Post # 1
My daughter sent a wedding invitation to her sister. Wedding is in September. Apparently, she recently has had second thoughts, does not want her there, and has "disinvited" her.
This is NOT the standard "sister is a public embarrassment and could cause a scene on the big day" problem. She’s NOT pulling her from the wedding party because her sister is insane, a drug addict, et al.
Both daughters are lovely people. Older daughter is 30, has an amazing career, just had a lovely baby girl with her fiance. Younger daughter is 27, going to school, has a lovely beau whom may also become part of the family.
My older daughter simply has hated her sister since they were children, and just does not want her there because she is still holding onto all her old childhood resentments with a vice grip. (Pretty much the standard, younger sister was spoiled and coddled while older sister had to be responsible… Trust me – younger sister never exhibited cruelty directly to older sister. She just "was born" and their personalities are on two different planets.)
The worst of it is (when asked what was going on, and given the offer if cost was the problem we’ll pay for the extra expenses) she threw out the ultimatum "if you don’t like the fact I hate her and don’t want her there, you don’t have to come either!"
Its pretty shocking. Its tearing a hole in this happy day. Is there anything that can be said to her that can raise it back up to a higher level? NO ONE wants to go down the path of saying "fine, we won’t come either". But how can we get across how serious her actions are? What can be said?
Frankly, its already spoiled. Younger sister doesn’t want to be there anymore. HELP
Post # 3
I think it would be hard to fix what sounds like a life-long feud, but I think either one or the other daughter would need to step up and try to make amends. It’s probably hard as their mother, because you love and value both daughters and their unique ways- but I think they’re old enough that it’s got to be their thing to make up.
It’s not like they’re 20 and 22 years-old and still going through growing pains and still in sort of that post teenage mentality, so I suspect that this isn’t something they’re going to resolve overnight.
What did her second thoughts stem from? Personally, I wouldn’t want to be forced into inviting someone to my wedding if I didn’t get along with them. My mom has a few siblings I’ve had conflict with in the past, and I’m having a fairly small wedding and therefore am only inviting people I am happiest being around.
Post # 4
Old argument getting in the way.
Backstory – a misguided (notoriously manipulative) close relative "helped" older sister & younger sister. OS needed to get a new, larger car for her business, but didn’t have decent credit. YS’s car just got to the point where it was breaking down all the time (she’s juggling school & work $ is tight).
Relative told OS that she’d provide the credit backing…as long as OS gave YS her old car. Relative also tells YS about this "free" deal. Neither OS or YS are keen on the idea, but relative talked them into it. OS changed the rules – "YS has gotten everything free all her life, I want her to pay me monthly $200 payments for my old car – out of principle." Relative does not tell YS this "new deal", YS sells her old car for scrap.
OS gets her new car, finds out YS doesn’t have the payment, freaks when relative says, its too late, you should give it to her for free because she has no car now & she can’t afford it.
OS freaks. YS freaks. OS now is adamant that she get money. We (parents) say we’ll pay it, just stop it. OS says no, YS has to pay her own money "because you always bail her out."
YS is adamant NOT to pay the money because she was tricked into an agreement she knew nothing about.
Flash Forward 2 years later – this month: Older sister refuses to let younger sister see the baby until she pays $. Finally after 3 months, OS relented. OS brings up the money, starts criticizing YS for being a slacker…and they go at it.
Now, OS is dis-inviting YS. So what now?
PS – We have said many times (to both)…get mad at the crazy relative – they’re the one that put you in this position – not your sister. Let it go.
Post # 5
If her only reason is really to hate the sister cause she was born…that’s crazy…and tough for you. I have this friend whose sister decided she was being ignored and treated as less by everyone…this girl grew up to me resentful and bitter…all the hatred she felt towards people because "they liked her sister better" drove her short of crazy….now she sees a therapist to get over her jealousy issues.
my best advice: DON’T FORCE THEM TO PLAY NICE.
That is a choice they have to make on their own. As for the wedding, your daughter (by the ultimatum) doesn’t seem to care either way…so is up to you…you could compromise. It’s obviously not what you want but is better than nothing.
