Post # 1
I have quite a conundrum about inviting a member of my family to our wedding (In September!!!!). There is quite a bit of back story, some of which I’ll go into, some of which I won’t.
I’m talking about my half/step brother, referred to as JR from here on out. He is my Dad’s son and up until my father passed away we were on ok terms. He’s never been my favorite person in the world based on his personal choices but I’ve tried not to hold those against him. In May our Dad passed away. There is a LONG story about what happened then but all that needs to be said is that instead of spending what little time was left with Dad, he left the hospital to go to a bar (no worries about my Dad, my Mom was there with him). When he came back, Dad had passed and JR didn’t even seem to care. This is something I just can’t get past. I was out of town at a wedding and received a call from my Mom at 9:30 PM saying he passed; my Fiance and I only got to my parents house at 11:00 PM. I wish I could have seen my Dad one last time, but that’s neither here nor there.
Besides the above, JR is insensitive, rude, obnoxious, and a drunk. He has 3 children who are out of control and also obnoxious and rude. Knowing my brother he will be drunk before the ceremony starts (and may even drive to the wedding drunk). He also smokes and I’m afraid he’ll burn our venue down (we’re getting married at an outdoor location located DEEP in the Catoctin Mountains!). To put it another way, he and his family have no respect for property.
My other brother, BW, said that if JR gets out of control he’ll throw him out, which I appreciate but I know would just cause a scene. I don’t want to have to ask the bartender to cut him off at 1, and I don’t want to have him escorted off the premises.
My question to the hive is: Should I still invite him? I think he’ll end up stressing me out, and embarrassing me. My Fiance says it’s up to me but that he thinks it’s easier to invite him and deal with the repercussions where as I think it’s easier to lie to him afterwards.
After talking with a friend, he said to not invite him and save myself the stress.
Neither answer puts me at peace and I could use some insight from the fabulous members of the hive.
Post # 3
I feel for you! What an awful situation to be in. I think I would do what your fiance suggested – invite him and deal with any repercussions after. If you don’t invite JR, any breakdown/drama in the relationship would start with your slight. If you do invite JR and he ends up acting up, no one can really fault you or your reaction. And hopefully, you’ll get lucky and he’ll be on "good" behavior. It’s tough to say what the right advice is…no one wants a potential scene on their wedding day either!
Post # 4
Is it possible to have a mutual friend or family member "babysit" him, and make sure that he doesn’t get too much to drink or get too out of control? That way he coud be there, but wouldn’t be as terrible as nuisance…
Post # 5
My brother is schizophrenic and I have similar issues with him. I didn’t have a choice not to invite him because he is my brother, but I did make choices that would effect his behavior. First, I gave him the job of being an usher and walking one of my grandmas down the aisle — this gave him a sense of responsibility and purpose. I also had not only my parents, but also a few very close friends keep an eye on him so I would not have to. This worked out great because I know he was tempted to drink during the cocktail hour, and my friends and family made sure he was only served non-alcohol drinks.
It is pretty amazing how people with issues pull through during events like weddings. Keep in mind, that though you disapprove of his behavior during your fathers passing, that JR was obviously dealing with it the only way he knew how. My brother has not yet been in that situation, but when he is we know we will find him high as a kite – because that is what he does.
I wish you the best of luck, and though I’m sure most would disagree I think that you shoud not only invite him, you should make him feel needed.
Post # 6
I do not think that you have to invite your stepbrother to your wedding if you really don’t want him there. The person most likely to be hurt by this, your dad, isn’t around anymore to care. It sounds like the rest of your family understands that his behavior is problematic at best.
I do think that you need to ask yourself what the repercussions will be. I would assume that if you don’t invite him, whatever relationship you have with him will be seriously affected. If you’re not actually planning on spending the holidays with him every year (or any year) – if you don’t really spend time with him anyway – that may not be a problem. If you’re going to sit down to Christmas dinner at your mom’s house with him and his family, it could be pretty uncomfortable. If the rest of your family somehow thinks he should be there, and this is going to be a point of contention all around, that could also be a problem.
I had serious doubts about how my SIL would be at the wedding – and had a friend *on duty* to remove her if necessary. However, it turned out that she behaved quite well (for her). She sat in a corner and sort of sulked, and left early. No crazy scenes, which was my great fear. So it is possible that your stepbrother would behave okay, if not wonderfully.
As for the issue of your dad’s death, I would actually advise you to let it go if you can. My SIL is still furious at my husband, over a year after their dad’s death, because he wasn’t at the bedside. She was there – although she had hardly seen him the past year, and mostly had a terrible relationship with him. We had made a huge effort to visit as often as possible (he was quite ill for over a year), and had been there just the weekend before. We were actually taking my husband’s kids on a weekend trip that they had really been looking forward to when his dad died. You would think that he might feel bad about that, but he really doesn’t. As far as he is concerned, he really didn’t want to be there at the end. And while he never would have let his dad die alone, his mother, sister, and brother were there. My point is, people deal with grief differently. Only your stepbrother knows whether he really should have been at your dad’s bedside, and he will have to make his own peace with his decision. Carrying this particular grudge is probably going to hurt you more in the long run than it will hurt him.
Post # 7
if you don’t invite him, is it possible he might find out about the wedding and crash it anyway? i’m sure he’s definitely going to make a scene if it comes down to that!
Post # 8
I am sorry to about your fathers passing it is never easy for anyone to lose a parent because we feel they should live forever. I understand you being mad at your brother because you couldn’t be by his side or even to say your final goodbye. But remember everyone deals with pain differently grieves differently maybe you had a great relationship with your dad and him not so much. I’m not saying it is right some people are dumb but that is still your brother. From what you wrote it sounds like why bother It sounds like you have more reason not to invite him other than you are related. Sometimes you have to separate your self from family because they don’t want good for you because they can’t get pass themselves. If I was you I wouldn’t invite him because you have to draw a line in the sand and it is taking the focus off of you and your future husband day.
