Post # 1
Before attacking me and writing from your personal feelings, please read the below and provide objective, unattached responses:
I am the eldest of 3 girls. We are separated by 4 years each (step-ladder). The middle sister is getting married tomorrow. And my relationship with her has been rocky to bad since we were children. I attribute some of it to our mother who clearly favors she and the baby sister. (my mother has told me that she never has to worry about helping me because I’m a hustler -meaning I will always land on my feet.) My mother’s actions throughout our lives has been to be in attendance with ALL of their functions and even leaving in the middle the 1 or 2 that she attended for me to attend my middle sister’s function. When my middle sister went away for college, my mother attended all of her sports games. She even traveled with the team. Ironically, I lived in the same city for 7 years as my sister after I graduated from college and my mother would be in the city for her games and not see me.
Because of the extra-ordinary treatment my middle sister receives from my mother, she has developed this “god-like” complex and orders the youngest sister around. The times that she has attempted to speak to me in that manner, we bump heads and end up in a heated argument, next to fighting as I refuse to allow her to do as she pleases toward me. Often many people have assumed my middle sister is the oldest because of the way she acts and looks. I’ve relocated to 3 states since college and my youngest sister and mother have visited at least once in the states but my middle sister always had an excuse to not visit. She didn’t attend my graduation from graduate school either. 2010, we had a huge blow-up in which she jumped into a family issue that I was having and made it her business to “straighten me out.” I informed her it was none of her business and I wasn’t a child that she was talking to and she needed to have children if she wanted to parent someone. My mother said nothing. 2011 our aunt died and she walked right past me and didn’t speak nor had 2 words to say to me the entire weekend. My friend, who traveled with me as support even commented on the tension. Then my sister text me that she is engaged and I was not to tell anyone. i congratulated her and told her the appropriate thing to have done would have been to pick up the phone since we haven’t spoken in a year. She didn’t respond.
I reached out to her w a card January of this year to mend fences. I told her that I loved her as my sister regardless of what has happened between us. She responded with a letter chastising me and stating she didn’t know if I even wanted to attend her wedding. I responded with a letter stating that was her decision and her “chastisement” written in the letter is a prime example of how she angers me because of how she speaks to me. She never responded.
May of this year, a cousin asked me if I was attending my sister’s wedding. I told her I hadn’t received an invitation. The beginning of June, I received an invitation. And honestly, i didn’t want to go. It really bothered me to be going back and forth within myself. 3 weeks ago, my mother asked me if I was attending. (yet no one has spoken to me about the wedding. I haven’t any clue as to anything associated with it). I explained to my mother I really didn’t want to but hadn’t made a decision. I explained the reasons and told her I didn’t have an invite until June. My mother only reacted to me not receiving an invite then when she realized I finally had one, she said she is staying out of it. I told my mother, she has helped to create it over the years. The conversation ended. To this day, my sister hasn’t called to ask if I am attending. The invite doesn’t allow for me to bring a guest (yet when I was visiting mom last month I saw a venue bill for 250 guests) I never returned the RSVP. After everything over our lives and the failed attempt to mend earlier this year, I feel at peace with my decision to not attend because I feel my sister only invited me out of pretense (she doesn’t want to be unfavored with my mother). I also don’t want questions from guests we both know about why I’m not apart of the wedding when my other sister is and so on. Yet, I sometimes wonder if I am being selfish. I have until noon tomorrow to make a final decision as it is a semi-long drive to reach home. I’ve thought about how this will effect the future, that its only a few hours, be a good sport, etc and I also think about how I feel which is important to me. Ive always been one to do what others want even if I’m not happy and frankly I want to start making myself happy and have in many areas of my life…this is just another facet. Feedback is appreciated (again, please leave out personal feelings in the response).
