- 2 weeks ago
- Wedding: April 2021
I just wanted to give some backstory and hopefully receive a little advice/opinions. Perhaps I’m letting it bother me too much and could use some suggestions on how to handle this situation going forward…
So, my husband and I have been married for 2 weeks today (yay!). We have been together for 8 years and were engaged for 4 (long engagement due to illness in my family, losing both of my parents, life circumstancs etc). I am 36 and my husband is 37. My husband has a 39 year old sister who he has always been close to. We were originally living in Florida when we met. His sister, brother-in-law and his mother also lived in Florida. About 8 months into us dating, his family decided to move to Texas for better job opportunity and to be closer to their cousins. He decided to stay in Florida because that’s where all of his friends were, where his job was, and where I was (we were just getting really serious at that point). We were very supportive of their move and even took time off of work to help them drive their U-Haul and cars from Florida to Texas. Their goodbyes were emotional, but we made effort to fly to Texas and visit them as often as they could. We also talked about the possibility of us one day moving to Texas as well. About 3 years later, his sister said they were considering moving to California to be closer to their other cousins because their cousins in Texas rarely made time to get together with them. They felt like they had no family out here, so they were heavily considering moving to California. That’s when we started dicussing the possibility of moving to Texas more. I knew I would not want to live in California – it’s too expensive and would be way too far from my family in Florida. So, we made the decision to move to Texas to be near them and have our future children grow up together. It was hard leaving my mom and siblings, but we are all very independent and our parents have always encouraged us to navigate our own paths in life. I know my mom was so sad to see be go (it broke her heart), but she never once made me feel bad about my decision.
We have been in Texas for 4 years now. During those 4 years, his sister and husband have had two children who we adore. I spend more time with them than I do my own family and have sacrificed more time with their family than I have my own. When we first moved here, it started becoming an issue how often his family wanted to get together. Every single weekend, his sister was calling for us to go do something with them. I felt like we weren’t our own couple anymore. All of our free time was being spent with his family, doing whatever was on their agenda. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to spend every single weekend going to buy-buy-baby, or running errands with them or going to the park. He would get upset whenever I didn’t want to spend time with his family every single weekend or have dinner with them multiple times a week. I felt like I was not his priority anymore and he no longer cared about date nights or making time for just the two of us.
We’ve learned to navigate the issue over the past 4 years and have both learned to compromise. I make an effort to invite them over for dinner a few times a month and we do something with them at least one or two weekends out of the month and he learned to not expect us to spend every single weekend with them. It took a while, but we finally learned a balance between us time/time with them.
The past 2 years, I have traveled back and forth between Florida and Texas to help care for my mom. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and it was the hardest two years of my life. We basically did long distance for weeks at a time, but made it work. He was a huge support. On my breaks home in Texas, I would still make time for his family even though I was exhausted and just wanted to decompress/spend all my time with him before having to get right back on a plane to Florida to help care for my mom. My mom passed away 4 months ago. I am still grieving, but life has slowly gotten back to normal. I am finally starting to have more good days than bad days, but I certainly still have those bad days when I just want to lay in bed and cry all day.
Since my mom passed away 4 months ago, I was also laid off from my job due to Covid. Our whole firm was laid off. His whole family knew this and new I was actively job searching. We also decided to finally set a date to get married. In February, we announced to our closest friends and family that we had decided on date in April to have a super small/intimate ceremony. Everyone was thrilled. Since we were having such a small ceremony, we were able to plan it in two months time.
When coming up with the guest list, his sister told us not to invite their cousins because they were not vaccinated and didn’t take safety measures seriously when it came to social distancing. My husband was sad not to invite them, but we respected her wishes. I invited my Aunt, Uncle, brother and two best girlfriends (all of whom are vaccinated). My husband invited his mom, sister, brother-in-law and 3 of his closest friends. About 3 weeks before the wedding, his sister messaged us and said “you can invite Natalie and Frank now. Theyve been vaccinated and we’re allowing the kids to hang out with them again.” I was annoyed at the last minute “permission” to invite them. I let her know that I would message them and let them know that a spot opened up due to my sister and her family not being able to make it from Canada and that we would love for them to make it if they could find a babysitter for the night. (We didn’t tell them the truth about why they weren’t invited in the first place. We lied and told them the venue had strict restrictions for the amount of guests due to Covid, but now that my sister and her family couldn’t make it, we would love to open the spots to them.) His sister responded and said “you can’t invite them and not invite their kids.”
I explained that the airbnb that we rented for the after party/dinner afterwards only allowed a certain number of guests and also that I didn’t feel comfortable inviting their kids because they are very rowdy and the airbnb we rented was very nice and had fragile decor all throughout the house that I didn’t want to worry about. She said it was rude to invite them and not their children and not to invite them at all if that was the case. She said it’s hard for people to find a last miute babysitter. I explained to her that I would rather extend the invite and that they have ample time to find a sitter, but if they couldn’t make it, we would completely understand. But at least the invite was extended. I also said “Natalie and Frank have a very active social life and have a nanny and often have their children stay with the nanny, so I don’t think this will pose much of an inconvenience to them. But again, if they cant make it, we completely understand and won’t be offended.” She was extremely upset. Started texting my fiance (now husband) how ridiculous it is that I won’t invite their cousin’s children. He explained to her that it was OUR choice. We are the ones paying for the wedding. That I am the one having to make all these last minute arrangements and accomodations. He also reminded her that she was the one who told us not to invite them at all in the first place, then 3 weeks before the wedding tells us to invite them. And now she’s angry because we’re not inviting their children too. The only reason she was so adamant on inviting their children as well is so her children would have someone to play with/keep them entertained. This was the first time he has really stood up to her and the first time I have really went against her wishes. I am usually always so accomodating to her opinion and wishes as she is his older sister. She is so used to always giving him here advice and opinion.
