Photo: Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
Everybody knows somebody who cannot stand their brother-in-law or sister-in-law. It's just a fact of life. Being family doesn't obligate you to actually like somebody, it just makes life a lot easier. Especially after you get married. But what do you do when it's your future or new in-law sibling who doesn't like you? Do you know the actual reason they dislike you? Did you have a disagreement or dramatic scene at some point? Is there an elephant in the room that you need to sit down and discuss before things get so out-of-control that there's no going back?
Wedding planning can be an emotional time, and sometimes feelings get hurt along the way. If you know you've done something specific to cause the rift, try to find a way to fix it before the actual wedding day. Even if you're not wrong. Let's say, for example, that you know your groom's sister is furious you didn't ask her little girl to be in the wedding. Your reasons may be perfectly legitimate and fair, but she's not happy. Perhaps you have your own nieces or a goddaughter who has been planning to sprinkle your petals for the past three years, or maybe you don't want to have any children in your wedding at all. It's time to have a serious conversation with your future mate about which battles are worth the fight.
If the difference between a lifetime of fun family get-togethers and dreading every single holiday is as simple as adding a flower girl, is it worth the drama? You are not wrong — the decisions about everything related to the wedding should be made by the bride and groom. But since you're clearly the one who is going to suffer the most from your decision, is it worth it? Only you and your fiancé can answer that question. But don't kid yourself about the long-term ramifications of making that kind of decision. She's revealed herself as a bully, but she's a bully you're going to be related to and who will be an aunt to your own children someday.
Sometimes we don't know why somebody dislikes us. You might have felt just fine around your fiancé's brother and sister when you were just dating and something changed, or maybe they've always been cool to you. If you've asked your fiancé directly and they don't know either, it's possible they simply aren't warm people and make take longer to get to know.
You can take a shot at improving things by opening Pandora's Box and asking, or you can simply do your best to get to know them better and hope things improve. Sometimes seeing their own sibling happily married to you a few months later is all it takes to bring on the thaw.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.