Some people misunderstand that when a person steps away from an addiction, it doesn’t suddenly fix everything. There’s still a great deal of healing they have to go through.
And there will unfortunately be people who will judge them every step of the way, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Technical_Run_2083 was appalled when she found out that her daughter-in-law had been uninvited from her brother’s and future sister-in-law’s wedding because of her past drinking.
When the bride refused to reinstate her invitation, the Original Poster (OP) did the best thing she knew to do: to step out of her position in the wedding, too.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for dropping out of my brother’s wedding over what his fiancée said about my daughter-in-law (DIL)?”
The OP was excited to officiate her brother’s wedding.
“I (54 Female) was supposed to officiate my brother Paul’s (56 Male) wedding. He is getting married to Beth (49 Female) and she has been nice enough over the past 2 years. When they asked I was surprised but excited to be involved.”
“Everything was going well until this issue with my son Ben (28 Male) and his wife Lucy (27 Female).”
“The backstory about Lucy. She and my son have been married for 2 years and have been together for 4. Lucy was also an alcoholic.”
“Honestly, I would never have known but she had told the family before the wedding. She was sober before she met my son and there haven’t been issues since she joined the family. She went to rehab when she was younger and has stayed away from alcohol since.”
Not everyone was comfortable when they found out about Lucy’s past.
“I had lunch with Ben, I mentioned the wedding and my son said they were no longer going after Beth uninvited Lucy from the wedding.”
“This surprised me because they have gotten along so well before this.”
“When I asked why, he said that she (the bride) had found out about Lucy’s past drinking and banned her from the wedding, saying she no longer trusted her.”
“This seemed out of character, so after lunch, I called her to get her side.”
“Imagine my surprise that she said, ‘I uninvited the wino.'”
“She went on to say that she was surprised we even let Lucy come to family events and that it wasn’t safe to have her around others because according to her, alcoholics are not meant to be trusted.”
The OP stood up for Lucy.
“I told her that Lucy was sober and has been for years.”
“But she just said, ‘That you know of. She’s probably hiding it. Honestly, Ben should have left her when he found out but that was his mistake to learn.'”
“I told her I did not appreciate the slander against Lucy and told her I was also not going to be able to make it either.”
“She freaked out and said that I was leaving them in a bind because they now had to find a new officiant (For the record, their wedding isn’t until December).”
“I told her that unless Lucy can come, I’m not going either.”
The family’s feelings were divided.
“This has now spread to other family members and they are divided.”
“My brother is mad and while he wishes Lucy could come, he thinks I should have respected his fiances’ wishes.”
“My son is happy, but Lucy now feels as though this whole thing is her fault and she would have just stayed away as asked.”
“The rest of the family is split. Some think I’m making drama while others think she was being unfair.”
“Lucy is like a daughter to me, but here other people’s comment has made me think I was too hasty to drop out.”
“I’ve seen a few people ask, but Beth does have a bad history with alcoholics. Her parents were. I only found out from my brother afterward.”
“He says that Lucy triggers Beth and he didn’t tell her but it slipped out recently. She was fine with Lucy until she found out about her drinking problem.”
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 appalled by Beth’s comments about Lucy.
“Absolutely NTA. Beth’s comments about Lucy are cruel and absurd.”
“And, when it comes to ‘family strategy’ (sorry, it’s the only phrase I can think of), which do you care more about? Your relationship with your son, his wife, and your potential future grandchildren, or your relationship with your SIL (sister-in-law)? I feel like you had no other logical choice than the one you made.” – prefab4
“I don’t know how big this wedding is going to be, but in my opinion, the odds are really high there’ll be someone attending this wedding that’s a recovering alcoholic.”
“I’m so glad OP is standing by Lucy. Beth can call the shots at her wedding, but I hope she doesn’t get a say in other family events. I feel bad for OP’s brother because it’s his wedding too, and he doesn’t get a say.” – Opposite-Employer-28
“It’s because of people like you that people like Lucy are able to get better and stay better. It’s because of you that your son and Lucy have a safe environment to be in.”
“You are an absolute queen. You don’t judge her, you welcomed her, and she is your family. Thank you for being the MIL (mother-in-law) we all wish for.”
