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.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 11:58:14

Oh and my brother and Mum say it will 'all be fine' without any sort of discussion or expecation management sort of thing.

PuppyMonkey Mon 13-May-13 12:01:13

It's your brother's wedding and if he wants his dad and new brothers and sisters there and have them in his wedding photos, that's surely up to him not you.

Getting pissed in corner does sound like a plan thoughgrin

PeppermintPasty Mon 13-May-13 12:01:37

Well, it was all out in the open 20 or so years ago, and it's your brother's wedding. Yes it might be awkward, but that's what alcohol is for smile

My Dad was married before and I have 2 half sisters. They are a bit weird, but they are here and I can do nowt about it. I think you have to suck it up for your bro's sake.

EuroShaggleton Mon 13-May-13 12:01:41

It's your brother's wedding and so his choice. He obviously wants them there. You need to support him in that.

TBH, it's rare to go to a wedding these days without some kind of complicated family relationship rearing its head.

EduCated Mon 13-May-13 12:02:02

YANBU to feel a tumult of emotions at the situation, but it is your brothers day and he is not BU to want his family, all of his family, to be there.

Would it be possible to arrange a way of meeting them before the meal, to get the introductions etc out of the way beforehand?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 13-May-13 12:02:22

I think you're anticipating a lot of problems that may not happen and you're also ascribing motives to others on fairly shaky evidence. It doesn't make you disloyal to your Dad to acknowledge your brother's father. Is he really going to 'play hero'? Is he really going to want a 'family style relationship'? You're in your 40's ... this man who you have never met is way past teaching you anything or being over-involved in your life.

Why not be the bigger person, approach this guy as you would some old friend of the family or a distant relative... and take him as you find him?

diddl Mon 13-May-13 12:04:03

I'd say be polite & nothing more.

It's up to your brother who is there at his wedding.

exexpat Mon 13-May-13 12:04:03

You don't really explain why you are so hostile to your brother's 'new' dad - was your brother the product of an affair while your mother was married to your father or something?

But in any case, since it is your brother's wedding, it is his decision who he invites, so I think all you can do is be as polite and civil as possible - you don't need to welcome them with open arms, or claim them as your own family, but they are your brother's family and he obviously wants to have a relationship with them.

Bricklestick Mon 13-May-13 12:06:46

Jeez, let your brother have his wedding his way - he's not doing it too piss you off, or to piss over your memories of your own father. You've had 20 years to get used to the fact that you have a complicated family.

My own similarly complicated family came to my wedding recently - and they didn't meet each other till the day before, either. Both sets of in-laws, and all manner of step/half/full brothers/sisters/cousins all met on the same day. And they all made an effort to get along because, frankly, it wasn't their occasion to get upset about.

DeWe Mon 13-May-13 12:06:59

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

If your db's dad had died, would you have expected him not to have your dad at your wedding because it was unfair?

It's understandably awkward for you and your mum, he may well not want to talk to you anyway. He'll probably be on the top table, so you can probaby ignore him.

For what it's worth, dh (plus siblings and families) were invited to his df's dm's 75th birthday. Large event with lots of family.
Only thing was fil had been adopted at birth, and some of the family present was not aware of his existance.(his half siblings had all known for a couple of years-they get on very well).
His birth mother actually really wanted us there so she could let people know about us, a way of introducing us to family that otherwise wouldn't have known.
Some of them we got on very well, and now, when they have family events we often get an invite.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-May-13 12:08:27

Tbh, to me, you are coming over as petulant.

It's your brothers day: he didn't ask that his father wasn't who he thought he was growing up. Now he has found out it is fair enough to include him in his life.

He also didn't ask for your father to pass away before your wedding, so that isn't his problem either.

It might be difficult for you, but really, this shouldn't be about you, it should be about your brother.

I think you need to be honest with your children too, as this has now come out.

Good luck.

LemonsLimes Mon 13-May-13 12:08:41

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

I would just explain it. I'm sure they will cope with it better than you think. It doesn't directly affect them that their uncle had a different dad.

