- 3 years ago
I’ve never actually posted anything in an online forum before, but I really, really need to hear that I’m not alone in what I’m experiencing.
I am third generation Canadian, and my fiance is from the West Indies. He is very close to his family (Mom and Dad live in the Caribbean, sister and twin brother in the same city as us), but does have one older brother who is estranged from the rest of the family, which has impacted my fiance so much that he’s terrified about something similar happening with the family he does have remaining. This has manifested itself in a way that even when his brother and sister have crossed boundaries or been rude to me, he’s asked me not to say anything for the sake of keeping the family together. It has resulted in me resenting both his brother and sister to a degree, but that’s something we’ve more or less been able to work through.
My fiance and I have been together for 2.5 years, and we are 31 years old. His sister has been with her now fiance for 1.5 years, and they are nearing 40. And I have a brother who has been with is fiance for 5 years (they are each close to 30), and will be getting married in November of this year. They have been engaged since August 2013.
Before my fiance and I got engaged, he spoke to my brother and his fiance, making it clear that he didn’t want them to feel as though we were stealing their thunder by getting engaged while they were engaged and planning their November wedding. And when we did get engaged in April of this year, we made the decision to get married four months later, in August. This is because my fiance’s parents are from another part of the world, and they would be visiting us during that time. (They have had health issues which have prevented them from travelling in the past, so we figured it would be best to catch them when we knew they would be here.) But before announcing our decision to everyone, we called my brother and his fiance as a “heads up”, an acknowledgement that we would be getting married three months before them, but we presented our reasons and wanted to be absolutely certain that they were comfortable with the notion. Of course they were – nobody would have expected otherwise – but our acknowleding the proximity of our wedding to theirs was simply out of respect and consideration. It was not about asking their permission, at all.
My fiance’s sister was made fully aware by us of my slight discomfort over getting married so close to my brother and his fiance. I love my brother and his fiance, and would never want to steal their time in the spotlight. (Let me be clear, they have NEVER made me feel bad for planning our wedding so close to theirs…this is more my conscience/issue than anything.) I should also mention that when my fiance and I set our date, we called up both his brother and sister to ensure it made sense for everyone involved.
So five weeks ago, after my fiance’s sister had been made FULLY aware of our perhaps extreme consideration for my brother and his fiance, my fiance’s sister announced that she and her now fiance would be getting married . . . four weeks after us! Needless to say, we were quite hurt. Not about the fact that the wedding was to take place so close to ours, but that she didn’t even ACKNOWLEDGE how close it was. We didn’t expect her to ask our permission, and I really don’t care about when the wedding is to take place. We just wanted SOME sort of acknowledgement, given she was aware of all of the consideration we had shown to my brother and his fiance. Nothing.
So we made the decision to speak to her about this, about how we were hurt about her making such a big decision without even checking in to see if we were available that weekend and without even acknowledging that her wedding would be very close to ours. (Once again, not about permission or the actual timeframe between the two, just about an acknowledgement.) Oh and by the way, her parents will now have to extend their trip for an extra month, they had to pay to rebook their flights and will have to find a place to stay. Instead of understanding our perspective, she flew off the handle and told my fiance that he was being influenced and guided incorrectly (insinuating that I was the culprit), and that this time should be all about her and that we should just be happy about her. It was NOT a good conversation, and I am still very, very hurt by what she said. She has since apologized to my fiance, but I’m just not ready to talk to her.
To make matters worse, she told her very hot headed fiance that we weren’t happy for them, and he took it upon himself to send the rudest, most offensive, most abusive email I’ve ever seen, let alone received. It was absolutely horrendous, contained the f-word 16 times, called us every name in the book, and threatned us with an ultimatum. A few weeks later he sent a half-apology, but it wasn’t good enough, and now we’re struggling with whether or not to have him at our own wedding. He did not make his own fiance (my fiance’s sister) aware of his email, and we ended up telling her about it. Needless to say, she is quite humiliated.
We have not responded to him at all. Last night, his friends held an engagement party for the two of them, and we made the decision not to go. For one, we don’t want to be around the guy right now, and for two, we want to send the message that it is NOT ok to talk to us the way he did. My fiance’s sister accepted our reasoning at the time and seemed to appreciate my fiance’s assertion that she and him would always have a relationship, but today she sent a message telling us that she needed her space and basically didn’t want anything to do with us right now, that she needs to focus on planning her own wedding. She has basically turned this around and made it about her, almost begging us to come crawling back, apologizing.
At this stage, I think she’s being completely unreasonable, and I could use the break from her and her fiance. But my fiance is absolutely devastated, especially considering what his family has been through in the past with his now estranged brother. He wants me to swallow my pride and make up with them, but I am still incredibly hurt both by what she said to me and about me, and what he put in writing.
I just don’t know what to do. I really don’t want the guy at my wedding, and my fiance isn’t too keen on having him there either. But based on the way they behave (remember, they are almost 40 and both have professional jobs!), us taking a stand and basically saying “no” to them treating us the way they have is going to tear the family apart. I just don’t think it’s fair that we should have to “cave” and basically put aside our feelings and our values because of the way those two respond to feedback. I don’t have to tiptoe around my immediate family EVER, when issues arise we address them head on and move on. But basically, my fiance’s sister and her fiance are operating as though WE are the bad guys here, and they can’t even acknowledge how damaging it is what they said and did.
Any feedback would be appreciated. I’m just so bummed these days and I don’t know how to move forward right now.