- 6 years ago
- Wedding: October 2012
I don’t know if I’m so much here for advice, or to vent a little bit in a place where nobody knows me. Where do I begin…
First, I only have one sister and we are close. How close? 10 months apart – she is the older one. Mom went for her 6 weeks post-partum and was prego with me. Needless to say, we always had this weird twin-syndrome between us. When she started walking, I was right behind her, when she learned things I learned from her. We had the same privileges, wore the same clothes (dang it, she was the skinnier one) and for the most part we had the same set of friends. Unfortunately mom wasn’t able to register me in Kindergarten with her as I wouldn’t be 5 until May but I knew the same things my big sister did! I even remember as a teen having my dad try to give her a longer curfew and I argued that we had always been treated equally and why should things change. I actually won that argument with my dad!
I moved out at 19. My sister didn’t move out until she was 26. By 21 I was pregnant with my first, while my sister had her same Boyfriend or Best Friend since she was 15 and eventually they were married too – but no kids. Fast forward a decade. I was the mom of two children, 4 years apart whereas my “big” sister longed to be a mom. Her husband and companion of many many years had no desire to procreate. She envied my life. Secretly I envied hers because her and her husband always went and “did stuff” that I just couldn’t. Having been married (cart before the horse and all) I didn’t get a chance to live my 20’s like I had envisioned – although I wouldn’t change my children for the universe…Fast Forward to about 2 years ago…
My sister and her husband split. She and her Husband ended up getting together with another couple that they were friends with. It was a modern day wife-swap. She had been with her husband since she was 15 and at 30-something she had only ever been with him. The SAME day her and her husband fought, she went to this other guys house (they fought b/c she found out that HE had feelings for the other guys wife). My sister went to the girl’s house and never left. We have joked that she was “single” for 30 minutes. I found myself in the midst of a divorce and although my children’s father and I remained amicable it was a tough time. It was hard for me to be ALONE as I had been single for 2 years and see her go from her husband to “another guy” in the same day. Made my freaking head spin! For weeks I heard nothing but how GREAT he was. “Ken this, Ken that!” – Ken was the answer to her prayers because he was head over heals for her and the two of them were so barfingly sick in love that I wanted to cry myself to sleep every night wondering when it would be my turn at REAL love. Through her courtship with him I warned her to NOT get pregnant. I encouraged her to get on the pill or use condoms (or both ideally!) she continued to live with him as her and her husband decided in an instant that the children issue would be a dividing line that neither of them wanted to breach. I was happy that she was with someone who seemed to make her so happy and even though she told me she was on BC, I knew damn well that her Bio clock was ticking. Here I was, “little” sister lecturing the big sister to SLOW IT DOWN. She didn’t. They got together March 4th and on Father’s Day she found out she was pregnant. I could NOT believe my ears. She wasn’t even divorced yet! Her and her “hubby” went to court – lied about the sep date and got a divorce. (HELLO THIS IS CRAZY RIGHT?). So initially I loved hanging out with them. He has a daughter who was actually a school-friend of my son’s, so instantly he had a “cousin” his age – I was there ALL the time. Fast forward a few months….I noticed that “Ken” had a bit of a drinking problem. He drank a little too much each and every time we were over. No biggy since he wasn’t driving but as time wore on I just started to see a side of him I didn’t like. The bubble of the world she lived in really popped for me as her sister because suddenly I could see the writing on the wall. I tried to ignore it as my sister is as stubborn as they come – I couldn’t possibly tell her my suspicions. So, that Christmas, as she’s really big and prego (less than a year of them being together mind you) my Grammy came up from Fla. They were talking about how they wanted to get married in the spring after the baby…then went on to say they wished they had done it before Dec 31 for tax reasons. My grammy suggested a good old fashioned shot-gun wedding and before I knew it we were all down at the little church watching them exchange vows. As her sister, i want what’s best, as a single mother I was afraid for the choices she made in SUCH a short time period. Still, I was happy for her and we remained close. In March my cutie nephew was born. We continued to all do “family” stuff together and life was good. The drinking thing was still in the back of my head but he was never violent or mean – just a little arrogant when he drank.