Guess what… Natalie and Frank were thrilled for the invite and were more than happy to have their nanny watch their kids. They said they would LOVE a kid-free night out! They took no offense whatsoever. His sister remained sour about it because she didn’t get her way. Regardless, she moved on from it.
I asked his niece to be my flower girl and his sister was really excited and happy for that. I bought multiple flower girl dresses for her to try on, got her really cute flower girl gifts and was sure to make her feel really special and included. His sister enjoyed being involved in that aspect and I was happy to have her feel like part of the process.
Well, things turn a turn for the worse about a week later (two weeks before the wedding). I got an amazing job offer two hours away from where we live. It is a 6 figure opportunity with amazing benefits that would be a huge advancement and achievement both personally and professionally. My Fiance was very supportive and agreed that the opportunity is too good to pass up. He has a job that allows him to work from anywhere, so it wouldn’t inconvenience his career at all. He said the only thing he was having a hard time with is the thought of moving away from his family. He said they likely wouldn’t take it well. I explained that I would be sad to leave them too, but that we would only be two hours away and would still be able to visit on weekends and holidays. We both agreed this was the best choice for us.
He ended up going to his sisters house the next day and told them about the job offer and that we would be moving in the fall (6 months away). I get to work remotely until then. His sister did not take it well AT ALL. She cried. She said we were being selfish. The whole point of us moving to Texas in the first place was to be close to them. How can we leave our niece and nephew like that. Family is supposed to stick together, etc etc. He reminded her that they made the choice to move from Florida to Texas those 7 years ago because that’s what was best for their family at the time and he supported them in that. So how is this any different? Why was it okay for her and her family to move away from him 7 years ago. OUT OF STATE. He explained that I left my family and friends in Florida to be here with them these past 4 years. To acknowledge the sacrifice I made. He reiterated that we are only moving two hours away. It’s not like we are moving out of state. He explained that it is his job to be supportive of me and he can’t tell me not to take this job just to be close to them. He explained that he also wanted this, that it wasn’t just my choice. I think the fact that he had my back over hers really bothered her.
His mom came over the next day to congratulate me on the job and to say she is sad we would be moving, but she is so happy for us and that I deserve nothing but the best, especially after being so selfless and taking care of my mom these past two years. She said I deserve all the good things coming my way and that she will be excited to come visit us. She told me nto to take it personal that Justine is upset. That she is unhappy with a lot of things right now and that she will get over it.
His sister hasn’t spoken to me ever since he gave the news. Hasn’t congratulated me. Hasn’t acknowledged me and unfollowed me on social media. All because I got a job two hours away and am “taking her baby brother away.”
I felt so unsupported and honestly just hurt. Especially to shut me out like this right before our wedding. I have always been nothing but nice and respectful to her and have treated her children like my own.
A few days before the wedding, she texted her brother and said “I sure hope your new family is there for you when you need them.” and all he responded with was “ok.”
At the wedding, she was very distant. Didn’t speak to me other than when she came to drop my niece off in my bridal suite before walking down the aisle. She said “you look pretty.” I said “Thanks Justine, you do too.”
She didn’t hug me after the ceremony. Didn’t congratulate me. Hasn’t spoken to me. Literally has not acknowledged me as a new member of the family. I didn’t let it ruin our day and had a blast with all of our other guests. It was still the most special day of my life.
We’re back home and back to reality and she is still ignoring us. My husband stopped by her house yesterday to visit the kids and it bothered me a bit after he told me. I asked him if they spoke and he said all they said to each other was “hi.’
Is it out of line for me to not want him to go over there or have anything to do with her until she apologizes? I really do feel like I am owed an apology. I have done nothing wrong to her whatsoever. She is angry because we are making a life choice that doesn’t convenience her. Truthfully, she is VERY unhappy in her marriage and has no friends, so she relies on her brother for fun and laughter. He is basically her best friend. She relies on him more than her own husband. She calls him to fix things around her house before she asks her own husband.
She has invited their cousins over for dinner a few times since the wedding. Something she would typically invite us over for as well. But has basically excluded me from any family activities.
It stinks to feel like an outcast. Especially when I have done nothing wrong. I have always been nice and respectful to her, so I don’t feel like I deserve this treatment. I think what is adding fuel to her fire is the fact that her brother has MY back, not hers. But… that’s the way it should be… I’m his wife now! She is so used to him catering to her feelings and always accomodating her.
So, where do we go from here? I genuinely do not feel like I owe any sort of explanation and I feel like until she apologizes, I really don’t care to have any sort of relationship with her. I also feel like my husband should stand by me in that. I also don’t want to tell him not to have a relationship with her or that he can’t stop by to see his niece and nephew, but I feel like by him going over there without me, it just makes it seem like he’s okay with her behavior.
How would you navigate this situation?