Scruffey Mon 13-May-13 12:09:46

Yes agree you will have to suck it up as it is your brothers wedding.

At my bro and SIL wedding, I was in a photo with SIL's parents. I don't know them, but we are both related to SIL so I don't see the problem? Why does it matter who is in what photo?

How old are your dc. I should think my 5yo would understand the situation and not give a hoot. I don't see the big deal at all op. is there something more to it?

DeWe Mon 13-May-13 12:10:35

Sorry extra "him" in the second sentence.

WinkyWinkola Mon 13-May-13 12:12:28

So you don't think much of your brother's dad. That's fine. You can still be polite to him.

It could be really interesting to meet all your brother's other side of the family. YOu might meet people you like and have a brilliant time at the wedding.

Or you could sit and drink and feel sorry for yourself.

Do you think you could be a bit more enthusiastic and supportive of your brother on his big day?

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:12:50

Sorry, I did not make it clear, of course I expect him to invite them and to be there, but the point is that the expectation for me to be all super friendly and happy to meet them, I am neither here nor there about it all, yes I will say hello etc but beyond that,no. But it is what my day to day family expect that worries me.

Lambzig Mon 13-May-13 12:14:19

I can understand why you are upset, but I do think you have to take the lead from your mother (as presumably its tricky for her too) on this one or cause big problems for your brothers wedding. You obviously have a lot of strong feelings mixed up in this, possibly still from the revelation 20 years ago and not least that your father will not be there.

it is lovely to be so defensive of your dad, particularly as he can't be there. What would he have wanted or advised you to do?

I think for the sake of the wedding you might just have to swallow your feelings and let your brother have his biological father take the role he wants him to have. By telling him how much you don't like it, what do you hope to achieve, that he disinvites them, that he excludes them from some of the events? I am sure you don't want to make it a difficult time for him, what expectation management are you wanting? are you feeling a bit sidelined by all this?

it must be said, however, no one can make you have a 'family relationship' with people you don't want to and you only really have to be polite.

I can see you are envisaging years of family occasions where you are expected to be one family, but perhaps take it one thing at a time.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:14:57

"At my bro and SIL wedding, I was in a photo with SIL's parents. I don't know them, but we are both related to SIL so I don't see the problem? Why does it matter who is in what photo?"

And I wil happily have pics take with SIL parents, because they are SIL parents! Not people who I ahve never met before and who are sort of more related that my family expect me to have a realtionship with better than the one I'd have with SIL parents - iyswim

EldritchCleavage Mon 13-May-13 12:15:26

Do be open to the possibility that they might be quite nice and you might like them.

And doing nothing beyond saying hello will make you look super-petulant: please don't do anything that might cast a shadow over your brother and SIL-to_be's celebration.

Morloth Mon 13-May-13 12:16:24

If you can't be pleasant and polite then don't go.

Quite frankly this isn't about you.

Shellywelly1973 Mon 13-May-13 12:16:59

This isn't about YOU. Its your brothers wedding. Your mum probably has more reason to feel awkward &disloyal to your father then you...

Its one evening & one day. I would be polite & remember its what your brother wants.

How would/will you treat your new SIL's family at the dinner/wedding? That's how you should be treating your brother's new family IMO.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:19:09

Anyway it's not about posing for photo's, it's the expectation of big happy families that is the worry. I am not going to tell my brother anything or expect him to do anything different on his wedding day because of me. I have been and am being very supportive and enthusiastic it lots of ways already and will continue to be. I don't feel sorry for myself at all, just weirded out by the situation.

My children are 11 and 6, the 6 yo will be fine, but the 11 year ofl very chatty and inquisitive, to make it even more complicate my step dad, my mum's 2nd husband died in Januay so we've had lots of talks about death, family and the like, so he's into that thougth pattern iyswim and he will know 95% of the people there.

BlackAffronted Mon 13-May-13 12:19:40

Why are you so hostile towards them? Why not embrace them as the family of your dear brother? I have half siblings, and I love (not all! ha ha) of their other family members.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:20:02

"If you can't be pleasant and polite then don't go." Where did I say I was not going to be pleasant?

