(Closed) Do I invite my sister to my wedding? Warning…long post

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 3
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@ninimo:  Short answer, you have to invite your sister. I’m sorry but you do.



I don’t care how annoying she is, it will cause a permanent rift in the family if you don’t invite her. Whether or not you want her as a bridesmaid is your call.

Her daughter is very sick and you would feel terrible if things took a turn for the worst and you didn’t get to see her because of some petty fight between you and your sister. That said, no you don’t have to allow them to live with you rent free and no you don’t have to give them your bed. That is extreme. 


Post # 5
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m so sorry your sister is like this, I can completely relate though. I have two sisters, one is a self sufficient adult, the other is a 32 year old child. She does the same facebook attacks, she calls my abusive ex boyfriend (she admitted she knew he was abusive) her “real” family, and hangs out with my old “friends” one of which was a grown man who promised to kill me if I ever broke up with my ex.

I put a lot of thought into if I would invite her, and in the end I decided that I would include her for my parent’s sake (she still lives at home) with the promise that she will be removed from the wedding if her behavior becomes inappropriate (several close friends and my other sister are on “sister watch” and know the drill so I don’t have to deal with it)

I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I don’t see a way that you can have your niece come to the wedding unless you have your sister attend as well. I feel awful for your poor niece; she has to go through so much with her illness and deserves a mother that sees her as something other than a meal ticket. It sounds like you are a positive force in her life and I think she must really need that considering her “parents.”

In situations like this you unfortunately have to choose to be the bigger person and invite her, or you lose the chance to have your niece with you on your wedding day.

 Again, I am so sorry, this is a terrible situation all around. No one should have to deal with family this terrible. I understand the pain that comes from having to deal with this. I can only imagine how awful it must be with a child involved. Up to this point, my sister has thankfully never reproduced.

Post # 6
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m sorry but if she is telling other people that she plans on RSVPing for all 3 of them and then intentionally not showing I wouldn’t invite her at all.  That is ridiculous.

Post # 7
1637 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@ninimo:  I think you need to give yourself a day or so before you act on this. Your sister sounds like a nightmare and sometimes it is better not to have toxic people in your life. However, given her character, if you exclude her from your wedding you’re likely to have a very difficult time seeing your niece again. You’re going to have to weigh up the consequences of your actions and make sure you’re happy with the outcome either way. Don’t act right now though as you’re clearly very upset. x

Post # 8
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@ninimo:  I”m not saying any of that is ok. You should not be supporting her financially. However, if any one else in your family chooses to do so that is on them. I don’t know her and I can’t say if she is or isn’t a terrible person. I do know she is and always will be your sister and unless she did something horrendous, like sleep with your fiance, you should invite her to your wedding. 

That said you may want to look into some family therapy to start putting up boundaries. There are certainly ways to put up healthy boundaries without going to extremes like disinviting her to your wedding. Again, I don’t know your sister so I am not sure if she has a personallity disorder, is under extreme stress and acting out, or just a plain old bitch. A professional could help you (and your family) figure out how to deal with her


It sounds to me that you have been allowing yourself to be her doormat for so long and this is built up resentment speaking, but this isn’t the right way to go about it. Looking back, you’re going to want to have this memory with your niece, even if you’re never close to your sister.


Also, regardless of how awful she’s being–she IS going through a VERY rough time–I can’t imagine how hard it is to have a sick child who is in and out of hospitals. That doesn’t give her an excuse to mistreat her family but I can see how someone could lean on their family a little too heavily given the circumstances

Post # 11
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m sorry your going through this as much as I am sorry that she is having to deal with a sick child (I had a friend with this cancer and it can be brutal).  However, it is NEVER under any circumstance or situation justified to use it as an excuse to treat others with disrespect which is what it sounds like she does with everyone to get her ‘way’.  She seems to feel that using her childs illness is a way to ‘guilt’ everyone to act in a certain way, not acceptable in my book even if she is a sister!.

I have a situation going on with family too – and because of it I DID exclude my nicece and nephew from the wedding invites (sorry but to me I am not going to tolerate being disrespected just because they are family, because then I am teaching them it is ok to keep doing this and they will continue the behaviour).  As a child I do not recall being rewarded for bad behaviour why should I as an adult?  Yes it has caused a rift in the family and that is the consequence of their action and my re-action. 

There is of course an innocent bystander in all of this and that is your niece who is controlled by her mothers actions.. what ever you decide on, do what is right for YOU and your day, becasue it is you that has to live with your actions.

Post # 12
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I really do hate it when people who are this abusive (and yes, your sister is abusive) hold this much power over other people, and worse than that do I hate that people let them hold that power!  I really feel for you.

I think you can reasonably not invite her IF you can maintain your perfect innocence as you did before about being a bridesmaid when you say “Oh, Sister, I was told that you weren’t planning on attending!” but to be honest with you I think invited or not she may just show up, given her clear lack of boundaries (just a hint, you don’t let your hosts sleep on the floor while accepting their charity…)  Do you have a plan for that eventuality?

Post # 13
1637 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@ninimo: I think an e mail is a good way to communicate tbh. It’s far too easy for a face to face conversation to escalate into an argument.

If people continue to subsidise her living costs and never call her out on her behaviour then she’s really got no incentive to change. You’ve given her an awful lot and she never needed to be grateful because it was all done for your niece. If she manages to use her child as an excuse for a free ride and to manipulate people then again, why would she change?

It sounds a lot like she envys your life and probably feels very sorry for herself – to be fair she’s not in an enviable position and is probably very unhappy. However badly she behaves there must still be a part of her that is suffering and perhaps this is what motivates her totally inexplicable treatment of you.

If adopting your niece is still an option maybe broach this topic with her first. Perhaps suggest that as her legal guardians you could unburden the pressure on her and help their daughter. Ultimately, this ought to be your concern. The role she may or may not play in your wedding seems so irrelevant in comparison and if she can’t see this then yes, I agree you need to point it out. The only solid advice I could make in that respect is that you must always remain calm and reasonable when you speak to her. Ask her to confirm that she didn’t say she won’t turn up on the day and if she says it’s true, call her out on it.

I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Post # 14
537 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

It sounds like you’re already seeing a professional, which was going to be my advice.  Normally I’m a conflict-hater and I’d say you should extend the branch and make peace.  However, it sounds like this isn’t your run-of-the-mill family conflict: your sister sounds toxic.  Under no circumstances should you feel obligated to invite a toxic, lying, manipulative, downright evil person to your wedding.  I sincerely hope you can work some of this out in therapy so that you can actually enjoy this amazing time in your life.  (Ideally your sister would join you, eventually, in therapy.  But judging by your story, that will happen when hell freezes over.)

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