Post # 1
Can I just ask some advice? I am not the bride, I am the sister. It’s difficult to get the situation across without a bit of backstory. First off, my older sister and I have never been close, although I try. I’m more of a sentimental person and she more of a “my way or I’ll CUT you out!!” My parents raised us differently. My sister would get her way to avoid the tantrum and I was raised to “be a good sister and just go along with things.” But as we’re aging (and I’ve had children to set an example for) I’m finding it difficult to continue this family theme. I really think my mother favors my sister (doesn’t it always come down to that? Lol) which no longer bothers me, but it has made me sticking up for my own thoughts difficult these days.
When I got married at the courthouse, my sister wore a long white lace dress to the courthouse and the reception that followed. She actually said she wouldn’t come if I put “stipulations” on her. When I had a baby shower, she showed up in an inappropriate low cut red dress and complained she had to budget in a gift for my child and then left without saying goodbye. When I was giving birth to my first born, she was actually painting her nails next to my bedside (hello, hormones, nagging sense of smell). And when I made her my daughters Godmother she arrived late to the ceremony and complained to everyone who would listen that she “had to come to this thing.” But my sister was single, and I felt bad leaving her out of things because it made me sad for her as I moved on with my life. But, pretty much every life event she’s made all about her somehow. She has never made it to any of my children’s birthday parties and my mother makes excuses for her to this day.
Fast forward 4 years later and she’s engaged. She doesn’t want me to be a bridesmaid, just carry her child down the aisle. Her to-be husband thinks the most terrible things about me because of stories my sister has made up to him. I just don’t think she’s ever liked me, and I really thought with adulthood and children we’d have a second chance! She’s getting married in the morning, at a church, and just a lunch afterwards. She insists I wear a maroon formal gown to her November wedding. And I point out that it’s not really a formal event with a reception and dancing so maybe I buy a cocktail dress I can wear again? And p.s. you DID wear white lace to my wedding. So she told me “you’re out then, and your husband is too but I’ll still use your kids as flower and ring barer.” I told her I prefer we simply come as guests and she told me if I don’t let her use my children then they are not invited to the lunch because it’s really an adult “meal” and they were only invited as part of the wedding party. So, if my children can’t attend obviously I can’t (and won’t either). She eliminated me with one swoop. The worst part is- all the family members who ask she’s lying to. I’ve heard everything from I’m “too jealous to be happy for her” to “she won’t come over the color of a dress.” And all the while my mother is calling me a “bad sister, you’re disposing of her, how can you do this to your only sister. Maybe she’s difficult sometimes but you COULD just buy the dress. Don’t punish the family.”
I don’t see why I should be the one who eats dung forever to avoid the tantrums and keep everyone else happy while I’m not-? Am I wrong? She IS my sister but she has never behaved like one… it’s her wedding, and my sentimental side always clashes with the side that wants me to stand up for myself…. and what I really want to know is how I can eloquently set the record straight to relatives on why we will not attend?? I mean yeah, I care that my extended family will get some terrible untrue version of why I chose not to attend my sisters wedding (or rather, was disinvited) Please help 🙁
Post # 2
megrut : you need to put her in her place and stop walking on eggshells to appease her.
“Look, you’re being a total brat. I would love for my children and I to be able to attend to celebrate you on your special day, but do realize that I’m done allowing you to walk all over me and treat me like I’m some disposable person in your life. I love you and respect you, so I hope that you aren’t deciding to end our relationship over a stupid choice in dress. Please let me know if you’d like to meet up to discuss how our relationship will proceed in the future, as I feel like we really need to get some things straightened out”
let her know that you’re done being her doormat. also, if your family is willing to cut you out just because of her shitty behavior, good riddance to them as well. you’ve got your own little nuclear family to tend to.
Post # 3
Here is the thing…. you need to grow some damn balls.
You involve her in too much of your life for someone who you have never been closed with, stop trying to make something happen that she does not give a sh** about – first up.
The way she behaves is terrible and she gets away with it because there are no ramifications. Why she was at something so important as the birth of your child is crazy to me. I am close with my sister and single or not, she would not be there. You let her into such intimate parts of your life when she does not deserve it.
