Here's the story:
I (M30) got married 2 weeks ago. I was married before but it ended after I found out that my older brother Thomas (M34) got involved with my first wife. It was devastating because we were close and had a great relationship. I also helped him so much while he was struggling and seeing how he repaid me hurts to this very day.
I stopped talking to him and Mom and dad forced me to keep it a secret and because I was too weak to argue with them, I just kept my owm distance. Then I met my now wife. my family loved and embraced her as their own. mom and dad treat her like a queen which helped repaire and soldified my relationship with them.
However, as the wedding was approaching they told me they expected me to invite Thomas. I of course refused but they kept guilting me about what the relatives and other guests would think and say when they don't see Thomas there. I fought with them about it til the day of the wedding. Turned out they'd invited him behind my back but I found out and stopped them in time.
They came to the wedding looking pissed asking what we were going to tell people when they ask about Thomas. I told them I'd take care of it. and what I did was take a moment while everyone was paying attention, grabbed the mic and flatout announced this and said "the reason I didn't invite Thomas to my wedding is because I was worried he'd steal my now wife just like he stole the first one"
I said it playfully to not make it sound so tense but most of the guests looked shocked and started mumbling then it went awkwardly quiet for a moment. then we moved on but I saw Mom and Dad walk out while looking at me grudgingly.
Later they started lashing out about how I just exposed Thomas and caused him to be shunned by the family in the most hideos of ways. I told them that I already said I didn't want him there yet they tried to push him on me repeatedly saying "what are people going to say" so I told them the reason why he wasn't there in a playful way but they (the guests) still got the message.
Mom started yelling about how everyone will now look down on and shun Thomas, she called me pathetic and cruel for still punishing him and gradually ruining his life despite him apologizing and trying to reconcile but in my opinion? somethings are just unforgivable.
We've been on horrible terms since then. AITA? My wife said at least now they're off my back about what people would say about not inviting him
Here's what top commenters think:
NTA. Your brother brought it on himself and your parents…. Good grief! If that was how they repaid you in terms of repairing the relationship then perhaps you are better off without them and I don’t often suggest NC.
Congratulations to you and your wife! NTA - If they’d respected your wishes, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point. Inviting him behind your back is just wrong. I can see how they’d want you and your brother to have a relationship, but your brother destroyed that, and it’s up to you when or if you ever want to have a relationship with him again.
Also, it sounds like they’re probably more concerned about the shame of people knowing what he did. Which is also not your problem.
Info: what did your wife think of it? I think if my partner used a celebration of our relationship as a way to air dirty laundry about a family member and a previous relationship I'd be upset so I think her opinion matters
NTA, you just told the truth. You don’t need to hide how you feel and what happened to protect your brother. Family secrets always create so much toxicity, better to get em out early in my opinion. Good on you.
NTA for not inviting him, but YTA to your new wife for what you did at the wedding. If I were marrying you that day, it would really look like you’re not completely over your first wife announcing it to all your guests on the day of your wedding.
Now, instead of focusing on the happiness you and she share and celebrating that, your guests will be talking about your first marriage to your first wife and how you guys ended it. That sucks for her and would make that day very difficult
I mean, ESH. Them for obvious reasons, you for your timing and talking like he could "steal" your new wife. That must have been shitty for her to hear that you don't trust her not to cheat. Obviously you were right in not inviting him, but ideally you should have told people (or just the family gossip) way sooner, and in a different way.