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Moms and Maids

Mom forcing relationship with sister on me... Help!

edited October 2015 in Moms and Maids
Hi everyone, 

I've got a bit of a situation here that I'm not sure how to handle.

My younger sister (she's 25 and I'm 29) and I have never had a great relationship. We were cordial as kids, had our typical sibling quarrels, but as we grew up, we grew apart. To make a long story short, she chose the path of drugs and abusive relationships while I chose the path of getting my degree, making a life for myself with a great career and now a great man. I tried to be her sister and tried to help her as much as I could, but we had an event occur about a year and a half ago that I can't let go until she apologizes. 

I have not had any contact with her since. She sent me a text to say congratulations on my engagement and suggested we talk, but when I replied saying thanks and sure, she disappeared again. 

I've kinda moved on. Sure, I love my sister, but it's clear to me that she's not ready to have me in her life again and I've come to terms with the fact that she may not be at my wedding. 

My mom on the other hand... hasn't. We have had a few conversations about it and I've told her what I need from my sister to feel ready to rebuild, but my mom chooses to ignore this. I had specifically said that I don't trust my sister and that if she were to come, there would be a set of rules (i.e., no guests, no drugs and she stays with my mom- since I don't trust her, this seems fair). 

Recently, my mom pulled my MOH aside and asked her to convince me to invite my sister. She also told my MOH that she has already booked the hotel room for my sister and has already extended the verbal invite to her and her boyfriend.

I have a serious problem with this. One, it's mine and my fiance's day. Not anyone elses. We should get to decide who is there and who isn't. Two, I don't appreciate her meddling and trying to force a relationship between us. It makes me want a relationship even less!

Do I just give it up and let it happen? Or do I have the right to stand up for myself? How would I do that without hurting my mom? I'm terrified my sister will show up and be disrespectful and cause a scene- she really is a child in an adults body... A relationship can be fostered in the future when she decides to grow up, but I'm not ok faking it- and I don't believe that this should be centered around my wedding.

Help :(

Re: Mom forcing relationship with sister on me... Help!

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Tell your MOH to disregard anything your mother told her or tells her going forward regarding your sister with "I'm sorry my mom is trying to involve you in this, but I'm the only one with any say regarding my sister's involvement or lack thereof in my wedding. My mom does not. If this ever comes up again, check with me first."

    And have security on hand at your wedding.

    As far as your mother, you can tell her that you've told your MOH to cross-check with you anything she is told about your sister and you'll be telling everyone else involved in your wedding the same (and follow through), and that the subject is closed. Don't accept any money from your mother to pay for the wedding, and return anything she's already given you in order to keep her from using it as leverage regarding your sister.
  • Is your mom financially contributing to your wedding? If she is, then it's not unreasonable for her to have some say in the guest list. If, however, you and your FI are paying for the wedding yourselves then your mom doesn't get to invite anyone without your permission and she'll just have to verbally uninvite your sister. 
    image
  • My mom paid for half my dress- that's all she could afford. I could give her the money back if she tries to hold that against me- but not the dress (I love it too much ;) )! Other than that, FI and I are covering the wedding. 

    My MOH handled it excellently. She really told my mom that it wasn't any of her concern and that the conversation needed to be between mom and myself. She's been great standing her ground- she knows it's not my favorite topic...

    [Deleted User]
  • You're an adult, who has adult relationships with family, and makes adult decisions about those relationships. Unfortunately, one of the hardest parts of adulting is convincing your parents that you are, in fact, an adult and don't need them to run your life.

    Be firm with your mother about this now. Let her know that the guest list is small, your sister's boyfriend will not be accommodated (will not have a place to sit or dinner served) and will be asked to leave, and your sister will only be allowed to stay if your rules are met. The hardest part is to be firm about it. The sooner she learns to step back and let you make your decisions like an adult, the better. 

    FWIW, I think you're making the right choices with your sister. It sounds like you'd like to be there for her, but you don't want to be dragged down by her and her choices.
    kimmiinthemitten
  • drunkenwitchdrunkenwitch member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2015
    Here's one of the best things about being an adult, your parents can't force you to do anything anymore. At all. Period. Once you you are financially independent and moved out if their house their is jackshit they can do to control you.

