A lot goes into planning the wedding, and it can certainly be a stressful event. Inviting guests, finding catering, the venue, a florist, coordinating bachelor(ette) parties, and more. For the bride and groom, the expectation to get things 100% right good not be higher.
Yet, one groom-to-be found himself at odds with his fiancée because of his choice for best man.
Reddit user SubjectWrongdoer9 took to the “Am I The A*hole” subreddit to wonder aloud if he was in the wrong for thinking about calling off his wedding because of the actions of his fiancée. Sure, at first that sounds a bit extreme, but as he describes it, his potential bride is throwing out some major red flags.
Let’s break it down.
SubjectWrongdoer (henceforth known as ‘SW’) introduces us to his perfectly normal relationship:
Around three years ago, I met “Ashley” through a mutual friend of ours and we hit it off immediately. We have similar careers and lifestyles, are both fairly liberal socially and politically, and love spending time with each other. Like all couples we’ve had our moments of disagreement and tension, but we’ve worked through them and have a very loving and happy relationship. Two months ago, I proposed and she accepted.
He highlights the differences in their two families and upbringings:
I should mention that Ashley and I come from pretty differing backgrounds – I’m from a more middle-class, lowkey and very liberal family, while her family is pretty wealthy, conventional and conservative. Her parents have always been very generous and kind to me personally, but the few times our parents have met and interacted could be best categorized as strained.
SW also brings up his cousin, Joe, who he is very close with:
So, my cousin “Joe” and I are very close in age, and although living 5-6 hours apart most of our lives, we have been pretty much inseparable all throughout. However, he’s had a bit of a rougher go of things with some poor decisions and personal problems – he spent some time in jail due to charges stemming from a fight outside a bar (long story), and fathered a child unintentionally out of wedlock.
He also looks much less clean-cut than me – tattoos, long hair, etc. Despite these issues, he has always been an incredibly compassionate and kind person and helped me through some difficult problems in my life. He has gotten sober, accepted his responsibilities as a parent, and is genuinely trying to right his wrongs.
And here is where the problem starts:
The moment I got engaged, I knew I wanted Joe as my best man. Although I have several other close friends, it wasn’t even a question. However, when I mentioned this to Ashley, it was instantly clear she wasn’t thrilled with the choice although she didn’t say too much else at the time.
SW’s fiancée has made it clear she wants him to choose another best man, despite their familial ties and close bond:
Last night, she calmly confronted me and said she would like me to choose a different best man. She said she is fine with him being in the wedding party and has no issues with him personally (they’ve met a couple times and always gotten along fine), but given his history/appearance and the already strained family ties, another choice would be better for everyone involved. It wasn’t necessarily an ultimatum, but she did say she’d have to think everything over more if I wasn’t willing to do this.
Naturally, this is a pretty big red flag for SW:
I’m torn. On one hand, I know compromise is essential to any relationship and it’s not like she’s trying to have him blacklisted from the wedding or even thrown out of the wedding party. On the other hand, this is my family and I’ve told her how much he means to me. I feel like I’d be a sham if I gave in and chose someone else and wondering what I’d have to give up next.
Would I be the a*hole for calling all this off?
The replies are equally as torn, with many being empathetic with his bride’s actions and pushing for him to talk it through:
NAH? I think? Listen this is hard for me to pinpoint but it sounds like you fiancée is doing because she doesn’t want to strain her family ties further. Ok, makes sense. You want to have someone as your best man who you want to be. Ok, makes sense. As far as I can tell no one has been argumentative about so, talk it out. Figure out if there’s a way to make it work. I don’t think either of you are acting like an a*hole. –Comnlink
YTA IF you call it off right now. NTA for being upset.
Work it out man. Figure out what the issue is. Talk it through. Explain how much this means to you.
You’re about to get married to this person. Next time you hit a big block like this, you won’t be able to “call things off”. –Blademaster0182
Similarly, others are warning him that his future wife’s actions might be a bad sign of things to come.
And where does it stop?
Are they going to have to live the rest of their lives not being able to do what they want because it might upset her parents? With her acting like her parents happiness assassin to shoot down everything “disreputable”?
If they let them control this, they are setting an unhealthy groundwork for the rest of their lives. –ItsaTerribleLife
I too am surprised that people think it’s OK for the fiancee’s family to expect him to hide his friend (who, again, did nothing wrong in this situation) to appease their aesthetic tastes. –HyacinthFT
I have a serious problem with her trying to manipulate this after (I assume) the cousin has already been asked to be Best Man. I have never heard of the Bride’s family having one ounce of say on who gets to be on HIS side of the wedding party. And why is Best Man so much more offensive than just being a groomsman?
How does spending two days around one guy who has been described as kind cause “strain” on family ties unless they are just some of the worst, most bigoted people on the planet?
I would firmly, kindly and patiently put my foot down about this. Ask her to imagine him objecting to the bridesmaid she loves the most. What would she think that said about HIM that he wanted to force her to hurt a friend’s feelings for no good reason? –horsenbuggy