Post # 3
My two thoughts when I was reading through. Your sister sounds like my mom’s sister, and I’m sure she has a side too, just like my aunt does. Doesn’t make the hurts less, though. The second thought is that if you don’t go you may have to kiss goodbye whatever you guys have left of a relationship. You may be able to mend in the future even if you don’t go but I suspect she would probably have a hard time letting go of this in the future. As long as you’re prepared for whatever consequences could come from not attending, with your sister and the rest of your family, then don’t go.
Post # 4
Only you can make this decision. I would ask yourself the following questions:
– How would you feel if your places were reversed? (i.e. if you were the one getting married and your sister was holding out on R.s.v.p.ing to the invitation? Also, imagine that you texted her the news and got the reply of “Congratulations, btw you really should have called me instead of texting,” etc.) Not saying this to jump on you, just to think about the hurt that is going back and forth on both sides. It takes a lot to break out of those entrenched behavior patterns with family, believe me.
– How do you think you will feel ten, twenty, fifty years down the road, looking back on this moment, about the choice you make? Imagine how you might feel if you choose to go, and if you choose not to go.
Post # 5
That is really tough and sounds like a whole lifetime of issues. Moreover, if you haven’t spoken in over a year and don’t get any sense from her that she wants to mend the relationship, I can see why you don’t feel you need to go. A relationship is a give and take, two people interacting and you being the only one making an effort isn’t enough. if you’re bending over backwards and she’s so rigid and stubborn, that’s not healthy. Just because someone is family, it doesn’t give them carte blanche to be an emotional tyrant. Yea, she can have a side but if she’s not willing to communicate with you, then you can’t force it. It’s your sister and you, no one else knows the dynamic and full details. Do a little soul searching and go with your gut instinct. sometimes you have to put yourself first, for your own mental health and sense of self worth. good luck with whatever you choose.
Post # 6
@star_dust: The second thought is that if you don’t go you may have to kiss goodbye whatever you guys have left of a relationship.
My thoughts exactly. I would seriously sit down and think about whether or not you ever want to make amends with your sister. If this were just a friend I would say don’t go, but this is family. And while family isn’t perfect and sometimes they test you beyond your limits they are still family. If you don’t attend the wedding that pretty much guarantees that your relationship with your sister will go from rocky to non-existent. Even if you don’t go to see your sister or mother necessarily it is a good opportunity to reconnect with other family members.
I know what I would do, I would go, but that is a decision that only you can make based on your feelings. I wish you best of luck in your decision whatever you choose.
Post # 7
I would base my decision on the following factors:
1) Not attending her wedding will likely be the final straw; the last of many circumstances that have you led you to this point. You may end up ultimately severing the relationship. Is that something you want? Something that you may live to regret?
2) As you are asking for advice and second-guessing your decision, it seems that you may not be as much “at peace” with your decision as you want to believe. If there is even an iota of doubt – you may end up looking back on this and wishing that you had gone in a different direction.
Good luck, OP. I know if I were in your shoes…I would be the bigger person and go. No matter what the hardships, I don’t know that I could sever a relationship with a sibling. But this is your decision and you have do to what you feel is right.
Post # 8
My only thoughts when reading this was it seems so similar to the relationship that I have with my brother, although he is the eldest, and he feels like I get it all, and he doesn’t, which really isn’t the case.. anyway I’m not going to get into that, to me, I just have to always be the bigger person..
People say you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends and that’s right, In my mind no matter what happens (unless it’s something really serious) your family will love you unconditionally despite what has gone on in the past, there seems to be a lot of bitterness here, and no matter what you say to make peace it will always be there, so the only thing I can advise is to not do something that you may regret later in life, If I was you, I would go to the wedding, hold my head up high and smile my way through it…. and then leave the ball in her court, by not going you are only giving her amunition to carry on being the way she has been so far.
