Moms and Maids

FSIL problems

Alright, so, before I met my fiance, he was liked best-friends with his sister (and he had never dated anyone before). When we started dating, he wanted to spend every waking moment with me and stopped spending as much time with her. I have always encouraged him to make sure that he balances our time together with family time - I'm really close to my family, and family relationships are important. However, he never really made the effort.....and as I got to know his sister - and didn't like her - I was not too keen on spending time with her. I've continuously encouraged him to spend time with her without me (just because I don't like her doesn't mean he shouldn't spend time with his sister) but he doesn't like doing anything without me. 

Anyways, a few weeks ago, his sister sent me an email - she is supposed to be a bridesmaid in our wedding, 2 months from now - and said that she does not support my fiance and I getting married and that she thinks her brother is making a mistake. She never explained why she felt this way, so my fiance and I invited her over so that we could talk and figure out where everything was coming from.

She said that she feels like her feelings don't matter to her brother anymore, and she doesn't understand why I am the priority in her brother's life. It sounds like she is looking for him to be her knight in shining armor, to be her protector - like she's looking for the emotional support that comes from a committed relationship - but he can't be that.....he is her brother, not her lover. It makes me uncomfortable. I've never tried to pull him away from his family, but his sister thinks that I am doing that, and that her brother isn't happy. She doesn't like how he has changed since he met me (he used to be everyone's doormat and I have always encouraged him to stand up for himself), and thinks that our marriage is doomed to fail. She said that she only wants to be a part of the wedding to support her brother, not to support us. She said it was my choice whether she stayed as a bridesmaid but she would not back out.

I am mad because I feel like she has put us in such an awkward position. Since that conversation, she has emailed again saying that she cannot support us and that she isn't going to try and get to know me, or try to accept me. She does not want to be a bridesmaid but won't step down. If I tell her that she doesn't need to be a bridesmaid, everyone in my fiance's family will get pissed at me and think that I was malicious and so on. 

I'm at my wits end on how to deal with his sister. I want to be civil with her because she is my future-husband's sister, and family is so important to me. But she is making it really hard. Help?!
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Re: FSIL problems

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    You are so right. Your FSIL wants you to kick her out of the wedding party so she can prove to the family that you are a bridezilla. Don't be tempted. You don't have to respond to her emails, at all. Show them to your fi; he should know that your FSIL is being hateful toward you. He should let her know her behaviour is not acceptable and will not get her more attention from him. What a brat!

                       
  • edited December 2011
    Hm...that is tough. I am so sorry you have to deal with such awful negativity! 
    So just to be sure I have this straight, she already said yes to being a bm when asked, but now is deciding she does not support your marriage and is putting it on you to decide whether or not she is still in the wp.
    I think I would tell her that you need people who support you and your union standing by your side. It would make the bridal luncheon and any get-togethers you plan with your bridal party pretty awkward as well. 
    Honestly, if she really feels this way, it sounds like she is not afraid to be vocal about it, so maybe FIL's already know how she feels about your marriage and will understand that you don't want her as a bridesmaid.
    If your FI wants her in the wp, I know some people have groom's girls (may not be the correct title). Maybe that would work better?
    GL!
  • edited December 2011
    First off, how old is FI and how old is FSIL?  I really do think that matters in how she is behaving.  What she is doing sounds terrible, but I'm curious about something.  Did your FI talk to her when you two got together, or did he basically just drop off the face of the earth to his sister, the one who was supposedly his best friend?  If he never talked to his sister, I could see how this behavior of hers is really coming from a place of hurt.  I think I need more info.
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  • edited December 2011
    How does the rest of his family act towards you? Are they nice to you or do they have negative things to say as well, if you are close with his mom or maybe even if he is close with his mom he can go talk with his mother or even his sister alone without you and see whats going on and if they can work something out. You guys can be like well Sally we both would really like you to be involved in the wedding but if you do not want to be we are not going to force you. It's your choice but please let us know ASAP so that we can get things lined out. I would just kill her with kindness so that the family can see that it is her and not you causing the problems.
  • edited December 2011
    Well, when she came over to talk, my fiance was there, too, and was able to help provide perspective for some things that I guess his sister took issue with (like not spending as much time with her). She told me that she was hesitant to accept being a bridesmaid in the beginning - she was asked to be in the wp almost 18 months ago - but when she had talked to her mom, she was told to stick it out, and keep her mouth shut if she really had these issues. She said she didn't think that she should have to keep her opinions to herself because she loves her brother and doesn't want to see him get hurt. She is 24; my fiance is 27. 

