“His Wife Had A Temper He Should Know About”: Parents Berated For Leaving Son’s Wedding Early

Unfortunately, not everyone’s a fan of parties. The fact of the matter is that some people are simply not built for large gatherings. And their social batteries drain incredibly quickly. In some situations, however, that can create a lot of hurt feelings. Redditor u/Medical_Comment_5527 shared how he left his son’s wedding early and revealed the fallout this caused in the family.

Scroll down for the full story, as well as the internet’s reaction to the emotionally charged situation. Bored Panda has reached out to the author of the post, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from him.

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Meanwhile, Bored Panda wanted to learn more about social avoidance, so we reached out to Anthony Smith, LMHC, who was kind enough to shed some light on the topic. Smith is the host of the ‘Up and Running’ blog on Psychology Today and is a licensed mental health counselor with 22 years of experience in Massachusetts. You’ll find his expert insights as you read on.

Some people dislike large gatherings like parties and weddings because they don’t enjoy being social

Image credits: Carlo Buttinoni (not the actual photo)

A dad asked the internet for a verdict on whether he was wrong to skip out on his son’s wedding early, and take his mom, too

Image credits: May Gauthier (not the actual photo)

The man answered a few burning questions in an update

Image credits: Medical_Comment_5527

The groom felt awful that his parents left during his Big Day

The entire situation, as shared on the AITA online community, was very ethically grey. On the one hand, the author of the post had given his son a heads up that he’d be taking off early, on account of the fact that there were going to be 150 people at the wedding.

So there was an attempt at proper communication there. Not only that, but it would make sense that the OP’s own child would know their parent’s temperament and dislike of gatherings.

Respecting our own boundaries and being honest with ourselves about what we (dis)like despite any social pressure we might be under are incredibly important parts of living authentically.

However (and there is a very strong ‘however’ here!), on the other hand, it would also make sense for a parent to put their personal inconvenience aside on such an important day. A huge part of raising children is sacrificing one’s own convenience for their sake. And it would only make sense to continue in that same fashion at a kid’s wedding.

Not only that, but the redditor shared that he had also coaxed his wife to leave early with him. That meant that their son didn’t have his parents by his side during dinner, while cutting the cake, and during the dancing. From the bride and groom’s perspective, this really had to hurt.

This unwillingness of the groom’s father to look for compromises is what most of the AITA community members honed in on. Some readers pointed out that the OP somehow managed to make the wedding all about him. Others noted that he also pressured his wife to leave early. Still others were flabbergasted that the author of the post wasn’t more self-aware.

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Image credits: Rene Asmussen (not the actual photo)

It’s unclear whether the author may be socially avoidant, introverted, have agoraphobia, or simply have different priorities

Ideally, the dad would have stayed through his son’s entire wedding celebration to show his love and support. Here’s the crux of the problem, though: without knowing the OP in person, and as bad as everything sounds, nobody on the internet can say with absolute certainty that he was acting intentionally maliciously. It is entirely possible that the redditor may, for instance, have an avoidant personality, have agoraphobia, or be a very big introvert.

It’s also possible that he put his own convenience above that of his son’s wishes on the Big Day or that he is socially avoidant by nature. Therapy can help in either case, so long as the author wishes to change.

Agoraphobia is essentially the fear of being in a situation where it might be difficult to get help if something were to go wrong or being in situations where it may be hard to escape.

According to the NHS, someone with agoraphobia may be afraid of leaving home, going to shopping centers, or traveling on public transport. Often, these people will experience symptoms similar to a panic attack, including rapid breathing, a rapid heartrate, and feeling sick.

Those suffering from the condition might avoid crowded places or going shopping in person and prefer to stay at home, or may only leave with a trusted person by their side. Without a therapist’s help and their loved ones’ support, these individuals can have a very hard time overcoming their phobias, especially if they’re particularly deep-rooted.

However, aside from cognitive behavioral therapy, other things that can help with agoraphobia include regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Not only that, but those suffering from the condition can practice deep breathing techniques to calm down during their panic attacks.

