Can I get out attending sister's wedding?

(47 Posts)
Redles Tue 24-Jun-14 19:36:04

My whole family is struggling with the idea of my middle sister's wedding. Its basically a Jerry Springer episode. She lives overseas and about 1 1/2 years ago broke up with her live-in boyfriend and announced she was in love with Chris, a transexual woman, whom she met playing a game on the internet. My sister changed a lot during this time.

We used to be close and she stopped calling me-- didn't speak to me once during a difficult high risk pregnancy. Chris moved in with her 4 mos after they met. My sister gained about 3 stone and has dropped out of all the activities and socialising that used to mean a lot to her. They are very mismatched...My sister has a good job, education, etc; Chris has no qualifications or career. He/she works odd jobs, sometimes...T

The whole family has tried very hard to keep the channels of communications open and be accepting. Frankly, at the end of the day, I don't trust Chris or his/her motivations. He/she is difficult to talk to and very controlling of my sister. None of my family have been allowed to see my sister alone since Chris entered the picture. My sister is 36 and it is painful for me to see her throwing these years away.

My sister just told me she is getting married 3 Jan, which is a very expensive time to travel-- will cost over £2K to get there. My sister did come to my wedding but it was a much cheaper time of year and she wasn't traveling with babies! My son will be 18 mos then and Im trying to get pregnant again. Is there any reasonable way to back out of the wedding or repair the relationship with my sister?

thanks!

SarahAndFuck Tue 24-Jun-14 19:42:05

Just say you're not going, you can't afford it and the children are too young.

KatieKaye Tue 24-Jun-14 19:43:11

I can sense the hurt you feel. And the shock.

First of all, has DSis actually invited the family, or was she just making an announcement?
Second, regardless of what you think about Chris, this is the person your sister has chosen to be her life partner, whether or not her family agree. Chris is a transsexual woman, so I'd strongly recommend you call her by her chosen gender. Have you met Chris? Lots of people who seem mis-matched can have very strong relationships.

I hope you congratulated DSis and wished her and Chris every happiness. If you can't afford to attend the wedding, then tell her this and that you will be thinking of them both on the day. If she is happy then it would be churlish to rain on her parade. If your suspicions about the partnership are founded, then DSis might need her family one day.

Berryglitter Tue 24-Jun-14 19:45:44

Chris is a he in his mind Fwiw not a he/she. I'd try talking to your sister, explain you can't afford it and wish them well. She loves Chris and is making a life with him.

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 24-Jun-14 19:46:17

What's a transsexual woman, sorry?

Feel a bit sorry for her if people can't attend then it cements her partners control over her a little bit.

Practically that's very expensive though, so I'm sure she would understand. Unless you fly out on your own? Or can she fly over for a Hen party week so that you spend some time alone with her?

What's all this he/she business. Why can't you use the pronoun Chris prefers?

Valdeeves Tue 24-Jun-14 19:52:06

I would be worried about why he won't let her spend time alone with you?
What's that saying about him?
Or
What's that saying about all of you?
Is there some detail missing here?

Redles Tue 24-Jun-14 19:58:55

OK regarding pronoun. Chris would like to be a man, but has not has reassignment surgery or takes hormones and not planning to, so is technically a woman. I have a hard time calling Chris, a man, as she is not male at this point. Chris doesn't look remotely male. And, furthermore, Chris referred to herself as a woman until about 2 years ago, when she was engaged to a man, who she speaks to daily and is now her planned "best man" in the wedding.

Berryglitter Tue 24-Jun-14 20:04:52

Chris' gender is his choice. Not yours, no matter what your opinion or view.

GaryTheTankEngine Tue 24-Jun-14 20:05:04

If Chris refers to himself as a man, then it's only polite if you do the same. It doesn't matter how long he's been calling himself him.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 24-Jun-14 20:11:52

I wouldn't be attending for a number of reasons, the first of which is the controlling and not-allowed-contact alone stuff. If you really, REALLY don't want to attend then use the lack of finances as a reason/excuse but you have to accept that it will be seen as disapproval of the relationship.

If it was my sister I'd be absolutely upfront about why I think this is not a healthy or wise choice in a life-partner even if I didn't expect her to agree or respect my decision.

Doesn't matter if you find it hard. If Chris is transitioning female to male and is living as a man albeit pre-surgery and has asked to be referred to as 'he' then that's what you use. It's polite at the very least.

Do you think that there's even a slim chance that the reason your sister has pulled away is because you're more obvious with your distrust for her partner than you realise?

If you can't afford to go to the wedding, you can't afford to go. Give your apologies, wish her all the best, send a card and a present and let her get on with it.

