Post # 1
So I just wanted a reality check and make sure that my expectations are not too aggressive.
My future husband is a little socially awkward, that being said though, he does have friends and maintains a great relationship with his family. He hasn’t however warmed up to my family yet, which I’m not sure if I need to be concerned.
I have made great efforts to get along with his sister and his side of the family but I don’t feel that he’s doing the same. In fact, I think he does not really try and relies on “natural development”. Like I’m not asking him to push for a relationship that isn’t there, but simple things like including him in gift-giving and such. Just yesterday we were talking about what we’re getting our friends and family for Christmas. He brought up everyone and basically left out my parents and brother. I had to bring them up. Or at my birthday party, we went paintballing with a group of my friends and included my brother. When he went to get refills, he gave them to his sister, her boyfriend, and me but didn’t offer any to my brother.
I think little things like that kind of bother me. I’ve brought this up to him and he’s mentioned that it might be because of the age difference or that he is socially awkward. My brother is 6 years younger than him. But I mean, his sister is 5 years younger and they get along just fine. Shouldn’t he try to treat my brother as a brother and not so much as a “friend” that he has very little in common with? Could some men maybe not think it’s intuitive to really make an effort to like and be a part of my family too?
I can understand that he hasn’t warmed up to my parents but I think it’s strange that he doesn’t make that much effort to like my brother, considering the fact that my brother is a very important person in my life.
Basically at our wedding, both our siblings aren’t in the wedding party. I would like to include his sister as a bridesmaid to extend the gesture of being family, but he says he won’t put my brother as a groomsman because they’re not close. WAnd I didn’t want to include one sibling and not the other, I felt like that would really hurt my brother’s feelings.
I just wanted to know, has this happened to anyone? And after you guys got married, did the relationship get better?
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull
How long have you guys been together? That can make a difference.
Fiance is an only child, while I am the youngest of 3. I always hoped he’d get on great with my Brother and Sister, but that hasn’t been the case.
For a long time, he strongly disliked my Sister who is 10 years older than me. However, as we’ve gotten older, we’ve started to see her more without my parents and he doesn’t complain as much. He actually confessed he feels a little bad for her because my Mum can be pretty dismissive of her, so we make more of an effort even though she’s 1 1/2 hours away.
My Brother lives about 20 minutes away. We see him fairly regularly, but Fiance and him are not really close. There’s no issues, they’re just different people. Whilst it makes me a little sad, I don’t get too hung up on it. We still see him when we can, but I’ll often go on my own because it’s easier.
On the flip side… I get on OK with my Sister’s partner and my Brother’s Wife. Again, the age differences are quite large but we get on. I’m closer to my Sister-in-Law because I work with her, but we aren’t super close. I’ve gotten closer to her since their Wedding, but I think that’s mostly because we now work together, when we didn’t before.
Fiance won’t have my Brother in his Wedding Party because, as yours said, they’re not close. My Mum keeps trying to force it so Fiance and I have agreed that if she asks again, I will suggest that he stand on my side as my Bridesman.
Not everyone gets on enough to be best mates – as long as they aren’t kicking off at each other every time you see them, I wouldn’t let this bother you.
Post # 3
My husband and brother get along okay. They are two months apart in age and we all lived together at one point but they don’t call each other to hang out and I don’t see that changing because they are two very different people.
Flipside is that I’m pretty much labeled as the mean younger sister when it came to my brother’s past girlfriends. Even now his wife told me that he warned her about me. I have little to no desire to be “friends” with my brother’s wife. Pretty sure I would never call her to go out and get our nails done or anything of that sort, we’re very nice to each other and on occasion will exchange text messages.
Post # 4
Not making sure everybody present had refills was rude, but otherwise I’d let him be.
He needs to “get along” with his in-laws but he doesn’t need to be friends with them. He chose you but not them, he may or may not have a natural affinity with one or all of them and it’s fine either way.
I got along fine with my former Brother-In-Law when I saw him with my ex-husband or at family events but it didn’t occur to either of us to get into gift or card exchanging. I wouldn’t have phoned him for a chat but might well have a long conversation with him in person, – or not.
I don’t think it’s fair to impose your expectations and culture on him, as long as he follows polite norms and isn’t rude or unfriendly without provocation. Trying to push him into closer relations is likely to have the opposite effect to the one you want, it will make him feel more awkward and self conscious around them.
Post # 5
You say he’s socially awkward (and admits this) but then seem to be surprised when he does socially awkward things. This isn’t a sign that he doesn’t care, it really seems to fit with being a little bit socially awkward. I’d take off the pressure, maybe tell your sibs he’s a bit socially awkward but that you are excited about them eventually building a strong relationship, and try to compensate for any lapses (so, you hand the drink he gives you to your brother, and then go get one for yourself).
