Post # 1
I’m having a really awful day and hope you’ll be able to help me.
A little background: I live in Canada but my entire family lives in Sweden, so I see them once a year – two at most if I’m super lucky. I’ve always been very close to my family (so the distance breaks my heart), and perhaps most so to my little brother (he’s 23, turning 24 the day after our wedding). About two years ago he meet his current girlfriend and they’re great together, we all like her and it’s obvious that they’re deeply in love with each other. The problem is that my brother has made her his one and only priority. I love my FI more than anything, but I make room for the rest of my family – my brother doesn’t. As an example, when my FI proposed to me I sent a message to my brother in Skype at once, asking if we could talk. He told me no as he had a skype conversation scheduled with his GF (who had left for another country that same day). I asked him if he couldn’t just make room for me for 5 minutes because I wanted to share my excitement, but the answer was still no. I found that very hurtful, but tried to move on.
Come today. He sends me a two line message forwarding some info I had requested, saying that he couldn’t get into details as he was packing. Nothing more. I then call my mum to talk about some wedding stuff (we have venue issues) and I ask her we’re he’s going. Well, it turns out he and his GF are going to Iceland for 2.5 weeks. This is pretty much back to back to another trip they just made to Greece, were they spent almost 3 weeks. Now, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that this is A LOT of time to take off from work – so I ask my mum what he’s going to do when I come over to Sweden and she tells me that he will have to work. Basically, he can make our wedding weekend a long weekend and that’s it.
I get that you don’t get a full year for your wedding, or a month, or even a week… but I’m his only sibling and he made the call that climbing in Greece and hiking on Iceland was more important than allocating a few more days to spend with me and the rest of the family before the wedding. I’m so incredibly hurt by this and I’ve gone through a pack of Kleenexes already and I’m just not sure what to do. Should I send him an email explaining to him that I’m hurt (not sure how to express that, so suggestions are welcome) or should I just pretend that everything is hunky dory & GREAT when I go home for the wedding (I arrive on the 17 of July and will be there until the 6th of August, my brother has taken two days off during that entire time frame).
Any advice, words of encouragement or funny cat pictures that makes me laugh instead of cry is more than welcome.
Post # 3
@eocenia: unfortunately as we get older our lives get in the way. i wouldn’t confront him but just let him know that you miss him and would love to spend some time together.
this sounds exactly like my dh and his sister (only sibling). we moved to another country as well but travel back every once in a while. she is never available. she always takes time off for her horse shows so i understand that she needs to work to make it up. the sad part is that she knows when we are coming, she always has tuesdays off and instead of spending time with her brother, she chooses to go to the barn to ride her horse. then the appauling part is that she bitches that she doesn’t get to see her brother when he’s home. wtf??? my dh just doesn’t make the effort any more.
when we got married, she was my dh’s best woman. she was late for the rehearsal by an hour ++ and then, the day of, she left right after dinner. there was a horse show out of town that weekend and gave the impression that we were putting her out by missing the saturday part of the show.
when we booked our venue (5 months prior) she kept reminding us of a show april 21. fine, so we booked the 28th. well, she was wrong. the show was the weekend of the 28th. that is not our fault.
so trust me, i know what it’s like to have someone in the family like this but it’s their life and they are entiled to do what they want with it.
sorry, it does make it easier.
Post # 4
So much love for you. <3 This reminds me a lot of my FI’s brother–he no longer sees his family as important, and that’s pretty obvious. We just found out yesterday that he won’t be best man (much to our relief), and FI just told me today that they might not even make it to the wedding. They’ve known about the wedding since we got engaged February of 2012. They got a save the date 11 months in advance. He works full time with LOTS of overtime, they have very few expenses (less than we do and he makes twice what I do), but they still “might not be able to afford it.”
Post # 5
I don’t think you should confront him, because I don’t see what you would possibly gain from doing so.
I understand you’re hurt, and what he is doing is sucky, but unfortunately he has made his priorities clear. If you confront him, and he changes his plans then it will be out of obligation, and not because he wants to-and isn’t that kind of the point? You want him to want to.
It is possible he thinks you’ll be too busy with wedding stuff anyway. And remember, he is coming to the wedding, and I doubt he works seven days a week. You should still be able to find time to spend with him.
I’m sorry 🙁
Post # 6
I would not confront him…if he was skipping the wedding itself, maybe. But since it sounds like plans to be there for the big day, I’d let it ride.
Post # 7
@eocenia: i agree with PP that you should not confront him. unfortunately, he has already made those plans, they probably can’t be changed, and i’m willing to bet that any confrontations you have will only make you feel worse and damage your relationship with your brother. if you had said that he was not coming to your wedding, i would feel differently for sure! but keep an open mind, perhaps he will spend more time with you than you think when you are there for your wedding.
Post # 8
@mypinkshoes: Yes, that sounds very much like it! I understand that people can’t drop everything whenever I go home to Sweden, but they generally know about our visits about 6 months in advance and in this case he has known about the wedding (and date) since April 2012… still, he takes two days off work. As you say, things changes as you get older and I understand that he must get the space to make the foundations for his own life… doesn’t make it hurt less though. I mean, he’s 120km away from my parents, that’s 2 hours in the car – still, he can’t come up to see me and my parents when we’re at their place. Reading your note though, it does makes me feel better that we didn’t assign him for anything time consuming for the wedding. He’s doing two short readings in church, so he should be able to pull that off and if that doesn’t work I’ll just ask the mum or our flower girl to do it.
