” ~ RelativeAssistant923
“Yeah, honestly it makes me wonder if his disability is something that occurred after they were seriously dating.”
“Like, he was able-bodied, they got together, then he got injured or ill.”
“Because she absolutely is talking about him like he’s a child, dog, or a houseplant, and while yeah sometimes sh*tty ableist people will date disabled people, I at least hope it’s uncommon.”
“Especially if they’re so ableist that they speak of the disabled person in this manner” ~ TriZARAtops
“This was my thought process as well. OP doesn’t speak about their BF like an adult partner at all. The wording is very peculiar.” ~ Electrical-Date-3951
“Yeah that’s where my thoughts are. the wording is really weird.”
“Caregiver makes me think maybe he needs help with tasks that OP does for him, and that could contribute to why they couldn’t get someone to be with him the night of the wedding, or however OP phrased it.”
“However, there wasn’t a ton of info on his thoughts as well, which kinda made me confused. where’s his agency?”
“just cause he’s disabled doesn’t mean he can’t have an opinion on what should be done in this situation lmao.” ~ spookyboi13
For some, confusion led to concern.
“Yeah but ‘caregiver’ could mean anything from ‘he’s not physically capable of moving from the bed to his chair on his own’ to ‘he’s borderline brain dead and needs me to do literally everything”’.
“OP is making it seem like he’s closer to the second end of that spectrum which is very concerning.” ~ potentialsmbc2023
“Yeah… I think the boyfriend is probably somewhere in the middle, (god it feels weird to speculate) and from OPS wording, probably is being used so she can protest her brother’s wedding policy.”
“When I was really sick I definitely had people use my illness to get their own pity points, and I kinda get that vibe a bit.”
“After thinking a bit, OP probably didn’t make arrangements, and just brought him, since she was mad.”
“Also, as a person who has struggled with chronic illness: Even if OP is a primary caregiver, typically they should have backups just for when OP can’t.”
“During my illness, my mom took primary care of me, but we had a few trusted friends who I was comfortable driving me to and from doctors appointments, or staying in the house, just in case my mom had to be somewhere.”
“Also, google caregiver burnout.”
“And maybe I’m projecting but, again, what did her bf want? I know if I was the reason my gf no longer was on speaking terms with her brother, I’d feel horrible.”
“There’s so much missing information here, and its sus af” ~ spookyboi13
There were also personal stories.
“Guy in a wheelchair here, although I’m fully self-sufficient.”
“This makes me feel for your bf. Not only did you disrespect your brother’s wishes, you made your boyfriend the center of more attention than was warranted.”
“You say he remained quiet and respectful.”
“He probably was quiet because he wanted to crawl under a rock. ‘Hey, look at me!! I’m the cause of strife at a wedding through no fault of my own!!'”
“Edit: Holy upvotes, Batman!!! Guess I struck a nerve.” ~ DuckDodgers22
“Girl in a wheelchair here, I completely agree with you.”
“I already stand out in most settings so being forced into it would make me want to fly away.”
“Also OP, stop saying wheelchair bound. We are not bound to anything. Wheelchairs free us to live our lives instead of being bound to a bed.” ~ MaybeParade
Some saw this as having nothing to do with the boyfriend’s use of a wheelchair.
(Although I have a funny feeling this is going to get edited to reveal more of what your brother said after it becomes clear the voting’s not going to go the way you want it to).”
“He said no plus ones.”
“If you found that disrespectful to your relationship or simply impractical, then your option was to decline your invitation and stay home.”
“Not have your boyfriend crash the party because you decided that wouldn’t be overly disruptive.” ~ mm172
“When I read the headline, I thought OPs bf had been uninvited due to the bride and groom not wanting a wheelchair-borne person at their wedding, and was leaning to massive N T A.”
“But then it turned out no one was allowed to bring a +1.”
“YTA OP, you’re like one of those people who bring their kid to child free events because their child is so DifFErEnt and sPEciAl.” ~ Yellowmellowbelly
“Your boyfriend’s condition is irrelevant.”
He wasn’t invited, you were okay to ask and declined the invitation, then you should have RSVPed no.”
“Food costs money and there needs to be a space for each guest, so you aren’t entitled to show up with whoever you feel like bringing.”
“He’s legally not family either, so it’s possible your boyfriend doesn’t view him that way even if you are in a serious relationship.” ~ thewhiterosequeen
“So, everyone else who was denied a +1 doesn’t matter because they’re not considered family?”
Sorry, but your boyfriend being in a wheelchair doesn’t change anything about this scenario or give you more rights than anyone else.
They said no +1s. You still brought a +1.
Your boyfriend isn’t a baby. But you’re like that person who brings a newborn anyways when kids aren’t allowed.
YTA. It’s a sucky situation but you didn’t think it would matter but that’s not your call to make. ~ Daligheri
Commenters suspected that there was more to the story than we were given.
“I’m assuming there is a lot more to this story you’re not sharing. I also assume you contacted them before the wedding to let them know that you would in fact be bringing your boyfriend.”
“It doesn’t matter if you are your boyfriends primary care giver or not. If you’re boyfriend is not invited, you have 2 options.”
“1. Go without the boyfriend.”
“2. Don’t go.”
“Instead, I suspect you knew this would cause an issue/scene with your brother and you brought your boyfriend anyway.” ~ snewton_8
Communication in these sorts of situations is always best as people tend to receive rules better when they are understood.
However, entering someone else’s space – particularly for important events or big occasions – means that you will follow the rules they set.
Whether you agree with them or not.