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 12:20:54

They are your brothers family so you'll just have to suck it up, have a drink or 5.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-May-13 12:21:25

But OP you are deliberately putting obstacles in the way.

You may or may not like your brothers new family members. But you aren't giving yourself a chance to find out.

I can understand that you may be a bit wary for your mums sake, although doesn't seem to be the case. You seem very concerned about yourself and your feelings, no one else's!

Badvoc Mon 13-May-13 12:21:29

Your post is mostly about you.
How you feel.
How this affects you.
It's your brothers wedding.
It's his dad and family.
Go and enjoy yourself fgs!

PeppermintPasty Mon 13-May-13 12:21:53

Surely all your family will expect is for you to be polite. Just be polite.

Bricklestick Mon 13-May-13 12:23:02

Just go, be pleasant, but don't be over-friendly. Frankly, I'm failing to see the problem in that case.

No one will be expecting you to act like happy families, but there is a small chance you might like the people, you know?

BlackAffronted Mon 13-May-13 12:23:34

Was your brother the product of an affair? Is that why you feel so weird abotu it? Otherwise, I don't really understand your stance on this.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:24:28

Lambzig - thanks, that is just what I feel and mean.

I am not hostile towards the siblings, only a bit towards the Dad, as he has let my brother down on so many previous occasions and my brother has done all the running regarding contact. I have had hours and endless talk with my brother about it all, seen the hurt and the disappointment which is why him being at the wedding is fine with me, but not in this sort of magical hero worship style that my brother has in his head, which is fine if that is what he wants, just being protective I suppose.

exexpat Mon 13-May-13 12:25:43

What exactly is going to be so hard to explain to an 11-year-old? They can understand the concept of half-siblings and all sorts of other things. If all this has been out in the open for nearly 20 years I can't understand why there should be anything mysterious.

Or is there some dark secret that you are not telling us? Because otherwise it does sound like you are making a big fuss about having some people you don't know at your brother's wedding. So your brother's birth-father has been a bit flakey by the sound of it; that's not exactly unusual...

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:26:19

Yes the product of an affair my Mum, my Dad brought up my brother for over 27 years thinking he was his, but it all came out in the wash just before he died and when we were all in our late 20's, he did not at all regret it and stil saw my brother as his real son.

Blending Mon 13-May-13 12:28:17

There are always lots of people at weddings that you don't know.

Friends of the in-laws, cousins, aunts who are only seen on high days and holy days.

Yes I understand that this feels different, but it is about your brother and who he wants there.

So I would put them mentally in the same category as the above. People who if I was on the seating plan, randomly sat next to. By all means chat, be friendly but have no expectations.

EldritchCleavage Mon 13-May-13 12:28:31

Aha, well now I do understand it a bit better: bio Dad is unreliable and has caused hurt but is happy to come along to the wedding and play the big I Am?

Still, polite and friendly in a low-key way is the way to go. And his kids might be nice. After all, they will know very well what their father is like.

Thumbwitch Mon 13-May-13 12:29:32

I think you're overthinking it a bit, tbh. These are your brother's blood relations, not yours. So in reality, as they're not really related to your DC either, can't see the problem. It IS a bit like ILs, to be fair.

Why do you want to meet them beforehand? Do you feel like you should be treated as some sort of stepdaughter? I can maybe see that, but it's not really like that, is it?

So, ok, I think YAB a bit U and yes, a bit petulant.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-May-13 12:29:48

And another thing.........., if you are wary of your brothers dads input into his life, and think he will be forever letting him down, then it's even more essential than you show full support to your brother so you can always be there for him if/when he does let him down.

Don't lose the closeness with your brother, and be seen to support him, even if your heart isn't in it.

Shellywelly1973 Mon 13-May-13 12:30:59

You come across as very bitter...

Its always difficult with families but why are you not directing some of this to your mother?

BlackAffronted Mon 13-May-13 12:31:09

Ok, your last post clears things up a bit, the backstory sounds like it was hard for everyone. Just be polite & smile for your brother, its just 2 days of your life.