I’d just be patient and understanding. He has a different style than you, but it doesn’t make his wrong. Maybe you can create more low-key, low-pressure situations where he’ll spend time with your siblings (like a movie or a performance, something where there’s no pressure on him to guide conversation). Over time he’ll become more comfortable and open up.
Post # 5
It doesn’t sound like they don’t get along, just that they aren’t close. Do they have anything in common? My SIL and I have nothing in common and have a civil/polite relationship, but I’d never want to invite her to go out and do something because we just have nothing to talk about. To be perfectly honest, she excludes me from things when we’re both visiting her parents (my inlaws) and most of the time, it doesn’t bother me because I know we’d literally be out in awkward silence or talking about the weather. We’re both polite to each other, but there’s no relationship there and DH isn’t trying to push it.
On the other hand, DH has a great relationship with my brother and sister because they have common interests and there is a mutual desire to have a relationship.
You can’t force relationships. As long as your Fiance is being friendly and polite to your brother, I don’t see why you need to stress over it.
Post # 6
I agree with others, it doesn’t sound like they don’t get along – just that they aren’t that close. You can’t force a relationship between them. As long as they’re friendly and polite when around each other there’s not rule that says they need to be friends and hang out. The paintball scenario sounds silly – it’s like you’re hunting for reasons to nail your DH about not being nice to your brother. Of course he get’s along with his sister…they’re family and have grown up together.
DH and I have been together 16.5 years, since high school. He and my brother (they’re the same age, both 3 years older than me) have always gotten along and hang out here and there. They were even roommates in college for a couple of years. Are they super close? No. In fact my brother really drives DH nuts a lot of time because they have different personalities, priorities, work ethics, etc.
DH is close with my sister, who is 17, but he’s been in her life literally since she was 6 months old. She doesn’t know life without him as her “brother in law”. He thinks of her as his little sister and is probably harder on her than our parents are.
I’m not really that close to DH’s sister. We get along just fine and I like her, but not only is she 10 years older than me we also live 7.5 hours appart and have VASTLY different interestes. DH doesn’t even really enjoy being around her that much.
All that being said we still included all siblings in our wedding party. To us it was about being inclusive to our family.
Post # 7
My Fiance and my sister HATE eachother, but my sister and I are not close at all (long story). She is not in our wedding at all. This does not bother me at all, but we have a unique situation. I am decently close with his siblings, his oldest sister and I are not super close, but we like eachother well enough. His little brother and I are about the same, but I love his littlest sister, who is 10. Her and I click and she is our Junior Bridesmaid. My Fiance likes that I can interact with his siblings, but doesnt feel the need to force anything. However, he loves how close me and his little sister are 🙂
Post # 8
My Fiance is an only child, so he was happy to get a few sisters. However, he’s way closer with middle sister than older sister. When he was planning the proposal, he had middle sister in on the whole thing, but oldest sister was entirely out of the loop. My dad was actually the one to intervene and reminded him that there were two sisters. He just hadn’t thought of it that way. After that, he tried to gain more of a friendship, but it’s hard because she’s way more introverted and independent, so they just haven’t had much of an opportunity. My middle sister and I call and talk and get each other’s opinions constantly so it’s just different. He’s said he wants the kind of friendship he has with middle sister with older sister. I always remind him that we’ve got a lifetime to be married and she’ll be family for forever, so its not as if he needs to force a friendship immediately. It will unfold in time.
I don’t think some of the circumstances you describe are unusual. My Fiance would probably never think about what he was going to get my sisters for Christmas, he’d leave my side to me.
I’ll echo what a PP said, it sounds like they don’t dislike each other, just that they’re not especially close. I think it’d be a good covnersation to have with your Fiance, to make sure that this deduction is correct. Lay it on the table that you’d like them to get closer, and while you can’t force friendship, you can encourage love and respect. Suggest they go out for a beer together or they go to a concert of a band they both like. A little time alone together could be great and foster something small.
As to your real overarching question: I think its a good idea to put siblings in wedding parties, regardless of how close you are. (With the obvious exception for giant families or siblings who actively dislike the couple.) If things were different, and my oldest sister was a dude, even though they’re not AS close, I’d still want Fiance to have him as a groomsman.
Post # 9
to me the red flags here are the not thinking about him as some to give a present to/not getting him refills at your birthday – I dont think that DH has to be BFF with your brother but to not even consider him as a person at all that he needs to think about it a bit harsh. It would have been one thing if he just got you refills but to get his sister’s boyfriend some but none for your brother (or even consider that he should) is kind of odd to me
I am definitely not friends with DH’s brother or his wife and I don’t like call them up on the phone or anything but if we are in person and I go to get a round of drinks for the table I would obviously get them one too! (which is the closest approximation I can think of for the paint ball thing)
that is normal social manners that you wouldn’t exclude someone that you are in the group with (especially at your own birthday!)
