Brides to be, I need help!!!!!

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

hi!

Sorry your dealing with a big life change, lots of times they are difficult to navigate through! 

How old are you and your brother? Are you in a relationship of your own, or wanting to be? 

It is a sad reality though, but when your brother marries your Future Sister-In-Law, that will need to be his main priority and his best friend, she is his family now, and as hard as that is to hear, it makes your brother a good man and a good husband! 

Do you have issues with her? I could see there being some tension because of your jealousy and I’ve seen situations like this where the sister is perceived to be a bit “clingy” or “weird” maybe try going for coffee or a drink with just her and build a relationship with her too! 

Sorry I don’t have much advice, other than it is just a part of life, and you should take comfort in the fact that your brother is truly just being a good partner to her, and I hope you find someone like that in your life as well 🙂 

Post # 3
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Home

I sympathize with you as I come from a similar situation of a small family and with me it’s not even our parents, it’s just me and my brothers and our grandpa. I love my brothers so much and we are very close because of everything we have been through together. The thing is though that because I love them I want them to be happy. Knowing that they are living a good life and are in good positive relationships makes me happy. One of my brothers spends all this time with his girlfriend and almost none with me anymore, but I am proud of him for being a good boyfriend and I am grateful that he found love and is happy. It brings me nothing but joy to see either of my brothers successed, do well, and find happiness and expand there networks and support systems. I want them to live there best lives and they want the same for me. If I can be honest with you it doesn’t sound like your feelings are coming from a place of love but really a place of envy. If I were you I would reevaluate your feelings and think about your own role in this. Your own role in where these feelings are coming from. Maybe there are changes you need to make in your own life to be happy and that would help you to allow yourself to be happy for your brother. 

Post # 4
Member
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

Your brother is not being fair to you and you need to blatantly tell him this. Her family should not take priority, you should be equally important.

Post # 5
Member
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

It sounds like you have done at least some damage to your relationship with your future sister in law. Have you apologised to them both about this? I know you mentioned being aware that the outburst wasn’t appropriate.

I’d sit down with your brother, apologise, and let him know you’re feeling like you’re losing your relationship with him. He’s not going to be there every holiday any more, but because she had more aunts and uncles doesn’t mean he should be ignoring his side of the family. Let him know you miss him and want to have them both as part of your family. 

I’m the opposite way around in that I have lots of family, whereas my fi has very few. We do spend more time with my side, because my side celebrate things his side don’t (eg my aunt always hosts a new years day party, his family treat it like any other day). We split the things that both sides celebrate (Christmas). His brother’s birthday is the same day as my mum’s, we tend to see her because she had a milestone birthday one year, then was recently grieving a loss the next, then his brother was on holiday for his birthday the year after… Sometimes there’s more to the story than just spending more time with one side. Perhaps he doesn’t realise, or perhaps theres other things going on you don’t know about (a family member with a health problem for example)?

Post # 6
Member
1557 posts
Bumble bee

jmaccop :  hi bee, unfortunately you are kind of right, you are no longer his best friend anymore, his wife fulfils that role now. Sorry to be brutally honest. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a close brother/sister relationship. As they are heading into their wedding, and particularly a few months after when they are newlyweds, I would give them some space. Don’t guilt trip him or you’ll end up alienating yourself. In a few months why don’t you plan a good bonding activity/day.

Post # 7
Member
380 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

First off, you have my sympathies for this being such a sad/difficult time for you. That transition isn’t easy. I kind of felt the same when my sister got married and our family was put on the back burner for every holiday. This continued for years until she started having children, and needed my parents for free babysitting (not being mean, just the truth lol). It IS difficult if you have a small family and suddenly your best friend is no longer there. However.. as a now married woman who had a previous engagement with a clingy potential sister-in-law.. my perspective is a bit different now. 

One important thing you need to realize, sooner than later, is that one your brother gets married, his new family unit will be his wife. She will be his #1 priority, and later on their children. While you are still an important member of his family, the health and well being of his new family unit will depend on him putting them first. This doesn’t mean you get pushed off to the side, it just means you have a different role in his life now. This is normal and healthy. I also want to note that things are perhaps a bit chaotic right now for him with the impending wedding. While weddings are a blessed event for both sides, we all know the spotlight is mostly on the bride. If she has a big family, this is probably a big deal for them too. I wouldn’t be surprised if things settle down a bit after the wedding. They likely are taking up a bit more of his time right now over the excitement of the impending festivities. I would give it a few months post wedding to get a feel for what their new normal might be, or longer. Life during engagement and during the first year of marriage is definitely new territory. It takes a while to get into that new groove, and also to figure out how to split time between families. It isn’t easy. I think eventually you find that equilibrium, but sometimes it takes a while. And I imagine he’s probably sacrificing a bit more of himself during this time so that she can have the wedding of her dreams, family included. 

