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You Asked: Am I Being Too Extreme?

Dear Sugar,
I have been with my fiance for five and a half years, and we have been engaged for two. Both of us come from very traditional southern families. Since I am black and he is white, they felt very uncomfortable about our relationship and pending marriage, so we decided to wait and let everything calm down before tying the knot. My cousin, who introduced me to my fiance, got engaged a year after me and has since stabbed me in the back. I have spent the last nine months helping her plan her wedding, and when we went home a few weeks ago, I found out that her fiance doesn't want my fiance invited to their wedding. She has let him stir up trouble by talking to other family members who had finally accepted my relationship. Her fiance lectured me about the history of white men and black women, and what made me so angry is that my cousin sat right there and agreed with him!

Despite the fact that we have just bought a house and are saving for our wedding next year, I put serious financial strain on us by helping her plan her wedding. I have shelled out well over $2,000, and my fiance even gave me an extra $1,000 to pay for the shower and bachelorette party. She's being a huge hypocrite because she has dated outside of her race too, but when we talked this week, she said she stands behind her fiancé 100 percent, and since it's his wedding too, he has a right to make choices on the guest list. That was the final straw for me. I have handed over all the plans for the bridal shower and bachelorette party to another bridesmaid and have let her know that I am not going to her wedding, which is in three months. Family members think I'm being extreme and have an obligation to go, but I just can't get past my anger toward her and the pain she's caused me. Do I have a right to be this upset, or am I really being to extreme? — Backstabbed Brandy

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Backstabbed Brandy,

Since I don't know all the details here, the only advice I can offer you is to trust your instincts on this one. It's pretty clear that your cousin is rocking the boat — could it be because she wants to be the only one in the spotlight? Since you're engaged too, she might be feeling some sort of competition with you. Whatever her reasoning, I agree that there's no excuse for her to throw you under the bus, so to speak, in front of your family. It's very clear that you're in love and have a strong relationship to be able to overcome the stresses and pressure of your family, so try not to let your cousin's fiance make you feel any differently. Interracial dating means something different for everyone, but at the end of the day, if you love each other, that's honestly all that matters.

I'm all for putting family first, but sometimes you have to put yourself even before them. Since you're understandably angry with your cousin, I don't blame you for passing off your duties, but you might want to reconsider skipping out on her wedding. Since it's three weeks away, could you have a heart to heart with her and hash out your differences before the wedding day? I think if you were honest with her and make her understand how she's made you feel, perhaps you can put this behind you, or at least agree to disagree. Feeling backstabbed by anyone is a terrible feeling, so let her know that it's her lack of support that is hitting such a nerve with you. She obviously likes your fiance to some extent or else she wouldn't have set you up in the first place, so remember that sometimes brides become bridezillas, even if they can't see it, and perhaps time will just be what it takes to mend your hurt feelings. Good luck.