Image credits: Vlada Karpovich (not the actual photo)

Asocial and antisocial behavior are not the same thing

Bored Panda got in touch with licensed mental health counselor Smith, the host of the ‘Up and Running’ blog on Psychology Today to better understand social avoidance. He was kind enough to explain asocial behavior to us. Smith also noted that someone who is asocial is different from a person who is antisocial—the latter being clinically synonymous with sociopathy, unlike the former.

“Two diagnoses that are perhaps the biggest culprits in social avoidance are social phobia and avoidant personality disorder. Other conditions such as autism-spectrum individuals and people with schizoid and schizotypal personalities also often harbor elements of asocial behavior,” he told us via email.

“People with social anxiety disorder and people with avoidant personalities both have a chief characteristic of social avoidance. However, the former is more of a performance anxiety, an unbearable fear that they’ll do or say something that would incur social scrutiny. It tends to develop more abruptly, like after some particularly embarrassing incident or series of events, like a child who is developing OCD may have some peers that pick on them or are always questioning them about their funny habits,” Smith, LMHC, explained.

According to the counselor, people with social phobia tend to “desperately want to socialize more.” They may also realize that their fear is irrational, however, “like anyone suffering a phobia, can’t shake the ‘what if?’ factor and, though they likely have some people they’re comfortable around, endure seismic anxiety if they’re receiving any kind of attention,” he said.

“This can range from being called on in a class, to, on the more severe end of things, even interacting with a waiter/waitress while at a restaurant, or, for that matter, eating in public. They tend to evolve significant depression by young adulthood, for they want to socialize and realize they’re missing out on life, watching everyone else accomplish the things they wish they could do. Substance abuse can easily follow to not only self-medicate, but it facilitates socializing/makes socializing bearable.”

However, substance abuse can lead to behavior that others would judge. Smith noted that Social Phobia responds well to exposure therapy and anti-anxiety medication.

Image credits: Helena Lopes (not the actual photo)

People with avoidant personalities may think they have nothing to offer or don’t want to embarrass themselves

This is just one side of the coin, however. “Personality, on the other hand, is how someone relates to the world in general, and thus an avoidant personality (think Charlie Brown) is more of an interpersonal style versus a phobia. These people harbor a pattern of negative self-evaluation in relation to others that leads to their social inhibitions,” Smith said that these self-evaluations may be rooted in issues of self-esteem or performance anxiety. People with avoidant personalities typically come from backgrounds where they endured deprecation in their early formative years.

According to the counselor, these individuals may believe that they don’t have much to offer, think that they might be ‘boring,’ question why anyone would want to spend time with them, and think that they may disappoint others and embarrass themselves.

“This, of course, is largely projection, meaning, basically, that is how they learned to view themselves, and thus assume others will think of them similarly. This is how they view life, so it is easy to imagine this is more pervasive than social phobia. With this mindset, they remain shy, assume they’ll fail so don’t bother trying to improve, and are inordinately unassertive and don’t defend themselves or try to obtain what they need/want,” Smith shared with Bored Panda.

“They often arrive for therapy complaining of depression, and it is discovered their depression is rooted in their inflexible, maladaptive manner of relating to the world. Clearly, it requires longer term psychotherapy to learn to relate and interact more constructively, which, in time, should also dissolve the tendency for being so depressed.”

Meanwhile, Smith also shed some light on when it might be worth it for a socially avoidant individual to reach out to a professional for help.

“Something is considered ‘help-worthy’ when it is pervasive (think, ‘persistently invasive’), meaning it keeps the person from functioning optimally in social, home, school, career, etc. Thus, in a nutshell, when the asocial behavior is engendering a pattern of inability to have satisfying relationships, accomplish the things the person needs to/wishes to, and, of course, there is elevating corollary damage of substance abuse, depression, etc. arising.”

For some more expert insights, be sure to check out Smith’s blog ‘Up and Running,’ on Psychology Today, for his latest articles.

Image credits: mikoto.raw Photographer (not the actual photo)

Most internet users were very critical of the author. Here’s what they had to say about his behavior

The post “His Wife Had A Temper He Should Know About”: Parents Berated For Leaving Son’s Wedding Early first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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