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Saying No to Being a Bridesmaid in Sibling's Wedding

"I Don't Want to Be in My Brother's Wedding"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I'm not mean, my brother is 22 years old ( I am 27). I'm very happy that he is getting married. His soon to be wife was hidden from the family for the entire time that they (3 years) were together. He just told our family that he was going to get married . . . his soon to be wife is 19 years old and has a five-year-old year and he was scared that we were going to judge him.

My brother and I aren't close, we have had a lot of conflicts over the years and although we have made up and put the past in the past, I still feel as if he resents me for mistreating him when we were kids. He constantly belittles me, and makes fun of me in front of my boyfriend and family, and he puts me down. I'm much older now so I don't stoop to his level.

He doesn't even have my phone number saved and deliberately ignores my texts messages. For Christmas and birthdays he throws money at me and says he wishes he didn't have to get me anything.

I get the fact that he really dislikes me and it hurts a lot. There's not much more then I can do. I would do his college schedule for him as a favor and it's been a while since I graduated, and somehow or another that got messed up. He blamed me and accused me for making his school time period longer but truly I thought the best way was how I was doing it (was the best way). I graduated over five years ago, so it's been a while.

I have even gone to the point of inviting his future wife out but she also shows hostility to me and refuses each offer. He wants me to be in his wedding because my mother said it's important but I feel as if he feels as if he is obligated to have me in his wedding. At this point in time, I'm starting to just forget that he exists to say that I have 2 brothers instead of 3.

I have attempted to talk to him about this and try to make amends but to no avail, the problem just remains. He refuses to talk about things and walks away or leaves the house. I have decided that maybe it's time to just let him go, to just allow him to be who he wants to be. With that, I am contemplating whether or not I should even be in his wedding. I'm really thinking about this thoroughly because I know once I go through with this there is no coming back.

What are your suggestions?

