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Bride cancels wedding after her mother 'ruins everything.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATES 2X

Bride cancels wedding after her mother 'ruins everything.' AITA? MAJOR UPDATES 2X


When this woman has to cancel her wedding because of her mother's toxic behavior, she asks the internet:

"I am so done with my mother. AITA?"

Over the past year and a half, my fiancé (Jose, M27) and I (F25) have been planning a wedding for July of 2021. We've been together for 10 years and have lived together for 3 years. Jose and I both don't like the pomp and circumstance of weddings, and were hoping to have a low-key, inexpensive one. My family, however, wanted something bigger.

My mother has expressed to me just how much she's living through me in having this wedding. I have expressed to her plenty that social situations trigger my anxiety. She doesn't care.

Jose and I gave in last year and agreed to marry in a church and have the big reception she wanted. Jose made sure if we were going to do this, my parents would pay for both the venue and the church fee. They agreed.

Planning was stressful, and it caused a lot of tension between Jose and I. It turns out the stress wasn't coming from the planning itself - it was the wedding as a whole. With my therapist's help, we identified that being a "bride" embodied many things my mother berated me for growing up and acted as triggers for my CPTSD.

I came forward with my reservations to my mother. Her response was to gaslight me about my therapist's diagnoses and insist on the wedding happening the way we planned it. She joked that I could take some CBD or have a drink to stay calm during the wedding.

She has also begun drinking to avoid confronting her feelings and regards it as the only thing she has that's hers. She does not take it seriously, and my father is won't help. I found out that the private conversations I have had with my father about her drinking were shared with her.

It got bad enough that at my bridal shower, she had 18 beers and berated my sister-in-law for calling her out on drunkenly shit talking my brother to family. Mind you, Jose’s side of the family does not drink - as they’ve lost their grandfather to alcoholism. I feel horrible they were put in the position of having to watch her.

When trying to make amends between my SIL and her, she decided to take me on a car ride in which she screamed at, gaslit, and berated me for "accusing her of being an alcoholic". She apologized for this half-heartedly expecting me to forgive her and move on.

As a result, I've gone no contact with her. Jose and I made calls and cancelled the big wedding all together and are instead going to quietly get married at the courthouse this Saturday with a small group present.

Half of the deposit from the venue was non-refundable, but we decided to take a small personal loan to make sure we don’t owe my parents anything at the end of this. His side of the family is completely on-board, while mine is sending emails and pleading with me to be a better person and make up with her.

I know I’ve made a lot of missteps in this - I should have set my boundaries much earlier in this mess and stayed firm in not having the wedding. I wanted to hear from an unbiased party whether I’m being unreasonable. AITA?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

podunkboy writes:

Your family are the AH here. They forgot that the wedding is about the bride and groom and not everyone there (in extreme case, it may also extend to being about the kids if they're really young and really important to the relationship, but probably not applicable here).

Anyways, the moment you had reservations, your mom should have dropped everything to figure out a way to accommodate your concerns. When she fled from her duty to do that, she lost her right to complain about any of this. Enjoy your courthouse wedding OP. Sorry for all the strife.

kb writes:

NTA. You did this for her, when it's supposed to be about your and Jose. Then she wrecked it with her behavior, and you cancelled it. I wouldn't even have taken out a loan to pay her back. SHE ruined this, not you.

You are not unreasonable. You've been far too reasonable for far too long. Imagine how your mother would be, drunk, at your wedding! It would be a horrible day that would feed into your anxieties about a big wedding. No, you're doing the right thing, and congrats on the nuptials.

When your family is ready to behave, you can have a backyard BBQ party and invite them over to celebrate after the fact. If they can't behave and be happy for you, you're still happily married.

pdontpanic writes:

NTA! You said it perfectly that you should have set boundaries sooner and I think your being quite responsible making sure the deposits are paid (even though you didn’t want them in the first place).

When you start to question yourself think back to you bridal shower; close your eyes and imagine what your actual wedding would have been like if your mom got her drink on and ruined it too. You made the right call. Congratulations to you and Jose!

peanutslament writes:

NTA. I had a similar situation. I'm not a fan of crowds, being the center of attention, etc. My mother's family works in the bridal industry. I dreaded even thinking of having a wedding. My husband is extremely introverted and would have rather eloped and thrown a party at a later time.

