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To think my SIL purposefully tried to spoil our wedding day?

(174 Posts)
ThreadWorms Tue 05-Mar-13 18:25:59

A bit of a back story first - my SIL (not technically as this is BIL's girlfriend) and BIL were meant to get married last year and had found a venue they wanted to use but decided to use the money her father had given her for the wedding on a house purchase instead. She then told me that they would probably get married abroad in a couple of years. Fast forward to last year and DH and I decided to finally set the date for our wedding having come into a little bit of money which would enable us to do it. As our budget was low we found a couple of venues with winter offers one being the one that SIL was going to use. I was dubious about upsetting her but after a huge fallout with a close friend over the other venue (one date left and she demanded I let her have it - we haven't spoken since) we decided to go ahead with sil's venue believing that it wouldn't matter since they would never use it anyway. SIL is a difficult person, I have posted about her before and she demonstrates many characteristics of narsassistic personality disorder. She has taken over other key events in our life and I fully expected her to do 'something' on our wedding day but she really excelled my expectations.

Firstly she ate her starter and then disappeared outside for the rest of the evening for the most part. She spend near enough the whole time stood outside with the smokers. I realise that this is her prerogative but she made it obvious that she didn't want to be there.

She heckled my dad all the way through his speech and insulted my DH.

She started arguments with a few of my friends over things that happened over 5 years ago. She accused my best friend and bridesmaid of sending her a nasty message on Facebook which never happened. She was generally very rude and nasty to my friends. She has a tendency to be this way with people anyway but I was shocked by just how openenly nasty she was. My friends did very well not to bite but at one point I really thought it could end up with physical fighting as she just wouldn't stop goading them with vile comments.

She was visibly annoyed and said as much that we had been lucky enough to get a good day weather wise which of course people were commenting on.

She told anyone who would listen that we had 'stolen' her venue. She also kept telling people that she was gutted that her sons had not been asked to he pageboys despite the fact that DH had asked them but stipulated that they would have to pay for the suit hire. They opted not to do this, fair enough.

I generally tried to avoid her anyway as I don't like her very much but at one point she pulled me over to have a 'heart to heart'. It started off very nice with her complimenting my dress and the wedding decoration etc, but then she admitted that she was angry with us for booking that venue. I tried to explain what had happened but she wouldn't hear me out. She said that friends of hers had encouraged her to book the same venue but go bigger and better which she now felt she couldn't do as I'd done such a great job. I told her it wasn't a competition and that I would be happy if she felt she could still have her wedding there if that was what she wanted. I do not subscribe to this belief that friends or family cannot use the same venue.

She ended up asking me if I had a problem with her. On any other occasion I probably would have explained my issues with her but I felt it wasn't the time or the place.

What made me most angry was this though. Many years ago DH had an affair with one of sil's friends. We got through it and I never blamed SIL for her involvement despite the fact that she helped to hide what was going on. I disliked her before this anyway so that was never the issue. Despite the fact that her BIL has also cheated on her she still loves to make out that they have a better relationship than we do. Anyway, I don't know what possessed her but she started saying that we would never see eye to eye due to the past with her friend/ow but going on and on about how great and amazing her friend was. That was it for me and I made my excuses and went back inside to spend time with our guests that were actually happy for us. I mean is it just me or was this totally and utterly inappropriate to bring up Mine and DH's past like this on our wedding day? We have discussed the situation before, there was just no need as far as I could see. Things have moved on anyway, we have has children since the affair, we have got through it. Why drag it back up on what was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives?

So Aibu to think she did this on purpose or should I cut her some slack since it was inevitably going to be difficult for her since she had wanted her wedding there? Or could we have reasonably expected her to keep her feeling to herself just for one day? I've put myself in her position and I think that even if I was angry etc I would have tried to be happy for them and put my own feelings to one side for their big day.

