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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.

TolliverGroat Mon 13-May-13 12:17:02

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.

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