As far as your soon to be SIL… my previous “almost” SIL was extremely clingy, jealous, controlling, etc. This showed up in small ways in the beginning of our relationship, and grew over time to the point where her behavior created huge problems in our relationship. It was ridiculous. You do not want to be that person! You don’t want to be the one creating problems in his new marriage because you need attention. I don’t say that to be mean, but it’s true. I didn’t feel like I could fart without her expressing her opinion. And he was constantly going to her for “advice” about things he didn’t even discuss with me. If his marriage is to be successful, he needs to be able to be a good husband independent of his family. This doesn’t mean no relationship by any means, but it means he can stand on his own two feet and handle his new family without the constant input of his siblings and parents. “Leave and cleave!” 

 

I think it will take a little while for you to figure out the new normal with your brother. I’m sure you are still important and loved by him, don’t doubt that. But try to understand that starting a new family is a new experience that takes time to figure out. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important, it just means that right now, at this particular time, his priorities NEED to be different, and will be from now on. I do think, as previously stated, that once the wedding is over and things calm down, he will likely be more available and attentive than he is right now. But if it’s bothering you, perhaps wait until an opportune moment when you aren’t upset to just tell him how you feel (in a calm and mature way). Let him know you miss him and ask if you could maybe spend a little one on one time with him if he can. But don’t give an ultimatum or make him feel guilty for spending time with his fiance. Don’t guilt him. Don’t make him feel guilty for prioritizing his new bride. Just let him know you love and miss him and would like a little time with him. 

Post # 8
Member
28 posts
Newbee

jmaccop :  Your brother should try to spend time with both families over the holidays. It sounds a bit like he’s trying to do that but maybe hasn’t been all that successful? I know my family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve so my brother can do Christmas on the day with his girlfriend’s family. Making that compromise has made Christmas so much more enjoyable for my family. You might need to be prepared to make a compromise?

 

That being said, it can be really hard to grieve the change in a relationship with a sibling, who has changed their relationship priorities. I felt the same way! I know that I have made an effort to make friends with my sister’s boyfriend and I feel like the 4 of us (including my boyfriend) are very close. The boys hang out doing outdoorsy things while my sister and I stay inside and hang out. Maybe try and make friends with your brother’s partner.

Post # 9
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

It sounds like you need to have a conversation about this with your brother – not at time when you feel upset about him missing a family event, but give him a call or meet for coffee or something.  Explain  how you are feeling and I would apologize for your outburst from before.  Your brother and Future Sister-In-Law should be making compromises and splitting time with family.  It’s tough when both sides of the family are local and it’s something my husband and I struggle with.  It’s going to be harder when we have our baby (I’m pregnant now) and are trying to sort out family functions.  

Do you and your brother hang out aside from family functions and holidays?  If not, you could start to do that and get to know his fiancee better.  Once you get to know her better, could you attend some of the other functions with them?  My sister comes with me to my brother in law’s sometimes.  Or we have her over when they are over.  We all get along well. 

Good luck!

Post # 10
Member
733 posts
Busy bee

I’m sorry that you are experiencing such sadness about your brother’s wedding. I have been both the sister of the groom and the future sister-in-law, so maybe I can share some of my experiences.

First of all, I do think you are being a bit unfair to your brother. Of the situations you mention, the only one that seems really out-of-line is showing up to Thanksgiving late. I also think it was rude to take their presents and leave on Christmas. However, coming over just to have breakfast on Christmas is not a big deal. It’s also understandable that they would choose to spend Easter with just one family rather than splitting their time. It can be exhausting and not at all fun to be running around trying to cover everyone on a holiday.

I think you were very out-of-line to yell at your brother for choosing to not spend Easter with you. If my sil did this, I would probably not go to any holidays for the following year. It is not her place to tell my husband how to spend his holidays. (To be clear, it’s not my place to tell him either – but it is our decision to make jointly, not with his sister.)

I think your best course of action is to endear yourself to your fsil so that she WANTS to spend holidays with you. If she doesn’t have a great relationship with you, or if she sees you as the other woman pulling on her partner’s other arm trying to pull him in another direction, she is going to see you as an adversary and not a friend. Over the years I have put a lot of effort into spending time with my sil and developing a relationship with her one-on-one, outside of my brother. She’s become one of my closest friends (she was even moh in my wedding) and wants to spend holidays with us more than her own family. I do this even though she can be a very difficult person to get along with at times. I’ve made a conscious effort to let things slide for the sake of my relationship with my brother. 

