Some of us have been warned by people we love before that someone was taking advantage of us, and we cared too much about them to see it.
Unfortunately, sometimes those people are the ones who are meant to be closest to us, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Downtown-Bowler-8987 was taken aback by the fact that she was paying for her brother’s entire wedding but wasn’t invited to be involved in it in any way, even though the bride’s siblings all were.
When her brother gave her attitude for bringing this up, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for being upset that I’m not involved in my brother’s wedding, which I am paying for?”
The OP and her brother were close.
“I (31 Female) have a brother (29 Male) and he is getting married next year.”
“We lost our Mum in 2012 and our Dad in 2016. We are each other’s only living relatives.”
“I have a good job, I earn a lot of money (£150,000 per year). My brother also has a good job but doesn’t earn anywhere near as much (£35,000).”
“We were raised to always look after each other and share. Also, my partner and I are child-free.”
The OP had a history of financially supporting him.
“Over the years I have paid for my brother’s Masters’s degree and paid the down payment on his house (our parents rented, so there is no family home).”
“I will also be paying for my future sister-in-law (SIL) (26 female) and my brother to have future rounds of IVF. SIL works part-time and earns about 15k a year, and her parents are not well off.”
“My brother asked if I could contribute to the cost of the wedding.”
“I said I’d pay for it, as it is small with 100 guests, and I set up a wedding account for them, into which I put £25,000, which they both have access to.”
But the OP was saddened by her lack of involvement.
“SIL’s entire family are involved as bridesmaids and groomsmen. My husband and I are guests.”
“Brother and SIL have been going around venues with her family, and I get emailed the costing if it’s selected.”
“I told my brother I don’t mind paying for the wedding but I feel really weird that everyone else is involved in the decision and I’m just involved with paying.”
“Brother has said that I’m not our parents, I can’t replace our parents, and that’s why I’m not involved. He lashed out and asked why I can’t just do something nice without making him feel like s**t.”
“I feel like an a**hole for causing drama, but also feel taken advantage of.”
The OP also updated the post with more information.
She first explained why she thought her brother and sister-in-law could use the help.
“This is in the UK, in Northern Ireland to be exact. 35k is a good salary. I don’t have student debt to pay off because I didn’t go to uni. I was in the military before becoming a commercial pilot.”
“My brother’s salary will increase as at his company, he needed a master’s to progress beyond his current rung.”
“SIL works part-time because she has a medical issue, she will never be able to work full-time because of this. Related – it is unclear if this is impacting fertility.”
The OP also explained more about providing assistance with IVF.
“In Northern Ireland, you get one round of IVF on the NHS (health insurance) which they did. They paid for two more at 8k each. SIL’s family paid for another and stipulated they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for a wedding if that was the case.”
“Brother and SIL have been emotionally through the wringer with fertility issues, it isn’t a cynical attempt to get money. As for adoption, here is some serious BS about SIL’s illness, meaning they aren’t ‘attractive candidates.'”
The OP’s husband was also supportive of the finances.
“My husband is supportive of our financial assistance, and we are also helping his sister with her college costs (though why she had to go to the US when we have university educations that don’t cost an arm and a leg right here is beyond me – also any of you who have paid your way through an American degree – I salute you).”
The OP also stressed that she and her brother were close.
“I am close with my brother but do pay for things we do together, he has really been there for me emotionally, especially during some personal problems I experienced just before and after I left the military, future SIL was too.”
But there was a weird mix-up with the engagement party.
“They didn’t plan the engagement party, SIL family did, and they didn’t invite me because my husband and I ‘are never available.’ We just have jobs that have us moving around a lot.”
“SIL and brother were horrified (no one told them we hadn’t been invited, they assumed we just didn’t show up) but that was resolved and we had a lovely meal together instead.”
The OP still had mixed feelings.
“I still don’t know what to do, but I do think maybe I’m not setting him up for success as I hoped, and also that I do deserve some recognition even if it’s just privately from him.”
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 couldn’t get past the fact that the OP wasn’t invited to the engagement party.