Going to your OD wedding will make her feel supported in her decision to be a b*tch to YD but you could skip the reception….and only stay for the ceremony…that way it shows you care but don’t approve….still is tough.
Post # 6
I sadly have to agree with the previous posters. While I know most families have some pretty hairy issues (my fiance’s and mine both make the list in insane ways!), this is an especially tragic situation. I really don’t think there’s anything you can do about it. These are two grown women who have decided to go at one another’s throats on numerous occasions. I see why your oldest daughter wouldn’t want her sister at the wedding. Judging from the past, it could turn ugly or at least less-than-pleasent with both of them to blame. That scenario is better off avoided.
As their mother, I know it must be heartbreaking to watch this happen. It is probably best to try to remove yourself from the situation, take the high ground, and discontinue discussing it with either daughter, because they will just continue to bad-talk one another. I would tell your older daughter that you wouldn’t miss her wedding for the world, because you love her, and tell your younger daughter the same thing, stressing that the same will be true one day when/if she gets married. Then let it go.
If they want to figure it out, they will. Otherwise, if they bring it up with you, return to the line that you wouldn’t miss either of your daughters weddings for anything, and give them each credit by telling them you trust they’ll do whatever they feel is right. That may mean your younger daughter will be there on the big day, or she may not. Try to focus on the love you feel for both of them and don’t be angry about whatever choice they make. They’re big girls and if you get in the middle of this you’ll only jepordize your relationship with both of them during what should be an amazing time especially in your older daughter’s life.
Post # 7
Guess that’s the way to go.
My worry is that OS wants a new beginning. She hates being manipulated, but she’s starting to use her little girl & her wedding as manipulation tools…on a wider audience.
"…and you don’t have to come either!" Still trying to get over her jumping the gun & throwing that on us, too.
Parenthood always means unconditional love and turning the other cheek, but now that the "kids" are adults…they’re going to have to step up for their own families.
This latest bit makes me worry. 1) Just waiting for the day she says "you can’t see the baby anymore until…" (whatever infraction we’ve done) 2) how about the day her new husband crosses her? If she doesn’t get this in check, he’s not going to be immune to that kind of ultimatum!
Post # 8
I think you definitely should address all of your very valid concerns with your older daughter but do it after the wedding. Don’t punish her now – she’ll resent you even more and that wall will only get higher.
Something you might want to consider is volunteering to pay for family counciling for everyone. I know you aren’t together in the same place, but maybe volunteer to even pay for the flights if you can. You need to bring your family together with a non-biased moderator. Offer for your OD to select the therapist so she knows she’s not being set up with someone biased.
I know they are adults, but you’re still the parent and it sounds like they both need a little parental love and direction more than ever and it sounds like you are the caring mom that can still help guide them to mending things.
Post # 9
my mom and aunt did not talk for 6-7 years because of an argument/misunderstanding with their third sister. it was a bunch of he said/she said and the third sister manipulating words and causing a rift between them. the third sister died from cancer and they still were not speaking. about 4 years ago my mom decided that they would eventually need to talk, because their parents were getting older and they would need to communicate about their care, etc. even though my mom did not think she was wrong, she called my aunt and apologized, and they spent an hour on the phone crying and talking about everything. things are still not perfect, but they are decent with each other and talk on the phone about once a week now.
there can be hope – but it will be nothing that you can do, being a middle man will just make things worse! it will take time and them becoming more mature – my mom and aunt didn’t make up until they were in their 40’s! i hope things get better for your family.
Post # 10
Being the oldest daughter out of 3 girls, I can understand that it is not always easy. I love my two sisters like crazy and I would give anything to them. However, my parents do baby them and give them everything too. There are moments where I am furious but I am lucky that my sisters see it and try to be good.
Have you ever taken a step back to try to figure out why your eldest has a dislike for her younger sister? No one just hates someone for being born unless something really changed. Did you and her father start to treat her differently – were you unfair? Perhaps, there is more than meets your eye. There could be things that you have cannot see.
Have a heart to heart talk about her feelings. Remove the whole wedding invitation from the discussion. Try to understand why she feels the way she does. Fix the underlying problem.
