This screams 'awkward' to me but my 'family' tell me IABU (long)

(106 Posts)
grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 11:57:38

Very long story short, my brother and I have different Dads, same Mum. This all came out in the wash when we were in our 20's, we are now in our 40's) Recently (last couple of years) my brother (who is actually my half brother but has and will always be my brother) got in touch with his real Dad and his-half brother and sister.

My brother is getting married in August and all his new relations are coming to the wedding. There are no plans for me to meet them all beforehand. There is going to be a family dinner with all of us the night before the wedding and I think this is very weird all to meet up and be jolly dee with all this history. So if you have read this far and understand my brother will have both his real parents at his wedding and two new half siblings. Oh and my brothers real Dad has a long term girlfriend who will also be in attendance.

My Dad died many years ago and it just makes me feel very disloyal to him. I will say hello to them and be civil, but the thought of 'family photo's makes me want to run screaming/barf. And any sort of chat, ie: you look like your mum, nice to meet you etc etc - really?! I think 'fuck you asshole' to this man who has been fairly fucking useless since he started a relationship with my brother even though he thinks sun shines from every orofice; rock up to the wedding and play hero? I don't think so.

I am also sad and jelous that my brother will have both his parents at his wedding and I did not as my Dad died 10 months before I got married. I also have two children who know nothing of this who are at the wedding and I can't think for the life of me how to even start explaining it all, my head is currently fried, hence this post.

So much swirling in my head, am I being a petchulant child or as a grown up do I have the right to assert myself and feelings and be civil and limited in contact? They and he are no my family and I don't want a family style relationship, just a adult arms lenght one. Of course Iw on't make a scene and spoil the wedding type thing.

Or shall I just get pissed in corner and slope off early. Help me please.

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 14-May-13 14:21:51

Surely your ten year old's old enough to know that families come in all different shapes and sizes (and your six year old too, come to that), and that UncleGrants is lucky enough to have two different dads, and this is one of them, and that's just the way things are. It's getting increasingly unusual that all siblings only have two parents between them. It's probably commonplace at their school.

Hopefully, even if you don't tell them anything at all, it will be a lovely family day for all of you, with whatever definition of 'family' you might all have. It might even be that his half-genetic-siblings are curious to know the sister he actually grew up with.

Basically, if you can, relax about it. It'll probably make things easier and happier all round.

(My background is that my older brother has a different genetic father, though he was adopted by my genetic father when he was a couple of weeks old. It was explained to us when we were all quite young. We asked a lot of questions, and then got over it. When it came up that Bro had looked for his genetic father, and found him but not contacted him, it seemed kinder to be interested and supportive of whatever decision he made, so it's not exactly a situation I don't understand.)

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Tue 14-May-13 14:07:20

OP just grit your teeth, smile in the humiliating photos, go home and get pissed up.

I agree with the poster who said if you haven't been in a family situation like this before, it's hard to imagine why OP feels her brother is neglecting her emotions/is uncomfortable/why she isn't just sucking it up.

I would never want my big special happy day to be on the backs of uncomfortable loved ones. I especially wouldn't rub a raw wound by using the term 'big happy family,' when one of the members is deceased.

OP isn't selfish, jealous or attention seeking. These situations are more than difficult, especially when a close family member expects you to just 'suck it up.'

Leaving thread now as it is very sensitive to me, and I feel disgust anger at the brother in the OP.

PM me any time OP xx

Floggingmolly Tue 14-May-13 13:49:28

I'm not as "into" meeting the rest of the birth family as he is
Why can't you understand that it's your brother's birth family, not yours? It has nothing to do with you at all, really. Why is it such a mountainous issue for you? Is it just jealousy?
Your brother quite naturally want all his family at his wedding celebrations; you will not be forced to (or indeed invited to, probably) have any further contact with his birth family; so the big happy family occasions which you appear to dread so much will be somewhat limited.

Binkybix Tue 14-May-13 08:20:14

I think you are being a bit unreasonable. It may be that your brother hasn't introduced you to his bio dad because he's picked up how you feel about this?

LemonPeculiarJones Mon 13-May-13 23:54:07

YANBU to be freaked out by this, and uncomfortable.

