- 7 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
My younger brother and I don’t have the greatest relationship. He was verbally and physically abusive to me when we were growing up. He sent me to urgent care on more than one occasion. The last time he did it, he and his friend pushed me down the stairs and hurt my leg so badly I couldn’t walk. They stood over me and laughed while I laid there curled up in pain, and then they left me with no way to get help. He harassed me constantly. He made my life a living hell until I moved out after high school.
It wasn’t just me, either. He was awful to my mom and disrespectful to my dad. He drank and did hard drugs. He stole from us and anyone else if he could get away with it. He lied about everything, and he dropped out of high school. He eventually ran away to California so he could find himself… And instead, he joined a meth den and almost caught AIDS because he was sharing needles.
Since then, he seems to have cleaned up a little. He recently celebrated one year sober with AA, and he got his GED in January. He’s started taking some community college courses, and he’s got a job.
I’ve forgiven him for what he did to me, but he also isn’t really a part of my life anymore. I haven’t seen him in three years, not since before I moved to Japan. I’ve only talked to him a handful of times since then, and not at all this year. I have nothing in common with him, and although our few interactions over the past few years have been friendly, they’re not deep. We talk about the weather or sports or anything else that doesn’t matter. I know I can’t depend on him for anything, so I’ve given up.
When I was on the phone with my mom this morning, she told me that my dad has gotten it into his head that my brother should be a groomsman, and he’s been going on and on the past few weeks about how it’s not right that he isn’t.
Part of the reason, we think, is that he really regrets that he didn’t ask his own brother to be a groomsman at his own wedding decades ago because they didn’t get along then, and he wants me to avoid that same regret.
I had this conversation with my mom months ago. I told her we weren’t asking my brother to be a groomsman because of who he is and what our relationship is, and we wouldn’t be able to rely on him to actually show up anyway. We planned to ask him to be an usher or something. My mom said she agreed and would probably make the same decision if she were in my shoes.
FI did ask me if he should ask my brother (who he hasn’t seen or talked to since 2004); he said that he normally thinks siblings should definitely be in the wedding party, but he understood if we didn’t ask him in this situation.
Now my dad is saying that we absolutely have to ask my brother. My mom says she still understands where I’m coming from, and she just hates being in the middle.
I don’t know what to do. I feel so apathetic towards my brother. I don’t think I would really care that much if he didn’t actually make it to the wedding. I don’t think I would be really heartbroken if I never saw him again. It’s not that I’m that set against it… I just don’t really feel anything.
On top of that, being a groomsman requires a certain amount of commitment and reliability, and I don’t trust that my brother has those things. My mom said that he’s gotten so much better this year, and she thinks he might actually be able to do everything he would need to do. I guarantee she wouldn’t have said that six months ago. So maybe she’s right. I don’t know.
Should we make him a groomsman? I just don’t know. If I feel so apathetic about him in the first place, how can FI and I ask him to stand up there for us? What should I do??? Please give me some advice. I could really use it.