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'AITA if I tell my sister I won’t attend her wedding because I dislike her fiancé?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA if I tell my sister I won’t attend her wedding because I dislike her fiancé?' UPDATED 2X

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"WIBTA for telling my sister I won’t attend her wedding because I hate her fiancé?"

Here's the original post:

Older Sister - “Brooke”, 32 F Fiancé - “Mark”, 32 M Me - no nickname necessary, 25 F Younger Sister - “Jenny”, 22 F

My sister, call her Brooke, has been together with Mark since freshman year of high school.

As far as I understand it, they did not want to get married initially because Brooke is vehemently child-free, and Mark agrees with her, but they have decided to hold a wedding/commitment ceremony next spring after a lot of years of back and forth.

The problem is, I’ve known Mark since I was a kid (he started coming to the house a lot when he and Brooke were sophomores in high school, so I was eight or so when I first met him as Brooke’s boyfriend, and I have basically hated him the whole time. I’ve tried to be polite, particularly now that we are all adults, but I just don’t want to go to the wedding of my sister and the guy she’s always put before her family.

As an example, when Brooke and Mark started dating, Brooke went from eating dinner at home with the rest of us every night to going out 2-3 times a week with Mark and his friends. This was against our parent’s rules, and caused a lot of arguments that negatively impacted both me and our younger sister Jenny (who was barely in kindergarten at the time and didn’t understand what was going on).

Brooke and our parents started fighting basically every night, and it was incredibly disruptive to our home life. My sister went from being my best friend to a stranger, and Mark was the one encouraging it. The stress of those years was so bad that I had to repeat fourth grade (failed math), and I was bullied really badly for that.

I stopped going to school looking nice because there was so much tension in the home that no one was paying attention to whether or not I had clean clothes. Jenny also struggled academically and socially but I was able to step in and help her more with things like getting dressed and packing her lunch, so she doesn’t remember those years as negatively as I do.

Of course, as soon as Brooke and Mark graduated he convinced her to move across the country to go to college. Our parents were really hurt by this and there were a few years where she didn’t come home over Christmas or summers.

Eventually things cooled down when I was in high school and Brooke started making more contact with our family, but Mark would do things like glare at our parents over the dinner table and suddenly declare that it was time for them to go.

I don’t think I should have to go to the wedding of my sister and this guy that stole her from us, and I am planning on RSVP-ing “no” when the time comes. Our family has been minimally involved in wedding planning, and I am not in the bridal party or anything like that (they are all friends of Brooke and Mark’s from the hospital where they work). WIBTA?

What do you think? AITA if she chooses to skip her sister's wedding? This is what top commenters had to say:

said:

I think you're being childish and petty over stupid shit. I think it's insane that one of your examples is she wasn't eating at home as often. Frankly you are blaming your sister for shit you aren't entitled to. You failed math. No one else made you do that.

Your parents sound just as immature. Why aren't you blaming them for creating a toxic home life? Why aren't you mad at them you had to take care of your younger sister? She's their child! The way you talk it's like you feel ownership over her instead of being an individual. It's weird. It's like grow up and get over it. Jesus. YTA.

[deleted] said:

YWBTA. Your family is weird AF. You haven't listed one thing that Brooke and Mark did that's not normal. So, you freaked out and failed math because your sister went out to eat? Your parents are the real AHs. They created a toxic environment in the home

said:

Go to the wedding or don't, but stop blaming Mark for your sister's behavior. You seem to have a lot of family problems that have made you bitter but they aren't all Mark's fault, your sister and parents were in this dynamic, too. YWBTA

said:

Soooo…. Your parents have basically neglected you and your little sister because they were fighting with their eldest and you blame her boyfriend? Wow. He didn’t “steal” your sister from her family. He didn’t force her to fight with your parents - they created an unhealthy environment and made her choose. YTA. But sorry for you shitty childhood, you deserved better.

said:

YTA not for simply not attending but for you using Mark as the scapegoat to all your life issues. You were under 10 when they got together. Time to let the tantrum go and grow up. We all need be accountable for our words and actions. Sounds like your sister was the typical teen.

From OP:

Edit: I am getting a lot of feedback that Brooke was potentially parentified. If anyone has recommendations for podcasts or books about that, I would appreciate it. I think I need to learn more about her experiences before I decide about the wedding, since we used to be close and it would be unfortunate to lose the relationship (which is what some commenters think will happen if I skip the wedding). Thanks!

Edit 2: Please stop attacking my parents. They have their faults but they did not have many resources when we were young. It’s important to me to support them now that they are older and can’t work but I also want to support Brooke and understand better now that I have not been handling this in a mature way.

I will be apologizing to her and asking for more of her perspective on things from our childhood. I’m going to stop reading now but I appreciate your help. Thank you.