Post # 10
My fiancé and I are both twins and he’s gotten close with my twin brother. my twin and I are pretty much a package deal because we spend so much time together. I don’t force a relationship between my fiancé and either of my my two brothers though. I do expect normal social friendly behaviors from him. Which I’ve never had a problem with.
On the other hand I can’t handle my FH’s twin. A few hours of him and I’m done. we’ve had some pleasant moments and I want to get along with him because of my niece so I try even when he’s said things that frustrate the crap out of me. (Everything has to be about him type of stuff) I have started to enjoy talking to his wife a lot…can be a bit weird because she’s 11 years older than me so it’s more along the lines of talking to an older sister than a friend.
FH’s younger brother and his fiancé are two of my favorite people and we get along great. I ended up asking younger brother’s FW to be a bridesmaid…probably hurt some feelings but I chalk it up to being my wedding and who I feel close with.
Just give him time…it’s better to not push anything.
Post # 11
My husband gets along amazingly with my brother, who’s 8 years younger than me (and 5 years younger than my husband) but he can’t STAND my older sister. I don’t really blame him, she’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but having lived with her as my sister for 31 years I’ve come to accept her for who she is, massive faults and all, haha.
Other than guilting my husband into sharing the same space with her a couple of times a month, I would never force him to be friendly with her. You can’t help who you like!
That being said, excluding ONLY your brother in any way (like the paintball thing) would be rude even if he were an unwanted, unliked tag-along friend rather than your immediate family member. Your Fiance should not have done that, it was rude, and age/common interests have nothing to do with that.
I wanted both my siblings included in my wedding party, so I had a co-ed one which included my (female) best friend, my sister, my brother, and my (male) cousin. DH only has a brother, so he had his brother and 3 closest male friends. I have to say – it was awesome having bridesmen! 🙂 I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Post # 12
my DH is very close with my siblings; we see each other all the time and they really love each other.
Your fiancé’s behaviour does seem very rude though — from your brother’s point of view, he is being deliberately excluded and that must be very hurtful. If you have noticed it, then your brother must notice it even more.
I think not including your brother as groomsman will be detrimental to their relationship. This is usually a common courtesy to include siblings as bridesmaids/groomsmen, and if your brother is the only one left out it will be very noticeable to everyone and all the guests. They might even ask your brother why he wasn’t chosen, and it will be very uncomfortable.
You want your wedding to only be associated with good memories. Weddings are all about family and friends too — otherwise everyone would elope. You don’t want to look back and your brother is missing from many of the photographs. People tend to not forget things like that easily.
I would really insist that your brother is included, for your sake. If you want them to become closer, really the wedding is the best opportunity you will ever get for them to get to know each other better. Your brother is a priority in your life too, and the wedding is a compromise of both you and your fiancé’s wishes. I wouldn’t budge on this issue, bee, it’s too important.
Post # 14
Thank you everyone for your insight and support.
I do understand that I can’t force a relationship but I really would like for my fiance to make more of an effort to get along with my family. And I agree, if I do push the relationship too hard, it’ll make things more awkward for him. And at the same time, it would also make it take the meaning out of the relationship anyway (I want him to do it because he wants to get along with the people close to me and not because I told him too.)
Another thing that has come up is that he has decided to get all his groomsmen cufflinks for the wedding. AND he says he’ll also get cufflinks for special people on that day including his sister and her boyfriend (I’m not sure why but he thinks his sister will love them too) and when I asked about my brother, he said there weren’t enough cufflinks available to grab one for him too. Basically, there were only 6 different kinds of cufflinks, and my brother would be the 7th person, meaning he would have the same as another person and he didn’t want that.
So something like that would make me feel like he’s purposely excluding my brother because if he couldn’t find one for him why would he get one for his sister and her boyfriend? Couldn’t he just get something for his groomsmen? And I guess it bothered me that he said it would be for “special” people that day, meaning my brother wasn’t special enough to get cufflinks.
I’m sorry, am I being too sensitive?
Post # 15
My hubby isn’t close to my sisters at all. I am a month away from being 21 and the youngest of 4 girls. My hubby is 24. My sisters are 26, 30, and 40. At first they got a along and talked like normal nothing too crazy. They were okay with me dating him, were happy and present during my engagement. But once the actual wedding planning started they were not okay. They kept making rude comments about him. Backed out of my wedding plans and convinced my mom to not be okay with me getting married. We ended up eloping and when they found out they didn’t even give me a chance to sit down with my dad, they snitched on me before I could. There was also an incident where my sisters husband kicked us out of his home during my nieces graduation party. So now it’s awakward between them and my hubby. My hubby doesn’t necesarrily like them but understands they are family and when we are around makes an effort to keep it cool and talk to them.