Post # 1
First time post and I think its mostly a rant but I would love some perspective from all of you lovely ladies. I am having a bit of an issue with my SIL about my brother. I should start by saying that I grew up a bit of a tom boy and for most of my life, havent been particularly girly. I have a mix of friends but mostly I am comfortable with the boys. My brother and I are particulary close and would call him my best friend on top of being his siter. We dont live in the same town so we dont see each other much any more but we talk most days and are still close in that way. I dont think its weird to be close to my brother but as you will see, she does.
I am getting married next year and he got married last year. We have always said we would be each others MOH/BM and this is the case. BUT, for their wedding, my SIL made of point of calling me the witness and didnt want me to stand up at the alter with him and the groomsmen but only get up later to sign the licencee. She thought it would look weird with a girl there but eventually said it was ok after my brother pushed for me to be there. Also when it came to planning events like the bachelor party, she lost her mind that I would even consider going let alone plan it. She went on and on about how weird it would be to point that she made it sound icky. Her concern was how weird it would be if we went to a strip club. First, I would never have planned a strip club bachelor party, my brother wouldnt be into that anyway but even if I had, it wouldnt be the first strip club Ive been to with guys and its not like I would be watching him while there anyway. That never crossed my mind and it seem weird that she even had that strong of an opinion. He ended up going out to bar with some friends, no strippers but I wasnt allowed to go because she felt that only men should go to the “male events”. For the record, I wasnt invited to the shower/bachelorette either since I wasnt a member of her bridal party.
Now on to my wedding and he is my Maid/Matron of Honor. I have awkwardly sat through many converstations with her saying he should have nothing to do with the bachelorette/shower parties that I would be having not really participating in the planning because those are girls things. I really wanted my brother to be involved on a level and hurt that she is acting so against it. Again she is acting like we are to close and that its weird for him to be my Maid/Matron of Honor. My Fiance and I were planning (along with the wedding party) a joint bachelor party out of town anyway since we have so many mutal friends and thought it would be more. I just learned that the shower is going to be mixed as well because again I have alot of male friends and it just doesnt seem right not to include them. My SIL has expressed again thats its weird and thinks that men should not be participating. She said at one point, its one thing that your gay male friends would go but no straight man would want to and its wrong that I put them in that place. We clearly have very different ideas on gender roles.
All this wouldnt normally bug me but I am starting to see less and less of my brother and I suspect its because of her and her feelings on our relationship. I would also add she is very close to her sister and they do everything together but she says its different for sisters and brothers and sisters should not be that way. So I guess I am asking, is it weird to have men at the “girl” parties and is it weird to have your brother plan/participate in these events? Also is it different for sisters vs brother and sisters?
Post # 2
Your SIL is being a bitch.
Yes relationships between sisters, brothers, and sisters and brothers are different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your close siblings be a part of your wedding events just because you don’t share anatomy. More and more people are doing couples showers instead of bridal showers (My sister just had one today) and coed bachelor/ette parties.
You do you. Sorry about the strain on your relationship with your brother.
Post # 3
BigD: hasnt she ever heard of a Jack and Jill shower? Its pretty common where I live.
your SIL is a bitch, it seems like she has an issuebwith how close you are which is weird bc your HIS SISTER not some random chick.
Ive been to a Jack and Jill shower and everyone has fun, including the straight men. There are plenty of games to get guys involved, and even couple games. They are a lot of fun.
Post # 4
BigD: Sounds as though your SIL has some really odd gender issues. A lot of people do, however. I came from a very conservative background which held very strange divides between men and women. Now that I’ve become a Counseling Psychology student, I’m under the impression that a lost of gender-typing is cultural or it’s an easy way for those who can’t read people well to put others into easily digestable categories.
Don’t let her get to you. You’re not the strange one, she is. You’re completely normal in this regard, and so is the relationship with your brother. As someone who is very close to her older brother, and then will also be having another close male friend as a bridesman at the wedding, I fail to see how her objections remotely stand. My bridesman will be apart of the shower (which will be Jack & Jill) and any bridesmaid luncheon or whatnot we plan. Fiance thinks all of this is awesome and makes everything more communal and fun.
Post # 5
She sounds weird. Sorry but you’re his sister not a random woman. I think she’s very insecure and sounds like the kind of woman who thinks that their husband should forever put them first above all things. Very bitchy behaviour from her. And very backwards gender views.
Do what suits you and your brother. Ignore her as she sounds lukedchat a whole pile of crazy.
Post # 6
If sil is so locked into gender roles that it is impacting your relationship with your brother, would you consider renaming stuff to reflect that they are more gender inclusive? Example alike Daisy 914 said a Jack and Jill shower not a bachelor and or bachlorett party.