Do as you plan - go along, be polite, take a controlled position on it for your brother's sake. There will definitely may well come a time when he needs you to help him sort through his feelings once he's realised that his bio dad isn't as committed as he'd hoped.

But for now, he wants this big emotional moment. It means a lot to him.

It sounds like you'll be an amazing sister and be there because he wants you to be. But I completely understand that it all must feel very fucked up.

Families! Sheesh.

Devora Mon 13-May-13 23:41:36

Nothing to add but good luck, OP. If it makes you feel better, just on my mother's side I have 20 aunts and uncles with a combined total of 7 parents between them. You can imagine how complicated a 'one big happy family' type gathering is with that lot grin

cumfy Mon 13-May-13 23:26:41

How about meeting them soonish ?

And then take it from there.

Or have you met him and made up your mind already ?

maddening Mon 13-May-13 22:50:36

Why wouldn't you want your db to have his magical Disney moment though? I be he had a shit time discovering his dad wasn't his real dad - you never had to deal with that did you? You were always with your bio dad - he has only found his a long time after - be happy for him and facilitate his happy moment.

It does not mean he does not love your dad.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Mon 13-May-13 22:20:29

Glad I'm not the only one. This charade of 'one big family' is creepy. Especially as he's USED term 'one big happy family' so OP knows it's not just in her head!

For DB's sake, I hope he's not disillusioned about your mum being anything other than polite to bio dad and understanding you'll come to know your in laws in time. If he's expecting a family reunion of sorts, I think he'll be quite upset by all the plastered smiles awkward conversations about the weather. Until the wine arrives! grin

grants1000, my reading of this is; your dad died, leaving just the three of you - you, your mum and your brother. At that point, your brother was your father's son - the bio dad was a vague 'other' who wasn't there. So for since then, you have been a family of three. Then, three years ago, the bio dad arrives on the scene, along with extra siblings and a 'step-mum'.

In your shoes, I don't know that I'd feel jealous, but I do think that I'd feel pushed aside. The family of three is no more, and you are outnumbered by the 'invaders'. It's hard to think of your brother's bio dad as his father, because your brother was raised by your father as his son. And you, feeling pushed aside, are watching your brother behave towards this stranger in "magical hero worship style" as if your shared father didn't matter sad, plus you're expecting this bio dad to let your brother down again, and you wish you could protect him but you can't. sad

YANBU. I think you're right. It screams 'awkward' to me to At the very least.

Hissy Mon 13-May-13 19:38:00

Thing is, if this bloke is as much of a waste of space as you think he is, he'll do the wedding thing, and FTFO again and leave your brother for dust. It's possible.

So GIVE your DB the day he deserves, the day he needs, to be happy and to be with the people he wants to share his day with. You know that it'd be your Dad he'll be really missing, just as you did.

It's one day, for your brother, be nice, have the photos, do the chatting, smiling and throw yourself into it.

You have a life time to explain to your DC about it all, so don't panic about it now.

Do this for your brother. I think he'd have done the same for you.

2rebecca Mon 13-May-13 19:26:39

OK the lack of quotation marks or mentioning the poster who made the comment confused me.
Why should your mum need "introducing" to this bloke? if she had an affair with him years ago she's already met him. She may not want to meet her exboyfriend before the wedding, especially with his partner in tow, meeting him at the wedding is maybe enough for her.
If she does want to meet him she can find out his contact details from your brother and phone him herself.
Yes weddings are happy occasions, but they usually have people at them that you don't know. There will probably be a few folk there you will be meeting for the first time and this guy and his family will be some of them. They are no more your family than some of your brother's fiancees family who you haven't met before are. I'm sure you're not anxious about meeting them for the first time.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 13-May-13 19:17:38

I am also confused, was your last post about your family history or someone else's?

I think you've had a tough time on here, but I am now v confused

BonaDea Mon 13-May-13 19:05:46

I think yabvu. Just suck it up and go to the meal and make nice. It won't kill you. It isn't about you, it's about your brother and his fiancée.