Wellthen Tue 24-Jun-14 20:13:28

He is not technically a woman. He is physically female. Not the same thing. Saying you have a hard time refering to him as a man is like saying 'I have a hard time calling you Jeff so I'm gonna call you Horatio.'

Wellthen Tue 24-Jun-14 20:14:38

Oh and I don't think you should go but I think you need to keep reaching out to your sister.

Redles Tue 24-Jun-14 20:16:59

BTW- Ive meet Chris, multiple times. Chris is odd, very juvenile acting for a 32 year old. She doesn't converse much and spends most of her time on game boy or mobile phone when around other adults. I've seen Chris insult her and call her names in my presence "in jest". At the end of the day, I'm really sad about losing the closeness I used to have with my sister and see her make such a strange choice in a partner. My sister and I used to do fun things together just us and talk all the time.

At one point, my family thought my sister might be mentally ill. It was so out of the blue. She told us about how she was cheating on her boyfriend with a lesbian who had threatened to commit suicide after she called it off. My sister also told us about taking cocaine. We thought Chris might be a phase or something to get attention. The rest of the family was focused on me whilst I had a hard pregnancy-- My platelets fell to 30 and I had to get blood transfusions. I was very scared and it was very painful to me not to be able to talk to my sister then.

It seems like Chris is here to stay. I think I need to be there for her and go to the wedding even though it's the last place on earth I would want to be. She didn't send me an invite yet, just messaged me the date on Facebook. Honestly, I hope they break up before then, but then I dread her meeting someone even more unsuitable.

Pinkcatgirl Tue 24-Jun-14 20:18:32

"Chris moved in with her 4 mos after they met. My sister gained about 3 stone and has dropped out of all the activities and socialising that used to mean a lot to her"

Erm this could be negative but on the other hand my husband moved in with me after 5 months. I stopped playing tennis / he stopped playing rugby to make more time for each other. I gained a stone and a bit because I was eating lovely food with him everyday. We've been happily married 5 years......

If you don't want to go to the wedding, don't go, but your sister is entitled to choose her own partner. Your role is to be supportive, if its goes tits up then she'll need your support, not judgement.

ancientbuchanan Tue 24-Jun-14 20:18:39

I would say you can't go, but set up a Skype for just before and send lovely lovely flowers and a present and wish them both happiness. Because that's what you want for them, isn't it?

I have a hard time calling Chris, a man, as she is not male at this point.

Nonsense. It's just a couple less letters on the keyboard.

Whether Chris has gender reassignment surgery in the future or not, he will never be a "man" in the sense of possessing the XY chromosomes.

If Chris has decided he is a man now, then you should accept this and reflect it in your speech, assuming you want to preserve some kind of relationship with your sister.

Berryglitter Tue 24-Jun-14 20:22:52

Maybe support your sister and deal with the fact her partner is a transgender female (so would like to be called HE). She is obviously happy in her relationship and wants to marry, instead of wishing the split and being jealous you've lost your close bond... Bond with them both. Call your sister and regain the bond. She's probably picked up on your feelings towards her boyfriend.

Berryglitter Tue 24-Jun-14 20:25:22

Also, I have a friend who is marrying a transgender female. If I continued referring to her partner as she,you friend would be horribly offended. Just because Chris/my friends partner have female genitalia doesn't mean they don't think and feel male. Please understand that.

MagpieMama Tue 24-Jun-14 20:31:01

I honestly think your insistence on referring to Chris as a woman is a big part of the problems in your relationship with your sister. Your lack of acceptance of him could also be why Chris is so withdrawn around you. I don't blame him.

TalisaMaegyr Tue 24-Jun-14 20:35:02

You know you're being offensive to Chris, right?

It's your sister's life. Is she happy? Surely that's all that matters?

Redles Tue 24-Jun-14 20:35:05

Thanks Wellthen, Thanks Katie Kaye. Yes, I do want to be there for her.

I sure my sister senses I am not thrilled with her choice of partner and that's the cause of the distance. I have tried to keep lines of communication open and reach out to her, but my sister isn't terribly interested at this time. My hope is that we will be at some point in the future.

GaryTheTankEngine Tue 24-Jun-14 20:43:11

Well, if I'm honest, I can see why she's cooled it with you if you refuse to refer to her fiance with the correct pronouns.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 24-Jun-14 20:44:53

I wouldn't be thrilled that my sister was marrying someone who threatened to commit suicide if she broke it off either. The controlling and suicide threat makes all this sound like a very unhealthy setup, regardless of which gender they identify with or what genitalia they were born with.

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