The thing is with family, if there is animosity there you are never going to take what they say on the chin, and it will always irritate you, but I would rather be a little bit smug knowing that despite that, I made every effort to improve things, rather than just not showing
Sorry if that’s not helpful, it’s just my opinion, it may not mend things, but it makes you the better person
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2012 - Salvage One, Chicago
Objectively 🙂, I think the situation with your sister has reached this point because of both your actions. Besides that, you seem distant from the rest of your family- you don’t mention being in contact with anyone (unless you just omitted this from your post) so I’m assuming they just mirror that distance back to you. I think you should go to the wedding. If you ever want to mend fences with your sister in the future, skipping her wedding will be a big hurdle. I understand that you don’t want to only do things to make others happy, but I think picking this occasion to make that stand is a mistake.
Post # 10
Not reading anyone else’s responses before writing mine…
Here’s what I see: I see a lot of passive aggressive anger and resentment between the two of you. Neither of you seems to have confronted the situation head on. A letter, a text, none of these are good ways to confront an issue like this.
I also think that you should remember that you cannot know what anyone else is thinking. You have made assumptions about how she feels about situations, but you admit to having been left out of all of the discussion and planning. The truth is that you really don’t know — but you are angry at her and are seeing her in a negative light 100%.
I do think you should attend the wedding. You can never get these things back — ever. I missed my great grandfather’s funeral because of family issues, and I regret it to this day even though I understand why I didn’t go and so does my entire family. Still — I should have been there.
You point out feeling hurt when your family doesn’t see you or attend your events… why then would you do the same thing? How many times have you made an effort to be there? And even if you have made an effort, why would you do what you are claiming hurt you so deeply?
I highly recommend getting into counseling to deal with the relationship issues you have with your family. There are many unresolved issues there — that is plain and clear. And I highly recommend going to the wedding.
Post # 11
It sounds like the wedding is happening really soon. If that is the case you’re locking into not going as she probably hasn’t planned for you to be there and it can be difficult to add in last minute guests. So I think it is no longer a question about if you should go, it’s about what to do since you arne’t going. If the wedding is farther away (at least a couple weeks from now), then disregard my advice.
It seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into this decision and you’re comfortable with your decision, you’re just having last minute jitters. So take a deep breath. Somehow or another it will work out. I would definately send a congratulatory card with a nice, heartfelt message wishing her well in her marriage.
Post # 12
@JBing: Your discernment is correct, I am distant from them. Once I graduated from undergrad, I am the only one that hasn’t returned home. I used to attribute it to career moves climbing the professional ladder – which I have become successful, but I just don’t feel like I am a part so I stay away. Yet, when needed, I am always there to support. I tried with the relationship with my mother this year by taking her out of the country where she wanted to go. And planned for her next international trip. But the whole time we were on the vaca, she was texting my middle sister and my middle sister was texting her. She texted the baby sister just a couple of times. I was not happy about it.
Post # 13
@JenGirl: Thank you. The wedding is tomorrow evening. I was only second guessing attending the ceremony and not the reception. I would have returned back to my home after the ceremony. I was feeling that with 250 guests, I wouldn’t be missed in the crowd. But i do like your suggestion to send a gift in lieu.
Post # 14
I think that the relationship won’t ever be good. If things have been strained since childhood, why would they get better if you go to the wedding?
It’s definitely unfortunate, but sadly not all siblings get along. It sounds like you were never close. Just because she’s a blood relative doesn’t mean you need to keep making effort with her. I’d say that letter she wrote you says it all.
It’s easy for me as a stranger to say that it’s a good thing you’re not going, and to stand your ground, but obviously I don’t know you or the situation well enough to offer any real advice.
Post # 15
I’m with Sheepshead…I wouldn’t go.
It sounds like you’ve tried to reach out and you’ve been the one who wants to mend fences and she seems to have no desire for that. Who knows how she could react to seeing you…she could cause more drama!
As you said you want to start making yourself happy and I think this is a step towards that. Family is family but that doesn’t always mean they are good for your spirit and happiness.
Post # 16
@Sheepshead: absolutely. you cannot choose your family but you can choose not to have them in your life if they are emotionally and mentally toxic