Enforcing boundaries with in-laws can be incredibly awkward, but there are times when it's necessary.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for refusing to attend his sister-in-law's wedding. He wrote:
My (28 M) wife Anuradha (28 F) and I were married a while ago (both of us are of Indian descent, but we are born and brought up in the USA). It was a love marriage, although she had to exclusively ask for their approval.
My in-laws pulled off a joke that could have ruined my career. I work for the government as an attorney. They thought it would be funny to tell a few of my neighbours that if they require anything from me, all they have to do is offer me money as I take bribes. Some of them even asked me about it to actually offer me bribes, and I was floored. I had to refute that completely, and accosted them.
They said they were just joking, but I said that I don't care if it was a joke, and that I don't want anything to do with the family anymore except for Anuradha. My sister-in-law, Karthika (29 F), even defended them. That was some time ago. I haven't talked to them ever since, and now Anuradha told me that they are coming over to make an announcement for Karthika's wedding and to invite us.
I told them that I don't want them at my house, but she said that they had already left. They came over in the evening and invited us formally. I let them know that I will not be attending and asked them to get out of my house. They accused me of "disrespecting" them and said "It's been a year and it's not good on you to hold a grudge for so long."
I was having nothing of it, however, and in the end, they had to leave the house. My wife's understanding of why I did that, although she said that it was uncalled for and that she wants to attend her sister's wedding (she doesn't want to leave without me). AITA?
NTA I would say let your wife go to the wedding, even though it’s hard to forgive her family for what they did…maybe she still might want a relationship with them because they are her family. As long as she doesn’t force you to interact with them, I think it’s fine.
And OP responded:
I told her she can go, but she said she doesn't want to leave without me.
NTA Your wife is free to go to the wedding right she just doesn't want to go without you? Pathetic really. Everyone saying that they don't understand how they could lose their job, stay in your lane unless you have the same job you won't ever know the ins and outs of it.
Bribery is totally a case for dismissal from government and investigations only hurt the person even if cleared Imagine being investigated for something you didn't do it's horrible.
Hell, these people are lucky you didn’t sue them for defamation. Their funny little joke could have lost your career. NTA. Your wife can go to the wedding without you. If she wants to go, you can’t stop her, but you don’t have to go, and she and her family don’t have to like it.
As a solicitor, I understand how damaging this can be. I would be absolutely raging.
NTA. You're best option as far as your wife goes, is to tell her your desire to not have a relationship with her family doesn't mean she can't. To do otherwise will breed resentment, which is poisonous to marriages. This way, you both have control over your individual relationships with your in-laws.
OP is definitely NTA here, it's important for him to keep this boundary.