“NTA a million times over!!!” – Ok_Pumpkin174
“I am sympathetic to a degree, but Beth is blinded by this hate and at her age, I would expect it to be tempered by her knowledge of Lucy as a person and the life experience which comes with being her age.”
“By Beth’s reasoning, Lucy would be justified in hating Beth because Beth is genetically predisposed to alcoholism and thus may one day in the future present a risk to Lucy’s sobriety.”
“Both examples are unreasonable but it is on Beth to take responsibility for, and acknowledge the unfairness of Lucy paying for the sins of Beth’s parents.”
“It’s made worse by Lucy now being rejected by a growing portion of her family. I suspect Beth is enjoying her new power to some degree because it justifies her extremism and she is not intrinsically aghast watching Lucy become a pariah.”
“Such a sad and unnecessary situation.” – Anseranas
“The thing is, OP’s Beth HAS KNOWN Lucy for a couple of years already, and just recently found at that she had an alcohol problem (I assume in her early 20’s, since she is 27 atm, and has been with her husband for 4 years of which 2 years married and they have never seen her drunk).”
“(And trust me, when an alcoholic starts drinking again, you’ll definitely find out. Perhaps not in the beginning, but they rarely can keep it hidden. I’ve seen multiple examples and it always came to light.)”
“People make mistakes, but to me, it is obvious that Lucy learned from it, was completely honest about it, and has been wonderful to her husband and OP’s family for as long as they’ve known her. So to suddenly not trust her, just based on something from her past that she has under control, is just ridiculous.” – AhniJetal
Others said it wasn’t Lucy’s fault that Beth was triggered by her past.
“It’s only absurd or delusional to speak this way to someone who hasn’t lived with an alcoholic that constantly relapsed.”
“It sucks, but she’s probably can’t see past her own experiences with alcoholics and can’t comprehend that all alcoholics aren’t like the one she’s dealt with in the past.”
“I still think she’s an a**hole by the way (Beth, not OP). I just totally can see why she’s reacting the way she is.” – Circle_Breaker
“Wow, what a sad sad individual she must be to hold a grudge against ALL people who have or had a drinking problem. She needs therapy to get over that shit. She can’t BLAME everyone else around her for the shit her parents did.” – AlbatrossSenior7107
“If Lucy, who’s sober, triggers Beth because she’s a recovered alcoholic… then BETH needs therapy. Sounds like Lucy has put in her work. Good for the OP for standing on the side of right.” – Glad_Belt_1176
“My dad was an alcoholic, so was his wife (second wife). Growing up with him was awful, he was a bully and an a**hole and it got worse when he was drinking. I had issues with being around others who were drinking for a long time and I still rarely drink.”
“I hold no grudge or ill-will towards other alcoholics, particularly those who are in, or working on, their recovery. In my last job, I worked with people diagnosed with mental illness and substance use disorder. No issues, no triggers, no concerns for me at all.” – Western_Compote_4461
“It’s not always that a person is holding a grudge.”
“It’s that the thing is triggering for them & they have no control around that.”
“But OP, NTA.”
“Future new SIL is a person projecting misconceived, maladaptive issues on an alcoholic in long time recovery.” – No_Appointment_7232
“So sick of hearing people abuse the word ‘trigger’ in place of ‘this makes me upset.’ I have PTSD. I have triggers that can send me into panic attacks, flashbacks, and a week of hypervigilance. It’s MY job to manage them and my reaction, I don’t get to be a jerk to other people over it.”
“Mental health issues aren’t people fault, but they are their responsibility. Beth needs a reality check, not sympathy.” – Revolutionary-Yak-47
After reading through the comments, the OP shared a thankful update.
“Reading your comments supporting Lucy has been reaffirming. I feel for my brother and Beth to an extent but I’m glad I’m not a jerk like I thought.”
“Reading all of you talking about your recovering journeys has been lovely and this mama bear is proud of every single one of you.”
“I am concerned about the slander that’s been going around about Lucy that I’ve heard from other relatives.”
“I’m going to call Paul and ask that they stop. Not sure how that is going to go. I haven’t talked to him since right after our fight.”
While the OP wondered if she was wrong after stepping away from officiating her brother’s wedding, the subReddit thought it was wonderful that she was staying in her daughter-in-law’s corner, which is a rare sighting on the AITA subReddit.