A day after her original post, OP shared this second post:

"How do I apologize to my (25 f) older sister (32 f) for how parentified she was by our parents?"

My sister left home after high school and for a long time I blamed her and her boyfriend (now fiancé) for that. I want to learn more about parentification and her experiences growing up because I am starting to understand that our parents were not fair to her and put a lot of unreasonable caregiving responsibilities on her

(she did most of the cooking, laundry, and helping me and my younger sister with schoolwork while my parents were busy working long shifts at their jobs). But I do not want to trigger her, and I think this period of her life was probably very difficult. How do I start this conversation with her? What questions should I ask? If there is a good opportunity to apologize, what should I say? Thank you for your help.

Edit/Update: I decided to talk to my younger sister first, so I texted her this morning and asked if she could call me to talk about our older parents. She did, and I started off by asking her what she thought about our parents generally, and how they handled the “Brooke and Mark” situation more generally (I’ll use the nicknames from the other post but these aren’t their real names).

We had a good conversation, the details of which I won’t share, but the general tone was that yes, my younger sister thinks our parents put way too much responsibility on me and Brooke for raising her, and that she plans to keep firm boundaries with them as she finishes school and starts working.

I asked her about the money she sends home and told her that if it was a financial burden on her she should stop, but she said she never sends more than she can afford and that she wants to do it since she does Not want to come home and do the caregiving tasks that I’m doing for them.

She also asked me about my plans for the future and I told her that I don’t know but that I eventually want to have the nursing assistant credential and work more hours outside of the home.

Apparently she and “Brooke” have also had some conversations about our parents finances and they have a pact that when they die (which hopefully won’t be for a long time) that I can inherit the house solo, even if they are given shares of it in the will, which I appreciate a lot.

I now feel more comfortable with what I will want to say/ask Brooke and I think it was a good idea to talk to Jenny first. Jenny told me that Brooke isn’t mad at me and will like to hear from me, which is a big relief.

In the comments, said:

I saw your AITA post, and I am glad you come to this conclusion. I have younger siblings too (I am the eldest), and if they come to me, wanting to have a conversation I would be open for that. However, you are correct to assume that you need to be careful in approaching this to her.

I do not know about your sister, but if I was in her position, I would be more open if you start it with an apology. Not for your parents, but for your treatment towards her and your FBIL. Tell her that you understand that this might open up old wounds, but if she is willing to talk, you would be happy to be there for her.

Keep the door open, but leave the decision to start a conversation on her, when she is ready. I hope you have a better relationship with your sister in the future, and I hope it is not too late. I hope it means you can also be happy for her on her wedding.

Then, three days later, she shared this update on the situation:

I really appreciate everyone who commented on both posts, thank you for your feedback and help deconstructing the situation.I talked to “Brooke” Tuesday night, after my parents went to bed, and it was really beneficial for both of us, I think.

I apologized profusely for how bitter I’ve been over things that happened when we were younger, and for how I’ve treated “Mark” when he’s been such a strong support for her all these years. Brooke accepted the apology for herself and on Mark’s behalf, and also offered to give me Mark’s cell number so we could start to build up more of our own relationship.

Brooke also shed some light on more context for those rough teenage years. Like some of you predicted, she did really find solace in Mark from all of the pressure at home, and in particular, the pressure to go to church, dress and act in the way the church demands, and pretend to believe in things she disagrees with. She and my parents would argue over new beliefs she formed from conversations with Mark,

including some science-denying opinions that I was surprised to hear my parents used to believe in (at this point, they are much stronger believers in secular medicine, probably due to increased medical issues that they’ve needed to treat, but apparently when Brooke was growing up they only supported homeopathy and natural medicines).

She also found it interesting to hear some of my perspective on how our parents have changed as they have gotten older. Since I am their primary caregiver, I have spent more time with them than either Brooke or Jenny, and I have witnessed a lot of positive changes in them over the years.

She was also interested in my plans for the future beyond our parents, and was touched that I wanted to try and pursue nursing like her, eventually. I’m going to try and learn more about personal finance, and Brooke is willing to help me by sharing her journey there, and I’m hoping that this will help me save up more of a nest egg for the future.

In terms of therapy, I do like my current therapist, who is a licensed social worker, since he has some really useful recommendations for how to take care of my parents while taking care of myself and avoiding burnout, without being creepy about trying to get me to date in our small town.

I will also check out text therapy though, since that might be a nice option to give me more contact with the world outside of our very small country community, and this whole exercise has really illuminated the benefits (and the cons, but the benefits outweigh them) of getting an outside perspective on some problems.

I think me and Brooke will have a much better relationship moving forward, and I also think going through this process has helped clarify some priorities for me, and that’s incredibly valuable. Thank you all for your help.

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