Your brother has no obligation to spend holidays with you anymore. He can spend them with your fsil’s family, or with friends, or alone. He’s an adult and can make his own choices. So treat him with the courteousy of inviting him to holidays, not expecting his presence. If he continues to choose his fiancé’s family over yours, I would have a calm discussion with him as to why. “Is there a reason you want to spend all of the holidays with fsil’s family? You are certainly free to spend them as you would like, we just miss you.”

Post # 11
Member
2086 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I also think that you need to sit down with your brother and discuss this. When my brother was married, at first we thought it was all about his new wife’s family and that she wouldn’t let him do anything with us. However, it turned out that it was more that my brother didn’t want to travel so much, so they did things with her family because they lived in the same city as them. It wasn’t that he was pulling away or prioritizing her family, it was more that HE didn’t want to travel as much. So this could be more of your brother’s decision than her. And its natural. My fiance and I tend to spend more time with my family on holidays as well. He’s really close with his family, and we see them a lot since we live in the same town, so on holidays we travel 2hrs to my family’s place and spend our time there. Its just how it works. 

My fiance’s family unit is also very small and his dad is sick, so his sister is being really weird and clingy right now as well of his time. I will tell you, on the other side of it, that I find it disturbing. It has caused some issues in our relationship for sure, and the more clingy she acts the more he wants to pull away because he can tell it weirds me out. It has also effected my relationship with her. I have no desire to be close with her or to have “another sister” because she is so possessive of my fiance’s time. And she is oddly competitive with me about how much time she spends with him, which is weird to me as well. I get along great with my brother’s wife, we truly do chat and talk like sisters, so its been great. I want that type of relationship with my fiance’s sister, but until she chills out a bit, it will not happen. Plus because she is acting like this, I really don’t want to spend as much time with her. So when my fiance asks about doing something with his family, I tell him to go, but I’m not interested. That typically makes him stay home as well unless his parents need help with something.

You need to get over that this person is stealing your brother away from you, or he won’t want to spend any time with you. I can tell you from experience that if you are rude to cold to his fiance, or clingy to him all you are doing is pushing both of them away.  Try to form a relationship with your brothers fiance, and they will want to spend more time with you. My brother’s wife loves to come visit with us because we have a blast together! Our relationship being stronger is what makes my brother and I closer. Talk with a therapist to get over some of these feelings and make an effort with your soon to be SIL. Trust me, it will make all the difference! 

 

Post # 12
Member
12127 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Your brother probably told his wife about your outburst, which could explain the fact that he’s been showing up himself since then. It seems to me that you need to apologize to your brother, ask if he told his wife about your words, and if you need to apologize to her, too. 

As for the holiday split issue, where are your parents in all this? Despite the relative sizes of your families it does not seem too fair to your side so far. Not making it to Thanksgiving was terrible. A better way would be to alternate families. 

Post # 14
Member
733 posts
Busy bee

So, I may seem to be over reacting or overly “clingy” to maintain my relationship with my brother is because my parent’s experiences and the expectations they tell me are expressing that the idea of me maintaining a relationsihp with my brother is not feasible.

That’s a really weird perspective. Yes, you can absolutely maintain a relationship with your brother after he is married. The only reason you wouldn’t be able to is if you are unable to respect him as a married adult and to respect the boundaries that come with that. 

No, you should not expect to spend every holiday with him nor should you be telling him where he should be spending holidays or putting pressure/guilt on him to spend time with you. And no, you will not have the same relationship that you did before – it’s just not realistic to expect that much of his time and energy when he has a wife (and eventually kids most likely). As long as you lower your expectations and appreciate what time he does make for you, you shouldn’t have any problems maintaining a strong relationship with him as time goes on though.

My husband’s sister and I get along pretty well. However, she has serious issues with boundaries (as do his parents). She still treats him like her kid brother who she can tell what to do. When I hear her boss him around, tell him how to spend his time, question him why he didn’t answer her phone calls right away, etc., it quite frankly pisses me off. And the next time she wants to get lunch or grab drinks I’m usually “not feeling well.” 

So yes, you need to back off and get used to the new dynamics. But it will really be fine, I promise!

Post # 15
Member
3417 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I think you are going to have to get used to the fact that you’re not his top priority anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should stop being a priority altogether. With the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, and merging families, he is probably feeling more drawn to developing his relationship with her family right now and building those foundations. I’d say get through the wedding and give a bit of time for the dust to settle, and then talk to your brother. Don’t make him feel guilty or like he’s doing something wrong, but let him know that you are worried you two are going to drift apart now that he is part of a large family, and that you would like to make sure you’re both committed to still regularly seeing each other. But you do also have to be reasonable about your expectations for how much time you spend together. This is all part of growing up – relationships grow and change.

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