Greendesigner Sun 31-Mar-13 14:21:05

You have my sympathies. Similar situation last year when I was married. Having invited as a romantic gesture the friends of my now husband who haven't seen in years, but had introduced us. They too were getting married. The women they were marrying turned up to my wedding to just try and spoil it. Having no history with either woman it can't be the case that I offended them in anyway. They then proceeded after my wedding to troll me via my Facebook page. Trying to undermine my wedding photos etc. Having seen there own weddings via photos posted later (didn't go obviously, having more about me than these pair). I can only say it was jealousy. Some people are just horrible. It's that simple. Your SIL sounds like she was looking for an excuse(and a thin one at that) to justify her spiteful nature. You can't bagsy a host of venues, that you have made clear you've no intention to use. If you'd have gone abroad I'm sure she would have justified this was hers too as a way to try and spoil your day. my unwelcome guests were about to be asked to leave, but they up and went before my mother and friend was about to give them marching orders. Here is how you should look at it. You Cinderella on her wedding day. Your SIL ugly sister looking on ha ha. My two unwelcome guests certainly fitted that bill. Take it as a compliment, your wedding must have been stunning to get that sort of rise.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 19:59:36

It was really odd and so uncomfortable to witness. She was actually upset about it and was reeling off reasons that they hasn't done the deed. I tried to say it was all normal etc. it was just weird.

You must always feel that your feeling are being sacrificed for your sister's. it's really not fair to you to not have your feeling acknowledged. I know how you feel as it always feels like I am having to be the reasonable one since she is totally incapable.

I like your thinking coconutty. If only I could bring myself to lower myself to her level and go on about his amazing ex girlfriend (who she hates with a passion).

Coconutty Fri 08-Mar-13 19:33:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SnowSeaandMotorboats Fri 08-Mar-13 19:29:30

Your sil had a tantrum over THAT! Blinking hell! I would say I can't imagine my sis being that strange but you know what, I can.

Emma- I shall try. Don't have kids, and most convs tend to be on the phone, but I do really like your wording. Will definitely use it. Part of the problem is that my mum relies on me to be the reasonable one but I'm fed up of it. I don't see why I'm not allowed to have feelings, let alone have them taken into account. (I remember once being told, after being reduced to tears by my sister, that I wasn't upset-statement, not fact).

You two have given me some backbone. And a sense of not being alone. Thanks. x

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 19:14:40

Oops, lots of typos. Hope that made sense blush.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 19:13:12

When I realised that SIL probably does have narsarcistic personality disorder, I thought that it would help me deal with her and understand why she is as she is. But it hasn't helped because I just can't understand her motivation. I can't see the world through the eyes of a narsarcist.

I remember SIL insisting that she come into the doctors room with my on my 6 week post partum checkup. She weirdly had a tantrum because DH and I had resumed marital relations wink and they hasn't yet (her DVD is a week older than mine). She was trying to justify her reasons and I realised that in her weird world that she felt it was an indication of the state of our relationship confused.

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 19:10:45

You go ahead with your plans. You don't rant or justify you just say "oh Mum that doesn't really work for me so I will be staying with <<whoever>> they're ever so excited about seeing me, now fancy a cuppa?". Then start talking to someone else about something else or focus on your children ie get them a drink, wipe a face, get a snack (by the way suddenly starting to chat to my kids or having to do something for them that can't possibly wait has got me out of more conversational scrapes than I care to remember).

It's clearly no good trying to explain things to your Mum, that's the dance she and your sister do and YOU can't change it. You can only show what YOU won't put up with as an example.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 19:07:41

I should laugh really. She does like to boast - nearly everything that comes out of her mouth is an 'I am great, you are crap' statement. My absolute favourite thing she ever said was (as a dig at me and DH for not being together as long as them and having a crap relationship by comparison hmm) 'did you know do and I both lost our virginity to each other. Well, there was one before him but I don't count that'. I resisted the urge to laugh and point out that he's more than made up for that in the last few years.

I also know the exact balance in each of dc's savings accounts. She likes to update me on that one. A lot.

Snow, it's lovely to find people who understand and really do understand. It sounds to me as if your DM bolsters your sisters belief that she is centre of the universe. I have no idea how you would try and deal with that. Have you ever had a conversation with your DM about how you feel?

SnowSeaandMotorboats Fri 08-Mar-13 19:01:53

And yes, sis is a narcissist. No of boundaries. Asked my gay flatmate within 5 mins of meeting him who was thewritten in his relationship! I wouldn't have asked and I was good friends with him! When I said she'd quiz you about your sex lifeat my wedding I meant it! If it's ever an option your are seriously getting an invite. And Emma. You can guard everyone else from her!

SnowSeaandMotorboats Fri 08-Mar-13 18:56:27

Emma and TW - I think you're about to become my new best friends. You understand!