Blending Mon 13-May-13 12:36:32

X-post...ah that explains why you feel so awkward.

I would still take the same approach, as its obviously important to your brother, and you don't want to end up being the bad guy.

At this stage, if they are already invited, you could end being being seen as causing a problem, when everyone else is being reasonable.

I would feel the same as you, seeing the man who my mum had an affair with, playing the big man, and worry about my brother, given the way he has treated him previously. BUT I would swallow my pride and try and get on with it.

You've voiced your concerns to them already. Don't let it become a battle.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:37:32

"What exactly is going to be so hard to explain to an 11-year-old? They can understand the concept of half-siblings and all sorts of other things. If all this has been out in the open for nearly 20 years I can't understand why there should be anything mysterious."

Yes but my 11yo has no idea about all this and my brother will want his Dad to meet his nephews. My 10yo has no clue my brother has a Dad who is alive because as far as he knows my dad died years ago and suddently boom my brother has a new Dad, you can't just blurt that out without a bit of sensitivty?

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 12:38:06

Ah, the affair makes sense - this is the man your mum betrayed your Dad with, so I can see why you wouldn't want to be happy there. Have you talked to your mum about this? she's the one who let down your dad. Of course she's trying to say "it's not a problem" because she doesn't want the fact she cheating on her DH to be such a big deal. I can imagine she's trying to minimise this in order to not feel like the bad guy.

It might help you if you meet them beforehand, could you say to your brother you think it might be odd meeting them for the first time the night before the wedding, perhaps at least his siblings (who remember have not hurt anyone and you should be civil with, do not think you have any right to ask your brother to play favourites amongst his siblings) for a drink or bbq at his before the wedding so this first meeting isnt' at the wedding?

For photos, can you ask for one that's just bride, groom your mum and your family?

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 12:38:42

"its always difficult with families but why are you not directing some of this to your mother?"

Because we have talked about it so many times over the years and whay happened and why and I understand it from her pov.

theFairyBiker Mon 13-May-13 12:38:44

"he did not at all regret it and still saw my brother as his real son"

then why are you referring to your brother's birth father as his "real" dad?

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 12:40:30

re your 11 year old, I see no reason to shield them unless you want to shield your mother - what's hard about saying "actually, my dad wasn't your uncle X's dad, we have the same mum but Y is his dad. My dad - your grandad - treated Uncle X as his own son and was a great step-dad." they don't need to know your dad didn't know, they don't need to know your mum had an affair. I assume all the family know now anyway?

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Mon 13-May-13 12:42:15

What morloth said

BigBlockSingsong Mon 13-May-13 12:43:18

I can understand this is a headdoin' situation,

but tbh I think any anger you may have would be better directed at your mother by the sounds of it,

do you still have a relationship after finding that he'd been lied to?

Actually why has this been kept from your children anyway since it sounds as though it all came out before they were born? This is why it's become some big family secret.

I agree with those who say just be matter of fact with your kids about the while situation. And be polite, civil and open minded about your brothers relatives, not least because your brother deserves your support and love on his wedding day and this is important to him

ivykaty44 Mon 13-May-13 12:47:37

In the nicest possible way I think the problem here is you as you have not meet these people and now are faced with meeting them at a very big event in your family life - which I guess for you is upsetting.

How are you going to deal with this situation is the question as it is not your big family event and you can not really expect your brother and his girlfriend to make their arrangements around you.

TBH for the sake of the wedding can you put your own feeling aside for the sake of your brother, it wasn't his choice who his father was or what his father did and the way he behaved.

