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Wedding Wednesday – The Insanity of Jealousy

This story came to me from a friend of mine who got married last summer. One of her bridesmaids (and a cousin of the bride), “Alison,” was insanely jealous of the happy couple. There are lots of stories about Alison during the whole of this bride’s engagement/wedding, but this was the worst and possibly the strangest. She was not jealous for any particular reason except that she is one of those counts-her-presents-at-Christmas types who feels that everyone in the world owes her something, and she is known within her family for occasionally having temper tantrums over strange things. I should also add that Alison is married and had a beautiful, large wedding 13 years ago (I, personally, know it was exactly 13 years ago, because when I talked to her before the wedding, she brought it up several times, along with the fact that she hadn’t had a honeymoon) with all the bells and whistles to go along with it (bridal showers, luncheons, dinners, etc.) that family could afford to provide her.

During the rehearsal and dinner afterwards, Alison came with her husband and three children. She was not very pleasant during the rehearsal, but kept most of her attitude to herself. During the dinner, they sat in the corner and left early because of the younger children. On the day of the wedding, she made some nasty comments to the bride, other bridesmaids, and mother of the bride (the bride deemed the comments not worth repeating), but, as the bride said, “If that’s the worst she’s going to do, that’s really not that bad.” The day after the wedding, though, was what took the wedding cake.

The day after the wedding (the wedding was on a Friday, so this was a Saturday), the parents of the bride hosted a backyard barbecue lunch at their home for all of the local and out of town family and close friends to eat, socialize, and say goodbyes before the out of town family members left. It was an “open house” style party; people started arriving at around noon, and most people had left by 4:00. Alison also attended the party with her husband and children, but left early because her youngest two children were still tired from the excitement of the previous day. Alison’s parents (sister and BIL to the MOB) were staying later to help the MOB clean up and de-stress, so with their permission she left her oldest son (about 12 years old) at the party so that he could continue hanging out with some other family members who live out of state. Alison’s parents agreed to drop him off on their way home, since they live in the same town (I should also add that they do this often. It is not out of the ordinary at all).

After cleaning up, the family still at the house ate dinner and went out back for some cocktails to de-stress. That’s when the texts and phone calls began. Alison, enraged that her son was not home yet (despite being told of her parents plans of when they’d probably be leaving), began to angrily call her mother, screaming at her for not having left yet. Her mother explained as calmly as she could that they were on their way out now, and he would be home soon (about 20 min). This would not placate her rage, so she just hung up on her and ignored the rest of her calls. Then Alison began texting her mother about how she was so angry that they weren’t home yet and that when SHE had gotten married, she had only had a THREE hour day-after party, not a SIX hour day-after party! How DARE they stay that long!!! She needed her son home NOW!!! This seemed to be the root of the her problem: she was angry that someone else was supposedly getting more attention than she was. When she got no response that way, she began repeatedly calling the parents’ of the bride home phone, which no one answered, at the advice of Alison’s parents. She did, however, leave a message on the answering machine each time she called. It’s the type where you can’t year the message as it’s recorded, but she may not have known that. The bride’s brother later said that out of morbid curiosity, he checked the answering machine the next day, and they had FIFTEEN messages from Alison, where she was screaming various things, including a threat that she was going to call the local police station and tell them that they had kidnapped her son and were holding him hostage! She did not do this, thankfully!

Apparently, this particular situation has never been mentioned again by Alison, even while apologizing for other wedding-related things, and she has since left her son at parties for her parents to bring home without causing any trouble. According to another cousin of the bride, though, Alison did post a random comment on a relative’s Facebook post several months later blaming all of her horrible behavior during all the wedding festivities on her particular brand of hormonal birth control.   0531-17


{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Semperviren January 17, 2018, 9:12 am

    It sounds like Alison’s parents are accustomed to this dramatic behavior; I admire them for handling it so calmly and not giving in to it.

  • NostalgicGal January 17, 2018, 9:24 am

    At least there were forewarnings that Allison might have repeated vicious and nasty meltdowns and things could have been a LOT worse. I think after this a good round of give Allison an extra ten feet of distance and quietly unfriending her on social media might be prudent.

    I wonder what’s going to happen when the HC start producing children to be rivals for attention by the parents (grandparents)?