    Unless you allow them to control you. Dan Savage has the best piece of advice on this: the one leverage you have as an adult child over your parents is your presence. If they don't respect your boundaries, your wishes or you yourself, then they don't get to have you in their lives. Believe me, this works.

    Is it hard? Hell yes. Does it a long time to drive the point home? Hell yes. Is it worth it? Hell to the fucking yes. Tell your mom the subject is closed. Tell her if she continues to bring it up the conversation ends right then and there. Hang up the phone, get up and leave, delete the emails and texts without responding. Do this every single time until she learns that no means no and you mean it.

    Good luck.

    JediElizabeth[Deleted User]
  • Well, I'm going to play devil's advocate and say that you should invite your sister. You already sound like you haven't written her off for good. You're open to a reconciliation with conditions. But if you don't invite her, you can forget about that reconciliation. Not being invited to a siblings wedding when the rest of the family is something that many times breaks a  relationship beyond repair.
  • That is absolutely a fair point.. I will take it into consideration. 

    But yes, it will be with conditions...

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    When is your wedding?  I would not let my mom bully me into a relationship, but if your wedding is far out then I would be open to inviting her if between now and then there was a reconciliation or on the way to one. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    scribe95 said:
    The only thing I have to add is that inviting her to the wedding doesn't necessarily mean fully reestablishing the relationship. It's just one invite. Also, if you do invite her by etiquette you have to invite her boyfriend.
    I agree with this.  I'm not a fan of my brother or his wife.  I've gone 3 years without speaking to them.  I still invited them to my wedding.   Fielding questions from extended family on why my brother wasn't there isn't something I wanted to deal with either.  Its was much easier to invite them, take a few family shots for my parents sake and then be done with it.  Other than the pictures I had little contact with them.

    Oh and I do like my niece and nephew.  They were in my wedding along with the other nieces/nephews.  I wasn't going to punish them from coming to the wedding because their parents can be assholes.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi everyone, 

    I've got a bit of a situation here that I'm not sure how to handle.

    My younger sister (she's 25 and I'm 29) and I have never had a great relationship. We were cordial as kids, had our typical sibling quarrels, but as we grew up, we grew apart. To make a long story short, she chose the path of drugs and abusive relationships while I chose the path of getting my degree, making a life for myself with a great career and now a great man. I tried to be her sister and tried to help her as much as I could, but we had an event occur about a year and a half ago that I can't let go until she apologizes. 

    I have not had any contact with her since. She sent me a text to say congratulations on my engagement and suggested we talk, but when I replied saying thanks and sure, she disappeared again. 

    I've kinda moved on. Sure, I love my sister, but it's clear to me that she's not ready to have me in her life again and I've come to terms with the fact that she may not be at my wedding. 

    My mom on the other hand... hasn't. We have had a few conversations about it and I've told her what I need from my sister to feel ready to rebuild, but my mom chooses to ignore this. I had specifically said that I don't trust my sister and that if she were to come, there would be a set of rules (i.e., no guests, no drugs and she stays with my mom- since I don't trust her, this seems fair). 

    Recently, my mom pulled my MOH aside and asked her to convince me to invite my sister. She also told my MOH that she has already booked the hotel room for my sister and has already extended the verbal invite to her and her boyfriend.

    I have a serious problem with this. One, it's mine and my fiance's day. Not anyone elses. We should get to decide who is there and who isn't. Two, I don't appreciate her meddling and trying to force a relationship between us. It makes me want a relationship even less!

    Do I just give it up and let it happen? Or do I have the right to stand up for myself? How would I do that without hurting my mom? I'm terrified my sister will show up and be disrespectful and cause a scene- she really is a child in an adults body... A relationship can be fostered in the future when she decides to grow up, but I'm not ok faking it- and I don't believe that this should be centered around my wedding.

    Help :(
    Tell your mom that she needs to stop meddling in your relationship (or lack thereof) with your sister.  Tell her that you are both adults and do not need to have things mediated by her anymore.  

    If you want to invite your sister, invite her (and her BF).  Based on your post, I would have security on hand to keep an eye on her.

