My brother isn't coming to my wedding, no idea why.

posted 5 months ago in Guests
Post # 17
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

That sounds hurtful but it sounds like you have a good outlook on it and you’re handling it well.


If I can offer some perspective from a sibling who avoids a sibling…my sister is volitile and controling and was jealous of me when we were younger.  She is super sweet sometimes and would buy things for me or be really sweet to my daughter….and then she’d turn on a dime and snap or yell or be crazy at me.  I live 6 hours away and rarely ever contact her.  It seems like she wanted a closer relationship with me in the past, but I couldn’t handle her volatiliy and just avoid her.  My mother has finally acknowledged that she understands why, after years of both parents telling me to “be the bigger person” and just make nice.


I am SURE you aren’t like my sister…but is it possible that there has been something you’ve done in the past that has hurt him?  Possibly older sister things from childhood that might have hurt him?  I’m sure my sister doesn’t know the depth of what she did to me when we were kids and young adults, but anytime I’ve said anything she flips things around and has a fit and acts like a victim.  And so I’m done.

Post # 18
192 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t know your situation but I work for a charity that helps families who have children with life threatening illnesses. A large part of our work is sibling support. By the little information you have given it sounds to me that your brother might have some psychological problem caused during the time you where ill. This is not your fault, your parents fault or his fault, it happens a lot with siblings of very ill children.


Being the healthy child comes with a lot of invisible burdens that can cause lasting problems in developing children. There are abandonment issues, the feeling of less being important, having to hide your problems from your parents because they already have enough to deal with, and dealing with the guilt of jealousy towards an ill sibling. This can all cause them to develop negative feelings towards their ill sibling or parents without understanding why they feel this way.  


My aunt is also a doctor on a terminally ill children ward and she has to work very hard to make sure that when she goes home the problems of her own children don’t get treated as insignificant. She has told me that its so easy to dismiss a child that bumps his head or has a sore throat when you are dealing with dying children every day. Parents with a seriously ill child have the same problem but on top of that there is the blinding stress, anxiety and fear they have for their ill child that the everyday problems of the healthy one get so easily overlooked. 

I’m not saying your brother for sure has psychological hang ups from his childhood but its a possibility. It is very possible that your brother might not even know why he has negative feelings towards you. But he might subconsciously associate you with with a lot of negativity, that again comes with a lot of guilt. It is possible that he dosn’t want his friends to know/see you because, like you sad he is ashamed of you because of your features, but its also possible that subconsciously he is afraid that you will take away all the attention/love they give him.  

If this is the case you can tell him you love him as much as you like, it will not make a difference. He will need to recognize himself that there might be some psychological damage and see professional help to deal with his childhood trauma. On the plus side your wedding, and his refusal to go to it, might be the thing he needs to see that he might have a problem. Maybe read up about it a bit so you can understand him better and talk to his wife about it if you think she can convince him to get some help.

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