Weddings already take a great deal of work to plan, and it seems like there’s always some form of drama ready to present itself amidst the festivities.
But when there’s already drama among the wedding party members before the wedding even gets started, that just seems to be asking for trouble, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor notgonnaworkaita was touched to be invited by her brother to be one of the bridesmaids in his upcoming wedding.
But when she found out his plans for the groomsmen assignments, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she’d be able to handle attending at all, let alone with bridesmaid duties.
She asked the sub:
“AITA For refusing to go to my brother’s wedding if he keeps my ex-husband as a groomsman?”
The OP was excited for her brother’s upcoming wedding.
“My brother (29 Male) got engaged to his fiance (28 Female) this summer. They are planning on getting married next spring/early summer.”
“They have been working on putting their wedding party together and they did a video call with me (32 Female) a couple of weeks ago to ask me to be a bridesmaid.”
“I of course agreed because I love them both and I am very happy for them.”
But she became less excited as she heard more of the wedding plans.
“However, during the call, and after I had already agreed to be a bridesmaid, my brother dropped a bomb on me.”
“He said that he hopes this doesn’t cause any issues, but he wants to ask my ex-husband (30 Male) to be one of his groomsmen.”
“My initial reaction was not the best. I basically said, ‘What? Why? Are you serious? What the f**k?'”
The OP had been working through the divorce for the past five years.
“For some history, my ex and I were high school sweethearts and married young. We were both 23 when we married and were divorced by the time we turned 25.”
“There was no infidelity or abuse of any kind; it was just a toxic relationship. We were too young to recognize it properly and eventually, we got to a point in our marriage where we just hated each other.”
“Thankfully, we never had kids and we were too young to have many assets, so the divorce was easy since neither of us wanted anything to do with the other.”
“I moved away, got a new job, and started a new life, including going radio silent from my family for well over a year while I worked on self-healing.”
“My ex stayed in our hometown (where my brother currently lives). I haven’t spoken to my ex in almost five years.”
The OP’s brother really hoped they could both be present on his special day.
“Obviously, my brother has known my ex for a long time and they were always close. Apparently, they remained close friends after the divorce even though my brother never mentioned it to me.”
“My brother told me that he understands this might be a bit awkward, but it’s just for one day and it’s not like my ex and I are going to have to walk down the aisle together.”
“He said they will try to do whatever they can to keep distance between us if needed, but that both me and my ex are very important people to him and he wants both of us involved in his wedding.”
“I know a lot of people will probably call me petty and immature, but I want nothing to do with my ex.”
“There’s a reason I haven’t spoken to him in so long, I have no desire to speak to him. Let alone be in the same wedding party as him.”
“There’s going to be a lot of wedding party activities that are going to involve being in close proximity to him for extended periods of time. I want nothing to do with that.”
The OP wasn’t sure if she could remain in the wedding, in any way.
“I explained all of this to my brother and told him that if he’s going to keep my ex as a groomsman, I don’t think I can be a bridesmaid, and I might even have to reconsider even attending the wedding.”
“This led to a bit of back and forth with my brother trying to bargain with me and convince me that it wouldn’t be that big of an issue, and me pretty much telling him this was non-negotiable for me.”
The family got involved.
“Since that conversation, I have been contacted by our other sister (26) and my mom pretty much telling me to grow up. They said that I’m being petty and immature and that I could handle being in the same general area as my ex for a short period of time to support my brother.”
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 cringed and agreed with the family that the OP was being petty and immature.
“YTA. I mean, look… it’s your brother’s wedding. You obviously don’t have to go, but if you don’t, you’re basically giving your brother the finger.”
“You knew that your brother was close to this person before you got together, so it shouldn’t actually be that big of a surprise that they’re still close, even though the two of you split. There wasn’t any abuse or cheating, just two people who weren’t good for each other.”
“I’m with your family; this feels petty. I’ve been to weddings with my ex. You haven’t spoken in five years, so just keep not speaking to each other. If he tries to talk, just move along and ignore that he’s there.” – Samael13
“YTA. This is an immature reason. You said yourself the marriage ended because you two were just not ready for marriage. You can’t walk 20 feet next to a man there was no problem with?” – FuzzyMom2005
“YTA. You say yourself that the relationship with your ex was only toxic. Grow up and get some mental boundaries. If after 5 years your ex can make you want to jeopardize your relationship with your family, you seriously are living in the past. Let it go, show him how little he means to you.” – No-Lettuce-1845
“YTA. Not being a bridesmaid is fair enough, but refusing to be a guest seems petty.”