    If you do not want to invite your sister, don't.  Tell your mom that you are not inviting your sister, end of discussion.  I would also tell your mom that if sister shows up, she will be asked to leave, so it would be best if your mom told sister that she was mistaken about the wedding invite.  If your mom brings it up again, tell her you have already made your decision and you are sorry she doesn't like it, but its final.

    Based on the fact your sister did open the line of communications with you after your engagement, I would be inclined to invite her to the wedding.  Not inviting her might be the slight that completely eliminates any future relationship you have with your sister.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Seeing as you are open to possibly reconciling whenever she reaches out to you to talk, I would invite her to your wedding (along with her BF, if they are still together).  An invite doesn't mean that you have forgiven her or anything of that nature, but it does keep the door open for possibly mending the issues between you two.  Not inviting her could potentially close that door permanently.  Now if you are okay with that, then don't invite her.  But I would be inclined to extend an invite.

    As for your Mom, you need to understand her perspective.  She has two daughters who do not have a relationship.  I am sure that for many parents that can be upsetting.  However, that does not mean that what she is doing is right or overstepping the line.  Tell her that you understand that she wants you and your sister to work things out, but that you are both adults and will do so when you both are in a place to make amends and her being pushy is not helping matters.

  • Seeing as you are open to possibly reconciling whenever she reaches out to you to talk, I would invite her to your wedding (along with her BF, if they are still together).  An invite doesn't mean that you have forgiven her or anything of that nature, but it does keep the door open for possibly mending the issues between you two.  Not inviting her could potentially close that door permanently.  Now if you are okay with that, then don't invite her.  But I would be inclined to extend an invite.

    As for your Mom, you need to understand her perspective.  She has two daughters who do not have a relationship.  I am sure that for many parents that can be upsetting.  However, that does not mean that what she is doing is right or overstepping the line.  Tell her that you understand that she wants you and your sister to work things out, but that you are both adults and will do so when you both are in a place to make amends and her being pushy is not helping matters.
    Yes!  This!  I have a sister with whom I get along just fine.  But I'm not a social person and don't feel the need to talk on the phone as often as my sister or mother would like.  I CAN'T STAND IT when my mom tells me to call my sister.  It turns me into a passive aggressive bitch.  "Well, if you want me to, then I won't."  Completely childish, I know.  But it would just be better if my mom just stayed out of it.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    My brother is in recovery, so my advice is based on the assumption that you're not talking about pot or casual drug use.

    Part of recovery (and detachment for the family members) is about allowing the addict to suffer the consequences of their own behavior. I hope my brother is still in recovery when we get married, but if he's not he's not invited either. Quite frankly, I don't trust the using version of him around potential gifts, an open bar or other people's purses etc. It breaks my heart, but while he was in rehab I was at NarAnon and know now that the right thing isn't usually the easy thing.

    As for your mom, if your sister is an adult she can book and pay for her own hotel and transportation so it sounds like your mom is a pretty bad enabler, hence why she's pushing you hard. She's doing what she thinks is right, surround sister with family and a happy day and she'll realize what she's missing out on. She just doesn't realize how those choices can ultimately hurt in the long run.
    image
    OliveOilsMomlc07
  • I have a very similar situation.  Except its my brother.  I literally was extremely blunt with my mother on the subject.  I honestly did not want him at our wedding however since it is a family event said I would allow him to come to the wedding but he was not to attend prewedding events and for my mother not to expect him to be in the wedding or part of it in any way besides as a guest.  I also told my mother that if I determined he was becoming anything but a happy guest during the wedding or if I saw any partaking in any addictive items that he would be promptly removed.  Harder part is that we are doing a destination wedding so he will be on site so I will be requiring his removal from the resort.  This is where my mother comes in she is basically responsible for his behavior and I will remove him if necessary and I have made that plain to all parties.

    As for my suggestions I suggest being very forward with your mom on this front do not hold back feelings here if something happens and you didn't say it you will regret that you didn't.  Tell your mother that your sister can be invited since it seems you want her there but tell her that she is not to bring a guest (in my opinion that opens the door for more issues).  I would also have a conversation with your sister prior to the event and tell her your expectations and if she doesn't follow them you wont hesitate to have her removed to prevent a disruption.

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