Moms and Maids

FSIL is upset I didn't make her a bridesmaid

So my fiance and his only sister have always been extremely close.  On the other hand,  I have never been close with her, partially because we have different personalities and live in different states, but also because I find her stressful to be around.  The FSIL enjoys conflict and has a history of lashing out at people, including myself.  She has obviously been working on this the last couple of years and is getting better, but can still be very stressful and negative.  When it came time to pick the wedding party we discussed putting his sister in the wedding either as a groomsmaid or a bridesmaid, but for the same reason neither of us wanted to, instead we asked her to do a reading.  While she has not directly talked to me about this apparently the FSIL is very offended and thinks it's weird that she is not a bridesmaid.  I chose my two sisters and best friend to stand up there with me.  I have no brothers, so this is a non-issue for the fiance.  We thought asking her to do a reading was a way to honor her.  I also want to emphasize, that even though we've been dating for several years, my relationship with the FSIL is non-existent outside of the few family functions a year.  Neither of us text, call, or email the other. I did not realize that some families consider it tradition and expect to include the FSIL in the bridal party.  My family is not very big on wedding traditions and my sister did not include hers when she got married.   I feel like my FSIL feels entitled and cares more about appearances than actually supporting me.  With all that being said does anybody have any suggestions or advice on how to deal with this?  Is there anything else we can do to make her feel more involved?  Should I call her (for the first time ever) and try to talk it out or just not address it unless she brings it up to me?  In the end, even though I chose to not include her in my bridal party I do want her to feel loved and included and I am concerned this will effect our future relationship.  Thank you!

Re: FSIL is upset I didn't make her a bridesmaid

  • It might affect the future of your relationship and I am not sure why having her as a BM is such an issue.  Pick the dress you want the BMs to wear, let her know how to order it and that is that.  So she walks down the aisle and is in a few more pictures.  She may or may not attend some pre-wedding parties (bachelorette, shower, etc.) and she may say some unpleasant things.  But guess what, she can do that even if she only does a reading.  If you can, try to avoid hurt feelings at the start of your new life and family.
  • edited May 2014
    My FSIL has made it very clear to my fiance that because she was not an original pick that under no circumstance will she be in the the wedding party. She said she will still do the reading but she is so offended she wants nothing to do with me and that I have severed our relationship forever. I honestly did not know that she was expecting to be a bridesmaid or cared! We realize that we obviously handled this wrong, but now we want to mitigate the damage.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    My FSIL has made it very clear to my fiance that because she was not an original pick that under no circumstance will she be in the the wedding party. She said she will still do the reading but she is so offended she wants nothing to do with me and that I have severed our relationship forever. I honestly did not know that she was expecting to be a bridesmaid or cared! We realize that we obviously handled this wrong, but now we want to mitigate the damage.
    You can't.  As long as she continues to hold childish "It's all your fault, all or nothing" attitudes, there is nothing whatsoever you can do to appease her, so don't try.
    pinkshorts27lc07
  • kmj500kmj500 member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Jen4948 said:
    My FSIL has made it very clear to my fiance that because she was not an original pick that under no circumstance will she be in the the wedding party. She said she will still do the reading but she is so offended she wants nothing to do with me and that I have severed our relationship forever. I honestly did not know that she was expecting to be a bridesmaid or cared! We realize that we obviously handled this wrong, but now we want to mitigate the damage.
    You can't.  As long as she continues to hold childish "It's all your fault, all or nothing" attitudes, there is nothing whatsoever you can do to appease her, so don't try.
    Jen4948 is completely right. I've struggled with a similar situation with my future inlaws. FH confronted the problem members about their poor behavior towards me and they turned it around on him and tried to blame him. A lot of people think you need to "sacrifice the relationship" with everyone in your family but I completely disagree. My family is very close, respects boundaries and have been very supportive of our decisions we've made as a couple. FH's family is very negative, knows no boundaries and shits over every decision we've made because they apparently know how to live our lives better than we do ourselves. We obviously spend most of our time with my family and don't talk much to FH's. Nobody needs that kind of childish behavior in their lives; there is already enough stress from everyday life and it's a waste of time trying to change the behavior of someone that is never going to grow up.

