Sister is making wedding stressful

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AmandaT123 Posts : 3 Registered: 1/1/10
Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 1, 2010 11:01 PM

I'm
getting married in May, and planning has been quite stressful (as I'm
sure it is for everyone). My mom passed away a few years ago. I have
never gotten along with my oldest sister, but I felt it was the right
thing to do to ask her to take on the "mother of the bride" role during
the ceremony since she is the oldest. I also asked all four of her
children to be in the wedding (two young bridesmaids, a flower girl and
a ring bearer). Before I ever asked her children to be in the wedding,
I asked my sister if she was OK with the expense that would be
involved...she said she was fine with it.

Since then she has complained
about every expense that has come up. She lied and told me she had
ordered the two bridesmaids dresses when, in fact, she hadn't. She then
arranged to get used dresses without asking me. I asked her when the
dresses are coming in so that we can look at them, and she refuses to
give me any information about them. I'm wondering if she lied about
that as well. Now, she won't return any of my phone calls or emails.
I'm at a loss. I don't want to her hurt children, but their mother is
not purchasing what they need to participate in the wedding, and I
cannot afford to do it myself. When I suggested that she might consider
stepping aside if the expense is too great, she said, "It never
occurred to me that you'd kick your nieces and nephews out of your
wedding over money." I think she said this in front of the children. It
was quite a low blow.

She's not holding up her end of the bargain and I
can't even get her to speak to me to figure this out. We're at a point
where I really need to know if they're going to participate or not.
Pretty soon it will be too late to find other people to be in the
wedding and to order their dresses. I cry almost every day about the
way she has talked to me and the position she is putting me in. This is
supposed to be a happy time, and if it weren't for her antics, it would
be. What should I do?

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 12:18 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

Oh wow. This is a really hard position to be in and I'm not sure that any advice I can give you would be at all helpful.

When is you wedding - you haven't listed a date? Who else is in the WP if anyone?

Are you haing a large wedding?

 

 

 

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AmandaT123 Posts : 3 Registered: 1/1/10
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 1:10 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

My wedding is May 22nd. I have 4 other bridesmaids besides my sister's two daughters. We're having 200 guests, so I guess it's fairly large.

Thanks in advance for your help. :)

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 2:21 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

That's really sad that she's putting you through all this. If she can't afford it, it's totally understandable and she needs to just step up and say something.

Here's what I would do. Quit bringing it up to her, even though I know you need to know. Let her take her time and give her the space she needs. Even though she's in the wrong here, it doesn't seem like she's going to compromise and admit it. If she tells you last minute her kids can't be in the wedding party, then they can't. Don't worry about replacing them. If your short 2 BM and don't have the RB, it's not the end of the world. I wouldn't worry about asking anyone else at all, because I know if I was asked (or if I had kids and they were asked) as a replacement I would be really upset. It's not fair for the 2nd choice.

Hopefully she'll come around and give you the answers that you need. I wish you the best of luck!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 9:04 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

Dear Mrs DJ,

I agree with the others.

Give your sister some space. Talk to FH and make up a Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A is your sister comes through with clothes for herself and her children.

Plan B is your sister bails shortly before the wedding.

Be prepared for either.

As for the cost, it is traditional for people in the wedding to buy their own clothes. A bride might, out of the goodness of her heart, "help" a wedding party member with some of the cost, but ultimately each wedding party member pays for their own clothing. If your sister cannot come up with the funds to put her own daughters in proper dresses for the wedding, that's her problem and she can be the one to explain it to the girls.

I know it's tough. Make a stand, now, and stick with it.

I don't want to scare you, but at my age I know of many people who never take a stand with their familiy, and the family members end up mooching off them for life. I know of a man in his 50s, for example, who is entirely dependent on his grandmother for support. If your sister feels she can get you to pay for clothing for her own children, what next? Their cell phone bills? Their car insurance?

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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 9:44 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

Was she planning on getting used dresses in the style that you picked, or were they going to be completely different dresses? Or did you not even pick out specific styles? Because you could try to have a serious talk with her about the money issues and everything (away from the chidlren) and then help her find used dresses in those styles online or whatever. I have a feeling that she feels you're not being understanding about her situation and that you've asked a lot of her--not that any of that is true entirely, but that's just what she might feel. Try to ease her out of that thinking by helping her with this as much as you can--if not financially, then at least supportively.

The only reason I take this side is because I believe that excluding her and her children from your wedding (no matter whose fault it is) will leave a more lasting impression than if they were in the wedding. If she's this rude to you even while being in your wedding, then imagine how she'd be years from now, constantly making sarcastic comments to you about being excluded. It's just not worth the strain on your relationship.

Also, if your mother died only a few years ago, then she's probably still grieving. The fact that she has to be the one "playing" your mother in your wedding instead of having your actual mother there is probably stressing her out too. I don't know because I don't know you guys, but that's certainly how I would feel in the same situation, and my older sister would flat out refuse to be the "mother" of the bride in that situation simply because of how sad the whole thing is. Try to talk to her about your mother. She doesn't strike me as the type to talk about things much, but if you give her the right subject and the right situation, she might and it might help you guys get closer.