Fast forward a few months. I meet my love. I was set up by a mutual friend and we knew the minute we met that we wanted to be together. Less than 12 hours of meeting and we had already admitted we were “it” for one another. I cannot tell you how amazing it was that after dating tirelessly and feeling “alone” for those years how good it was to finally find Mr.Right. Mr.Right and I started hanging out with my sister and her husband and kids. A lot of weekends my kids were with their dad so it was just us. Of course we would have drinks with them and all was well. It was SO good to finally feel like I could hang out with my sister and that I wasn’t alone!
Fast forward a few months more. March of Last year – I started to see a change in my BIL drinking. He would lash out, get belligerent and I HATED the way he would treat my sister when he was drinking. He was arrogant, ignorant and unreasonable. It was an odd combination because as I really liked him when he was sober. Oh, and worth mentioning – Sister is now pregnant with baby #2. She’s due in July of 2011. I had a few run-ins with “ken the drunk” and started to majorly back off from hanging out with them. It was AWKWARD and I couldn’t STAND how he treated her.
In June of 2011 we all went camping. This was the pinnacle of the demise in our relationship. “Ken” got so drunk during our camping trip that he demolished out campsite – tearing the canopy, flipping tables (scared the children out of their minds). My sister was so hysterical they had to call an ambulance as she was 8 months pregnant. Ken targeted me. Unlike times before, I didn’t back down to him. I should have known better than to argue with a drunk but I couldn’t help it – I had had enough. He got so out of hand he assaulted me. I called the police – he was out of control. The police wouldn’t arrest him unless I pressed charges. I didn’t want to do that to my sister so I had the park ranger reassign our campsite. As we packed to move he continued to stir himself up more. He threw his ring at my sister and it bounced off of their car so loudly that we all heard it – the cops hauled him off to jail because they were able to see that he was the problem – not anyone else.
In July my niece was born. I spent the day at the hospital – you can only imagine how strained things were. Ugh. For the past year I’ve tiptoed around my sister. They have struggled financially in the past year. I warned her after baby 1 not to have another b/c I knew she wouldn’t be able to offset her daycare costs with her skillset (basic secretarial). They literally scrape by. They got kicked out of their rental house because they couldn’t get caught up on rent. Every time I turned around my sister and her husband were making comments about how broke they were. We even got puppies from the same litter and I took mine to the vet and got him fixed, bought a crate for him – trained him, etc. and she (with 2 babies) neglected to really train her dog…screaming at it constantly – never took it to the vet, etc. Everything they do floats them for a week or so and they are currently in a situation where they are paying rent weekly so they can “manage” it better.
A bit over a year ago my fiancé and I bought a house. It wasn’t the BEST house, but we’ve put a lot of work into it and it’s very beautiful because of our efforts. We made sure to buy a house as low-priced as possible so that we weren’t “house poor”. About 2 months after we bought the house, we were engaged. We knew when we met we would be engaged and it was just a matter of time. He had the ring made, planned for months to ask me and when he finally did I was elated. The ring is HUGE in comparison to my sister although by “blingy” standards it’s about average. It has a 1/2 or 3/4 center stone and 2 smaller diamonds on each side. My sister, meanwhile, wears a sterling silver band. I don’t look down on her, fault her, make fun of her or feel like “ha-ha!” because it’s just not an issue. My diamond was my fiancé’s grandmothers and he already owned the other stones from a previous relationship (we talked about “reusing” the stones) and I was fine with that b/c he already bought me a house!!! It wasn’t like my fiancé ran out and dropped 4grand on a ring!
We have spent the past year planning an affordable wedding. It’s under 10grand. Somehow I’ve managed to be really thrifty and swung a country-club and by making concessions (like having buffet which was cheaper) and cutting out on “must haves” like a Videographer because I just don’t NEED it. I’m doing my own flowers, I made my own invites, etc. So, while my wedding is MODEST by most standards, it’s lavish in comparison to the bottom-of-the-hill thrown together shot-gun wedding that my sister had.
Throughout the whole process my sister has helped me. She helped me pick my venue, she was the reason that I picked HERE instead of a destination wedding. (I wanted her to be there for my day so out of respect for her finances I didn’t have a destination). I even changed the location of the bachelorette party to accommodate her situation. I paid for her $207 bridesmaid dress. I was going to get MUCH cheaper dresses but she insisted on the $200 dress but then didn’t have the money to buy it. So I paid for all 3 girls! I offered to buy her shoes and even purchased a second-hand suit for my nephew.