    I told her that I don't know that I feel comfortable with her standing on my side. Before she sent the second email, I told my fiance that I would be okay with compromising - not kicking her out, but having her stand on his side since she is only there to support him. He said that that's not okay because he's mad at her and thinks she is being selfish. He wants her to support us, which she clearly doesn't. When she sent the second email, she said she was going to give up on the relationship with my fiance, too. 

    The rest of his family treats me O.K. I'll admit since the stuff started with his sister, she has stirred things up and basically pitted half of his family against us. They call my fiance all the time and say things like "We think you're making a mistake" blah blah blah....But they only know what his sister has said. The people that are saying negative things are the ones who haven't spent any time with us and don't know me at all. His dad and step-mom are super supportive and so are his aunts. His mom has issues with commitments (based on her bad divorce), so it's been an uphill struggle since day one, but I feel like we're in a better place. The toughest part is that his sister still lives with their mom, and his mom, obviously, is loyal to his sister. We've asked her to not get in the middle of it so that we can try and work things out with his sister on our own, but his mom doesn't want to see anybody unhappy. She has still been supportive of the wedding amidst everything with his sister. 

    My fiance is going to spend some time talking to his Dad and his Mom separately tomorrow. He really wants me to go with him but I told him that he needs to go and stand up for me, for us, on his own. He knows who I am, he knows our perspective and I feel like me being there would just complicate things. I know that his Dad is aware of the things that his sister has said and is not happy with her about the situation. 

    We'll see what happens, but it's really getting me down. I'm afraid that our wedding day won't be joyous, and it will be this super tense situation. 


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  • SSaltzman87SSaltzman87 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    It honestly sounds like she's trying to set you up since she's making a HUGE effort to bad mouth you and pin their family against you. It's good that your FI realizes that what she's doing isn't okay. 

    Hopefully when he talks to his parents, there will be some sort of solution to all this. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.
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  • edited December 2011
    She sounds psychotic and conniving. Don't go for the bait of kicking her out; it is VERY clear she wants to paint you in a bad light. Is she an adult? Does she still live at home? If you and you FMIL have a good relationship, you could show her the emails and have her mediate a convo between you and your FSIL. You could also kill her with kindness and make it clear you will not sink to her level. Just don't say anything that she could take to your FILs and manipulate to make you sound crazy or demanding. Really, don't ignite any fires and keep your mouth shut.
  • lindseyann410lindseyann410 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    <div>I agree that she is trying to get you to kick her out so that you are the bad guy, so don't play into it.</div><div>
    </div><div>This, however, concerns me:</div><div>
    </div>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_fsil-problems?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:38c68cdc-363c-47a6-8bb7-6dba5fb8f5a6Post:03fb4878-182c-46bf-ade6-b624ed211c90">FSIL problems</a>:
    [QUOTE]Alright, so, before I met my fiance, he was liked best-friends with his sister (and<strong> he had never dated anyone before</strong>). <strong>When we started dating, he wanted to spend every waking moment with me </strong>and stopped spending as much time with her. I have always encouraged him to make sure that he balances our time together with family time - I'm really close to my family, and family relationships are important. However, he never really made the effort.....and as I got to know his sister - and didn't like her - I was not too keen on spending time with her. I've continuously encouraged him to spend time with her without me (just because I don't like her doesn't mean he shouldn't spend time with his sister) but <strong>he doesn't like doing anything without me.</strong>  
    Posted by greenpianokeys[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This isn't normal. I'm sure there's more to the story, but he sounds clingy and too dependent on you.  He should have many more aspects to his life that don't necessarily involve you (hobbies, friends, etc).  This may be where her concern stems from.  I know you weren't asking for advice on that, but those two statements that I bolded threw up a red flag to me.

