Here's the original post:
My (43F) fiancé (38M) are getting married at the end of next month. It’s a second marriage for both of us, so we’ve agreed to keep it incredibly small and intimate. We’re only inviting 25 of our closest friends and family due to a tight budget and wanting to keep things simple.
Fiancé’s sister (42F) is used to being the center of attention, and it’s been a real issue for my fiancé his entire life. She’s the “golden child” and his parents spend most of their time and energy catering to her, from driving her to doctor’s appointments, to cooking and delivering home cooked meals, to paying her bills regularly.
His parents even used to pay him to go clean her apartment for her when he was in college. She is often in some kind of “medical crisis”, which I suspect may be Munchausen’s or at least severe hypochondria. Despite all of that, I’ve always had good interactions with her, and we generally get along.
The current issue revolves around SIL’s romantic relationships. She’s married to a man that she lives with, and I’ve met several times at holidays and dinners at my future in-laws house. However, SIL also has another partner I’ll call G. G is a older woman who is married to SIL’s cousin, who is also a woman. Everyone in the family is aware of the relationship and it’s been going on for several years.
I met G for the first, and only, time this past Thanksgiving. When we arrived, I was introduced to G, and I was surprised to see them wearing a very revealing dress. I’m not one to body shame by any means, but G is very heavyset and older, and this dress had their breasts spilling out and was short enough to make it obvious they weren’t wearing underwear.
This is the way they chose to dress to a family Thanksgiving in a New England November. On top of that, it was obvious both by smell and appearance that they had personal hygeine issues. We then had to spend the rest of the afternoon watching SIL indulge in PDA with G that was really uncomfortable, while she gushed about having “two husbands”.
The whole situation was off-putting and impossible to ignore, ensuring SIL was the focus of the day. It was an awkward experience I have no desire to repeat.
As stated at the beginning, when we sat down to do our wedding invites, we were focused on keeping the list incredibly short, which left out several people we would have really liked to include. When we gave an invite to SIL, we addressed it to her and her husband. Future MIL told us we needed to invite G as well because of their relationship with SIL.
My fiancé told her SIL only got a plus one, like everyone else, and neither my fiance or I had any kind of relationship with G. Aside from the fact we both find G incredibly off-putting, and can’t trust they’ll dress or bathe appropriately for a wedding, we know that SIL bringing G will just ensure the focus will be on her and her relationships. My fiancé doesn’t deserve that on his wedding day, and neither do I.
We thought the matter was settled, but my fiance had a family holiday yesterday at his parent’s house that I wasn’t there for. G was there, once again wearing a very short dress and in obvious need of a shower. My fiance made it through the entire evening without the wedding coming up - right until he had one foot out the door.
As he was walking out, SIL told him, I have two husbands, and they’ll both be at your wedding. Fiance was taken aback, but really had to leave. He plans on sending an email to his SIL and parents explaining that G is not invited to the wedding and they need to respect our decision on that.
If it comes down to it, we believe that may mean SIL won’t be coming to the wedding, and could cause a bit of a rift in the family. Am I wrong for wanting to stand our ground and insist G was never invited to the wedding, and is not welcome to just show up?
EDIT I’ve been accused of being out of line for misgendering G by using they/them pronouns. To clarify, G asked us to refer to them as “he” at Thanksgiving, but that has been in flux since then.
Because we’re not always in the loop about what’s going on with SIL and her partners, we find it’s more respectful to refer to G in gender neutral terms than to risk actually misgendering them. Our issues with G have nothing to do with their gender identity, but the fact that we find them off putting for a variety of other reasons. Future FIL feels the same for the same reasons.
That was a ride. I think the best case scenario is that SIL is a no-show for all involved. I don't think she is great for your husband's mental health and you both deserve a stress free wedding.
Remind her that this is yours and fiancé wedding. Inform her that attention seeking and ruining your wedding is not an option.
She can come with her plus one or not at all. Inform anyone else that agrees with her that their spot can be given to someone else, and they can spend the day with sil paying her all the attention that she needs. Then, adjust your budget for security to make sure they don't show up to ruin your day.