A few weeks ago we had a HUGE fight about the bachelorette party. She wanted to get a hotel room (which is $320 a night) and reserve a table at a bar. I asked her to throttle back because it seemed too expensive. She got angry with me, called me controlling – said that I should have put so-n-so as my Maid/Matron of Honor because “that’s probably what I wanted anyway” – in short, she exploded and went ape$hit on me – for NO reason. I was hurt/upset and she got mad that I was thinking of canceling the B-party because of it all. She never apologized but went on to keep planning.
So…in the background of ALL of this I have had ANOTHER situation brewing. About a month ago my sister INSISTED that her husband Ken “fix” my car. The AC was out. He ordered the parts but they mysteriously took 2 weeks to come in. I would gently text him and ask when it would be in. Over 3 weeks later he explodes and is crappy to me saying he will give me my parts and I can have someone else do it. I didn’t fall into that same combative trap with him as in the past – I took the high road. I waited an entire week – no parts. I FINALLY had a nervous breakdown on Sunday and sent them both cussy texts. I was LIVID. She was supposed to meet me Sunday and he kept saying he would catch up with me later. I had HAD it. I mean, it’s NOT EVEN hot anymore and I basically threw away $130 in parts because at this point it’s pointless (ditching this car in Dec). Soooo…..Monday morning sis and I got into a fight on the phone. I was so upset about everything.
You see, I have been working 7 days a week – 2 jobs to help pay off our wedding. My “real” job M-F screwed up my benefits over the summer and are now taking back-pay which means my next few paychecks are going to be really short. In addition, I have spinal arthritis (car accident when I was 16) and my tailbone hurts constantly. (desk job doesn’t help). My car has been broken and sputtering and trying to choke on me, and on top of all of that my best friend was just diagnosed with breast cancer. This is all so much right now and my wedding is a month away…
So I call my sister on Monday and tell her that I was sorry to explode on her. She wouldn’t answer. She sent my friends a message telling me she “quit” the wedding and has removed herself from everything. My friends say she is jealous of me. I don’t mean to sound mean, but i can see that. She wanted to be a mom SO bad. I warned her to take her time. She wanted a beautiful spring wedding and wound up with a shotgun ceremony. She thought she was getting a family-man and has to deal with an alcoholic. All on top of losing her career and being a Stay-At-Home Mom 24/7. She can’t afford gas in her car half the time and has not ONE DOLLAR to her name. Meanwhile my fiancé and I are saving, planning, making all of the decisions that people do when they PLAN. So while I HATE to be the one to say “you’re just jealous” I can actually see that. I think given that her husband hates me she is TRYING to push me away. But I love her, she’s my sister – our bond goes back since the minute I was born. I know in my heart of hearts that one day she will need me and that for NOW she has to “choose” her stupid husbands side. She can’t go against him because he’s unreasonable. Most of the people in my extended family don’t like him. Even my parents who struggled early in their marriage are FINALLY starting to see the REAL KEN. On top of it, we’ve been planning for over a year now to have a baby after we marry. I think she resents that we have worked HARD to provide the financial means for one child and I think she thinks I look down on her choice for having two back to back. It’s not that I look down on her, I just had hoped she would plan better so they aren’t struggling so much. Who would want that for their sister?
My sister wrote to my friends that she didn’t understand why I even picked her as my Maid/Matron of Honor because we aren’t close. I can’t stand KEN; not my sister. My heart aches for her and what her life has become. She says she’s happy but how could she be??? Maybe I assume she’s miserable but I don’t know how anyone could be happy with a husband who treats her like that! How can I make my sister understand that I love her and although I can’t stand her husband that my day and her place in my day are COMPLETELY aside from his jackassery – It’s HER I want in my life.
What do I do? She won’t answer my friend’s texts and messages and every time I sit down to write her the words escape me because I’m so angry that as much crap as her husband has put me through and as crappy as she was a few weeks ago about the bachelorette party I’m actually astounded that she would pull this on me. I’m literally 30 days out.
oh and I’ve spent the past 4 days crying. My fiancé and I slept in separate beds last night because he doesn’t understand how betrayed I feel. Yes I was mad about the car, but I feel it was warranted given how I was blown off for over 3 weeks and yes I did apologize. Why do I never get an apology from her but when I give one it’s not good enough.
🙁 And, I can’t ask my friend to step in as a bridesmaid because what if my sister comes back and reconsiders. Do I tell my friend “nevermind”? NO! Then I have to deal with the fact that my sister wouldn’t have been in my wedding at all.