A man is being supported for uninviting his parents to his upcoming nuptials after they refused to participate in any way.
The man, u/jjjaaerrjdjddj shared his story to the popular r/AmItheA****** Reddit forum, where he earned over 4,900 upvotes and 800 comments for his post, “[Am I the A******] for not inviting my parents to the reception unless they accept to sit in the front row as my parents?”
The original poster (OP) describes his parents as both “severely anti-social,” saying they hadn’t left their neighborhood for 12 years since the OP went to another city for medical school. He says they’d never let him have friends over, or even went to any parent-teacher conferences or school events, preferring to only communicate with his teachers via email or the occasional phone call.
He says that his extended family—including aunts, uncles and grandparents from both sides—were the only ones that gave him a “normal childhood,” even organizing a neighborhood festival to celebrate his graduation from his medical residency program.
The OP’s been with his fiancé for the past 9 years, and engaged for six.
“To be fair,my parents tried to have a relationship with him but it was ‘too much’ for them(seriously,they said that) and they said ‘You are happy so we are happy too,just send us an invitation to your wedding [if] things go forward,'” he wrote. “Even though all of this,I love my parents and I want them to have their place as my parents in my wedding and I just want them to be present in one of my life events.”
In order to involve his parents, he asked if they’d be willing to help plan the wedding—which was refused. He suggested a wedding speech—which was another “no. ” Even just sitting in the front row was dismissed as well, with his parents saying they didn’t want to be the center of attention.
“I finally exploded and said they weren’t in my significant moments,they never participated in any of my life events and they even didn’t try getting to know my fiance. I said ‘just stay at your heaven(they call their house their heaven) and don’t bother me anymore. Good night.’ and I left their house,” he wrote.
Two days later, the OP sent his invite list to the wedding planner, leaving out his parents. However, since the planner is his cousin’s boyfriend, the planner called his girlfriend, who ended up texting the rest of the family. Though the OP says his grandparents and future in-laws believe his parents “got what they deserved,” his parents’ siblings and their children say they should be invited as normal guests. He also adds that no one is threatening to boycott the wedding over this, as “this is just something [that] disturbs me, no one else.”
A man is being supported for uninviting his parents from his wedding after they refused to participate—or even sit in the front row.
While Newsweek has run previous stories about parents being uninvited to weddings, generally it’s been over a minor thing—like flowers, or being mad they gave away the bride’s old bedroom. However, in this case, the problem is deeper than a disagreement.
Dr. Matt Glowiak, Ph.D., LCPC told Newsweek that what the OP described “may indicate a diagnosable mental health condition.”
“Although many people are introverts who feel most comfortable sitting in their internal thoughts, being quiet in social settings, and having ample personal space; they are still mostly present to fulfill important life obligations as well as participate in major life milestones or events. In this particular case, it does appear that the groom’s parents are met with debilitating social anxiety or perhaps agoraphobia (fear of public spaces) with the potential for other conditions,” Glowiak said.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. agreed, telling Newsweek,”Parents who have difficulties being in groups aren’t people without love. They are just struggling with something this couple doesn’t and they don’t understand.”
Silvi Saxena, MBA, MSW, LSW, CCTP, OSW-C told Newsweek that while an aversion to crowds is “not uncommon,” the OP was also fair to feel the way he did.
“It’s fair that he wants his parents to be involved and seen at his wedding. It shows he is looking for ways to include his parents given the list of options he offered. It can certainly be disheartening feeling like your parents don’t want to be involved in your life or major life events. It’s important to understand where the parents’ feelings are coming from, and without acknowledgment and communication of these feelings, it can create gridlock,” Saxena said.
Hollman suggested perhaps having a separate ceremony in the OP’s parents’ living room, while Glowiak suggested that if “all options of being physically present are exhausted,” video conferencing them in may be an option. But he also suggested his parents see a clinician.
“Working with a counselor can help get to the root of the problem, as the parents work to adjust maladaptive beliefs and incorporate healthy coping skills. It is also likely that they will engage in behavioral experimentation. More specifically, exposure therapy such as systemic desensitization may help,” Glowiak told Newsweek.
Saxena also said the wedding “can be an opportunity to take control” for the parents, and “not allow crowds, attention, or any other fears or avoidance tendencies to dictate your life.”
Redditors agreed that the OP was not in the wrong for feeling how he does—though some had harsh words for another person involved: the wedding planner.
“You need to get a new organizer. Highly unprofessional conduct…[Not the A******],” u/4682458 wrote in the top-rated comment with 11,900 votes.
“YIKES. I was like WTF after I read this also. Organizer was way out of line and created so much unneeded drama. Honestly, this is a difficult question and I do think you should have another conversation with your parents to iron something out. Only because you really do seem to love them and may regret uninviting them to your wedding,” u/EmeraldBlueZen wrote.
“[No A******s Here]. Your parents have real problems that you can’t solve on your own. Please don’t think they love you any less just because they can’t sit in the front row. I hope you can find it in you to invite them as normal guests,” u/namesaretoohardforme wrote.
“[Not the A******] but i dont think your parents are necessarily [a******s] either, they seem to have serious issues. I’m a bit torn however because I do feel like maybe they should have sought help to work on these issues because they were harming you, their child. Either case, you’re definitely [Not the A******],” u/Little_Lottiee wrote.
Newsweek reached out to u/jjjaaerrjdjddj for comment. We could not verify the details of this case.
Has a wedding come between your relationship with a loved one? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.