Or does she think men and women can not be friends ever ever; and that doing fun stuff with someone who doesn’t have the same bathing suit parts as you is weird and wrong, always and forever? If this is the case, you are going to have to work hard to maintain your relationship with your brother and cut him lots of slack. It is going to be a constant challenge for him to maintain a close relationship with you.
Post # 7
Your SIL sounds like she’s in a whole other decade! Not nice.
My bridal party is a mix of my best friends; my twin brother/bandmate, my other (male) bandmate, my 4 best girlfriends (one of them wearing a suit for her comfort), and my two younger sisters!
We haven’t had anyone directly saying anything about it? I think it’s mostly because mixed genders in a party is more common now!
I say ignore what she has to say and carry on planning the wedding how you and your SO want it! 🙂
Post # 8
Thank you for all the responses. I appreciate the imput. It was starting to really get to me that maybe I was putting my brother in a weird spot. He insists no but she tells me otherwise. Its just really hard that he seems to be getting more and more distance because of the way she thinks things should be. There is a lot more to the story when it comes to those probelms outside of the wedding. She was starting to frame this as being an etiquette issue, that ladies would be insulted if men came to the party so I was curious if that was a thing. Im not planning either of these events, but a name change is a good idea. I will suggest that to my friends and tell to go ahead and the plan the coed parties despite what shes been saying to them and me. Im ok with it, my brother is and no other family/friends has said anything but good things.
Post # 9
BigD: Oh man I thought I was gonna come here and read something about a random girl going to these parties that was making someone uncomfortable. You’re his sister FFS and she doesn’t get to define your relationship just because she married your brother. Gently remind her that this is your wedding so you get to do things your way this time. She had her way and you were excluded during their wedding. What a strange woman.
Post # 10
BigD: Without knowing more about your SIL I’d say she is very irrational person, and since you can’t reason with an irrational person, if it was me I’d say something along the lines of, “look, you clearly have very rigid views of gender roles which I do not share. You will never be able to convince me to come around to your point of view and I expect that I also won’t be able to convince you to come around to my point of view. Therefore I suggest we just put this topic to rest. This is my bachelorette party and my wedding which I will throw in the way I see fit. You are entitled to your own viewpoints and I have listened to them and thought about them but ultimately I still disagree with them. My brother says he’s happy to go ahead with our plan and unless he tells me otherwise I trust that he and I are still on the same page with all this, and I will go ahead with these ideas that he and I have agreed upon.”
Post # 11
berrybelle: wow thats perfectly stated. Clear and to the point. I just dont want to start a disagreement with her that puts my brother in an awkward place between us. Knowing her as I do, she seems very insecure to me and gives him a hard time when he spends anytime away from her and throws a fit if she doesnt get her way. The wedding is a year from now and I am genuinly worried she will break him down that he will decide to step down from his role because its poor form to have a straight man on the brides side.
Post # 12
I think if I were in your SIL’s position, I’d make a few passive agressive comments about you going to his bachelor party. Cuz that does seem a bit weird to me. I mean – bachelor parties already weird me out a little. The fact that you could be there but I couldn’t would rub me the wrong way.
But who gives a crap who’s invited to your shower and bachelorette?? This has absolutely nothing to do with her. She’s being pretty awful. This is not about her.
Post # 13
She’s being absurd. While her friends are fully entitled to host and plan events for her group of friends it is strange that you wouldn’t even be invited to her shower.
You can, of course, ask your brother to be your man of honor, and he can accept with or without his wife’s approval of non-traditional gender roles at weddings.
My only real question is how sure are you that your brother really has any wish at all to host those pre-wedding events or that at least some of this pushback is not coming from him? It is not appropriate to be planning parties in your own honor, nor can you enlist other people to help you do so. If your brother has offered unsolicited, it’s one thing, but you can’t volunteer him.
I’d say the same thing if he were a woman.
As for inviting men to your shower, if they don’t want to come, and have no interest, they won’t.
Post # 14
I think you should have a talk with your brother, it seems you’re SIL is determined to come between you and he is the person who needs to address that.
Post # 15
She’s insane, but don’t poke the bear… This is your brother’s wife, if you want to stay close to him forever and ever (which I’m assuming you do) you don’t want to alienate yourself from her either.
Just be firm, say that you respect her opinion, but it’s important to you he be involved.
I have to say, I have a friend who was the lone male among bridesmaids, he didn’t attend any of the shower/bachelorette activities, but he was invited to all and allowed to make his own choice in the matter.