Different Perspective on a Common Problem

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
3948 posts
Honey bee

I dont think it’s your place to say anything to her family, and could cause a lifetime of drama and hurt feelings. All you can do is support your fiance and encourage her to stand up for herself.

Post # 4
Member
4576 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@OurTimeNotYours:  *sigh* I’m not one to mince words, and my mother wouldnt have said that to me more than twice.

I would literally look her in the eye and say “It makes no sense on any planet for my sister to be feeling ‘senstive’ about my wedding. I do not appreciate the attitude everyone has taken with  me up to this point, and if you cannot quit trying to spare sister’s completely unvalidated feelings, I’ll just plan this thing myself.”

Post # 5
Member
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@badabing88:  

@Bostongrl25: 

+1 I like both of your ideas! The main thing is that SHE has to stand up for HERSELF. 

 

Post # 6
Member
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

@Bostongrl25:  +1

@OurTimeNotYours:  Definitely stay out of it and let your fiancé speak for herself.  Why is your fiancé letting this hurt her so much?  I’d blow it off as my crazy family acting crazy.  She should try not to take it to heart or feel jealous.  We can’t control how others behave, but we can control how we react to what they say and do.

Post # 7
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@OurTimeNotYours:  First, I think it’s great that you are being understanding and supportive of your fiance.  That has to help her a great deal.

However, if something is bothering you… the only way to do something about it is to… well, do something about it.  She needs to speak up.  If she’s not comfortable with that, then she needs to decide to just “deal with it”.  She doesn’t have to be a bridezilla about it either.  Just straight forward. “Look, I get that you think that this is hard on Older Sister, but this is my wedding.  When it’s Older Sister’s time, it’ll be all about her.  If you can’t participate in wedding planning with me without making everything about her, I’m going to have to stop involving you.  This is the one time in my life when it’s allowed to be all about me.  This doesn’t mean I’m not sensistive to Older Sister’s situation, but she should be able to be happy for me too” etc. etc.

 

Post # 8
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

It’s really kind of you to be thinking of your FI’s situation as indepthly as you are. I can tell you are genuinely thinking of her best interest. i think , in the long run and for your FI’s own personal growth you need to sit down and ask her if the suruation is hurting her.  If she says yes then explain that she needs to go talk to mom and sister sbd have heart to heart about how she is tired if being second best kid , that its her time, not big sissy’s.

If they are normal people they will feel bad and get their acts together .  If not, well at least she knows where she stands and she will have you to support her through it.  The best thing my DH taught me while we were dating was to be assertive and stand up for myself.  

Post # 9
Member
716 posts
Busy bee

Agree with PP, your FI has to stand up for herself.  I’m sure she knows how they are after a lifetime with them.  

My younger sister got married recently and I was happy and excited for her.  Her life events do not diminish or define mine.  So, this older sister’s “sensitivity” is bullcrap.

Post # 10
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@badabing88:  +1, I would have said the same thing. I may have thrown a “fuck” in there, but it depends how annoyed I was 😛 My sister can be a whiny little brat, but it is easy to bring her back to reality with some honesty. Best medicine sometimes.

Post # 11
Member
413 posts
Helper bee

At the end of the day, what you want is for her to hurt less, and I’m sure she also wants to hurt less. That being said, some of the advice above sounds like it’s out of comfort zone and personality. She’s also fighting structures/patterns that have developed over the years (giving older sister more attention at the expense of others).

Two suggestions: 

1 – talk to some of the family members individually. I’m sure there’s some that won’t change, and she might know which ones aren’t worth her time, but if thinking of older sister is the “norm”, it might not have crossed anyone’s mind that their actions might be hurting your fiance. I would urge her to talk to those that might be more symapthetic about how while she’s trying to be sensitive to her older sister, it really hurts that everyone else also seems to be making this more about the older sister instead of focusing on the happy time. Hopefully having one or two tone down the comments, and maybe even help serve as a buffer zone around the others, will help to take the edge off the hurt.

If she’s willing to be a bit more bold, I’d suggest she start putting down ground rules. “I’m going for my dress fitting saturday, and I’d love for you to be there, but only if you don’t turn this back into being about older sister” That way if/when conversation shifts there, she can feel comfortable shutting it down, since they agreed ahead of time to not.

2 – Have her start engaging more with people who don’t put older sister first. eg. friends, your family, coworkers, etc. Just because older sister is MOH doesn’t mean she needs to be involved with all aspects of the wedding. If MOH/other family complains about feeling left out, spin it back at them saying she knows it’s hard on them and she thought this would make it easier. 

If she’s not comfortable doing it with wedding stuff, still suggest she make time for it in between. Knowing you have people who support you wholeheartedly can help take the edge off from having to hang out with people who don’t. You can also play a role in this by countering every family encounter with a special date night (whether it’s out or in) so the feelings of inadequacy/second best are replaced by warm fuzzies.

Post # 13
Member
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I’m in a similar boat: my husband’s family can’t stop yammering for 5 seconds about his younger sister. They blatantly disregard their son and show very little interest in his life. Meanwhile, we received updates at least once a week from the time his sister announced they were *going* to start trying to conceive. It is bothersome watching your spouse/fiance/significant other go through something that is so demeaning, hurtful and undermining for so many years. There have been many times I also wish I could speak up and say something…

But there’s nothing we can do. I think coaxing your fiance is a good step if she’s upset about the situation (some folks genuinely don’t care). Is this a dynamic that plays through the entire family? Is there anyone in the family who actually acknowledges that this is *her* day? Encouraging her to surround herself with those people could be helpful and balancing.

 

 

Post # 14
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

As others have said, if it’s going to change she’s the one that will have to stand up to them.

There are some things you can do, since you obviously care and want to help (totally sweet by the way, lucky girl).  You can really be there for her.  Make a real effort to put her first and ask about her wedding opinions, since her family isn’t doing that.  Even if you’re not so interested in details like napkin colors, take the extra moment to ask her option and how she feels about these details.  Be the person that is there to listen to her.  It won’t solve the problem with her family, but maybe having someone really focus on her voice will help her build the confidence to stand up to her family.

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