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 12:55:00

I wonder if you would benefit from going to see a therapist to talk through how you are feeling about all of this. It clearly is a big deal to you and somehow you need to come to terms with it as clearly your mum and brother are both fine about the situation and you're not.

delurked Mon 13-May-13 12:56:19

I don't often post but felt compelled to write as I can identify with a lot of what you're feeling. I have a complicated family set up - very different to yours but with a similar history of half-siblings, bereavement and weddings. The feelings of disloyalty and resentment that you describe are very familiar and I found them very difficult to put aside. I also found it difficult that other members of my family did not seem troubled by them in the same way.
However, I think that is what you have to do for your brother's wedding. Put a brave face on, make polite conversation and have a few glasses of wine to take the edge off your feelings. Life is complicated and there is nothing wrong with feeling the way you do but unfortunately this time you just have to suck it up. And as a previous poster said remain open-minded - I was pleasantly surprised by how little I was affected on the day as there is so much else going on and so much happiness that a lot of what I was worried about paled into insignificance.

exexpat Mon 13-May-13 12:58:44

So the main problem is that although you have all known about this for decades, you haven't mentioned any of it to your children, so it has become a big dark family secret. That's a shame.

But you still have plenty of time before the wedding to come up with a basic, matter-of-fact, non-dramatic explanation of the new people your children will be meeting at the wedding - if my 10yo is anything to go by, children can be very accepting of all sorts of unusual family trees (she has had to get her head round her best friend's rather complicated family etc) and are much less curious about the ins and outs than you might expect. Just try to explain things without being coloured by your own emotions of blame, shame etc.

If your father accepted the situation, and your mother and brother are keen to be on friendly terms with them, then I don't think it's your place to try to cover it all up.

Soupa Mon 13-May-13 13:03:57

Your brother discovered after twenty years that his dad wasn't his biological father. He had no control over this but should be the person who controls what happens with his full family now.

You think his bio dad is crap, maybe he is but it is very common for reunited biological relations to be over intense or distorted.

I would feel sorry for your db, at twenty he lost an easily described dad, what he is left with is less easily defined and needs qualifiers 'real, bio, non bio etc'

It isn't disloyal of him to embrace his newer family, it might have made no difference to your dad or your brothers feelings about your dad but it is a huge difference for him to deal with. You know this or would have explained it to your children earlier.

Be generous to him, that might mean being generous to them

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 13:06:31

By kind to yourself, it must have been hard finding out that seemingly normal "perfect" 2.4 family wasn't in fact that and this is something that you are now going to have to physicially face IYSWIM.

I can understand how you are feeling unnerved and out of sorts over it.

diddl Mon 13-May-13 13:09:22

Did his bio father even know that your brother was his?

Or did he not find out until his son was in his 20s?

2rebecca Mon 13-May-13 13:09:50

I agree that explaining that your brother had a different dad to you but the same mum although your dad brought him up should be understandable to an 11 year old.
You keep talking about having to have a "relationship" with this man but that's not true. he isn't biologically related to you or your kids at all. All you have to do is be civil to him for 1 day. He's probably terrified by the whole thing.
I would stop thinking about it and just smile and be polite when intoduced to him but you don't have to spend ages chatting to him if you don't want to as he has his partner and other children with him so he doesn't need you to chat to him for longer than you're comfortable with.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 13:13:05

I met my step brother and loads of step cousins for the first time at my dad's wedding. It was fine, it was fun. Yo unever know - you may get on with them really well!

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

oh and I would be certain there's someone your 11yo knows who has half and/or step siblings - it's not an unusual thing now. What is unusual is hiding it.

Cravey Mon 13-May-13 13:13:32

I think you need to grow up and do it fast. It's your brothers wedding, it's also your brother who has had to deal with the whole meeting a new family thing. Why are you making this all about you ? You said in your op that you love your brother so then plaster a smile on your petulant face and suck it up. This is one of the most narcissist things I have ever read on here.

Floggingmolly Mon 13-May-13 13:19:28

You keep emphasising the "big happy family" thing. Where exactly is the expectation (from anyone) that this is going to happen?
It's your brothers wedding day; I shouldn't imagine you'll be meeting the extended family again, unless you actually want to.
The relationship is your brother's, not yours.

Squitten Mon 13-May-13 13:19:59

I think you're making way too much out of it.

This event is about your brother and the bride - not you or your family's "dirty laundry", to use the old phrase. All you have to do is go and be nice to ALL the guests, as you would at anyone else's wedding. Nobody is asking you to pretend that these people are your family but that's no reason not to be friendly and civil towards them.