     

  • Thanks everybody.  It is stressing me out and I needed a sanity check!
  • We had asked our SIL to do a reading as well (H's brother's wife). She never said anything about being a BM or not but I think that is what led to a lot of drama right up to the wedding. Sucks, because I did consider her a friend and worked hard to have a good relationship with her and sometimes I question if I had just asked her to be ni the WP if all the drama could have been avoided... but that isn't why I would want to have someone stand by my side.

    Now our relationship is pretty cold, which is sad, but we can attend family functions and have conversations and that's all it needs to be. We don't need to be friends.
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  • Rebl90Rebl90 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    It might affect the future of your relationship and I am not sure why having her as a BM is such an issue.  Pick the dress you want the BMs to wear, let her know how to order it and that is that.  So she walks down the aisle and is in a few more pictures.  She may or may not attend some pre-wedding parties (bachelorette, shower, etc.) and she may say some unpleasant things.  But guess what, she can do that even if she only does a reading.  If you can, try to avoid hurt feelings at the start of your new life and family.
    Do not do this, it's not just "walking down the aisle and a few more pictures".  Your BMs should be the women you are closest to, there are no obligations to include anyone to "avoid hurt feelings".  Do you know how damaging it could be if she complained to you about what kind of dress she's wearing or the shoes she wants to wear, etc.  Negative people like that should be avoided.

    If she's a bitch to you than she is obviously not one of your closest friends and is therefore not bridesmaid material.  Yes, a bridesmaid doesn't have any obligation outside of showing up in the dress that day, but whoever you choose should be people you want there. I would avoid having her in the wedding at all (I got confused - did you already ask her to do the reading?).
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  • edited May 2014
    Update:  Yes, we asked her months ago to do a reading, once we realized she wasn't going to be in the wedding party, and she agreed to do it.  We told her we trusted her to pick the reading or we could pick for her. 

    So after much deliberation I decided to ask her to be a bridesmaid.  Interestingly, this was not my fiance's wish, but he said he would support whatever decision I made.  His stance was he didn't want to indulge her, but he appreciates my effort.  She kept saying that she wasn't mad at me, just disappointed in her brother that she wasn't part of the wedding.  Apparently she does not agree that doing a reading is being part of the wedding???   I tried to emphasize that we never meant to make her feel excluded (hence the reading), but she said she didn't want to feel like an after thought (which I get) and politely declined the bridesmaid invite.  I suspect that this isn't over, but I feel like I've done all I can do.  Also, I've always intended on giving her the same gift I give the bridesmaids, as a gesture of inclusion, but of course never told her this.

    I guess what bothers me is we feel we are making an effort to include all our most loved ones in the process.  FMIL walking the groom down the isle, including his half sister's kids in the procession, etc. So I guess we both felt a bit surprised by this, especially since we consider her to be in the wedding.
      
    I would also like to note that my FMIL not only is not upset, but understands my original picks.  So that helps.  

    Sigh.  Thanks for letting me rant.
    MairePoppylc07
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    kittenkaboodle - you've done the best you can do to appease your FSIL. You should leave it at that. Hopefully, she will realize you're a very nice person and your relationship will improve over time. If she's disappointed in her brother, she should take it up with him. It's very unfair that she has put that burden on you. 
                       
    pinkshorts27lc07
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Exactly what MairePoppy said. You haven't done anything wrong during this process. Time to let it go and not let it stress you out. :)

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  • I'm in a very similar situation; my FSIL is really quite opposite of me, she wants to cause the most conflict she can possibly cause with literally everyone. But, I had to understand that this day isn't entirely about me, and it will effect how my future family will view me. Therefore, I sucked it up and asked her to be a bridesmaid. This isn't the choice for everyone, but I felt like it was what I needed to do to keep the peace and also show my future mother/father in law that I care about the family and want to be apart of their family as well. Good luck, I'm rooting for you!!
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm in a very similar situation; my FSIL is really quite opposite of me, she wants to cause the most conflict she can possibly cause with literally everyone. But, I had to understand that this day isn't entirely about me, and it will effect how my future family will view me. Therefore, I sucked it up and asked her to be a bridesmaid. This isn't the choice for everyone, but I felt like it was what I needed to do to keep the peace and also show my future mother/father in law that I care about the family and want to be apart of their family as well. Good luck, I'm rooting for you!!
    You couldn't be more right about that. I am also in a similar situation and knew there were be a lot of tension if I didn't ask my FSIL to be in the wedding. "Keeping the peace" for the win.