Post # 11
I think you’re spot-on in recognizing that OS is starting to manipulate others with things they care about, like her baby and her wedding. I agree with others who don’t think this will be solved before the wedding day, and I like the idea of perhaps attending the ceremony but not the reception. It’s a way of showing you approve of the union but not OS’s behavior. Then again, the reception will probably have a lot of your family and friends, right? And I’d hate for you to punish yourself, too, by staying away. Very tricky and stressful business. Sorry I don’t have any good advice, but I really feel for you and hope that this will resolve itself.
Post # 12
Have you (gently) pointed out to OS that you did help them both out? I am sure you will be consciensious of OS’s feelings, but can point out that even though YS was "bailed out" (give examples), OS was helped out, too (living at home while saving up money, as yousaid before). I don’t know if you’ve already tried this, but maybe it could help, and explain that you love both your daughters equally, and try to be fair with both, but that it really hurts you that OS won’t even consider having YS at that big day.
Maybe you’ve already tried this?
Post # 13
Yes, pointed out many times. Gave examples.
MsSparkle hit it on the head. "Unfair" is a difficult answer. There was an outside manipulative personality we had no control over that very much shaped OS’s early feelings toward YS. Can’t go into it all here, but it’s a doozy.
Did as much as possible to try to counter-act. Pretty nasty business. Lots of energy spent on the effort. Guess today is our final day of accepting defeat?
Took great pains to be as fair as possible with two daughters who would always be 4 years apart in age. By being older, OS had age appropriate freedoms, but also age appropriate responsibilities. And, said before, their personalities were on totally different planets. OS was a voracious reader, loved school, excelled at anything she did, an extrovert. YS was extremely shy, very sensitive, easily distracted and not into schoolwork at all.
Their day-to-day needs were entirely different. OS received praise for her artistry and grades, but YS needed more help sitting and studying. When grades came in…of course OS had great grades, YS not so, but we always told them as long as they did their very best they could, that is what mattered. OS translated it into YS is getting all the attention, and being coddled.
Tried praising OS and enlisting her help because she would always have more experience that YS, but she would have none of it.
OS never saw YS as developmentally 4 years younger. She viewed her as "weaker" – how could we love both of them equally, when OS was better, stronger, faster?
Still can’t get it across to the adult that its not a competition for affection.
Post # 14
It’s so hard to be a parent and I completely feel for you. You gave me the perspective of all the heck we have put my mom and dad through. All of our fighting and complaining that they were being unfair. I feel so guilty and I know I still do it sometimes.
My youngest sister holds grudges against my youngest brother to this day. My parents never lived with us as they worked in Asia while we lived in North America. They only had my youngest brother with them due to his age (we are 10 years apart and he is 5 years from my youngest sister). My youngest sister always saw it as unfair and my parents loving him the most. It is very difficult to change and I work at it with her everyday.
At the end of the day, you just have to remind her that family is what is there. No one else has seen her through it all. That’s why siblings are so wonderful – we have always been there. Maybe you can make a photo book with photos from their childhood to remind them what it means to have a sister.
Post # 15
Your older daughter sounds like a mean jealous unhappy person. Sorry. She’s acting like a child and by you letting her get away with it, you’re only making it worse. You need to tell her to get over herself and start acting like a mother/adult, not a baby.
Post # 16
It sounds like you really care deeply for your daughters. Sorry to hear that you are experiencing these issues! In my opinion, OS needs to grow up and start acting like the OLDER sister. This is understandably much easier said than done. I am the oldest of three and I can say from firsthand experience that oldest children can be extremely spoiled and difficult at times.
I had a few fits in my day and blamed my parents for coddling my youngest brother (the baby of the family). My mom was very understanding to my concerns, didn’t disregard my feelings, but always re-enforced that I was the oldest and therefore should act accordingly. Eventually I came around because I realized that I loved my siblings dearly and embraced my role as the oldest child. This takes time. I’m not sure that anything can be done before wedding time.
One possible approach: Tell OS she needs to grow up, etc. and leave it at that. Continuing to talk and commiserate with OS only keeps her spoiled and in control of everything. I always know I’m out of line with my mom when she says her piece and leaves me alone. I’m forced to think and reflect on my behavior. Try doing the same with your older daugher. Might help, might not.