My problem is often not my sister but the way my mother deals with her. Whilst I ignore her to the best of my ability my mother panders to her for far off upsetting her, regardless of how it affects me.

So, I'm going to a party near to wear my sister lives in August. As far as I'm concerned I'll stay with friends. I told my mother this and she was happy with the plan knowing why I didn't want to see sis.i was euphoric she was actually listening to ME for once. Two days later she decides I have to book us all (Inc sis and bil) into a hotel so my suits doesn't get upset. Now considering last time we were there for my sister's Birthday a few years ago the spare room was offered to friends of sis, not my 70+ yr old ma who had travelled 450 miles for said party I'm not really bothers about upsetting the previous Princess. But my mother will do anything to keep the peace, which means my sister gets worse.

So what do I do with my mum?

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 18:53:29

confused she sounds nuts. How do you not laugh in her face?

To that last paragraph I honestly would say "wow......well that's nice to know.......thanks for sharing" with a face like hmm. Then immediately start to talk to someone else or focus intently on your children. Honestly that's so ridiculous it doesn't even need to be defended.

Someone who needs to constantly TELL you how lucky they are and how great things are is obviously not really feeling it imo.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 18:39:42

Yes, I think that was what shocked me, that she would behave like that on my wedding day of all days. It was silly of me for thinking that she could be nice for such an important day. I should have seen it coming really, there was just no way she would pass up on that opportunity.

She might say something like, 'I don't know how you put up with DH thread. I mean his feet stink <manic laughing>. My dp, in the x number of years we've been together, he's always had really good foot hygiene. I mean, I just don't know why you're even with him. I definitely got the best brother. He so kind. Do you know he gave me £1000 just because he went on your DH's stag do. It was only fair, and he's so good to me in all these years we've been together.'

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 18:14:03

I tell you what, she wouldn't get JACK from me! Not so much as a shred of ribbon off my flower arrangement! She does not deserve a thing from you.

Please don't for one second think I am telling you what she did at your wedding is to do with anything YOU did wrong. I am just saying (with the benefit of YOUR hindsight) what I would do with a person like this. How were you to know she would be a dick on your WEDDING DAY?

You know you don't even have to go looking for a confrontation with her. Just let her say something again (and she will) and then go in hard, not aggressive, just no nonsense. Can you give me an example of the kinds of things she might say and then I can think about what I would say in response to that. My sister used to do that for me (she was much more switched on than me when dealing with our Mum) and it really used to help.

With a Mum like mine I too, was a people pleaser. I am not anymore wink

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 17:56:15

Thank you very much for the advice Emma flowers.

I agree with everything you've said in that post.

I should have got away from her before she cornered me but she started off with lots of compliments. I should have known it was just a way to get my attention before launching into her attack. And I though about telling her to fuck off but I didn't want to cause a scene at my own wedding.

It's really hard to know what to do for the best. Even on this thread there are people telling me to be the bigger peron, it's only wedding stuff, let her have it, it's nice to help. In an ideal world we'd have the kind of relationship where I could be excited for her and indulge my love of wedding crafty stuff and help her, but like you say, it will only give her the opportunity to be a cow to me.

Before posting, I had got to the point where I was going to tell her straight then changed my mind, but as you quite rightly pointed out, by ignoring her bad behaviour I am giving her permission to carry on.

I'm afraid I am a people pleaser, a legacy from my DM I'm afraid but I have to take a stand now. It's gone in long enough.

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 17:35:41

Yes, she will definitely have picked up on the avoiding confrontation thing.

One thing I have found in my life is that it is not possible to avoid confrontation and remain mentally healthy. I know that sounds doom and gloom but its true. I spent my twenties avoiding confrontation and I realised that it just gives people license to bully you. They won't stop if you ignore them that is a complete fallacy, if they are that way inclined they will LOVE the fact that they don't get a response from you because it means they can keep being a twat to you and never, ever get pulled up on it. At your wedding a. I wouldnt have gone out with her in the first place and b. If she had cornered me I would have said "oh STFU SIL, this is my wedding! Now if you'll excuse me I have much to attend to" and left her standing there.

A confrontation isnt always a big row. A short sharp sentence and then refusing to look at her or engage anymore in the nonsense goes a long long way.

Oh and fgs do NOT help her! You don't want to and she doesn't deserve it. Shes not going to like you better for doing it and you are just going to feel more trampled on by her. In fact it will probably be a perfect opportunity for her to stick the knife into you again. Stop being a People Pleaser wink and start looking after YOU!

