Surprises are great, right?
The thrill of a shocking, joyous surprise can really change the whole course of your day.
Sometimes though, a surprise isn’t necessarily the best idea – particularly when the results of the surprise are life-changing.
So, what happens when your reaction to a life-altering surprise isn’t what was hoped for?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Unexpectedlymarried when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for leaving my surprise wedding because I felt blindsided?”
OP got right to the issue at hand.
“Last week, I (30F) was invited to a supposedly fancy party by my longtime boyfriend, Mark (32M).”
“We had been dating for five years, and while we had discussed marriage before, there were no immediate plans for a wedding.”
“Excited about the event, I dressed up in my best attire and arrived at the designated venue.”
“As I entered the grand hall, I was completely taken aback to see all of our family, friends, and acquaintances gathered, eagerly waiting.”
“It turns out, Mark had orchestrated an elaborate surprise wedding for us without my knowledge.”
“Everyone erupted into applause as I stood there, shocked and overwhelmed.”
“I just felt a mix of emotions.”
“While I love Mark and had dreamed of our future together, the idea of getting married without any prior discussion or consent felt like a breach of trust.”
She tried to explain her concerns.
“So, I pulled Mark aside and tried to express my concerns and reservations about the surprise wedding.”
“I explained that I wanted a say in the planning process, to be part of the decision-making, and to have the chance to prepare mentally and emotionally for such a significant milestone in our lives.”
“However, Mark dismissed my concerns, saying that he thought it would be a romantic gesture and that I would be thrilled.”
“In that moment, I faced a difficult choice go along with the surprise wedding, putting on a smile despite feeling unsettled, or stand up for my autonomy and voice my true feelings.”
Choices had to be made.
“I ultimately made the decision not to proceed with the surprise wedding, much to the disappointment and confusion of our guests.”
“Now, I find myself at odds with Mark, our families, and even some of our friends who believe I overreacted and spoiled a beautiful moment.”
“However, I firmly believe that a marriage should be a joint decision, with open communication and shared expectations.”
“Everyone’s excuse for this is I have always talked about marrying Mark.”
“And again the problem isn’t marrying him, the problem is not having any say in my wedding.”
“Mark thought I’d appreciate it, because I always spoke about how stressful planning a wedding must be. Yes, I think it’s stressful, it is but I’d still like planning one!”
“After this whole ordeal everyone asked if Mark and I were ending things, in which I replied no.”
“I emphasized towards them and Mark I still wanted to marry him, and most feel like this is making me more of an a**hole since I just wasted a perfectly fine wedding.”
OP was left to wonder:
“So AITA for refusing to attend my own surprise wedding, even though it was intended as a romantic gesture?”
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: NTA
Some responses were direct.
‘”I firmly believe that a marriage should be a joint decision, with open communication and shared expectations.”‘
“So do I. NTA.” ~ NightOwlEye
“‘Now, I find myself at odds with Mark, our families, and even some of our friends who believe I overreacted and spoiled a beautiful moment.”‘
“I would be livid if someone put me in this manipulative position, and then didn’t respect my decision.”
“I honestly don’t see how these two can move on from here.” ~ Electrical-Date-3951
Others pointed to the larger social problems at play.
“I hate the term ‘overreact’ so much.”
“She didn’t overreact, she reacted.”
“Clearly the moment wasn’t ‘beautiful’ to her.”
“I hate how her feelings aren’t even considered here.” ~ AnthropomorphicSeer
“Can you imagine how people would react if a woman in a relationship planned an entire wedding before they were engaged and surprised her boyfriend with it?”
“People wouldn’t hesitate to call her a psycho, but yet when a man does this it’s deemed ‘romantic’ by an alarming number of people.”
“This whole scenario is horrendous.” ~ tienna
The deeper implications.
“Like who out of your family and friends is crazy like him?”
“No one thought to suggest to him this is maybe a bad idea?”
“That it might be one event that should never be a surprise?”
“No one thought to even poke a small conversation with you about, ‘Hey, how serious are you about wanting to marry Mark? Would you marry him tomorrow? Would you ever elope?'”
“Just, get some of your feelings on the subject. Anything?”
“NTA OP, and don’t forget that him making a decision like that means something.”
“It means something about your future if you stay together. It means something about how he sees and respects you.”
“And his reaction to you about your reaction, that means something too.”
“If he really did have only the best of intentions, and you said you were uncomfortable, he should be falling over himself apologizing.”
“Doesn’t sound like he is.”
“Sounds like he’s invalidating your emotions and doubling down on being right. That’s the future with this guy.”
‘”Oh, you don’t want to move to x new city for my new job I took without consulting you?”‘
“‘Well your feeling on it doesn’t matter. You’ve always said I should get a higher paying job. Why would you want to stand in the way of that?”‘
‘”We’re moving, job starts next week.”‘ ~ believehype1616
“I feel like I could potentially believe that he wanted to do something nice and romantic for the OP.”
“But I’m less sympathetic towards his reaction afterwards. Instead of accepting the OP’s wishes, he chose to make it about himself and get offended because she didn’t appreciate his grand gesture.”
“I don’t think this means that the relationship is hopeless but the OP’s partner needs to own up to their mistake and have a good think about who he is really doing this gesture for.” ~ pubcrawlerdtes
Not everyone was on OP’s side.
“YTA, along with your edit you:”
“Talk about marrying all the time, and specifically about marrying Mark”
“Told Mark continually about how stressful planning a wedding would be”
“Love love love surprises”
“So Mark, being a fawking SAINT, I might add, puts 1, 2, and 3 together in a beautiful and selfless moment…and you smash it to bits because he ‘violated your autonomy'”.
“He is leaving, no doubt at all.”
“It seems like tons of commenters feel differently, but OP is sending the most mixed signals I have ever read about.”
“This wasn’t even the official or legal wedding….they could have done that in a few months.”
“This was like a reception with family to celebrate a beautiful moment.” ~ Suspicious_Truth647
“YTA IFF it was abundantly clear to both of you that you will be getting married and iff you really really loved surprises(updated info by you in the post).”
“Mark had thought of a standard marriage later and did this just for the surprise since you love those.”
“He organized such a hectic event on his own just because you like surprises.”
“He is a keeper.”
“Now you might not have liked this specific surprise but that doesnt mean Mark’s intentions were wrong ( as a lot of A**holes here seem to be concluding).”
“In marriage there will be many such occasions where your partner will do something for you, with the sole objective of your happiness.”
“The thought matters.” ~ bhaijee
She did return with some final thoughts.
“I previously omitted this from my post because of the subreddit’s word count guidelines.”
“I love surprises it’s a thing everyone has known me to love.”
“Mark knowing that, the fact I wanted to marry him, and said wedding planning was stressful thought a surprise wedding would be perfect.”
“A surprise engagement is bland, because it will always be a surprise but not a wedding lol.”
“He threw this ‘wedding’ for the surprise but explained how in a couple of days we could do a courthouse wedding to make it legal, this was his only way to surprise me.”
“I love spontaneity, but legal marriage or not, I wanted a say in my wedding.”
“To choose the perfect date, to choose my bridesmaids, to pick out my cake.”
“Again due to these thoughts everyone thinks I’m the a-hole, because I could have gone along with the party, and do a redo legal wedding. But again, I felt blindsided and confused, so I left.”
Change can be difficult to grasp, even when you’ve had months to make the adjustments.
So, when a major change – even a happy one – is thrust on you at the last moment, our reactions may not be fantastic.
Surprises are fantastic.
Until they aren’t.