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Join The Conversation
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Do not attend the wedding, but write her and your family a letter explaining why. Then, go directly to Judge Judy and ask for the $3000 back, because I really, really would love to see your cousin trying to explain her reasoning to Judge Judy. Priceless. I guess I don't know legally if you can get your money back, but still....maybe you could contact the vendors and ask for it back!
sorrowja sorrowja 9 years
I don't think you're in the wrong your cousin is being disrespectful to your relationship and you would be also if you showed up without your husband to be. If he didn't want to go that would have been one thing. But she's being rude so whatever . . . .she's standing behind her husband you do the same. It if set the standard for when you guys do get married.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
you are not in the wrong.
evenxstarx evenxstarx 9 years
Girl you are not overreacting whatsoever! No offense, but your family sounds like a bunch of jerks! If your cousin and her fiance don't want your man to come to their wedding, then fine. Who wants to go to a wedding with a bunch of racists anyway. Also, if I were you, I wouldn't have postponed my own wedding. I would tell my parents that this is the man I love, if you don't accept him because of his SKIN COLOR then you don't accept me! Have your wedding without them if they're so against it.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
Don't go to the wedding, and get your fiance's money back. WOW, what racists! How dare they accept your's and his money, then badmouth him like that?? That's despicable!! I'm sorry you had to be in that situation...Not having your family accept the man you love because of race is truly heart-breaking. I suggest you move on and realize that their set of mind is wrong, and they are the ones being intolerant.
linb linb 9 years
@avettafawna: They are refusing to invite someone because of his race. I don't think they give a s*** about etiquette.
thatsjoanna thatsjoanna 9 years
U made the right choice. I would never want to through or be part of a wedding for someone who is not cool with the person I love and turned her back on me when she was the one who introduced U two in the first place. She is not a true friend or family member and you don't need that kind of negative in your life. I am in a situation like yours. I am black and my soon-to-be hubby is white. My dads side of the family is very not open-minded to the idea while no one else cares. Good luck with yours b/c I am still have trouble with my problem . :(
geebers geebers 9 years
Everyone here had amazing advice. I am so angry on your behalf. Send your cousin this letter: Dear cousin, I am very sorry that you do not respect the relationship I have with my beloved fiance. I am also surprised to learn you are against him for his race because you were the one to introduce us. I will always be thankful for your introducing me to a man that loves and respects me. He is so amazing that even though he is not welcome to the wedding, he has provided me with the financial support I required to help you with your wedding. As we are family, I will consider the $3000 I spent on you a generous gift towards your wedding. Please have a wonderful wedding without us and know that if you ever change your mind and wish to be in our lives, we will be here. All the best, Brandy And for your family -tell them a variation of the letter as why you will not be attending the wedding. Let them know that if they really cared about you, they would respect your decision just as YOU have respected HER wish to not bring him to the wedding and YOU have helped HER with her wedding at your own expense. I would cut them out of my lives if they did not agree with that.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
First of all, I applaud you for sticking to your guns. Family pressure can be quite intimidating, because as much as you want to disagree with them, they are still your family. However, there are some things that are not acceptable, family or not. This is definitely one of them. If I were you, I would tell them all to go to hell, send them my bill for all of your financial contributions, and move on with my life. You don't need poisonous people like that in your life. Reciprocity is 99.9% of relationships, and your cousin and her fiance have no grasp on what that means. Cut your have you man.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
Her and her fiance sound like terrible people. I am not really understanding what the history of black women and white men has to do with anything? I think you have made a wise decision. It is unfortunate that she used your money first though. I would tell the other family members exactly how hurt you are and why, and then tell them that you do not ever want to talk about this again. You have to surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive.
seishi5 seishi5 9 years
Brandy - you totally made the right decision by opting out of her wedding AND by being gracious about it (a LOT more than your cousin!) Your fiancee will soon be your immediate family. As I'm sure you already know you will often have to face other people's prejudice and hurtful actions. It is even worse when it comes from family. Unfortunately you have to be prepared to handle these situations head on and stand true and tall next to your soon to be husband. It will often feel like you two against the world. But you can do it! You already are! You showed them that it is their loss. I think it is good for you to be gracious but aloof and make it clear that you will not be attending any function or engaging in any relationship where your fiancee is not welcome. The family will come around or they won't - you have been more than patient and more than gentle. These issues will become even clearer when you have children and see the rejection and hurt through their eyes. Time to take care of yourself! yOu're doing a good job!
I would be a whole lot worse to her than you. I'd make sure that your duties were "forgotten." I would not make sure someone would cover your part. If she can expect you to do all the planning for her bachelorette party, then not invite your fiance to the wedding (which thereby is the same as not inviting you), she should expect that bachelorette party is going to be a bust, cuz, oops, you forgot to pay the deposit!
So, let's get this straight, his money was good enough for them, but he's not?! I'd be demanding the $3,000 back, and if she refuses, small claims court. I wouldn't go to the wedding, and if the family agreed with her, they wouldn't be invited to mine. Family is often a big problem in new marriages, and it's often better to realize that you are creating your own family with someone who loves you for you, and of which you do the same. Wow, I can't believe she allowed you to shell out the money and effort to help her plan her wedding, when she probably knew your fiance wasn't going to be invited all along. She was stringing you along until the invites went out!
isahrangme isahrangme 9 years
Sure, there are times when you should stick by your family, but your cousin is family NOT BY CHOICE. Your fiance will be your family BY CHOICE! You should stick by him!! I am so sorry that you are in this situation... it really sucks!
miriah15 miriah15 9 years
Based on what you've said, you're completely 100% in the right!
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
I think you should not go to the wedding, and make it known why. Also, do not invite your cousin to your wedding, and think seriously about not inviting anyone else who defends her choice. Or, if you're really brave, go to the wedding with your fiance. You'd probably owe him big time, though, for the unpleasantness which could likely transpire.
avettafawna avettafawna 9 years
The sad thing about this situation is that this isn't just about your cousin's wedding, but the rest of your lives. Obviously she is marrying a very immature and hateful man, and I can't imagine that he'll embrace your fiance and treat him like a friend at holidays and other family events in the future events. Obviously, don't go to their wedding. If I were you I'd even bypass the cousin and go to the fiance directly and let him know that, wedding or not, this man is a part of your life and he is not going away. It seems the situation has gone far past the point of politeness. Stand by your man 100%, and don't take any more sh*t from this racist freeloader. Also, linb- I think the rules of etiquette state pretty clearly that if you accept large financial donations from a family member or friend toward your wedding, then you're quite obligated to invite them.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
And don't invite them to your wedding either!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Do not reward bad behavior! I'd never go in a million years. If your family sees her walking all over you then they will not respect your decision to be with your to-be husband. I don't agree with Dearsugar on this one, it is just too awful. I agree with bellaressa, stand by your man. Just imagine if it was the other way around. Heck no!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Hello, I understand what you mean coming from a Southern family and their traditions (I can't really understand the racist behavior); nevertheless, you have to decide whether or not you want this negative behavior in your life. You met your match, you two have to be each other's back bone. Think about this: when you and your husband have children will they mistreat their own flesh and blood; b/c when you marry he will be their family and so will the kids from this production. I would give them a piece of mine, be very kind, smile, and have a small get together and set the family straight. I would decline to take part in her wedding, why should you - you need to stand behind your man (she is no matter how ignorant he is). Therefore, you must due the same. Do not allow them to make you disrespect your relationship or your SO. It is wrong for any type of racist behavior to take place, if anything think about your future children and living through a life of this constant words and fighting. I wish you luck!
MiMi1979 MiMi1979 9 years
Wow. I think if I were in your situation, I would cut my losses, skip the wedding (telling my cousin WHY), and wish the bride and groom well. Then, when it was MY turn to get married, leave them off the invitation list. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Good luck!
killertomato killertomato 9 years
I think you are underreacting. They don't want your fiance now that they've cashed your check? Leave them. Divorce them all from your life.
miss-jaxx miss-jaxx 9 years
You are not overreacting. Send your cousin a bill for all the money you AND your fiance have shelled out for her. What she is doing is completely wrong.
DCRoamer DCRoamer 9 years
I tried to put myself in the cousins shoes and justify why she should be able to tell you that your fiance can't come. But, try as I might, I can't defend what she did. Don't go to the wedding, and hold your head high.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
u made the mature and rational choice. she is unappreciative and just plain rude. she has absolutely no class and has the audacity to defend herself and her man. shame on them. u r not being extreme.
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