If you can't do it for yourself, then do it for your brother.

exexpat Mon 13-May-13 13:23:41
NC78 Mon 13-May-13 13:27:35

Your feelings are totally understandable - you were lied to until your 20's, and now you have a whole new 'family' you haven't even met! Very stressful. BUT none of this is your brothers fault, so you do have to try to act civil towards everyone his wedding day, whatever you feel like inside.

Dahlen Mon 13-May-13 13:27:45

I understand why you feel as you do, but unless you try your hardest to be friendly and involved, you will come to regret it. And please don't drink more than one or two alcoholic drinks unless you are positive you can maintain the semblance of friendliness. wink

I can see why it would stick in your throat about the 'dad's' unreliability, but I think you're way over-thinking it regarding your DS. You simply state the truth - that although his GF was his uncle's father, his uncle's biological father was someone else who has recently got in touch and now they are getting to know each other better. Your DS will accept that quite simply. He has to be told at some point, anyway. The younger the better.

Pigsmummy Mon 13-May-13 13:40:49

You sound incredibly selfish, Your brother is the one who is entitled to feel awkward, he is the one who found out that his father wasn't his and he had new relationships to build, you didn't have deal with that, he did.

Grow up and support your brother on his special day and try to get along with people.

maddening Mon 13-May-13 13:40:57

I bet your db is just as sad that your dfather isn't going to be at the wedding too - his knowing his biological father doesn't make his relationship with the man he knew as his father any less.

I think yabu and for your own sake you need to resolve these feelings.

Blissx Mon 13-May-13 13:45:26

grants1000 - I totally understand where you are coming from, although I don't think there is a lot you can do.
I'm adopted but was adopted with my brother (we share the same birth mother but have different birth fathers). Recently, his birth father came looking for him and it turns out, our birth mother died ten years ago and my birth father was just a one-night-stand.
To top it all off, we were adopted to older parents who have both since passed away.
I understand your feelings-for me, I have jealousy as he is getting a relationship with his birth father and I don't have that opportunity and feeling awkward as I'm not as "into" meeting the rest of the birth family as he is.
However, these are my feelings and I can't really stop him from wanting this new 'family' involved at special occasions and gatherings etc.

I think you may just want your feelings to be heard - am I right? Having a one-to-one chat with your brother, calmly, may help him see where you are coming from and might be theraputic for you to be able to cope with them all at the wedding. Good luck - it is a rotten situation to be in.

mynewpassion Mon 13-May-13 14:42:05

I think you are hard work. Be polite and civil and be happy for your brother.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Mon 13-May-13 14:42:43

Does your brother expect you to sit with this man through ceremony and meal? Is he really pushing the angle of 'well, we're all a family now!'
If so, he's being shockingly thoughtless. Yes, yes, it's his wedding, he can spit on the guests and blow foghorns if he wants I know etc.

OP I stand alone here but I'd be very catsbumface at this. I would go, I would be polite, and I'd calmly blame say my LO had a tummy ache and leave early if your brother or these strangers pressured you to a point you feared you may spoil your brother's day.

Photos? Photos would hurt. I can see why you must want to slap your brother for that one, but at the same time I understand his side.

I'm too mixed on photos. Yes know it's his day to jump up and down and scream 'MEEEEE!' at the top of his lungs, --can you tell I don't like weddings?--grin

Go, be polite, they push to hard blame your kid and go. Grit your teeth, and apologise profusely to your DB when he calls and deny, deny, deny you left because of hid new family.

Personally, I'd grind my teeth and go, but my body language would give me away. Try hard OP, this is your brother. Just don't prioritise a wedding over your mental (and by extension) physical wellbeing if these people are pushy OR yoou simply can't take it. Snapping at a guest or becoming ill helps no one anuway!

Good luck OP! My only thing would be refusing to stand in a photograph with DB, his half siblings, dad and GF. I just wouldn't disrespect my mother like that.

Good luck OP!