You need to just stand up for yourself and tell her what you are doing that works for you. She doesnt act in a way that takes you into consideration so stop factoring her into your plans.
If you are not a bridesmaid, then she doesnt get to dictate what you wear, period.
If your children are not invited, well unfortunately her wedding so her say. You should still attend however, but again your choice if you want your kids involved or not so stick with your guns.
Sounds like you just need to distance yourself from your family a bit and stop letting them treat you like crap. Unfortunately they have learnt that you will stick around no matter how they treat you, so show them that it stops today.
Post # 4
Time to move on with your life. Wish her well and do something fun with your family that weekend.
Post # 5
Bee, I hate to be a jerk about this, but at THIS point, this is kinda your own fault. As PPs rightly noted, you’ve been much too open with someone who apparently doesn’t give a shit about you. Why would you do that over and over? Yes, people may deserve second chances, grudges aren’t great, and we should try to make peace… but at SOME point, you also have to recognize when someone has crossed over into abusive-esque territory and shut that shit down immediately. If someone routinely, for DECADES, treated you horribly, why do you continue to crawl back? How is this any different than a person staying in an abusive relationship with a spouse? It’s NOT. Except that YOU have a much easier time getting rid of this person’s abuse; YOU are not her wife.
I wouldn’t go to her wedding after her behavior here and otherwise, and it sounds like that’s easy since you can’t go if your children aren’t allowed to go. Also… do you REALLY want to keep someone in your life, to continue to open your life to someone, who uses your children as props and easily dismisses them over the color of a dress? It doesn’t sound like she loves you or your children. Sorry, but it’s true. Frankly, she sounds like a damn sociopath with zero capacities for empathy or remorse, but obviously I’m no psychiatrist.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
She has no respect for you and does not value you as a person, let alone a sister. Your family has enabled this poor behavior her whole life, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it. As you stated, you have children you want to set an example for. Would you tolerate one of your children treating your other child the way your sister treats you? If you wouldn’t allow your kids to treat each other like that, show them that you also will not accept being treated that way.
Just because she’s your sister doesn’t mean she gets to treat you like garbage. I would decline the wedding invitation entirely. She clearly doesn’t care if you go if she’s willing to cut everyone out of she can’t use your kids as a prop.
Stop involving her in your life events as she won’t be happy for you and she’ll always make it about herself. I really think you need to start cutting contact with her altogether.
Post # 7
Your sister has shown you, over and over, who she is and you keep giving her more opportunities to disappoint you. At this point, you can’t keep complaining about being whipped like a donkey if you’re walking up to her, handing her the whip and offering your back.
Your sister is a self absorbed asshole (based on your description of her behaviors). Stop treating her like you would a sister and start treating her the way you would any old shitty asshole- keep it as far away from you as possible.
Your family putting up with her antics is absolutely frustrating, but you are just as bad, frankly. Worse, even, because you go along with this foolishness but complain about it. You don’t sound like you enforce ANY boundaries with her and, at this point, that is on you. If the requirement for keeping her in your life is putting up with her abuse, then you should be well beyond the point of keeping all interactions with her to a minimum.
You say you wanted to keep her close during the changes and transitions in your life, but what are you teaching your kids about how their siblings are allowed to treat them?
Post # 8
Girl… come on.
You made her your child’s godmother after all that shit?? She’s awful. She sounds like a living nightmare. How how HOW did you accept her bridesmaid request? This goes far past trying to put on a good face because of family–your sister is a dick. Bottom line. She shouldn’t be a part of your life. Not now, not in the future, and honestly, you should have cut contact a long time ago. Stop actively inviting her into your life just so she can shit on it more.
Post # 9
I do wish people would not tell women “ you need to grow some damn balls” as if having testicles was some sort of exclusive criterion for courage and resolution. Yes indeed OP has to stop being a doormat, that’s a given. but hey….
Post # 10
elderbee : I do wish people didnt tell me how to speak. Its just a phrase, doesnt have to be taken literally.
Post # 11
It’s always more difficult when the person treating you badly is family, but ultimately, the same rules have to apply to them as other people. People, and I think this goes doubly for family, treat us a certain way because they can get away with it. And I think with family there is this assumption that you will just suck it up because you had to as a child, and you will just continue to do it as an adult. And that you won’t enforce boundaries with them because they’re “family.”