    • Multi-Facets January 17, 2018, 1:54 pm

      Probably a whole lotta excrement hitting a whole lotta fans. :-/

  • Wild Irish Rose January 17, 2018, 9:31 am

    Nothing like a drama llama to spice up someone else’s wedding celebration. There is one in every family. (In mine, for instance, it was my mother.) My hat’s off to Allison’s parents for keeping their poise in the face of her silliness. As for her blaming the birth control–well, that’s so much easier than admitting you’re spoiled and selfish. I feel for her children.

  • Aleko January 17, 2018, 9:47 am

    Interesting that she is aware of her foul behaviour but just refuses to apologise. (Because even if a social misdemeanour is directly caused by medication or some health issue, that does not free the perpetrator of the obligation to apologise for it. )

    Obviously a first cousin, and mother of three first-cousins-once-removed, couldn’t not be invited to the wedding; but I do wonder why on earth she was asked to be a bridesmaid. Okay, a teenage or sub-teen cousin might pine to be a bridesmaid and feel slighted if not asked, but I can’t see any obligation to ask a woman 13 years married unless she is really close to the bride, which she clearly is not. It surely can’t even have been a case of “we HAVE to let Alison be a bridesmaid or she’ll have a tantrum”, since it seems everyone was grimly resigned to her throwing a tantrum anyway.

    And one of the great mysteries of life is the dynamic by which an entire family can tacitly accept the intolerable family member’s right to behave abominably without anyone saying boo to them. Her mother, on being screamed and ranted at, ‘explained calmly’ and finally put the phone down on her; but nobody, apparently, saw fit to take her to task for phone nuisance culminating in actual threats.

  • JD January 17, 2018, 10:04 am

    I wonder what Allison’s husband does during all this? Her parents can refuse her calls, but he’s stuck with the woman.
    It seems that Allison still has all the details of her wedding memorized so that she can endlessly compare her wedding to others’ weddings for the next, what, fifty years? I agree with NostalgicGal, holy heck is probably going to break loose when more children appear, if Allison hates competition this much already.

  • Abby January 17, 2018, 10:56 am

    ” On the day of the wedding, she made some nasty comments to the bride, other bridesmaids, and mother of the bride (the bride deemed the comments not worth repeating), but, as the bride said, “If that’s the worst she’s going to do, that’s really not that bad.” ”

    Wow. If the bride can brush off nasty comments from her cousin (on her wedding day!) as, it could have been worse, sounds like Alison has been inflicting her unpleasant personality on her entire extended family for quite some time.

  • eddie January 17, 2018, 11:13 am

    Seems like Alison recognized that she caused trouble and apologized for her overall behavior, even if not this freak out specifically.

    Sounds like hormonal changes took a flaw that Alison already has (jealousy) and magnified it to a point where even she recognized the problem. Medication can absolutely do that. Even though Alison might not be perfect even on her best day, I credit her for a) recognizing that there was a problem and presumably changing meds; and b) making apologies. Even if OP doesn’t think they went far enough, it is very difficult to admit a mistake and apologize.

  • Zhaleh January 17, 2018, 11:34 am

    It really sounds like Alison has episodes where she is not in control of herself.
    It must be horrible for her as well as those around her.
    At least she made some apologies, and honestly, some people cannot take birth control and stay sane. I’m one of them.
    Back when I would still consider using birth control, I always got excited when a new brand came out because I though maybe the formula would be different, but it was always the same ingredients, different delivery and occasionally different measures, but nothing I could take without becoming mental. I was looking for magic instead of medical science.
    Anyway, I think this whole situation is worse for Alison and her immediate family than anyone. She and her children, and possibly her husband have to live with the humiliation afterwards.

  • Angie in NM January 17, 2018, 1:16 pm

    I was going to say WHY did the bride ask her cousin Alison to be a bridesmaid. But then it was DUH, she did it in vain to somewhat keep the family peace. Because there would have been WWIII if Alison had been snubbed (in her mind) if she hadn’t been asked to be a bridesmaid.

    I’m glad that her parents didn’t cater to her demands and leave right then. I guess they’ve learned that they either catered to her too much in the past or that no matter what they do, it is going to be wrong so just go with the flow.

