- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
This is a long story, but please bear with me because I need the advice.
February 2011 – My brother gets engaged.
Christmas Eve 2011 – I get engaged.
October 26, 2012 – My brother’s wedding date.
April 22, 2013 – My wedding date.
Two weeks after I got engaged, my wedding date was undecided. We had no idea what we were going to do and were discussing lots of different options. My husband is very close to his entire family, even extended relatives. His grandparents are the sweetest people in the entire world, but they’re old and unhealthy. It was very important to my husband (and therefore very important to me) that they attend our wedding. So we started throwing around the idea of getting married in the Summer of 2012. We had been together for over 5 years, so we didn’t feel compelled to have a long engagement.
Now, my brother and I have never been close. We’re three years apart and barely talk to each other. When he heard through the grapevine that I was even contemplating the idea of getting married before him, he freaked out. He refused to talk to me in any form other than e-mail. He unmade me a bridesmaid in his wedding (against the wishes of his fiancée). And he said that unless I got married at least 6 months AFTER him, he would not come to my wedding and he would never speak to me again.
Let me remind you, I had been engaged for TWO WEEKS and had NOT set a date. His reaction seemed very selfish, immature, and premature to me. I tried explaining where we were coming from. I tried being very mature, considerate, honest, and empathetic. He refused to give me that same respect. The entire thing was very hurtful and stressful, and it actually turned my husband’s entire family against my brother. They were all so mad at him and didn’t want to have anything to do with him.
In the end, my husband and I made the joint decision to push back our wedding. We did not do it exclusively to appease my brother. We both were not enjoying the process because it was feeling very rushed. We couldn’t get the vendors we wanted. It was all quite expensive and we didn’t have a lot of money saved. Many factors went into our decision. I’m confident that we would have come to this same conclusion even if my brother had never thrown a fit. Perhaps this is part of why his actions hurt me so deeply. But I digress.
When my brother heard we were no longer pursuing the idea of getting married in 2012, he called to apologize and reinstate me as a bridesmaid. At that point, all I wanted to do was bury the hatchet and try to create a relationship with my brother. I apologized too. Everything seemed fine.
10 MONTHS LATER…His wedding came. He acted very cold to me and my husband at his wedding. He barely spoke to us and was clearly acting like he was still holding a grudge. His fiancée treated us fine though. I put it behind me and didn’t bring it up.
TWO MONTHS LATER, which is ONE YEAR after the original fight…It is now January 1, 2013. My brother is already married. My wedding is set for April. I randomly get a call from my mother asking me to call my brother. I ask why. She says he asked her to ask me to call him. I said my brother is a grown @$$ man (he’s 29) and if he wants to talk to me, he can call me himself.
One week goes by. Always trying to be the peacemaker, I give in and call him. He doesn’t answer. Another week goes by. Now he finally calls me back. He says that he is still hurt and mad at me for what happened A YEAR AGO! I was confused because we both had already apologized to each other, and I felt like the whole thing was over. He had won. We moved our date. Now he’s already married. What on Earth could he still be upset about? And here it comes.
He said, “You never apologized for trying to steal my date.”
… OMG. I didn’t try to steal your date!!! I never said that I wanted to get married October 26, 2012! We never even came close to October! We had been engaged for TWO WEEKS and were only starting to discuss the possibility of getting married in late August or early September. Are you freaking kidding me??! I ALREADY apologized to you! I’m sorry if I didn’t state it in the exact words that you wanted, but this is just ridiculous! When is this going to end?!
Of course, I didn’t say any of that. I kept it all to myself. Instead, I started crying and saying I was so sorry and all I wanted was for him to be my brother and us to have a relationship with each other and was he ever going to forgive me. To which he replied, “That’s what I’m trying to do.” So, we hang up. I haven’t spoken to him since.
This brings me to today. My husband and I are trying to split the holidays between our families. We discussed spending Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas with his. My parents are actually divorced, so we were specifically going to see my father and stepmother. We asked them if they had plans. They said no. We made a plan for Thanksgiving. All seemed fine.
I had dinner with my stepmother last night and she said that they invited my brother and his wife for Thanksgiving. Crap. Now what? I honestly don’t want to have anything to do with my brother. Pretty much ever again. I had forgiven him for basically ruining the beginning of our engagement. I had forgiven him for acting like a complete douche and unmaking me a bridesmaid. But when he called back up and complained AFTER HE WAS ALREADY MARRIED that I never apologized for trying to STEAL his date, which I never did, I just lost it. I got so mad! And honestly, I’m still so hurt.
I don’t understand him at all. I have made every effort to understand him and to help him understand me. But he’s not at all empathetic or capable of placing himself in my shoes. He just keeps holding a grudge against me for something I already apologized for. I honestly think he’s mad that I had the audacity to even contemplate getting married before him. What happens if I have the audacity to get pregnant first? I just don’t want to deal with this. I feel like he has nothing to offer me if I keep him in my life. He’s not a nice person. He’s not that smart. We don’t have anything in common. We don’t want the same things. He is an active alcoholic, and my husband is a recovering alcoholic. So I don’t want my husband anywhere near him! What am I supposed to do?
I feel like I’m a bad person for still being upset. Not to mention the fact that I’m only hurting myself. Why can’t I let it go this time? Now I’m the jerk holding onto a grudge. But I just don’t know how to get over it. I don’t want to see my brother for Thanksgiving. But I don’t want to cancel. I want to get over this and forgive him and move on. I’ve been wounded so deeply by my brother, and I just don’t seem to be healing. If anyone has any advice, please help me!