    </div>
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  • zitiqueenzitiqueen member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_fsil-problems?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:38c68cdc-363c-47a6-8bb7-6dba5fb8f5a6Post:03fb4878-182c-46bf-ade6-b624ed211c90">FSIL problems</a>:
    [QUOTE]Alright, so, before I met my fiance, he was liked best-friends with his sister (and he had never dated anyone before). When we started dating, he wanted to spend every waking moment with me and stopped spending as much time with her. I have always encouraged him to make sure that he balances our time together with family time - I'm really close to my family, and family relationships are important. However, he never really made the effort.....and as I got to know his sister - and didn't like her - I was not too keen on spending time with her. I've continuously encouraged him to spend time with her without me (just because I don't like her doesn't mean he shouldn't spend time with his sister) but he doesn't like doing anything without me.  Anyways, a few weeks ago, his sister sent me an email - she is supposed to be a bridesmaid in our wedding, 2 months from now - and said that she does not support my fiance and I getting married and that she thinks her brother is making a mistake. She never explained why she felt this way, so my fiance and I invited her over so that we could talk and figure out where everything was coming from. She said that she feels like her feelings don't matter to her brother anymore, and she doesn't understand why I am the priority in her brother's life. It sounds like she is looking for him to be her knight in shining armor, to be her protector - like she's looking for the emotional support that comes from a committed relationship - but he can't be that.....he is her brother, not her lover. It makes me uncomfortable. I've never tried to pull him away from his family, but his sister thinks that I am doing that, and that her brother isn't happy. She doesn't like how he has changed since he met me (he used to be everyone's doormat and I have always encouraged him to stand up for himself), and thinks that our marriage is doomed to fail. She said that she only wants to be a part of the wedding to support her brother, not to support us. She said it was my choice whether she stayed as a bridesmaid but she would not back out. I am mad because I feel like she has put us in such an awkward position. Since that conversation, she has emailed again saying that she cannot support us and that she isn't going to try and get to know me, or try to accept me. She does not want to be a bridesmaid but won't step down. If I tell her that she doesn't need to be a bridesmaid, everyone in my fiance's family will get pissed at me and think that I was malicious and so on.  I'm at my wits end on how to deal with his sister. I want to be civil with her because she is my future-husband's sister, and family is so important to me. But she is making it really hard. Help?!
    Posted by greenpianokeys[/QUOTE]

    How old are you and your FI? How long did you date before you got engaged?

  • skippylouwhoskippylouwho member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You are marrying a 27 year-old man that had never dated anyone before you?   Doesn't that strike you as odd that he'd NEVER dated ANYONE before? 
  • em01092em01092 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_fsil-problems?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:38c68cdc-363c-47a6-8bb7-6dba5fb8f5a6Post:78459fc1-4426-41c4-989a-110ac597fcee">Re: FSIL problems</a>:
    [QUOTE]You are marrying a 27 year-old man that had never dated anyone before you?   Doesn't that strike you as odd that he'd NEVER dated ANYONE before? 
    Posted by skippylouwho[/QUOTE]

    <div>Some people aren't into dating until later in life, especially if they are very dedicated to finishing school or other pursuits. </div><div>
    </div><div>OP, does he really have dependency issues or are you exaggerating?</div>
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  • zitiqueenzitiqueen member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_fsil-problems?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:38c68cdc-363c-47a6-8bb7-6dba5fb8f5a6Post:4fc3f5ae-54d5-403c-a4b4-83966d9ce6e3">Re: FSIL problems</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: FSIL problems : Some people aren't into dating until later in life, especially if they are very dedicated to finishing school or other pursuits. Posted by em01092[/QUOTE]

    Like their sister.

