Empathy is one of the fundamental pillars of existence. But how much should you sacrifice your own happiness to accommodate for the feelings of others? That’s what one woman was wondering when she took to Reddit’s Am I The Asshole [AITA] thread this week to see if she should cancel her wedding after her sister-in-law [SIL] announced her divorce.
‘My fiancé and I are getting married in September,’ she wrote in her post. ‘My fiancé's sister just found out her husband and father of their three kids was cheating on her for the past 2 years and he left the house and they're getting a divorce.
‘My SIL is very distraught by this of course since she's been with him since they were 19 (they're 34 now),’ the original poster [OP] continued. ‘Since they're getting a divorce, now everyone from my fiancé's side of the family demands that we cancel our wedding to show solidarity and support to my SIL.
‘They also believe it would be improper to celebrate while my SIL is getting divorced and left alone with three kids,’ she added. ‘My SIL also demands it and says there's no ifs and buts and the wedding is getting cancelled and its the respectful thing to do.’
As for her feelings on the matter, the bride to be said: ‘While I truly feel for her and her situation I don't understand what our wedding has to do with it and how cancelling it will help her feel better. I understand being at a wedding is going to feel bittersweet but her divorce and our wedding are two separate occasions and I don't feel like we should cancel anything.
‘My fiancé agrees on everything and was the first one to say how it's completely unreasonable to cancel our wedding,’ she continued. ‘My SIL and my fiancé's parents think we are being extremely selfish and inconsiderate. AITA?’
To put it simply, no. The OP is in no way obligated to cancel her wedding to 'show solidarity' with her sister-in law.
Is attending a wedding while your divorce has just been announced going to be tough? Yes, of course. But should the bride and her fiancé, their guests, their venue, their caterers and all of the other pomp and ceremony that's been booked for big day have to be re-arranged to spare the OP's sister-in-law from experiencing some sadness? Absolutely not - and to demand otherwise is unreasonable.
As one Reddit user put it: 'The solution to her not feeling comfortable attending a wedding right now is to not go, not to request that it’s moved when it’s a few months away. [And] the family is being unreasonable. Shit happens, relationships fall apart sometimes, that doesn’t mean that the world stops or the person that’s hurting gets to dictate how other people live.'