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motoco motoco 5 years
I feel like I am an expert at these interfamily relationships like this as my husbands family is like an up and down thrill ride I don't want to be on. I feel like in the end you have to do the right thing because after you look back you will know in your heart YOU did the right thing and he cannot throw that in your face. I would go be in the wedding. There isn't that much interaction there anyway. And as for the reception where there is a lot more interaction I would go and make an apperance for photos and then get a headache or your husband has a mysterious illness and beg off. Then you would have done the correct thing. He cannot fault you. Your family cannot fault you. You have again been the bigger person. And then looking back (years or months) from then it will not be another hurtful item to throw at you. My husband's favorite saying is "Living well is the best revenge" to mistreatment by family members and others. I know karma takes a while. But it does come around. And sometimes I do stew about it myself for all the hurtful things that have been done to us and we have choosen to rise above them. I'd like to get my licks in too but ultimately sinking to a level that I don't want to be at will do more harm to myself (my heart) and my husband. So, we live in our own happiness bubble and only have to deal with our "headaches" only on a very limited basis. We choose to have friends as family and rely on my family for love and support.Just my two cents. I know it is a hard situation because it is so hurtful. If you rise above it then you will always know you have done the right thing and no matter how he treats you from then on it can be done if you choose but no one in the family can fault you. They will see his behavior for what it is. Childish, selfish and hateful.
motoco motoco 5 years
I feel like I am an expert at these interfamily relationships like this as my husbands family is like an up and down thrill ride I don't want to be on. I feel like in the end you have to do the right thing because after you look back you will know in your heart YOU did the right thing and he cannot throw that in your face. I would go be in the wedding. There isn't that much interaction there anyway. And as for the reception where there is a lot more interaction I would go and make an apperance for photos and then get a headache or your husband has a mysterious illness and beg off. Then you would have done the correct thing. He cannot fault you. Your family cannot fault you. You have again been the bigger person. And then looking back (years or months) from then it will not be another hurtful item to throw at you. My husband's favorite saying is "Living well is the best revenge" to mistreatment by family members and others. I know karma takes a while. But it does come around. And sometimes I do stew about it myself for all the hurtful things that have been done to us and we have choosen to rise above them. I'd like to get my licks in too but ultimately sinking to a level that I don't want to be at will do more harm to myself (my heart) and my husband. So, we live in our own happiness bubble and only have to deal with our "headaches" only on a very limited basis. We choose to have friends as family and rely on my family for love and support. Just my two cents. I know it is a hard situation because it is so hurtful. If you rise above it then you will always know you have done the right thing and no matter how he treats you from then on it can be done if you choose but no one in the family can fault you. They will see his behavior for what it is. Childish, selfish and hateful.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
This is so sad to me. I'm sorry you have no relationship with your brother, but you seem to have tried very hard to mend things and mature. He's not ready to do that yet. Honestly, I don't think I'd go if I were in your shoes. Send a really nice "Congratulations" card and move on. Maybe one day he'll be ready to grow up and he'll want to move on as well. Until then, I say the ball is in his court and you are free to go your merry way.However, I do agree with missmaryb that you should probably consider the impact if you choose not to attend. Will it be worth it not to go?
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
This is so sad to me. I'm sorry you have no relationship with your brother, but you seem to have tried very hard to mend things and mature. He's not ready to do that yet. Honestly, I don't think I'd go if I were in your shoes. Send a really nice "Congratulations" card and move on. Maybe one day he'll be ready to grow up and he'll want to move on as well. Until then, I say the ball is in his court and you are free to go your merry way. However, I do agree with missmaryb that you should probably consider the impact if you choose not to attend. Will it be worth it not to go?
missmaryb missmaryb 5 years
I'm sorry you and your brother are unable to get past childhood resentments. It sounds like he isn't mature enough to put the past in the past and develop an adult relationship with you. If you said no at this point I don't think you'd be doing any more damage. But you also need to ask yourself....can you live with whatever fallout will occur from your choice? It could potentially get the entire family into an uproar. It could really snowball into something huge. Will your mother have a heart attack over it? Will there potentially be a nasty blowout where people say things that can't be taken back? Will your other brothers take sides? Just things to consider. If you can weather it and think it's worth it in the end, then do what you feel is the best for you and what will help you to cope with this toxic relationship. If you decide you should be in it for the sake of family peace, just remember it's only one day. It might suck, but you will get through it. Good luck with your decision.
Miss-Kaylie Miss-Kaylie 5 years
It's entirely up to you. It sounds like your mom is forcing him to ask you to be a part of the wedding. I think it's your choice, if you're comfortable doing that or not. I personally, would politely decline the invitation to be in the wedding party, and then decide later on if I wanted to attend in general. Good luck, brothers can be tough!
BiWife BiWife 5 years
My brother & I are estranged as well (to the point that we've blocked each other on facebook). We try to make up every couple of years, but within a couple of conversations he's lording over me with his intellectual superiority (he finished his B.A. I did not), his antiquated perceptions of a "perfect marriage", how I'm not meeting his standards. It's most aggravating because despite his criticisms, I'm the one that's had a satisfying marriage over the last decade, while he's not even kept a girlfriend around for more than a couple of weeks (and job hops almost as frequently, meaning he's often a friend's couch away from homelessness). It's just a toxic cycle of anger, bitterness, and resentment that isn't good for either of us. When I got married, my brother was there to hold the camera, since my dad married us & my sister walked me down the aisle, but he wasn't in my wedding party. Likewise, my husband's sister (even more critical of us & our relationship, my sister is best friends with us tho so we didn't strike out completely on siblings) wasn't even allowed to attend our ceremony due to the extremely vocal nature of her anger/resentment & we didn't want her shouting something mean mid-ceremony after she did just that at the rehearsal dinner. I don't know why your brother is trying to make you part of his wedding party when he and his wife are so openly critical of you and your family - unless there is some familial guilt-tripping going on in the background that is somewhat obligating him to at least ask you. Personally, I would have no part in the wedding. I think that it would be superficial & obligatory, one more thing you'd done for him to tick off on the score sheet we all keep. Then later when he refuses to be there for you or does something bad, you can hold the wedding over his head. (Sadly, that's where my sibling rivalry would push me if my brother asked me to be part of his wedding - I realize it's childish and pointless, I'm still working on getting a healthy attitude towards him) Go to the reception & celebrate with everyone, but skip the ceremony & being part of the wedding party. It's a good compromise that should make great-aunt Cindy happy & not make you have to sit thru dress fittings, cake tastings, and bridal shower and such with people that don't like you & aren't afraid to show it.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
My brother & I are estranged as well (to the point that we've blocked each other on facebook). We try to make up every couple of years, but within a couple of conversations he's lording over me with his intellectual superiority (he finished his B.A. I did not), his antiquated perceptions of a "perfect marriage", how I'm not meeting his standards. It's most aggravating because despite his criticisms, I'm the one that's had a satisfying marriage over the last decade, while he's not even kept a girlfriend around for more than a couple of weeks (and job hops almost as frequently, meaning he's often a friend's couch away from homelessness). It's just a toxic cycle of anger, bitterness, and resentment that isn't good for either of us. When I got married, my brother was there to hold the camera, since my dad married us & my sister walked me down the aisle, but he wasn't in my wedding party. Likewise, my husband's sister (even more critical of us & our relationship, my sister is best friends with us tho so we didn't strike out completely on siblings) wasn't even allowed to attend our ceremony due to the extremely vocal nature of her anger/resentment & we didn't want her shouting something mean mid-ceremony after she did just that at the rehearsal dinner. I don't know why your brother is trying to make you part of his wedding party when he and his wife are so openly critical of you and your family - unless there is some familial guilt-tripping going on in the background that is somewhat obligating him to at least ask you. Personally, I would have no part in the wedding. I think that it would be superficial & obligatory, one more thing you'd done for him to tick off on the score sheet we all keep. Then later when he refuses to be there for you or does something bad, you can hold the wedding over his head. (Sadly, that's where my sibling rivalry would push me if my brother asked me to be part of his wedding - I realize it's childish and pointless, I'm still working on getting a healthy attitude towards him) Go to the reception & celebrate with everyone, but skip the ceremony & being part of the wedding party. It's a good compromise that should make great-aunt Cindy happy & not make you have to sit thru dress fittings, cake tastings, and bridal shower and such with people that don't like you & aren't afraid to show it.
tjfranco tjfranco 5 years
You did your part. He wanted nothing to do with you. Neither does his supposed fiance. What's there to contemplate? Just don't go. You're going to be miserable, and so are the bride and groom. Just leave it be. You can do better things with that time. Hang out with people who WANT your company. Don't fight the inevitable.
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