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'AITA for not wanting to feature my fiancé's former SO who passed away in our wedding?' UPDATED

'AITA for not wanting to feature my fiancé's former SO who passed away in our wedding?' UPDATED

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"AITA for not wanting to feature my fiancé's former SO who passed away in our wedding?"

Here's the original post:

TW for loss and death. My fiance was engaged for about a month to his high school sweetheart when she passed away in a tragic, freak accident. For personal reasons, I don't want to get into how it happened, but it was no one's fault. This was maybe 6 years ago. Just for the purpose of the post I'll call her Mandy.

My fiance has been very open about this loss and how it has affected him throughout our relationship. I know he misses her and the memories he has with her and important and special. I don't want to take away anything or demean the relationship, and I've always been there for him on hard days and supported him when he needed it.

We got engaged last year, the date is TBD still for obvious reasons. It was very emotional for both of us, and we've been really happy. But since planning the wedding, I've been feeling like I'm not only planning it for myself, but for Mandy as well.

It started as comments from his family. A lot of "Oh Mandy would have loved this" type things. I brushed it off at first and just thought it was a way of them processing grief. I have a great relationship with his family, but I know they loved Mandy too. When I went dress shopping, his mom and sister came.

They kept talking about what dress Mandy would have worn, what they could see her in, etc. It might seem like nothing, but it really overtook the conversation, so much so that another bridesmaid told me later that she felt uncomfortable for me too. It turned from harmless comments into focusing what should be a special event for me into reminiscing over Mandy.

My latest project has been compiling old photos of me and my fiance for a slideshow at the reception (or rehearsal dinner we haven't decided). He told me theres something he's been wanting to ask me: he really wants to include some kind of "in memory of Mandy" into our wedding, and thinks the slideshow would be a perfect place.

At this point, I was (and still kinda am) fed up with the Mandy comments taking over our wedding. I sternly told him that no I don't think that would be appropriate, as this is our wedding and should focus on us. We are having a table with pictures of loved ones who passed, and she will be featured there. He told me that he doesn't think that's enough to honor her memory.

He wants to incorporate her in a bigger way, as she never got her dream wedding. He also thinks it would be a sweet surprise for Mandy's parents (who are invited since he is still really close to them). I did lose my cool, I will admit. I told him honestly how I felt about the Mandy situation taking over our wedding, and how I'm uncomfortable with it.

I also asked him if he could ask his family to limit the Mandy comments at our wedding, since now I'm afraid the whole wedding will be focused on her. I told him that I need time away to think and have been staying at my parent's house, but we've still been talking. AITA? Am I overreacting?

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

said:

NTA. It turned from harmless comments into focusing what should be a special event for me into reminiscing over Mandy. That's exactly what would happen at your wedding. It's totally reasonable to ask that the focus of your wedding be on you and your fiance. Sorry to ask, but are you sure he's ready to marry you? It sounds like he's marrying the ghost of Mandy.

said:

NTA, and you reconsider the wedding. Maybe not the whole relationship, but he’s very clearly not ready to marry anyone who isn’t Mandy. You’re practically competing with a ghost and I could see his family/friends making snide remarks about “oh Mandy would’ve done this, Mandy wouldn’t have done that, Mandy would’ve liked this, etc”.

Honoring her in the photos at the table in one thing but including in the slideshow about YOUR relationship is really pushing the boundaries. Did he ever get professional help or therapy when she died? Have you two considered a couples therapist?

haemaker said:

NTA- it is getting really creepy. You cannot compete with a memory, and should not have to. I would recommend some couples counselling before taking this any further. Weddings are to honor and support your bond. Guests are invited to support your wedding. If her parents are going, they should be there to support you and your new husband as friends of his, not the parents of the deceased.

If she had not died, this wedding would not occur, so what message does it send to have some special recognition? "...and thank you Mandy for making this day possible!" Creepy. The only exception would be if somehow Mandy died saving your fiancee's life. It would change the entire dynamic, and the message.

Pixarooo said:

NTA - he needs to be in grief therapy. You cannot marry him until he is in a better place emotionally. He will likely never "get over" Mandy's death, but he has demonstrated that it is still affecting him deeply, and he's not truly ably to commit and put you first while he feels that way.

Verdict: NTA! And commenters urged OP to reconsider before committing to marry someone who seems to not have moved on from his late former fiancée.

A few days after her original post, OP shared this major update:

Update: Thank you to everyone for the kind words, I've had a lot to digest over the past few days. I did try to post a separate update, but was told to just add it under my original. I'll try to put a condensed version under here.

The wedding is postponed indefinitely, but we are still together and working through things. He was defensive about the situation at first, but eventually came around. We both agreed that couples therapy is needed, and are in the process of starting that. As for his family, they are deeply sorry, especially (mostly) his mom. When I went to talk to her about it, she was really in tears.

Mandy was like a daughter to her, so she said, and she just hasn't gotten over losing her yet. I talked to her about therapy (she told me she didn't go after Mandy died), and she agrees its something to look into, though not sure if anything concrete has come of it. I can't say that I feel 100% better about the situation, and I think that my relationship with his mom now has a bit of a strain on it, even if she did apologize.

But I'm hoping to work through these things in therapy, and if I can't, or my fiance can't, then I'll have to do whats best for me and end the relationship. If anything else were to happen, I'll try to post an update. Again, thank you to everyone for the support, it means a lot.

Sources: Reddit
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