I hope and pray you find you way through all the turmoil
Post # 9
I still haven’t found an answer that puts me at peace, but I truely do understand where everyone is coming from, and am thankful for your insight.
My other brother has volunteered to babysit him, but it goes way beyond just JR. He has 3 children that will also act out, and they don’t listen to anyone telling them to stop.
My main issue is that he and his children won’t respect the property where we are getting married. The rules state no smoking, but I’m sure he’ll still smoke. There are a lot of dead animals; either stuffed, or their bones, and I don’t want to risk them being broken. (We’re getting married at a nature preserve, NOT a cemetary!!! Haha)
My Mother doesn’t care for his behavior either. He has been quite rude to her since Dad’s been gone, and he makes her uncomfortable.
JR and I are not close at all and I don’t see that changing in the future.
While I’m sure there will be repercussions, I’d much rather deal with them AFTER the wedding than to deal with him AT the wedding.
Post # 10
I’m so sorry to hear about this additional stress being added to your day. I think it is probably best to invite him, have someone babysit him and hope for the best. The only thing you can control is yourself and your actions – so nobody can blame you for it later. As for the kids, could you possibly have a separate area where kids could be entertained/play? Or maybe no kids at all? (i know that one is harsh)… you hate to ask others to not enjoy your wedding, but it sounds like you’ve got a great support system. What about asking your Mother to speak to him prior? Although that may just stir things up even more…
Oh, i can only hope he’d be considerate enough to keep himself under control.. Good luck! I’ll be sending you good thoughts as you make this decision!
Post # 11
You said you’re not close at all, and the wedding sounds like it’s far away from home: Given this, what are the odds of him coming at all even if you do invite him?
If you think there’s a good chance he will come, perhaps you could invite him but make the invitation as (legitimately) unappealing as possible. In the least, you could invite JR but specify no children. It’s one thing to babysit a grown person who’s out of control and another to babysit both that person and his three out-of-control children. Maybe he will be offended at the no-kids proviso and none of them will come as a result.
Aside from the wedding question though, please don’t hold JR’s reaction to your father’s death against him. People deal with grief in myriad ways, and not all of them will make sense to the outside observer. Just because he appeared or still appears not to care does not mean that’s how he feels on the inside. Shock, denial, self-isolation, and drinking to self-medicate are common reactions to grief. The process is different for everyone and his destructive lifestyle will not be making the process go any faster or easier for him. Regardless of whether you invite him, I hope that helps you understand JR a little better. Good luck.
Post # 12
Some things you might want to consider….
How often after this wedding might you see him? Is he sometimes maybe offensive, or usually offensive? Could this inviation also be an olive branch to patch things up? Do you care to patch things up? Do you know what he (and his family’s expectations are for invitations to your wedding?) (All rhetorical questions.)
My first reaction is to say, don’t invite him if you don’t want to. Who needs "tacky" drama at a classy wedding? You don’t want to think about that stuff when you think about your wedding memories for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if not inviting him creates mounds of trouble, I suppose it’s more difficult to simply not invite.
You said you were having trouble finding an answer that puts you at peace. The problem is that you won’t. You need to simply make the best decision you can. That’s what makes it a hard decision. I just don’t think you will find the perfect answer for this situation. I think we all can feel for you. We’v been there in one way or another. Good luck.
Post # 13
Hey grumpybear, sounds like you’re in a pickle, or at least have a paw stuck in the honey pot (I’m sorry, I’m ridiculous). I may be wrong, but it seems like you’ve already decided to cut JR from the guest list and want permission from your fellow bees to follow through with it. If this is the case, consider permission granted by at least one bee. Any of us might make a different decision (I, for example, will be cringing at the sight of a certain future in-law’s inevitable drunken finger pointing), but only you know your family’s drama and only you will have to live with the aftermath. Go with your gut and don’t look back.
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
This is a tough situation! It sounds like you are very concerned about him coming even with someone watching your brother (and it sounds like his kids will need watchers too) and it seems like you will still be preoccupied by them in the back of your mind during your wedding day. And that’s certainly not what you should be focusing on! I’m on your side for to not invite him, and if he finds out or asks why, then I think you should just be honest and tell him you want to be able to focus on your marriage and not worry about him getting out of control. I know that sounds easier than it is.
If you do end up inviting him, maybe you can set some ground rules a head of time and tell him you are not having children at your wedding (you could make some quite exceptions for those who you don’t mind attending) Good Luck with your decision and best wishes to you and your fiance!
Post # 15
You can’t change other people’s behavior. You can only change your own. I think it is entirely reasonable to NOT invite this person who you KNOW is going to misbehave one way or another at your wedding. Inviting him only legitimizes his claim to be at your wedding to get drunk and embarass you. He will be much harder to get rid of that way. If you don’t invite your brother and he DOES show up, you have grounds to have him removed from the wedding. It is that simple. You are the bride and this is supposed to be your special day. You shouldn’t have to fret like this over an inappropriate member of your family. So don’t. You deserve to have a wonderful time with family and friends who are there because they love you and your husband, not because there might be free drinks or opportunity to start drama.<span class=”postby”>
Post # 16
I am so sorry …. at my brothers wedding his wife had the same situation but it was her dad so she invited him but had my brothers two best friends keep an eye on him .. if he acts up have him kicked out by a close family member or friend lol it works … good luck