Woman applauded for refusing to be brother’s bridesmaid if he includes her ex-husband in wedding

A woman has been applauded after she refused to be her brother’s bridesmaid if he included her ex-husband in his wedding.

In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit forum, the woman – who goes by the username u/notgonnaworkaita – asked if she was in the wrong for skipping out on her 29-year-old brother’s wedding, if her ex was there. She started off her post by recalling how her brother and his fiancée recently asked her to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, which she initially agreed to.

However, she said her brother later told her that he wanted her ex to be a groomsman, prompting an upset response from the Reddit poster.

“During the call, and after I had already agreed to be a bridesmaid, my brother dropped a bomb on me,” she wrote. “He said that he hopes this doesn’t cause any issues, but he wants to ask my ex-husband to be one of his groomsmen. My initial reaction was not the best, I basically said ‘What? Why? Are you serious? WTF?’”

The 32-year-old went on to explain her history with her ex, who she met in high school and married at 23, before they got divorced at 25. She noted that while there was “no infidelity or abuse of any kind” in the relationship, it wasn’t a healthy one. The woman also acknowledged that it was an “easy” process for her to get divorced.

“[It was] just a toxic relationship we were too young to recognise properly and eventually we got to a point in our marriage where we just hated each other,” she added. “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.”

According to the Reddit user, she left her hometown after the breakup and hasn’t spoken to her ex “in almost five years”. However, she explained that her brother and ex still live in the town, so they “remained close friends after the divorce”. As she noted that her brother never discussed that friendship with her, she went on to explain how he still wanted to include her ex in his big day.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

She added that she “wanted nothing to do with [her] ex”, before noting that “there’s a reason” she hadn’t spoken to him in so long. Although she didn’t specify what the reason was, she emphasised that she “has no desire” to speak with him, which she wouldn’t necessarily be able to do if they were both in the wedding party. She also explained what happened when she told her brother her concerns, which could potentially prevent her from attending the nuptials at all.

“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,” she wrote. “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 have to reconsider even attending the wedding.”

She explained how her and her sibling continued to argue about the situation, writing: “This led to a bit of back and forth with my brother trying to bargain with me and convince me that it won’t be that big of an issue, and me pretty much telling him this is non-negotiable for me.”

The woman concluded her post by noting  that her sister and mother have both contacted her, with claims that she needed to “grow up” and that she was “being petty and immature”. She expressed that they told her she could “handle being in the same general area as [her] ex for a short period of time, to support [her] brother”.

The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, with more than 6,200 upvotes. In the comments, many people have come to the woman’s defence, as they claimed that, while it’s her brother’s decision to include her ex in the wedding party, it’s also her decision to skip the nuptials.

“It is his wedding and he gets to call the shots, and I 100 per cent respect that, BUT he does not have a say on who attends or chooses not to attend,” one viewer wrote. “Feelings are valid and [the original poster] 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. 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.”

“It’s his day, your brother can invite whoever he wants to participate. But you don’t have to accept the invitation,” another added. “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.”

“If my sibling decides he’d rather have a person I hate in his wedding party than me, I’d skip it too,” a third agreed. “It would be awkward and unpleasant to be the sibling attending as a guest while your ex is up there with your brother. I don’t think OP can be blamed for wanting to avoid that.”

However, some people came to the defence of the groom’s, with claims that the woman should be supporting her brother at his wedding, instead of missing it because of her ex.

“[OP] has a choice about how to look at the situation,” one user wrote. “She could choose to support her brother at his wedding by not letting her dislike of her ex (who was not abusive and did not cheat on her and who she hasn’t seen in five years) prevent her from being there. Or she could choose to let her personal feelings about a person she hasn’t seen in five years get in the way of being at the wedding.”

“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,” another added. “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.”

The Independent has contacted u/notgonnaworkaita for comment.

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