When is my wedding

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AmandaT123 Posts : 3 Registered: 1/1/10
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 11:54 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Thank you all very much. You've given me some very good advice. I am just going to give her some space. It saddens me that my own sister would act this way, but there's really nothing I can do to change that. I just want to be happy about my wedding, and it hurts me that I spend my time dwelling on her behavior rather than feeling excited about marrying a truly wonderful person. I've been bullied by her my whole life and I'm just really tired of it. I'll just hope that she steps up before it's too late, but prepare for the fact that she may not.

Thanks everyone.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 8:40 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

And I am going to say what is oft said in advice columns. There is no shame in cutting toxic people out of your life, even (and especially) if they are family members.

You've said she has bullied you your entire life. You mention that you and she have never really gotten along.

I suspect you've maintained a relationship with this person for one reason and one reason only...she is your sister. If your best friend pulled this crap on you, you'd give her the boot.

So I'm going to give you the harsh advice. Don't take her bullying any longer. Cut her out of your life. You don't need someone to "play the mother of the bride". Everyone you know knows that your mother passed. Whereas AOTB played a very prominent role in her niece's wedding...she also played a very prominent role in her niece's life prior to that. Your sister has not earned the HONOR of standing in for your mother. She's been a right royal cow to you your entire life.

Cut her. And if that means no children in the wedding party, so what. Flower Girl and Ring Bearer are roles that were created to showcase cute relations, and the roles are not required.

Give her until a certain date (don't bug her until that date) to obtain the necessary attire for the wedding (if she gets substitutes, at least look at them prior to ruling them out. And do be fair in their assessment...but don't take ugly cheap junk from her either). If she doesn't have the requisite outfits by that date (make it the week prior to your printing your programs. Otherwise, kicking them out requires a reprint), then tell her that you're sorry, but she and her brood will not be able to be in the wedding. When she accuses YOU of kicking them out, tell her that you did not....she did, by HER refusal to cooperate with you in any way. Yes, the kids are going to be the victims here, and their mother is going to vilify you. She probably won't come to the wedding.

That's her choice. And let this be something that shows you where she really places your feelings. You've given her ample opportunity to say "this is a financial burden". You asked her if she wanted said financial burden prior to asking the children. She is the one who has behaved badly... and yes, she'll badmouth you.

This is why we remove the toxic people from our lives. If by some miracle she comes through, then perhaps she's showing a willingness to change the relationship dynamic. but if she's bullied you her entire life, this is a behaviour pattern that will not change unless she gets some consequences. (And even then, she may not change.)

Your parents should have put a stop to this nonsense when you were growing up. They didn't. And now that the glue that bound you together is gone, the relationship might well fracture irreparably.

And that is okay.

Misty

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 10:12 AM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

I wasn't going to answer this post because there has already been some very good advice given. However, something was bugging me and I just felt I needed to answer. Although I do agree that giving your sister some space and setting a deadline is a good idea, along with having a plan a and plan b, the whole thing just makes me sad. Granted, your older sister has been difficult in the past and this probably explains why she is being difficult now. But this is your wedding, which means a family celebration (if at all possible). I feel bad for the children too. I don't know. Maybe there is a way to resolve this.

I do think, however, that in order to resolve it you are going to have to be the "hero" in the relationship. That means, you are going to have to reach out to her. Now, she isn't returning any of your calls, etc. What about sending a pretty hallmark card and writing something like, "I'm sorry we haven't been talking and I really want to work this out with you.... it's important to me that you and my nieces and nephews are part of the wedding. I love you." or something like that. If you do that, it puts the ball in her court. At that point, she can either ignore it, (and then you have no choice but to go on without her) or she can return the ball back to you. Does that make sense?

I have three sisters and believe me, we have gotten into some major fights over the years and even gone without speaking for months. But we are still sisters and push comes to shove, we still love each other and are there for each other. I would hate for you to not have her there on your wedding day. Surely this could be worked out.

Feel free to pm me if you want. I am hopeful this can be worked out. Many hugs.

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 10:50 AM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

Francie: That's true, in some families there are spats. And then in some families, there are serious issues. And I just don't believe that it is up to someone to always be the hero in repairing the relationship.

Let me tell you about the sister of a friend of mine. She just decided that it was over.

1. Early in my friend's first marriage, the sister arranged with her own husband and my friend's husband a threesome. They didn't ask my friend if she was cool with hubby participating in said threesome (note: I'm not excusing Dickweed here. But any sister who would MAKE A PLAN for a threesome with her sister's husband, disregarding her sister's wishes, is wrong. )

2. Said sister constantly bullied my friend, but my friend didn't have a spine, so she'd constantly apologize for whatever happened, so that they could 'be close'

3. Sister would also do things and get my friend blamed for them, so while sister did the crime, my friend did the time (grounding, punishment, so to speak)

4. Sister's son pulled a knife on friend's daughters. But it was okay, because they were threatening him with a potpourri spray (which they were threatening him with because he'd already done other things to them, and this was the weapon they could find)

5. Sister went on myspace and wrote an awful tirade about friend (because friend has now moved a couple of hours away from her parents...so sister is now expected to do some of the work in parental maintenance) and called friend all sorts of awful names. Friend's daughter is her sister's friend on myspace, and emailed her aunt that she didn't think it was nice that sister said all these things. Sister then called and yelled at my friend about what her daughter said. Friend made daughter apologize, but sister didn't apologize for her own lies.