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Mon 13-May-13 14:44:55

Excuse typos blush

IrritatingInfinity Mon 13-May-13 14:59:20

I really wouldn't find this awkward at all. They are your DB's 'family'. I wouldn't see it as being disloyal at all. sad

You should treat them as though they are people who are important to your DB. I vey much doubt that anyone expects you to have a 'family' type relationship with them. I don't think anyone needs to go to a wedding with preconceived ideas as to jow they are going to treat guests that they have never even met.

The fact you feel jealous is a bit sad although I suppose it is a little understandable.

So, yes YABU and petulant (sorry). I hope the wedding goes well and that you have a lovely time with all the guests.

exexpat Mon 13-May-13 15:02:13

SpecialAgent - how would it be disrespecting her mum, when her mum is agreeing with her brother and apparently wants her to be there?

The OP said "my brother and Mum say it will 'all be fine' "

Cravey Mon 13-May-13 15:11:42

This isn't just about the wedding though is it. It's also about the fact that her brother is going through huge changes and she is making it all about her. She really does need to grow up and see how hard this must be for her poor brother.

thistlelicker Mon 13-May-13 15:17:27

I think u need to grow up a bit !!! If ur mum can manage to put her feelings aside, considering she's the one who had the child with the man I think you should to! Twenty years is a long time to deal with this! If u were my sister and this is the way you are potentially
Going to be I wouldn't want you at my wedding because frankly- it's not about u is it?

DontmindifIdo Mon 13-May-13 15:31:04

SpecialAgent - I think the OP's mum lost the chance to have the moral high ground and people worrying about disrespecting her when she had an affair, got pregnant by the OM and then passed the DC off as her DH's... If she's 'disrespected' by her DS wanting to have a photo with both his biological parents and siblings, then really it's her own fault.

Any woman who has DCs by more than one man has to accept that means each child has a different family, not one big family. It seems the OP has been allowed to bury her head in the sand (or even encouraged to by her Mum) about the fact that she has a different heritage to her DB. Her brother has a different family to her. It's sad she's left it 20 years before facing that, and has raised her DCs with lies rather than raise them with the truth about their extended family - but the OP has no right to tell her DB what sort of relationship he can have with his dad and siblings - or even suggest that it's wrong to treat his half-siblings on his dad's side the same as his half-sibling on his mum's side.

OP, try to meet them before the wedding, it might make you feel a little better about the whole thing, but accept that you and your brother have different dads, no matter how much you might want that to not be the case, wishing your mum behaved differently isn't going to change the reality.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:36:50

Blissex post is spot on with how I feel and yes I am allowed to have feelings!

- grants1000 - I totally understand where you are coming from, although I don't think there is a lot you can do.
I'm adopted but was adopted with my brother (we share the same birth mother but have different birth fathers). Recently, his birth father came looking for him and it turns out, our birth mother died ten years ago and my birth father was just a one-night-stand.
To top it all off, we were adopted to older parents who have both since passed away.
I understand your feelings-for me, I have jealousy as he is getting a relationship with his birth father and I don't have that opportunity and feeling awkward as I'm not as "into" meeting the rest of the birth family as he is.
However, these are my feelings and I can't really stop him from wanting this new 'family' involved at special occasions and gatherings etc.

I think you may just want your feelings to be heard - am I right? Having a one-to-one chat with your brother, calmly, may help him see where you are coming from and might be theraputic for you to be able to cope with them all at the wedding. Good luck - it is a rotten situation to be in.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:38:19

I have not left it 20 years!!! My brother only started real contact with is bio father in the last 3 years, was I supposed to barge in on that before they'd even had a chance to have some sort of relationship?

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:39:42

Also my brother has introduced him to all his friends and his wife to be, but not me or my Mum yet, he says its not deliverate, just geographical reasons and the night before the wedding is the best place to do it.

grants1000 Mon 13-May-13 17:41:16

delurked - again you understand, I think unless you have been in a similar situation it's hard to grasp, knowing about someone and meeting them face to face are two very different things.

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?!?

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 17:47:06

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!

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

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

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

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?

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.

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 18:18:17

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?)

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!)

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.

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!,

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 ?

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.)

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