- 10 years ago
- Wedding: December 2009
This issue has been causing a lot of personal strife and would love to get some advice and opinions. Sorry for the long post, but I feel like I need to vent and desperately need advice!
My fiance does not have a good relationship with one of his brothers. When we started dating he mentioned his poor relationship with his younger brother (the brother is 25 yrs old and my fiance is 30).
Despite attempts to be courteous and polite to this brother, he has been boorish and rude to me calling me unpleasant things (b-word, etc) for no reason.
In My Humble Opinion this brother has emotional issues and is a bully with low self esteem – he has a couple DUIs (one away from going to jail for a long time), anger management issues and is a belligerent alcoholic. He lost his license and his car because of his drunk driving. When he is drunk, he gets out of control at family events getting into fights and causing uncomfortable situations.
My fiance is the target of these drunken attacks, whether it being verbally or physically confrontational (ie-taking a swing and requiring family members to restrain him). Everyone in the family agrees that the brother is out of control when he drinks and many have speculated that he is jealous of my fiance. When the brother is sober, he is somewhat tolerable and doesn’t get into fights.
Around the time we got engaged, my fiance was the best man at his roommate’s wedding. In turn, this roommate is going to be best man at our wedding.
My fiance’s brother was invited to the roommate’s wedding and found out about the best man scenario – he became upset that he was not asked to be the best man at our wedding. My fiance plainly told him why he didn’t choose him (there was no compelling reason given their past history).
Fueled by the alcohol he was drinking during the wedding, he got into a physical altercation with my fiance – thankfully it was not on the dance floor but near the elevators away from the crowd.
I was horrified and I had flashes of what might happen at our wedding; if this brother was going to be there (we are having our wedding on NYE – there will be plenty of alcohol flowing) our day might be ruined because of any outbursts or fights caused by the brother.
After this incident, I REALLY didn’t want him at our wedding. I consulted other family members to solicit advice and my fiance’s sister told me that I needed to cancel the wedding. This really wasn’t a viable option for me, we had already signed contracts and paid our deposits and sent save the dates. Plus, my Maid/Matron of Honor reminded me that I should not let one person hold our wedding hostage.
The next obvious choice was to just not invite him to the wedding, the family feedback then became – you can’t do that – it will cause "family awkwardness". So I agreed to keep him on the invite list.
Just recently, another incident happened – it was at a relative’s bachelor party (where alcohol was flowing for a long time). The brother was confrontational to my fiance and my fiance wanted to leave – other relatives convinced him not to leave, that it wasn’t fair, etc. But a fight occurred, the police were called – a horrible ending to what should have been a good time for the guys.
After I heard about this, I put my foot down and said "we are NOT inviting him to our wedding…I will take full responsibility for the decision, and I don’t care if people feel awkward and get offended". I asked my fiance to support me in this decision – he agreed.
I gave my fiance’s sister a "heads up" since she was the one who had mentioned that not inviting the brother would cause "family awkwardness". While she understood my decision, she warned me that some people would boycott the wedding.
I’m not too upset about this – anyone who is going to choose an alcoholic with anger management issues over me, who has been polite and friendly with the family…I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep over.
Here is my issue – I just learned that my fiance is wavering on supporting me, saying that even though he can’t stand his brother and doesn’t want him at our wedding…he feels an obligation to invite him.
The compelling argument is that he knows in his heart his parents (who have passed away) would have wanted him to invite the brother and he could not live with himself if he didn’t. I told him that I think his parents would also want the brother to behave during our wedding and not get drunk, belligerent and need to be babysat.
At other family weddings he has also been out of control creating drama and angering other family members. Shortly after the bachelor party, he attended an engagement party and got into a fight with the future bride and groom…once again he was drunk.
An alternative solution I gave my fiance is that he make an attempt to
reconcile with the brother and get him to AA. I’ve been to Al-Anon
meetings to deal with this and I’m still struggling with a solution.
All signs are showing that my fiance is not going to make a major
attempt at reconciliation.
I have also suggested to the family to plan an intervention, but that suggestion was received poorly. It’s not my family, so I don’t really have a right to push, but I feel directly affected.
I don’t want our wedding ruined by this brother – I’m placing extremely high odds that if he comes to our wedding he will definitely get drunk because it’s NYE and will get into a fight or some rage induced rant towards us or other guests.
Should I push for not inviting the brother, knowing that I’m risking having my fiance forever feel guilty for letting down his deceased parents?
On the flipside, I don’t want start out my marriage by being resentful. I don’t want to personally pay tons of money for the privilege of his brother ruining our wedding day.
We are planning on going to pre-marital counseling to talk this through but please, any advice would be appreciated!