6. This year at Thanksgiving, Sister wouldn't even talk to niece, even though she'd been apologized to. Why? Because of the email. Never mind that this is a child who was hurt that her aunt would say such mean things about her mother in a public forum, the sister is of course the angel here. So sister gave the niece cold shoulder. (this was last straw for my friend)

7. Sister constantly ignores phone calls/texts from family, but if she calls/texts family, they best up and respond immediately

8. Sister then took it upon herself to reconcile the family with my friend's ex-husband (who is still being quite an ass to my friend, and who still frequently calls her lovely and charming names that rhyme with witch on the phone). Yes, Friend eventually wants to be on speaking terms with X, for the kids sake; however, sister chose to inform the ex about everything going on in my friend's life--because it was just the decent thing to do.

9. Sister is quite hateful to my friend's husband. This is a really great guy who treats his step kids as if they were his own, and basically FINANCIALLY cared for them the year that it took to get the custody settled and child support started. X hasn't paid any of the back child support, nor has he paid the past year of medical expenses (he's supposed to, but getting him to do so is difficult). She hates the guy because he has made my friend realize that she has value and doesn't have to take nonsense off of people.

10. While my friend is willing to accept that there are things she has done to hurt her sister, her sister insists that she is perfect in every way and that my friend has no right to feel slighted.

Basically... after a lifetime of bullying and belittling, my friend finally stood up to her sister, and her sister didn't like it. The end result: they are not speaking.

I don't know how close our OP's sister is in behaviour to my friend's sister. But there are times when it is up to us to stop being the "hero" in our relationships with others, and just say "Enough. I deserve to be treated better than you are capable of doing. And I'm done." It is not selfish to stand up for our own well being.


Misty

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 12:32 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

OMG Cat! That is a Jerry Springer show waiting to happen! People are NUTS! Yeah, I do agree that there are times when you must remove toxic people from your life. I am totally okay with that. In your friends case, it would seem to me that she waited way too long. I mean, a threesome with sisters? EWWWWW!!!!!

I've been in this business a long time and have a lot of good stories... but that is a new one!

Happy New Year girl!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 2:23 PM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

she didn't find out about the threesome until she was going through the divorce (but she suspected it and sister denied it... and she wanted to believe sister). There's a whole lot of other things too...like the leech aunt who only goes around family members when she deems they are dying, then she ingratiates herself to them so that she'll get a whole lot of stuff from the house; the mother who is now in a coma and the father who is pretty much incapable of dealing with life because of it. NOT the best time to cut a sister out of your life (she only kept the sister for the parents, but she's done even if the timing sucks). But yeah, this is one for the Springer show. It would probably make the Top Ten Springer Show moments. And yeah, parents who never really tried to stop the one sister from bullying the other. Or hold the lying sister to account for her lies. Now, she lies just to do it.

Hopefully, the OP can read that and go "OMG.... I'm glad that isn't my sister!" rather than "Gee, I wish that was all I had to deal with"

Misty

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 3, 2010 4:32 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Misty, I think you should change the names and write a novel about this family!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 5, 2010 7:41 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Cat, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth when I read about the sister/bro in law threesome. And then I thought, hey, this isn't so unlike my first marriage. I guess I should of gone on Springer. At least I'd of made some money. And at least your friend's dirtbag ex is paying some support, she can take whatever she can get, it really sucks that it is SO tough to collect that money. I eventually realized I spent a lot of time using energy being pissed, and finally just focused on increasing my income and distancing myself from him completely. And now, based on HIS behavior, none of his kids even talk to him anymore (they are adults now), one changed her number so he couldn't reach her, and will again if he gets this one.

I am guessing my ex is similar in moral character to your friend's ex, and her family for choosing to befriend him?? wow. I'm glad she has a friend like you, though, cause she sure doesn't have family that has her back in any way. wow again.


 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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loveisjoy Posts : 85 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: Sister is making wedding stressful
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 6:31 PM Go to message in response to: AmandaT123

You can always, choose others to fill the roles. It will be a disappointment to your nieces and nephew, but it's not your fault. If you really want to have your wedding party a certain number, I say choose other people. If not just see what happens. So sorry you have to deal with this. You shouldn't be sad during planning your wedding. My sister is not dependable, and she was mad because she wasn't a MOH, and I chose my best friends. Now I have them coming to visit me in March, which is something that was planned back in October. Now she's saying why do they have to come here, why can't we do a conference call. So if she doesn't show up, I'm replacing her. I'm not going through any issues with anyone.

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