Well – being family is no excuse to treat someone badly. If anything, the reverse should be true. Family should treat one another better than other people because those are the people who should have your back. However, that is often not the case. Sad, but true.
It’s well past time to draw the line with your sister’s behaviour. And that is almost certainly going to mean seeing a lot less of her. She doesn’t want you at her wedding because you won’t follow her every dictate? So be it. If the rest of your family believes awful things of you simply because your sister says them, that says a lot about them, and I would keep my distance from them as well. If they have the decency to ask you for your side instead of gossiping behind your back, you can set the record straight.
I’d just have a lot less to do with your sister if I were you, and definitely don’t attend events where she has gone out of her way to alienate you and be rude to you. Ditto for inviting her to such events. Put her in her place. And if that means you see much less of each other, so be it. At least you’ll have a bit more peace and bit less pain in your life.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2019 - City, State
I had to learn this lesson with my sister as well; I grew up in a very similar situation. Your sister has proven that she is untrustworthy, selfish, and malicious toward you. The thing you need to wrap your head around is that those behaviors are NEVER going to change. That is who she is. So as badly as you might want a good relationship with your sister, you need to understand that SHE doesn’t want a good relationship with you. She’s not going to love you in the way that you wish she would. So the remedy to your situation is to grieve that sisterly relationship that you never got to have, and move on with your life without her in it. Stop sharing things with her, stop trying to be involved in her life, and put firm boundaries on how she’s allowed to be involved in yours. Time to take control of yourself.
Post # 13
I mean, all of this drama about you not attending started because you wouldn’t buy the dress she wanted you to buy, which isn’t an outrageous request since you’d be walking down the aisle. And you said you don’t think she’s ever liked you, but it honestly sounds like you have always hated her. Everything you said about her paints her an an evil witch. If you hate her so much, don’t go to the wedding and move on.
Post # 14
pinkflamingos : If demonstrating her personality through facts made her sound like “an evil witch” I guess that’s on her, not me… This wasn’t about a dress. But I find it ridiculous to dress inappropriately to someone’s wedding and then demand that same person spend a ton of money on a formal dress to your informal wedding. When you’re also not a bridesmaid, you’re there to carry a baby down an aisle and stand there trying to desperately hold and keep the baby quiet during a long ceremony: a formal gown is ridiculous. Formal is an evening with a reception, not a lunch, and I offered to buy a fancy cocktail dress in her colors. Which is more consideration than she showed me (story of my life). Lets be honest, it was also a way for her to include me but strip me of any importance. Not a bridesmaid, just a nanny. But! buy the formal gown to make her pictures pretty. I still offered to come as a guest and see her on her wedding day.
And: I don’t hate my sister. I would think the wrestling with my self confidence vs self loathing would clearly reveal that. Despite my sisters difficult personality I’ve always held a soft spot for her as family and tried to be the bigger person by not getting angry when she appears selfish but giving her chances throughout our lives to be the sister I held out hope she could be. 🙁 I’m not Jesus, I tried to let her hurtful behavior go but obviously I carry it with me begrudgingly. I do know though, when people are negative it’s because something negative is eating at them, when people act jealous it’s usually about an inadequacy they feel in themselves. It wasn’t always about giving her chance after chance while I “hate” her (that clearly makes no sense), it was about waiting for her maturity and growth. I wanted a friend, but I will have to mourn that it cannot be and stop letting myself be a doormat (as told by others).
My sister is the one who says “screw it, I’ll cut you out” Which I’ve always found harsh and lacking empathy or sentiment so I was trying to not follow that and be a hypocrite. I have already decided not to go to the wedding, the question was also about how to decline and and explain to other beloved family memebers why me and my children won’t be present.
As for the tone of your response, i find it callus and almost as though you find it an obligatory to weigh-in. You don’t have to, but I still thank you for the counter.
I appreciate all the tough love from everyone, it’s all very thoughtful and good advice. Thank you so much for the time.
Post # 15
megrut : I find it telling that you found paragraphs to tell off an anonymous poster, but can’t tell your sister “No”.