I got married last year. We had a meal the night before so that our two families could meet before the big day. Also so that my dad and mums new husband could meet each other before arriving at the top table! Step dad refused to go. Said it would be too awkward to meet my dad and his siblings. What a cock. Mum and dad had been divorced 25 years before mum and step dad even met - no affair, no over lap, just plain selfishness. My poor mum came to the meal alone and made excuses.

Let me repeat - go to the meal and do what your db wants. You are not being disloyal to your dd who presumably joined in with your mum in lying to you all for years!,

Scrubber Mon 13-May-13 18:53:48

It is totally reasonable for you to have mixed feelings about the wedding. It sounds like you have lots of feelings that you have buried for a long time and you need to process them. The wedding is just forcing you to focus on them when perhaps you'd rather pretend they aren't there. Remember it is your brother's day, if you love him you shouldn't spoil it for him, you might regret it later.

You need to deal with your issues regarding your brother's family. Until you do, suck it up and put on a brave face.

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 18:18:56

(2rebecca - I think OP was quoting someone else's story from earlier in the thread, threw me for a minute too!)

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 18:18:17

There's something else worth thinking about - while you're upset he's got this 'new family' have you spared a thought of how he's felt for the last 20 years with your Dad's family - knowing that they aren't really his family? That you were your Dad's bio child and he wasn't? He's the product of an affair, the 'charity case' your dad took on - have you thought how he might have felt about that? How many "family do's" has he been to on your dad side where they weren't "his family" at all and he's known it and known that everyone else has known it too?

Have you either said anything about "all the family together" at an event with your Dad's side there to him while knowing that they aren't actually his family and he knows this wasn't all his family together? (your wedding, for instance?)

2rebecca Mon 13-May-13 18:15:16

I'm confused, earlier you said that your father had brought up your half brother as his own not knowing he was another man's child until shortly before he died but in the post above you said you and your half brother were both adopted to older patients who have since died. surely in that case your adoptive parents brought you both up and knew you were both adopted? Isn't your adoptive mum then dead?

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 18:13:00

But OP - he might have only met his bio-dad a few years ago,but you said you've known that your dad wasn't his dad for 20 years, you must have realised he therefore had completely different heritage to you on one side, and in all probablity other siblings.

Why shouldn't your brother want all his family together for his wedding? Remember his siblings from his father's side are as much his family as you, his sibling from his mother's side. That might hurt you that he has this family you aren't related too, but they are all his family - and most people do want all their family around for their wedding. It's not fair of you to think that you are somehow 'real' family and they aren't.

If you had addressed the difference between you and your brother 20 years ago when you found out, or even 3 years ago when he started to form a relationship with his other siblings and father, then it wouldn't be such a big deal now.

I think you are angry at the wrong person- this isn't a situation of your DB's making, it's a situation of your Mum's making. This is his family - that you don't like that isn't a reason to deny these people are his family.

thistlelicker Mon 13-May-13 17:59:06

Over thinking and it sounds like jealousy! If u can't be happy for your brother that he has found his dad then perhaps you need to look at yourself. Have you considered family councilling?

IrritatingInfinity Mon 13-May-13 17:55:51

You are over thinking this .......

Blissx Mon 13-May-13 17:54:44

No problem, grants1000. I think a few posters have been overly harsh with you. I think some posters need to realise how hard it is to lose a parent and then have a sibling get a "second chance" at that sort of a relationship. Its not surprising you are experiencing irrational feelings. It doesn't happen very often and it hurts like hell.

However, they all do have a point that it is not unfair that he invite them to his wedding. It is however, very awkward for you and your feelings. Have that chat with him if you can; maybe also have a chat with your Mum too. Talking about this will make you feel better. Oh, and don't forget how precious your relationship was with your Dad. flowers

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:47:06

This thing is it's not hard at all for my brother he's cock-a-hoop and very happy, which I am glad about, all at the thought of 'all the family being together' his actual words, so the FAMILY expectation is there for us all to be blended together and meet in a magical Disney unicorn kind of way!

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:44:44

Thank You - specialagenttattoedqueen, made me laugh my head off and I needed that! I can make a mental catsbumface if need be.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:42:48

"You keep emphasising the "big happy family" thing. Where exactly is the expectation (from anyone) that this is going to happen?"

Because to me weddings are happy occations for all involved?!?

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