During the pandemic, we had the wonderful idea to wait until lockdown on most areas and "have a wedding" to make it official. Two friends came over as witnesses and that was it. We carved pumpkins, ate pot roast, drank cheerfully, and played games.

It was the best decision ever. We didn't have to worry about family drama or people getting upset they couldn't be invited. We promised a reception on our anniversary, but even after 6 months nobody has asked if we are doing it.

grattoad writes:

NTA This is your wedding day not hers and she doesn’t get nor does she have the right to live and experience a bug wedding through you. You made the extremely difficult decision to cancel your wedding and have a small ceremony that you wanted.

You chose to do what’s best for you in an extremely difficult situation and your feelings and that of your soon to be husbands Jose are the only ones who count here.

As for your extended family this is none of their business and they either accept your decision or keep quiet about it you don’t owe her an apology at all nor is it your job to make up with her, she owes you both a huge apology and it’s on her to make the move to apologise and accept the truth. I wish you all the best for Saturday.

mrfruitfly writes:

NTA. You were kind to go along with a big wedding for your mom, and it wasn't a misstep to try and make her happy. You didn't know she would start heavily drinking or ruining family events, just like you didn't know that you would emotional reactions to the idea of the wedding.

Why suffer a wedding for a woman who acts so terribly? I don't think that was the question you had when you started planning, but that's the question you have now. Good for you for setting a boundary and making a decision, and don't beat yourself up for making that later.

Also very nice of you to pay back the deposit, because I certainly wouldn't if my mother had a drunkey meltdown at a pre-wedding event.

I think you tell your relatives all the same thing- my mother had a drunken meltdown at my bridal shower, which is the culmination of a number of fights and mean things she has said/done. I was trying to have this wedding to make her happy and instead, it is making her and therefore all of us, miserable.

Please do not keep contacting me about this, as I already have a lot to deal with and I hope instead you will focus on my mother and getting her the help she needs.

lonelysilverain writes:

It is YOUR wedding. Do it the way that makes you happy. Yes it took you too long to get to this point but now that you are, good for you. Enjoy your low key wedding day and keep your mother at an arms length away from you.

Establish firm boundaries before you have kids and enforce them. Ignore any family members telling you to "be the bigger person" which is their way of saying, "make mom happy so she gets off my back". All they want is peace, and they don't care if that comes at the expense of your mental well being.

Only make up with your mother when she sincerely apologizes for ignoring your wishes, and for ruining your wedding shower. And only after she takes serious steps to fix her behavior. If she doesn't, you are entitled to leave her at no contact and live a good life with your husband.

nyx60 writes:

NTA and are we related? lol So many similarities. I also wanted to wait. We were together a decade before I said let's do this. Despite the fact that I was very clear about what I wanted my mother ignored anything I told her.

Wanting it to be small and more intimate than showy I came up with what I thought was a good idea. Since we were already living together and had what we need, request that people bring a dish instead of a gift. She laughed at me and said it was tacky.

This is the same woman who made it clear I wasn't wife material from the age of 10. It was when she told me she went ahead and registered us that I decided to stop even talking to her about it.

We went ahead and did it quietly. Shortly after I went no contact for good. The amount and severity of panic attacks I experienced went down drastically.

Mother's Day is hard. Or times where I feel like I could use some support but anytime I start to feel down I remind myself that no matter how much time has passed she'll never be the mother I need her to be.

ama8 writes:

NTA. It is so difficult having a parent who is an alcoholic. The disease compels them to lie and gaslight the crap out of you. Alcoholics are also masters of DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender).

This is all in the name of keeping the addiction going. It would be good if your whole family was on board to encourage your mom to get the treatment she needs to tackle this disease, but you cannot control what others do.

There are many groups out there to help you, I am finally in one myself to help me process the pain the alcoholics in my life have subjected me to, as well as to cultivate strategies for dealing with them and setting boundaries. I was very resistant to joining a group and receiving therapy, but it has done wonders for me.