“I find the people commenting that the brother is manipulative so odd. What’s more likely folks: he purposely kept this deep dark secret from his sister OR the divorce simply didn’t end his close friendship and therefore he didn’t put any thought into it beyond that, until now when he gave his sis a heads up and likely didn’t expect her to hold such a huge grudge after five years.”
“But I also think YTA to yourself, OP. Why do you let your ex hold such power over you? Show up, look beautiful, be strong, dance, eat, drink, ignore the ex. Don’t let him ruin what could be a fun day.” – coconutyum
“The OP was like, ‘When I told them I was going to go basically radio silent, they didn’t understand,’ and ‘I am now upset that my brother is choosing someone he’s been friends with for 2 decades over me, the person who left everyone to do self-healing.'”
“Do I have to spell it out for you anymore? Yeah, YTA, grow up.”
“You are entitled and you have main character syndrome. If I was your brother, I’d choose my best friend and tell you to p**s off, honestly. I’m shocked you’re even emotional about this. Maybe if you actually made an effort to talk to your family more you’d have known your brother and ex were still friends.”
“You think you self-reflected, got therapy, and improved upon yourself those five years you’ve been away from home. Yet here I’m reading you clearly think everyone’s life needs to revolve around you and your needs alone need to be met for you to make an effort in any kind of relationship. I don’t know how effective that self-reflection really was.”
“Anyone here reading can see that based on your actions and your brother and ex’s relationship that yeah, you’d be acting like a little baby if you didn’t go. He’s been friends with him probably longer than you’ve been in his life considering the years of absence, and you flip out when you hear he’ll be in the wedding party. Like, seriously?”
“Go and support your brother, and get a different therapist that actually challenges you instead of one that yes man’s you after the wedding. You should honestly be grateful you’re even invited to be a part of the wedding party. Decline if you want that’s fine, but if you no show the wedding, you’d look like an immature person for sure and would deserve the bridge burning that’d follow.” – iamkira01
While others recognized it was the brother’s day, the OP didn’t have to attend and was NTA.
“It’s his day. Your brother can invite whoever he wants to participate. But you don’t have to accept the invitation.”
“Everyone likes to crow that line about ‘blood is thicker than water,’ so maybe your brother could consider who’s most important to him at his wedding.”
“NTA for choosing not to go if your ex is there, and your family is definitely the A H for failing to understand your position and badgering you about it.” – baka-tari
“Your brother is entitled to invite whomever he wants to his wedding. He is also allowed to ask whoever he wants to be part of his wedding party. He does not have to change his mind if he doesn’t want to.”
“HOWEVER, an invite isn’t a summons. You are entitled to decline attending the wedding if it’s in the best interest of your own emotional well-being.”
“The fact that your brother hasn’t admitted to having a friendship with your ex for years is a clear indication he is aware of how you would feel about the situation.”
“Do not give an ultimatum, that only leads to resentment. Just kindly inform them you won’t be attending the wedding and these are your reasons and leave it at that.” – chelsea5532
“NTA. Your brother should have known better (and apparently did, since he got you to agree first, then dropped it on you). He manipulated you.” – LemonFoam01
“It is his wedding, and he gets to call the shots, and I 100% respect that, BUT he does not have a say on who attends or chooses not to attend. Feelings are valid, and OP has a very clear boundary. Like it or not, OP has every right NOT to attend and to back out of being in the wedding party.”
“Me personally, I would prefer to have my FAMILY attend, but as an adult, you have free will to make decisions that align with your own personal values.”
“NTA.” – stinstin555
“NTA. It’s his wedding. He can invite whoever he wants to. As you can say no and not attend.”
“Your brother kept this friendship for years and yet never told you about it. Why? This is strange. Maybe he knew you would be sad about it.”
“At the end of the day, it’s up to your brother to decide if having your ex at his wedding is worth you not attending.” – ExpressionMundane224
Breakups can be terribly messy and can absolutely mess up other important events, even those involving equally important family members.
The subReddit encouraged the OP not to let her former relationship hold power over her choice of whether or not to attend, but the brother also had to decide, if it came down to picking, who it was more important to see on his special day: his friend of many years or his sister.