Post # 1
So, I’ve found myself in a sort of awkward situation. There is a lot of backstory. Bear with me.
My brother, who is 24, has had some difficulties recently. He got kicked out of the Navy when he got his 2nd DUI, and moved to Boston to live with his girlfriend. He is not good with money and often spends unwisely, leaving himself without money to pay for essentials.
My mom offered to buy him a plane ticket to come to the wedding, but he flip flopped about when he wanted to come in, and ended up causing a huge fight. His girlfriend is a teacher, and was to chaperone prom the night before the wedding– the night of our rehearsal and dinner. He wanted to fly in Saturday morning with her- and got upset when my mom told him that there was no way she, his grandparents, or my aunt and uncle (whose children were ring bearer and flower girl) could come pick him up at the airport that morning when my wedding was at 11 a.m. So he said he would find a ride from the airport and would call my mother to let her know once he found someone, or else he would fly in very late Friday night (never mind that we all had to be up at 6 a.m.) He backed out of his responsibilities as an usher because he had no way to get a tux and try it on in the short time frame he planned on being home.
Pretty much everyone thought he was being incredibly selfish (he knew about this a year in advance and had plenty of time to save money for a plane ticket and tuxedo, and did his girlfriend really have to be there?)
In any case, he called my mom 2 days before the wedding to say that he would fly in late Friday night because no one was willing to get him at the airport the morning of the wedding. My mom went on Orbitz- and the cheapest flight was $600, meaning she’d have to spend $1200 to fly him and his girlfriend in from Boston. If he had booked earlier in the week, it would have been $150 round trip. My mother told him that there was no way she could spend that much money. (I totally supported this decision– she actually said she would pay for it if I told her I wanted her to.)
Now my brother and I haven’t spoken since all this happened. I’m not sure I’ve forgiven him yet and I don’t want to make the first move. I think he is afraid to contact me (I know my mom’s been trying to get him to call and at least apologize). I’m just kind of lost on what to do in this situation.
Post # 3
If you aren’t ready to forgive him, then maybe you should let it go for a little while. Otherwise, if you guys talk, you might say something you will regret. Although I’m sure that I would be much harsher than you right now (I personally would have gone ballistic on my brother if he did this, but you’re obviously a much nicer person), I think you should probably wait until he calls you or just call him when you’re ready to talk.
I’m sorry you had to deal with this leading up to your big day! He’s probably pretty ashamed (or at least think most people would be), and he will regret flip flopping for so long and missing out.
Post # 4
I was upset with my brother’s after my wedding too. They definitely showed up and were great the week leading up to and the day of the wedding. However, they got extremely drunk at the reception, when my parents told them they couldn’t multiple times. We were doing the circle dance (me and my husband dancing in the middle and everyone rushes in on you) and my brothers were rushing in so hard that they knocked us to the ground. That ended up being our last dance and was a bad feeling to leave the day as.
So, definitely not as extreme of situation as yours, but they both knew I was not happy with them and I refused to talk to them for a while. They both appologized in their own time. I viewed it as I did nothing wrong and was owed an appology. Its water under the bridge now, but definitely wait for your brother to come to you. He was in the wrong!
Post # 5
Yeah, I don’t want to have a huge fight, but I am worried that he’ll just get more and more afraid to contact me, and our relationship will be destroyed forever… which is not what I want.
Post # 6
Wow, that really sucks. I feel bad FOR you about this whole thing… Coming from a family of all girls, my advice may be off base; keep that in mind… When things like this happen, I definitely think giving it time to cool down is the best idea. It seems like you are still pretty hurt about the situation (and rightfully so!) so I might give it another month or so to really let go. I have had some blow-ups with my sisters before, and the worst one I spent 3 months without talking to one of them. It’s a long time, but it was a really emotional issue for both of us, and we just couldn’t talk before that without freaking out on each other.
After you feel better, maybe you can send him an email (or Myspace or IM or whatever he is most likely to respond to). You don’t have to be confrontational, but you can just phrase it as you’re "checking in" and you’d like to talk about what happened at the wedding, too. I think sometimes it’s hard to make the first move, but if you really want to repair the relationship it’s sometimes the only way. Then, when you do get a chance to actually talk (over the phone or in person) you can tell him how much it hurt you that he wasn’t at your wedding. I would stay away from the whole lecturing him about his irresponsibility and lifestyle thing (my sisters never take to that for some reason 🙂 but stress the emotional distance you felt because he was missing. Hopefully, this will open him up a little bit so he can apologize and you can get on with forgiving him. And at the same time you can let him know he has a little niece or nephew on the way and how much you hope he’ll be involved in your baby’s life. I think baby’s always make conversations a little more lovey-dovey than they normally would be. 🙂
Post # 7
I’ve two younger brothers and have just begun to repair my relationship with one of them – we hadn’t spoken for about six years. Please, please, make sure enough time has passed that you can be calm but don’t let it go any longer than that. Hurt feelings can compound – and a fracture in a relationship can quickly become a break that takes far too long to heal. I’ll echo Mrs. Spring and say reach out however is best for the two of you – email, text, IM, phone, whatever – and, if you can, make it all about how much you love him. It’s because you love him that it hurt that he wasn’t there and it’s that same love that makes it imperative that you reach out to him.
Best of luck.
Post # 8
Ha! Yes, Mrs. Spring! I love the idea of using a little niece or nephew to soften him up. I need to start using this pregnancy to my advantage! 🙂
Post # 9
It is possible that he doesn’t realize this was actually a big deal. Guys don’t think about this like we do, and missing a wedding might be put in the same category as missing a graduation. He may think it was unfortunate but not be sorry about it. I think he’s probably more at odds with your mom. It seems like he’s being pretty defensive in dealings with her. I bet he’ll be much nicer with you. Call him and tell him that you were hurt that he couldn’t attend, but don’t attack him or demand an apology. It’s not worth ruining your relationship to hold a grudge about this.
Post # 10
No advice but just wanted to say you are not alone. I have a brother and a sister and neither of them could be bothered to attend my wedding either. My brother had huge financial problems and truly could not afford to fly in, but at the same time my parents offered to pay for his flight and he declined. He later appologized to me but I will be hurt always from that. My sister was even worse. She failed to even RSVP, and when I sent an email asking if she was coming she flew off the handle and was hugely cruel, saying she couldn’t attend because she was giving a work presentation that day (like your brother, she knew about it over a year in advance and owns her own business so she deliberately scheduled an event on my wedding day). I don’t know why siblings do things like this. I never confronted her about it because I feel like she already "voted with her feet" to have nothing to do with me ever again. I’m sorry for your pain.