You did the right thing canceling the wedding you never wanted and having the one you did want. The bridal shower was a preview of how your mom was going to drink and behave at your wedding.

I hope she gets the help she needs and I even more hope you get the support you deserve. She has been terrorizing you and the rest of your family. Start by taking care of yourself, then when you are in a better place encourage your family to follow suit.

nikoted4 writes:

NTA. Wow, weddings can truly bring out the worst in people. It's usually the bride's family/friends that are the worst. Your mom has openly said she's living thru you by having this wedding, so her putting your feelings into consideration is out of the question.

OP, it's YOUR wedding, YOUR big day and not hers. You and fiance should be the ones to have a say on what the wedding is going to be like and if anyone opposes, tough crap.

And given how nasty your mom's attitude has been, she probably shouldn't be invited to the next wedding you may plan in the future. And I'm not just saying this because of my petty nature! Think about it.

Your mom has it in her head as how she wants this ceremony has to go and it needs to be perfect. It doesn't matter if nothing goes her way or if everything goes her way and one thing is changed/put out of place, she's going to flip her crap and cause a huge scene, thus ruining your special day and probably giving you a nervous breakdown in the process.

Don't let her stand in the way of your happiness. Idk if you ever plan on having a wedding anytime soon but if you let her butt in before said wedding, she will be butting in your marriage overall and that's just not fair to you. It's time she learn some boundaries.

And now, OP's first update:

EDIT: I'm... floored, honestly, at how much traction this has gotten in the past few hours. I can't begin to thank you all enough for your words of kindness and guidance in this very strange time.

When I made this post, I think I had expected to get more of a mixed response - but reading all of the NTA's come in has admittedly thrown me for a loop.

I've since subbed to many of the subreddits recommended to me by other survivors of narcissistic parents and cannot thank you enough for y'all taking time out of your day to reach out.

Jose and I will be remaining NC with my mother and family going forward - and can't wait until the smaller, more intimate wedding this Saturday.

For some needed context that's popped up in the comments a few times: the car ride I went on with my mother was not while she was drunk. In trying to meet the character limit on the post, I neglected to mention this was on a separate day from the shower. I apologize if that's mislead anyone!

OP's second update:

Yesterday, I married the love of my life and partner of 10 years in a quiet little backyard ceremony. 15 people were there - friends, family, and José's immediate family.

The ceremony took all of 15 minutes thanks to our amazing JoP, and the celebration was fun, casual conversation over a simple sandwich lunch. We got to catch up with friends we haven't seen since the pandemic started, as well as make fun memories with the people willing to understand and love us without judgement.

My mother, in response to finding out I've gone NC with the family and planned a private wedding without her, sent one of my aunts screaming at me the day before the wedding over email.

Catholic guilt, gaslighting - the whole shebang. I went all-in on telling my family exactly what I've felt and dealt with in regards to my mother and them.

They had the audacity to invent a story that José is nothing but a controlling abuser that deleted her first email. He's trying to "steal" me away from them and convince me it was the truth. They want me to forgive my Mom and be the bigger person - even after detailing the extent of her abuse to them.

I tore my aunt a new asshole over email, citing them all - my grandmother included - as cowards for not coming to me to tell me the alleged "truth" about José before... ya know, offering pomp, circumstance, and praise for getting married to him.

It's funny how quickly the narrative shifted from "Oh, think of your poor mother" to "You poor, stupid child running into the arms of an abuser" to "You're a monster cancelling our family". The block button has been my best friend.

Within the last 72 hours I've learned exactly what kind of family I was raised in. In a way, I mourn that it had to be like this - NC with the people I thought were supposed to love me. What I have realized is their brand of "love" is conditional.

My mother also demanded the money back for the venue and we sent a check to her. She still has chosen not to cash it. We have ample documentation to prove we have provided her that check. José is warning her in writing to cash that check by the 21st, or else we will stop that check and pay back the loan.

Thank you to all of the kind Redditors that have reached out offering words of encouragement and resources for coping with narcissistic, toxic family. José and I thrilled to finally have had this wedding on our own, surrounded by the people that matter most to us.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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