A man recently came to the Reddit forum Am I The A**hole, or AITA for short, with a baffling story about a child-free wedding and a controlling brother.
The original poster, OP, begins by informing the subreddit that he is posting on behalf of his wife, who he says is “too understanding” of his brother’s behavior—an intriguing start!
OP’s brother is getting married in May this year, and he and his fiancee have requested no children at their wedding or reception. Okay, enough for them, but this causes problems for OP and his wife as they have an infant son, only twenty months old, and not many babysitting options.
In addition, all four grandparents have been invited to the wedding, so they can’t be on sitter duty. OP claims it would cost several hundred dollars to hire their trusted nanny for the day outside of their usual schedule—and besides, she has a family of her own to look after.
OP’s brother suggested OP’s wife’s sister look after the baby, but she’s self-employed and would be working twelve-hour days, 6-7 days a week in May. No one else, OP and his wife trusts to look after their son, and they are unwilling to find another babysitter or leave their son with someone they’ve never met.
After three months of getting to know her through their daycare center, they only recently hired their current nanny. If OP and his wife are to respect the no children rule, one of them will have to miss the wedding, something which OP says his brother finds “unacceptable.”
OP says his brother doesn’t understand the situation he’s put the two parents in, telling them they have time to figure it out before the wedding—and that they’d better, “before you or your wife embarrass me in front of over a hundred people.”
Yikes! And to make matters even worse, OP’s brother also insists OP’s wife’s parents come, denying them as a childcare option and making things uncomfortable for OP’s wife. “They’ve said they’ll only go if my wife goes,” OP explains. “If she doesn’t, then they won’t. If they back out to take our son, my brother will think my wife convinced them to bail and take my kid and make more drama out of it. It’s a lose-lose for my wife.”
OP continues with more information on his brother’s insistence on his wife coming: “He thinks her not being there will be a big embarrassment […] He’s taking it as she doesn’t approve of his marriage and blowing it out of proportion.”
Strange behavior from OP’s brother. Insisting on a child-free wedding is fine, but then cutting off easy options for childcare—not to mention the threat to not “embarrass” him in front of the wedding party? “There’s more going on here,” one comment says, echoing our thoughts. “Your brother seems to be arranging things, so there are no options for your wife that don’t lead to him being upset.”
With all that, you may be wondering: is there some previous drama between these two couples that would make OP’s brother so concerned about appearances? Turns out, yes, there is.
OP’s wife and his brother’s fiancee had a huge falling out, he explains in a further comment when prompted—and looking at the laundry list of stunts the fiancee has pulled, it’s no wonder. One thing was having COVID and telling no one she was in contact with. Still, the offender is trying to make OP’s wife sleep on an air mattress at eight months pregnant at a friend’s house because she wanted the spare bed to herself.
Then there’s the brother himself, no better than his fiancee. After reading, we found that OP had posted on AITA about his brother’s behavior—for trying to manipulate him into leaving his high-risk pregnancy wife, who’d been in and out of the hospital and come to one of his six bachelor parties.
Clearly, this has nothing to do with OP’s brother wanting loved ones at a wedding. This is about him and his fiancee making life as difficult for OP and his wife as possible and potentially making them look bad at a public event. OP shouldn’t get a sitter. Nor should he or his wife go to the wedding.
“If you really want to go to the wedding, ask your in-laws to RSVP no and watch your kid while you and wife go,” says one user after reading the backstory between the two women. “But if he’s going to be angry if any of you aren’t there, then honestly? Just skip the f***ing wedding. Skip the brother.”