Post # 1
My husband and I are renewing our vows for our fifth anniversary. We are doing this because we eloped the first time and it was awful. I need to have better memories and I’d like my mother to see me in a wedding dress. My husband wants the vow renewal because he felt bad that we couldn’t afford the wedding we wanted the first time. My husband also ruined important moments of the wedding process by being an idiot and he feels bad about that. We are going all out. I know a lot of people don’t agree with wedding like vow renewals, but that is not what my concern is. We are having our wedding like vow renewal. End of story.
I hate my older brother with a passion. He has always been abusive and cruel to me. I don’t want him at my vow renewal, but I know my family will give me a hard time if I don’t invite him. I was thinking of sending him an invitation at the last minute so that there is a better chance he won’t show up. My family likes to sweep abuse under the rug and pretend it doesn’t happen. I know if I don’t invite him, my family will turn it into a huge family drama.
So how do you invite someone you hate to an event, yet feel obligated? My brother has been physically and emotionally abusive to me my whole life. He bullied me mercilessly growing up and he has been violent more than once. The joke is, this guy demands respect from me just because he is older. I told him that since he does not show me respect, I will not give him any. I told my “brother” that I am not a little dog that just rolls over when people treat her badly. I didn’t start standing up to him until I was an adult and even though that led to me being strangled and slapped in the face, at least he knows that he can’t treat me like that anymore.
If I never see my brother again, that will be fine with me. The event will be very small so it isn’t as if I can avoid him.
Post # 3
@TakeTwo: Pull the rug off. Your family knows how he’s treated you. They may want to sweep it under the rug and pretend it’s fine, but it isn’t. When people say “You should invite your brother” just say “He strangled and slapped me AS AN ADULT. I do not want that kind of person at my ceremony. I will not invite him.” Stand your ground.
Post # 4
Don’t invite him! He assaulted you. That’s illegal.
Post # 5
You are completely right. I am the family scapegoat because I won’t pretend certain things have not happened and I am not the quiet little girl that they expect women to be.
I don’t want there to be any drama and that would be the only reason I would invite him. My family is not above boycotting my vow renewal if I don’t invite my brother. My husband thinks I should invite him so the drama doesn’t start. He knows the family dynamics.
My brother goes around telling people that he married an Asian woman because “she doesn’t give any trouble”. Ugh, what a pig! He can’t handle a woman who is not meek and docile.
I have told my brother that if he touches me again, I will call the police on him.
I think what I must explain is that I was raised in a culture where a woman is nothing. Women are just housekeepers and mothers in this culture and male children are treated like kings, while female children are slaves and not given any freedom. I am “rebellious” because I moved out at 21 to escape the sexism and abuse. I also stand up to abusive family members and I married outside of my race.
Post # 6
Wow. Just wow. It’s one thing to do stuff as kids, but if he’s put his hands on you as an adult, that is definitely not acceptable in any way shape or form. Do not discuss this with your family one bit. They don’t need to know who you are/are not inviting or why. If they ask, tell them flat out that you don’t invite assholes who strangle and slap you to your vow renewal. Then tell them good day. If they make a big deal out of it, ignore them. They are accepting abuse and that is not ok. Be strong here. If your brother makes any threats or otherwise, call the police ASAP.
Post # 7
don’t invite him, this is about you, why should he be there. period.
Post # 8
Also, don’t forget that you and your husband could always just have a destination vow renewal with very select few family and friends since your family is anything but supportive of your well being if they are willing to side with an ass like your brother who hits women.
Post # 9
You should not feel obligated to invite him; you have very good reasons for not wanting him at your renewal. Abuse should never be swept under the rug. If your family doesn’t want you to exclude him, that’s their opinion. But, what matters most is what you and your husband want – this is your vow renewal and you have the right to decide who has earned an invitation.
Post # 10
You are right. I agree that abuse should never be accepted but some cultures actually think that nonsense is okay, especially if the younger sister was “out of line”.
I’m going to not invite him and if my family asks why, I will just feign ignorance and say that I send the invitation. I don’t want them to boycott my vow renewal based on this. They are not above cutting me off when they don’t get their way, like they did when we eloped.
The only reason I have contact with my family is if I do not, they will keep my nieces away from me. I love my little nieces. Also, my father will stop speaking to me if I cut off my mother. She has been the ringleader for abuse for most of my life. Now she wants to be my best friend but I will not allow that.
Strangely, I still feel bad for my parents that they were not at my wedding. I know they always wanted to see their only daughter get married, but I refused to do it on their terms. I was not going to let my mother plan this huge spectacle to make herself look rich. She became very belligerent and insulting when my husband and I told her that we wanted something small. She told me that I was too fat to look good in a wedding dress when I was engaged and she wouldn’t come dress shopping with me because I wouldn’t let her pick my dress.
The upside to the past events is that my mother now knows not to try to control our vow renewal or any aspect of our life. She knows that I will leave her out of things if she doesn’t play nice, so she keeps her mouth shut now. What I will do when I am planning my vow renewal is if she starts asking questions about the guest list, I will just say “Mom, we are paying for this party so only WE get to decide the details. Please just come and enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about the details. We got this.”
Post # 11
Do not invite this guy. Seriously. This is your opporunity to do it the way YOU want to, and your family needs to take a back seat for a minute and realize that this is about YOUR feelings, not theirs. If they can’t understand it, that’s their problem, but it’s not the time to take it out on you.
Post # 12
Hell no do not invite his ass and if your family doesn’t agree thats there fault kudos to you for standing up for yourself in this mess. In the end the wedding is about you and hubby are you gonna be happy ten years down the road and see him with your family in those pics?? Me personally I would rather not invite him and none of my family come then invite him and have him there. But thats my two cents. Good luck and congrats.
Post # 13
@TakeTwo: I know this is an old thread, but I was sort of hoping you would follow up. I was thinking, what a shame it would be for you to have a vow renewal so your family could see you get married, but then have them boycott because they refuse to acknowledge the bad relationship between you and your brother?
Post # 15
Honestly, my husband would make this decision for me. After he got done kicking his ass.
Post # 16
You are so right. My husband is fierce when it comes to protecting me. Good thing my husband wasn’t around during the abuse or else he would have fought my brother.
Even my mother shuts up when he defends me from her constant put downs.