“What the f**k, they didn’t invite you to the engagement party??? Girl, do not pay for this wedding.” – Temporary_Badger
“You said, ‘They (the in-laws) threw an engagement party for them and didn’t even invite me.'”
“I’m speechless. Your brother is definitely TA.”
“Do NOT fund his lifestyle anymore. You’ve been exceedingly generous. This brings into sharp focus that you’re only a wallet with legs to these people.”
“There is no excuse.” – Issyswe
“I’m sorry – not inviting you to the engagement party was really disrespectful and I think at the very least your brother is the AH for allowing that to happen.”
“In the end, you can’t buy love, respect, or a close relationship, and it sounds like your brother might not place much value on his relationship with you at the moment (for whatever reason).”
“You’ll have to decide if you want to continue to offer financial support out of the goodness of your heart (and in fairness, a lot of people wouldn’t) when you’ll continue to be a distant second to his wife’s family. NTA.” – Allaboutbird
Others urged the OP to stop paying for her brother’s things.
“So you paid for his education (which apparently wasn’t in a lucrative field), his house, and his wedding, and you will be paying for their IVF. You’ve given more to your brother than most people’s parents have given them.”
“In return, you’ve gotten… not even recognized at the wedding you paid for.”
“At this point, the difference between you and an ATM is an ATM will cut him off when he reaches his limit.”
“You’re NTA, but you’re being an absolute doormat. There’s ‘helping and taking care of family’ and then there’s ‘being taken advantage of’ and you’re already in the second category.”
“At this point, your brother feels entitled to your money (the money your work and effort earned) to the point where he doesn’t feel the need to do the absolute bare minimum to show gratitude.”
“Your future is going to be supporting the children you paid to help bring into the world.” – keelhaulrose
“You are being financially abused, stop it! You were raised to look out for each other – how was he raised? To treat you like crap?”
“He can’t have it both ways – he just wants you to pay up and shut up. You may not be his parent but he is certainly treating you like one!!” – cluelessdoggo
“NTA. You are not his parent but, let’s face it, you have certainly financially supported him like one in so many different ways. And it doesn’t sound like you are trying to control things, just want to be included the same as SIL’s family has been.”
“Now that he is going to be a great big married adult, I think it is time you cut off your support and let him be the independent person he is.” – AdministrationThis77
Some were also skeptical about the brother’s gratitude and reciprocation.
“He would do the same for you by supporting you financially in a hypothetical situation? But right now in reality, he is not making you feel supported or appreciated with a very simple thing like including you in an important milestone.”
“He should be doing that even if you didn’t pay a cent if he valued your relationship as much as you do.” – Raccoonsr29
“I wouldn’t be so confident that if the roles were reversed that your brother would do the same for you. Right now, you are freely giving him that which he asked for and is in your capacity to give (money).”
“In a way, you’ve asked him to do the same thing: give that which you are asking for (involvement in his wedding and the emotional closeness that comes with it). He is fully capable of giving it but has chosen not to.”
“I’m not saying you should back out of funding or use your money to coerce him into involving you because that would be an AH move. Just think long and hard about whether you want to provide any more large gifts in the future, and whether your brother truly would reciprocate if the roles were reversed.” – lonelyhrtsclubband
“Don’t pay for additional rounds of IVF, and let your oh-so-very-entitled brother know that while you don’t mind helping him out financially, you’re tired of being taken advantage of, and with very little gratitude, evidently, from him and his bride-to-be.”
“He’s an adult, he’s got an education, he can stand on his own financial feet going forward.”
“And if he responds with any BS like telling you you’re uninvited from his wedding because you’re cutting the financial umbilical cord, then pull the funding for the wedding as well. You’re letting yourself be financially abused. Stop it.” – SodaButteWolf
While the OP had mixed feelings about wanting to be involved in the wedding, especially after her brother’s outburst and husband’s criticism, the subReddit insisted she was actually asking for very little.
The brother couldn’t reciprocate at the same financial level as the OP, but he could reciprocate at his own level, like honoring the very simple request of including her in the wedding party in some way. The fact that he refused was very telling.