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September 2012 Weddings

What Would You Do? (bit of a vent)

My mom has been with my Step-Dad for 8 or 9 years. When we moved in together my step-brother (few years older) lived at home and he and I got to know each other well. We worked together for 2 years while living together, I was at his wedding, was at the hospital when his child was born, helped him out when he was starting up a business. In short, over the years I have been a very supportive step-sister even though our families blended late in the game to form a really strong bond. Over time, I started to only hear from him when he wanted something.

Of course he was invited to our wedding. However, the RSVP date came and went and I never got a response. So I sent him a text...no response. So I sent him a message on facebook...no response. Finally, I contacted my mom and step-dad to ask them to follow up. They got back to me and said that Step-bro had another wedding the same day as ours and was still figuring out what to do (this is now 4 weeks after the RSVP date). No problem, I understand that we're not that close (obviously) and people have lives that my wedding may not be important to them. But it really bothered me the way he handled it - why couldn't he just tell me that?

Another 3 weeks or so pass and now we're getting to the time where I need to commit to numbers...and still no word from him. So I ask my mom and step-dad to follow up again and get an answer. The answer ends up being no, they had decided to go to the other wedding. Never did get a response card back.

Gotta love facebook though because on the night of the wedding at 9pm Step-Brother posted a photo album of his family...clearly not at another wedding.

So my feelings are very hurt. Not only did he not respond but he didn't even say congratulations, didn't send a card or anything to acknowledge something so important to me. The way I feel now and DH agrees, that we will not include them in our lives going forward or invite him to "family" functions we host. I will of course always be civil around them should I be in the same place at the same time, but I'm done making effort towards him since he clearly makes none towards me. My step-dad would probably have hurt feelings over this as he's always wanted us to be a family unit - the main reason I have always made effort.

Do I tell my mom and step-dad that I am done making effort so they aren't surprised or hurt when they are not included in our Christmas plans, etc? Do I leave it alone until it comes up naturally to avoid unneccessary hurt feelings? Would you feel the same way if you were in this situation? I'd love some input.

On a lighter note, our wedding was incredible. Happiest day of my life and I didn't miss my step brother being there at all. It was a perfect day, exactly how we wanted it!  I absolutely love being married and still have to pinch myself that I can be this happy and not be dreaming. :)

Re: What Would You Do? (bit of a vent)

  • I am so sorry to hear this. I would feel very hurt as well... even though you are not "close" you are family... for him not to even respond to you and let you know that he made prior commitments is just unfair and hurtful. Honestly, if I was in your sitution I would also be civil but not push for a relationship... It takes 2 people to have a relationship not one.. so until he starts making a better effort I wouldn't waste anymore time and energy when he isn't making the same effort.
    On a happier note, I am so glad you have an amazing day :D!
    Visit The Nest! Anniversary
  • DH had family members that were simliar to this. One Uncle finally answered the phone when he called almost 3 weeks after the RSVP date then when DH asked, answered with a short 'no' and hung up on him.

    We're doing as you said, being civil when we see them but not pursuing a relationship of any form with them.
  • I don't think a blatant conversation with your mom and step-dad would be necessary.  For them to not make a big deal over him not being at the wedding, they must know you aren't close.  If you have this conversation with them and it gets back to him, it could cause a lot more drama than just letting it fizzle.  Also, it makes it seem like a reconciliation is impossible if he were to ever try to be family again.  I think it is best to just be civil without making unnecessary efforts and everyone will get the point. 
  • Hi daxvi - congratulations on your marriage!!! I'm so glad your wedding was amazing despite the family drama. I know firsthand how hard it can be to navigate family issues once you're an adult and have gone your own way, and I completely understand why you'd feel hurt that your brother wasn't part of such a special day in your life. Like Loveyk said, it takes two for a relationship, but the challenge is figuring out how to keep that relationship at a healthy level. I'm wondering if maybe the book Boundariesmight not have some good things to consider. Or, there's another great one that I"ve recommended a lot in the time I worked with Focus called Peacemaking for Families. Depending on how much this is stressing you out, you may also want to consider getting some perspective and ideas from a counselor. As a starting point, you could call 855-771-HELP. It's free.

    Hope this helps. Hugs to you, daxvi!
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