    In response to the original poster's predicament, your FSIL should be happy to be involved during your ceremony, doing a reading. That's a special job reserved for someone close to the bride and/or groom. It's not a requirement that you had to ask her to do anything, and chances are, after your wedding your relationship with her will go back to normal (seeing her a few times a year, etc.). She's being unnecessarily dramatic about this situation and especially if she's saying she will absolutely not be in your wedding if you asked her now, well then there is really nothing you can do other than kill her with kindness when you see her and don't mention too much wedding stuff.
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  • As it's looking right now, I will not see my FSIL until the weekend of the wedding.  She has not responded to multiple emails from my sister about the bachelorette party.  Last time I saw her I asked if she would be able to make it and she said she didn't know, that she was really busy.  Well, okay then.  I asked her if she would at least respond to my sister saying that she wasn't sure yet, but nope, nothing.  This is extra amusing since last year she was bashing her cousin for not wanting to go to her FSIL bachelorette party.  I want her to come to the bachelorette party, but only if she will have fun.  As of right now it's no longer stressing me out, so that's good!  The downside is I have a hard time forgetting things.
  • hjbarton1hjbarton1 member
    First Comment
    edited July 2014
    I have to say, I hate the idea of "her only duty is to buy a dress and stand next to you, what's wrong with just making her a bridesmaid?". I completely disagree. Perhaps it's a bit romantic, but I would only want bridesmaids who are actually close to me. There was one girl who WAS a co-MOH (let's call her Melissa) along with three more of our close friends. She and I had been best friends since 8th grade, but about three years ago she joined the pageant scene and became an entitled, high maintenance diva-monster. I haven't really liked her since, but I've put up with her for the sake of our group. When my engagement was announced, all four girls just assumed they were bridesmaids, and I just went along with it. I made them all co-MOH because it would've hurt too many feelings to pick one, especially as it was we never made it obvious that we favored one over the other. My FH's family thought that it was crazy that I was making a girl that I hadn't liked for years a BM, but I figured it would be more hassle to NOT make her one. If I didn't, she would never speak to me again, and it would also mess up the group dynamic/future weddings/etc. Well, the four girls threw me an impromptu engagement party, and of course, there was drama in just the initial planning phase that night. Melissa and other CMOH, Andrea have never gotten along, but promised they would be civil when it came to the wedding and planning events. Melissa proved that that wouldn't happen on just the first occasion more than a year before the wedding. The whole night ended in tears from just about everyone. She promised the next day that it wouldn't happen again. She also lives with another of my CMOHs, Brittany. They weren't getting along very well. I was still a year out from the wedding, and I could not stop stressing out about this situation - I was literally having dreams/nightmares about it. When Melissa told me that she wouldn't be able to afford the bridesmaid dress I got a little annoyed. She makes a decent amount of money (a lot more than I do) and had plenty of time to save for the dress, knowing how much it was. not to mention I was a little worried about the price of the dress ($170) and contacted each of them individually and offered my help if they needed it. They all thought it was silly and said that $170 wasn't all the much. Of course Melissa says that she can't afford it in a group message with all 7 BMs when talking about the upcoming fitting. She buys a pack of cigarettes a day, a new habit, and goes out every Friday and Saturday night partying. I didn't say any of that, but told her that she doesn't have to be a bridesmaid if she can't afford it. She freaked out on me (which was expected) and said that she would buy a dress that was $1,000,000 for the wedding. When she started saying things like "you're dead to me" to Brittany I started getting involved asking her to at least try and work things out with Brittany for my sake with the upcoming wedding and festivities and she told me to back off because it wasn't any of my business. Brittany also told her to be careful about the things she was saying because I was getting annoyed. She then told Brittany that she didn't care how I felt, and that I would choose her (Melissa) over Brittany if I had to because we'd been friends longer. I then called her and told her that I heard what she said and I was upset that she felt that way. One thing led to another and I told her that she is no longer in the bridal party. She said "awesome" and hung up on me. We haven't spoken since. While at first I was a little upset that she was no longer in my life after being there for 13 years, I got over it pretty quickly as she had changed for the worse and I have been unbelievably stress-free because of it. TL;DR: Do NOT make someone a bridesmaid just for convenience' sake if you feel that person may cause problems. It's not worth the stress that may come with it. Trust your instincts.
  • Ugh, I added paragraphs, but they obviously didn't work. Sorry about that!
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