But you think I should send him a note saying that I miss him? At this point I just feel so hurt that I think I’ll just withdraw completely, it’s my mum and FI that thinks I should email him (mum because she thinks he hasn’t prioritized other stuff and FI because he thinks that’s the case).
@vorpalette: Thank you! As much as I hate other people having to deal with the same sorrow, it does make it easier to know that I’m not alone in this. The thing is, my brother has known about the wedding since April 2012, including the date. We set it at once as we knew we had to get married on Sweden (my grandma is 84 and can’t travel here due to health issues) and my brothers birthday is on the 4th of August and mine is on the 5th. So we scheduled the wedding just so that we could be home for those dates. We also decided to stay around after the wedding so that we could celebrate with my family, then heading to France on the 6th. Now I’m thinking that my brother might not even be there on the 5th to celebrate my birthday, which happens to be my 30th. I know it’s just a birthday and that it falls on a Monday and that I can’t expect people to linger on for it… but when our flower girls family does and a bunch of other people as well… then it hurts like hell that my own brother might not, because it was more important to make all those trips.
Post # 9
@eocenia: *hugs* I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, it would kill me to move away from my family, we’re very close too. If any of my brothers refused to spend time with me I’d be pretty devastated too. I can’t offer advice but I do have a funny cat picture, I hope it makes you feel a little better…
Post # 10
First of all: damn you look very Swedish, haha. Secondly, I understand where you’re coming from. I also live in the US, but am from Europe and my entire family still lives there. The issue is probably not even that much about the wedding, but that you barely ever see him if he is working while you are there. As an “American” I would say, it can’t be avoided…but as a European I know that he proably has 6 weeks of vacation, and taking everything, before the sister visits from overseas, seems rude.
I would not make a drama about it, but I would definetly express that you wished you could spend more time with them. But I also think men tend to forget everything and everyone when they are in a relationship, while women tend to keep friends and famiily still in mind. I even learned that in my gender class in college, ha. I am sure he doesn’t mean to hurt you, and at least you’ll have a long WE with them!
Post # 11
@sara_tiara: It’s my mum and FI that thinks I should talk to him about it. My mum because she says he didn’t realize he wouldn’t get more time off, that he of course thinks it’s important to see me and that I will realize so if I just talk to him. FI thinks I should tell him I’m hurt as he always get’s away with things as my mum makes excuses for him. Now, I know he won’t change his plans for me as he’s apparently leaving for Iceland today – but part of me does think that FI has a point. I’m not great at keeping up appearance and I’m thinking that it might be good to at least let him know that I’m hurt before I show up…
@badabing88: Thanks for the hugs! I guess I’m just so hurt because I know I pretty much put my life on hold when he or my parents have been here to see me (for crying out loud, I’ve been out to Niagara Falls EIGHT times with friends and relatives just because they want me to take them) and he’s doing pretty much minimal effort.
@fingerscrossed: I wish so, because he’s very very important to me and it just makes me tear up thinking about the fact that he doesn’t seem to care about me a fraction as much as I do care for him… 🙁
Post # 12
I don’t know what can be said that hasn’t been already, so I’ll leave you with this.
Post # 13
@MsMeow: Aw… you just made me tear up again, thanks for that insanely sweet photo! It’s so great that you all have taken the time to try to make me feel better, it definitely makes me feel less lonely!
@Ilovetruffels: You made me smile! Yes, I’ve heard that I look very Swedish – except from the fact that I’m short (5’3).
As for the problem at hand, you totally get it – I see him so rarely that it’s something I look forward to so much it hurts, and then POOF… it’s just not going to happen. To make things worse, I haven’t seen him since last Christmas, but I was sick that entire visit (like, sleeping in the sofa, barely able to eat sick) so I got no chance to spend time with him then. That means that I’ve not been able to really spend time with him since Christmas 2011-2012… So I had looked forward to being with him and my family about as much as the wedding itself, and then he opted out without even telling me.
I think you might be right that it’s a gender thing… but perhaps bringing it up will make him realize that his choices can hurt other people and that he should perhaps make a bit of an effort to take his family into consideration.
Post # 14
@pocketfox: Thank you… man I’m a wreck now, that made me cry too. But thank you, the cat induced tears are much better than the one caused by my brothers choices.
Post # 15
*hugs* so sorry you have to deal with this! siblings can make things really difficult.
I know this isn’t really the same at all, but my younger sister (middle child) has informed me that she has zero intention of coming to my graduation next year for grad school. “I’ve already been to 2 of your graduations and it means nothing to me so why should I have to go to something stupid like that.” Keep in mind, my graduation is over a year away, and she’s already planning not to go. She’s sort of a d-bag. Also, she’s informed me (she’s not engaged yet)…that under no circumstance will she have myself or our little sister in her bridal party. “I already have my four friends so why should I include people that I don’t want to have?”….grrr…we aren’t exactly bff, but she is my sister and we grew up together. She’s a tool.
Sorry to turn your thread into a vent!!!!!!
But…know that you’re not alone, we all have siblings drop the ball, and totally understand where you’re coming from. Try not to let your brother’s actions ruin your beautiful wedding day!
Post # 16
@eocenia: well if your mom and you FI think it would be good for you to talk to him, maybe you should? they are much closer to the situation than anyone here. i know what it is like to feel like you care more than your sibling does…and it sucks. except, usually it’s just thoughtlessness and getting caught-up-in-the-moment and not a true lack of love. if you think you can express your feelings and not sound too accusatory, maybe it would help you? to be honest– i would and have told my sister when i feel ignored or passed over!! because i can’t possibly keep it inside!