Post # 1
I have a younger sister who is about to turn 18. She is going to be starting college soon and after originally accepting my wish to have her as a bridesmaid in my wedding, she sent me an email tonight detailing the reasons why she could now, not.
She mostly stated time as an issue – with college, homework and a job on the forefront, she felt that a wedding would not be possible. So impossible that she stated that she would be busy for the next 6 six years.
I would like to preface this by stating that she and my father (who is walking me down the aisle) are not talking. Our parents have been divorced for about ten years now – she is my half-sister – and she lives with her mom, who does not do the best job of speaking highly about my father. I think that she is anxious about him being there. Please not that aside from his shortcomings, my father is a wonderful person, who I love sooo much and I hate to see him go though this too. 🙁
I call her mom weekly, bi-weekly and sometimes monthly to check in with her and see how she is doing. Rarely do I get to speak to her. When I do, she’s somewhat polite but not very interested. I had hoped that the wedding would be a chance for us to re-kindle our sisterhood. I guess I thought wrong.
My inital thoughts are that she’s selfish, immature and will regret it later. I’m hurting so bad right now because I know that I’m at the end of the rope in many years of "trying" to be her sister. It really pains me at the thought of having a sister that I pretend doesn’t exist just because she won’t participate in my life.
I wrote her back – asking "Please take this as my last attempt at asking you to reconsider – both as a part of my wedding and as a part of my life." But I’m concerned I will never hear back, or if I do, it will not be a genuine response.
Obviously, there is nothing anyone or even I can do – just looking for some support through my grief…
Post # 3
I am really sorry you are going through this right now. I know how this hurts you and you’ve tried pleading with her. Would she feel more comfortable if she attended as a guest of honor but didn’t have the obligations of a formal bridesmaids. I am still in college myself and it is rather straining. For her at 18, a wedding is probaby so distant in her mind and not meant to be taken as something personal against you. She may just want her distance for now for what is going on with your family. When it comes to family, there is only so much you can do. They do need to meet you half way at some point. If it’s beyond your control, then just let it be. If you force her to be in your wedding, then it just might make things more strained and hurtful towards you each and everytime she doesn’t want to be involved or doesn’t want to participate because now it’s clearly in your face. Maybe she’ll come around. There will be a lot of other people there who love and support you. I am sure she loves you too but just shows it in a different way.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you’re going through this too. I think you’ve done all that you can do…just let her know that you’d love for her to be there…whether she’s a guest or a bridesmaid…and that if she feels she can’t be there at all that you’d like to be a part of her life. She’s 18 and has a lot of learning and growing up to do still. She’ll come around in her own time. You won’t be able to force that. Just let it known that you’re open for a relationship whenever she’s ready.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2007 - church ceremony and private club reception
That is so hard. But please take the high road and do not give her an ultimatum. Being 18 first time away for college is a big step for her. She may be trying to get her own fresh start in life. I know family obligations were not my first priority. I bet you would rather have her at the wedding than not at all. I agree with snowpea when you were 18 was marriage on your mind? I am sure she will come around too.
And if she is having problems with your dad let them stay with her and your dad. Do not jepardize you sisterly realtionship because they are not getting along. Good luck!
Post # 6
I agree with Weazie. An 18 year old is an adult in some ways and a teenager in some ways. She’s still at an age where she’s quite self-absorbed, not necessarily through any fault of her own – it’s just something teenagers go through as part of their growing up process. She’s thinking only of her own schedule and not of how important your wedding day is so it hasn’t occurred to her how much it would mean to you for her to make the sacrifices necessary to be there for you. As someone else said, at 18 a wedding to her might seem so distant in her future that she can’t relate.
I’m really sorry that this is happening and that you may have to deal with the absence of someone special to you. But I hope that you’ll be open to a relationship with your sister if she comes around in the future, even if she’s not there for your big day.
Post # 7
Hun I’m so sorry. It’s hard when you reach so much form someone and they are always just out of arms reach. I wish I had some magic words to take the hurt away because this wedding planning isn’t supposed to be heartbreaking (not at least until you get the reception bill anyway..hehe)
I think you’ve done what you can, and it’s time to leave the ball in her court and let her make some moves on her own. Maybe, you’re right they won’t be hearfelst or the ones you want but little by little those steps could lead her back into your life ina more personal way if she’s allowed it on her own. SHe may just be wrried about your dad and alwso not the kind of person who is overly emotional and attached to people.
I just today had to tell my best friend of 14 years to step out of my wedding and it broke my heart. I’m keeping busy, chekcing boards, planning and trying to get past it. I have to think that keeping her in would have been more of a disaster then the time I’m going to spend healing over the loss of her – and maybe with you that could be the same. Having the sister in the wedding may lead to complications and akwardness you don’t want around your day, even if you do want her there….know what I mean?
ANway, again I’m so sorry – I hope you find your way through this, there’s always tomorrow.
Post # 8
You all are too, too sweet. I’m overwhelmed by the caring comments and support. Thank you guys!! <33333333333333333
I had known from the start that it would be an issue to have both my Dad and my Sister in the wedding. In fact, I had already spoken with her in regards to that, telling her that Dad loves us and would respect both of our boundaries if I requested that he leave her be. She seemed relieved by that and then accepted. I think her recent stepping down was such a let down because I thought we had already jumped that hurdle.
You’re all ultimately right in that she’s got a lot of growing up to do. While I cannot say the same – I know that a family wedding would have been important to me at any age – I also know that both my sis and I grew up in very different family environments and are very different people. It is probably for the best that she not be in the wedding party if she doesn’t want to. I’m still waiting to hear back if she plans on coming to the wedding at all! ::crosses fingers::
Oh and trust me, I’m open to ANY relationship I can have with her. Like I said, I call regularly to check in with her – but she never really is interested in speaking with me or doing anything with me. I know she’s 18 – but when I was 18, I made certain to spend time with her when she was 10. I guess I just don’t feel like she wants me in her life at all. Hope she someday changes her mind…
Post # 9
So sorry Katy. Maybe she just needs some space to work things out on her own and hopefully will start reaching out to you on her own sometime in the future. I think I would also leave the ball in her court at this point and reach out to others who support you to help you through this. I expect one day she will come to really appreciate the effort you have made to build a strong relationship with her.