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_fsil-problems?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:38c68cdc-363c-47a6-8bb7-6dba5fb8f5a6Post:eb5bb4ab-f76d-49b1-ab7c-a0032b86490a">Re: FSIL problems</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: FSIL problems : Like their sister.
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]

    <div>ziti.  that seems out of line to me.</div><div>
    </div><div>OP, here's how i read this.  FSIL sounds immature and needy.  FI sounds like a people pleaser who wants to see everyone happy all the time, and avoid conflict.  he was probably her crutch for a long time, and your existence has shaken things up.  marriage changes a family's dynamic.  i'm sure i ruffle my FIL's feathers all the time.  </div><div>
    </div><div>i think you and FI <strong>need</strong> to discuss these family dynamics in premarital counseling, b/c it affects your marriage.  i know that mine and FI's families are VERY different and it can be extremely challenging sometimes.  you need to set expectations with each other around communication and family issues.  i would also explore if he does have dependency issues.  or codependency issues, from the sounds of things.  that's a really big deal.</div><div>
    </div><div>re: FSIL- let FI handle it and stay out of the way.  she's totally baiting you so she can look like a victim.  don't let her do it.   find something honest you can say to her the day of the wedding, like "thank you for being here," and repeat it like a mantra.</div>
  • edited December 2011
    There's nothing wrong with my fiance; he was 25 when we met. He had never dated anyone before because he used to be really overweight and had confidence issues. 

    In terms of the "codependency issues" that people have mentioned, I don't see it as that. Though I do continue to encourage my fiance to have his own life outside of us; as I still spend a lot of time with my own friends and family. There has to be a balance. 

    My fiance met with his mom, by himself, last night and talked about things. He has decided that he does not want his sister in the wedding. I did not tell him to do this. But he was also able to talk to his mom about our relationship and how he feels about me. His mom just wanted to make sure that he is happy, and after the conversation she could clearly see that he is happy and fulfilled with me. She told him to give me a hug when he got home! I consider that some kind of progress. She is sad that his sister won't be in the wedding, but understands that that is her daughter's fault for saying and acting the way she has, so she supports his decision.

    I'm worry about a fallout, but I will support the decision that he made. Like I said, I was willing to compromise (her stand on his side) but he got really fed up with her after the second email. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I am glad to hear the he spoke with his mom and it was cleared with his side of the family since now it will show it definitely wasn't you. Let's hope the rest of the family doesn't fall for the crazy FSIL antics.
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  • LoveMuffinsLoveMuffins member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think it sounds like you and FI are handling this very well, and I'm glad that his parents can see that too! Hopefully with his mom and dad on board the rest of the family will come around.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    It's great that your fi took charge of the situation. I hope FSIL changes her attitude, now that FMIL is aware of what is going on and knows her brother is not going to tolerate the disrespect towards you.
    Best wishes to you both.
                       
  • edited December 2011
    Oh my goodness. Now my fiance's cousin (groomsman) has decided that he does not want to be in the wedding party because, while he supports our marriage, he thinks that someone needs to stand up for my FSIL. 
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  • kmarlowe13kmarlowe13 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    After what you have said about your FI and FSIL being extremely close before you came along, it makes me wonder if your FSIL is afraid of losing your FI. If they have been close all of their lives and he never dated anyone and was always around for her, she may be afraid that him getting married is the end for their relationship.

    Though taking it out on you is a horrible thing to do, it might be the only way she knows or can think of to hold on to your FI. Has he made an effort to maintain the relationship they had before you came along? If he hasn't she may feel as if you do not like her or you do not want him to have that family connection. Its not you, its her, as cliche as that sounds.

    However, you can't make her like you or accept you, the ball is in her court on that one. But throwing away everthing she and your FI have had together as family, is childish. He has been by her side her entire life and letting something like a marriage come between them isn't right. Have you tried having her over before you became engaged? To get to know her better?

    This doesn't sound like something that is going to be fixed easily and sorry, but it might never be fixed. If she is stuck in her ways and refuses to budge even a little bit, you may be dealing with it for the rest of your life. I'd try and reach out to her again, maybe if you attempted a friendship with her and showed her that you are not some conniving b*tch, then she might warm up to the idea.


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  • edited December 2011
    In the second email that she sent him, she told him that she was giving up on the relationship that they had. 

    I'm sure she feels like I am taking him away from her, but I have always encouraged him to spend time with her and talk to her. When she was a bridesmaid, I always invited her over to help with wedding stuff, or even just to go for a swim and dinner but she would never respond. 

    At this point, it's not something I can worry about. With the wedding so close there's definitely not enough time to try and tackle the issues. We will definitely try to work things out after the wedding, when the time is right. 
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