"Hey Sis? I don't want to have you to choose who to bring to my wedding. So you're hereby uninvited. Go spend that day with both your husbands. Maybe give G a bath and explain proper dresscode and hygiene to her, m'kay? Good talk. Bye now."
i am so sorry you and fiancé gotta deal with that bullshit. i promise i'm not trying to be a scorched earth redditor, but does your fiancé think this may be the hill he needs to take a stand on with his fam?
tell them if SIL keeps insisting to bring G she is uninvited, if the parents take her side they're uninvited. but i'm petty, and i'm sure your bro wants his family there to support him. it's so sad they can't stop their lunacy for one day. hope it's a great one!!
And Slave2themusik said:
Here's the perspective from someone who is part of a long-term committed triad. We all comport ourselves well and dress appropriately for all events. We're very aware that for extended family, invitations might be any sort--plus one, plus two, couple and individual invite, or just couple. It was initially something We had to be very careful not to take personally, originally.
Now that I have said all of that, G's behavior is designed to shock. I don't know about the hygiene issues, but G certainly knows what is acceptable clothing and not. SIL also knows that saying things like "two husbands" is designed to shock and gain attention. Given the whole picture, your SIL is problematic in more than just these ways.
Stand fast and strong here. SIL and G have shown they can't follow rules or respect you. You and your fiancé deserve to enjoy your day without the added stress of people who are more concerned with placing the spotlight on themselves. If you haven't hired security, please do so and rely on them to keep the problem children out.
While my fiancé was trying to figure out what to say to his family about the whole situation, his mother emailed us to make sure we were going to SIL’s birthday and to ask if we were getting excited about the wedding. I told my fiancé he clearly couldn’t wait any longer to address the situation with his family directly.
So he emailed them, clarifying SIL only got a plus one to the wedding, and we needed to make sure that was being respected. He also said we didn’t appriciate being told by SIL she would be bringing both of her partners to the wedding without even talking it over or asking us if that was ok.
The ensuing meltdown has been ugly to say the least. MIL began spamming my fiancé with angry and unhinged emails, accusing him of being anti-poly, and somehow, antisemetic (his family is Jewish, obviously including him as well). SIL has said she won’t speak to us.
FIL advised my fiancé not to respond to MIL until she calmed down. Over the past few days, she’s now emailing him about random garbage, acting like nothing ever happened.
FIL asked to talk to fiance face-to-face today. I thought it was an odd request as they usually just talk on the phone and we live 3 hours away from them. Fiance had to be in the area for work today. My theory was he planned to offer to help pay for the wedding so our budget would be a non-issue. Not the case.
He actually told my fiancé that they all though the budget was a big excuse since we hadn’t asked them for any financial help with the wedding. He told his dad the whole reason we didn’t ask for help was because we wanted to keep this small and simple and have control over the guests and not feel obligated to invite people we didn’t want there. I didn’t even invite one of my brothers I don’t get along with.
FIL agrees that G presents a lot of issues, and asked if they could convince them to be more appropriate for the wedding, if that would help. My feeling is at this point it’s become such a huge issue, that SIL will go out of her way to make everyone uncomfortable no matter what to prove a point. This is a hill it appears everyone is willing to die on.
SIL still won’t talk to us for fear of going “nuclear”. FIL told my fiancé we all have to figure this out, or it’s going to cause a huge rift in their family. I think the damage is already done. No constructive advice was offered.
At this point I just want to email them all myself and say it’s a non-issue as SIL is no longer invited. Fiance isn’t ready to take that step yet. Still not sure what we’re all going to do, and the wedding is getting closer by the day. I told my fiancé I’m not even excited for this wedding anymore, and I just want to call the whole thing off.
I don’t want to spend the rest of our lives having our wedding be the event that tears his family apart. I’m sad and I’m angry and not feeling like celebrating anything.
I’m sad for OOPs soon to be husband. It sounds like he’s lived his entire life being expected to cater to his sister. Not even his wedding day is allowed to be centered on him.
Oh gods I’m exhausted just reading about the SIL and her family.
Seriously, I would just elope at this point. SIL has already turned the pre-wedding into something all about her. The flying monkeys are strong with this one. Punish them all and go have a romantic wedding with a couple of close friends.