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 17:10:56

I see her a lot less often these days. There was once a point where she invited herself round to mine once a week. I put a stop to it as I was beginning to get depressed being in her company that much and suffering her constant digs and put downs.

I find it very difficult to be strict with her as I avoid confrontation at any cost. She has probably picked up on that. I find it so hard to tell her she is being outrageously rude to me. This thread has helped me immensely to see her behaviour for what it is. I have calmed down a lot since posting and I am actually thinking if helping her if I can bear the constant meetings with her.

I know I need to find a better way if dealing with her in those occasions when I simply cannot avoid her without having to post on here.

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 17:00:46

How often do you have to see her?

My "difficult" family member is actually my mother so it was very hard to get to a point where I didn't give a hoot anymore. I think mainly it was because I had a lot of difficult stuff go on in my life, my two children were both diagnosed with autism and my marriage broke down and it kind of got to a point where NOTHING she could do could touch me anymore because I had been through so much. I could see it all for how petty it was.

Your SIL is a nobody to you, she is a petty individual that whines about wedding venues! WTF? I would be embarassed to be wailing about someone booking MY wedding venue, honestly I would. If I were you I would be laughing at her nonsense because its actually funny. I would say to her "don't be so pathetic, I won't wear it out! It will still be available for when you get round to getting married" and then simply refuse to discuss it again. I certainly wouldn't have stepped outside for her little dramatic performance at my wedding. If you take her audience away she will stop performing.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 16:55:56

Do you know, there could be a lucrative business in that. Never mind wedding crèches, we'd be taking it in! Get rid of your difficult relatives for the day grin.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 16:54:34

Jon = job

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 16:54:07

You've got a deal snow. No pay necessary, despite knowing what a tough Jon it will be. Anything to help out a fellow nasty bastard sufferer. Even better, I'll stick them together, that would be so much fun to watch the inevitable fireworks wink grin.

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 16:52:16

Do you think your sister has narsassistic personality disorder snow? I was reading about it by chance and SIL's personality matches the description very well, namely that she is completely unable to empathise with people and believes she is the centre of the whole world. She is very awkward in social situations openly bragging about things and not sensing that others aren't interested or not understanding that its insensitive to discuss certain topics, eg. money when everyone is struggling.

I've got to say I'm feeling a bit self conscious now. I have asked myself a million times if it is me, do I do something or say something to bring about her behaviour but I think I am polite and pleasant enough in the face of extreme nastiness. I'm suck of feeling like I have any influence over her bad behaviour.

SnowSeaandMotorboats Fri 08-Mar-13 16:47:42

Actually TW, I've had a plan. If I ever do get married, and I get blackmailed into inviting her, can I book you for the day to babysit her, as you know what you're dealing with but aren't emotionally involved with her.?Plus you'll never meet her again, so when she quizzes you on your sex life, my sex life, etc (she would) you can make up whatever you want then disappear into the mist.

I'll pay you!

SnowSeaandMotorboats Fri 08-Mar-13 16:39:34

Emma: I do that too, but, being my sister, there are times when I really can't avoid her. TBF to myself I only speak to her on the phone once every two years (when I spend Christmas with my mum) and see her as little as possible. The last time being when I was at my mum's just before I moved to pack the stuff I still had at hers and my sister 'forgot' which weekend I was going to be there and came the same time. Considering I was travelling 800 miles and had a friend with me (who had booked time off work etc) to help drive a van home I couldn't change my plans at the last minute to avoid her.

I think we should set up a support group somewhere. At least we know we understand and will believe each other...

ThreadWorms Fri 08-Mar-13 16:38:22

How did you get to that point Emma? I would love for her crap to just wash over me but its difficult when its so relentless. I'm not obsessed with her by any means but I do find it hard to not let it get to me at all. I keep my distance as best I can but there are occasions that I just can't avoid her. I post on here to vent and process my thoughts do I don't fight fire with fire when it comes to dealing with her.

akaemmafrost Fri 08-Mar-13 16:34:04

I've got an awful female family member and I fully know how it feels to describe what she's doing and no one "gets" it because it doesn't seem THAT bad. I spent years crying over it. But guess what I was the only one crying. The only thing that worked was distancing myself completely and ignoring her nonsense. A few years on I can't believe I was ever so affected by her.

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