  • Anne January 17, 2018, 1:20 pm

    I would be seriously considering taking the machine and having a sit down intervention with Allison, her parents and the wedding parents. I would play the whole slew of messages and let Allison know how unacceptable and childish this behavior is. Threatening to call the police and said that your son is being held hostage, could be considered mentally unwell and she needs to seek some kind of therapy before finds someone who doesn’t play these games and she finds herself in the pokey.

  • Devin January 17, 2018, 1:28 pm

    She sounds like an absolute boar, but if this really was behavior that was only exhibited during a short period of time, I wouldn’t completely discount her claim of behaving irrationally due to hormonal birth control. this is a 3rd had retelling, so who really knows. This could be typical behavior for Alison in which case I hope the OPs friend can steer clear of her while maintaining her friendship with the rest of the family. The reason I think Alison may be telling the truth is that she actually apologized and recognized her past behavior was bad and there hasn’t been an incident since as far as the OP is aware.

  • Dee January 17, 2018, 1:37 pm

    Allison is clearly mentally ill, so why would the bride include her in the wedding party without an assurance that Allison won’t have a meltdown of some sort? Everyone was forewarned of the potential for drama and yet set the scene for it to happen anyway. You can’t change Allison but you can change your expectations of her and I would think those expectations would have been made very, very low, as in limiting contact with Allison as much as possible, not upping it.

  • mark January 17, 2018, 5:22 pm

    I’m not female, but an honest question, do many of you (female or otherwise) get annoyed at blaming bad behavior on “female hormones” (caused by birth control or not)?

    • Zhaleh January 18, 2018, 8:33 am

      The weird thing about it is that, obviously I’m speaking only about my own experiences, as young girls we’re (my peers and I) told that our periods should not interfere with anything, we can swim, do any kind of exercise, that moods swings are exaggerated in’s so on and so on.
      It made me feel like the times when I was in so much pain and discomfort that I was being weak and girly.

      I know you’re only asking about hormones but when you add cramping, back pain and the fact that doubling up on products often doesn’t save you from having to have a spare set of pains at work, it’s not an easy time.

      Some women experience nausea as if they are going through early pregnancy when they have their periods, some are doubled over in pain, some cry at commercials (my sister) and some women become hysterical or suicidal around that time. (Myself).

      So it leaves us in a difficult situation, because there is this weird belief that men used to think all women were hysterical all the time and so we were left out of decision making and not taken seriously. We were told how untrue this was about women, that men just wanted to keep us down.

      But when I became an adult and became more aware, I realized that I, personally, did become hysterical and it’s really annoying because I don’t like being like that, I can’t get a grip on it and it’s didficult for others to understand. Men because they don’t go through it, and some women who don’t share the same experiences will (sometimes) claim those of us who do are faking it or drama queens.

      So while I don’t want my feelings dismissed, and while I do feel that I am capable of making decisions, (of course) the truth of the matter is hormones do have varying degrees of disruption to our otherwise well being.

      My brother was telling me once he broke up with a woman because of her two weeks of despair a month. I mean, it really is a lot of time, but then he had to take some meds that made him hormonal and he said that’s when he realized what it was to be “taken over” and how scary and lonely it was.

      So short answer, (I’m sorry, I’m actually about to tie my boots and go to work). It both annoys be to have my moods or thoughts blamed on hormones by my SO, who will often tell me to “wait until next week@ to decide something major. But it also frustrates me that I can’t say to my staff liaison “sorry about that panicked call before the board meeting, I was PMSing”. Well I can and do when my liaison is a woman and we laugh about it. When I have a man, I make that panicked call to someone else and try to put my Spock face on.
      The truth of the matter is, I can get through a board meeting while considering throwing myself in front of a car and no one will notice.
      But the depression and fear is there, and it’s hormonal and there is no fix I can find.

      So like any other illness, we don’t want accommodations but sometimes need it. Thank goodness for mental health days.

      I hope I haven’t pissed off any women who never feel this way, but I figure PMS is not much different in terms of being a neurological condition than Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder or anything else. Some suffer some don’t.

      • Dee January 18, 2018, 1:56 pm

        What Zhaleh said. To the nth degree. As an older woman, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder this question, and it seems to me that men ascribe women as being weak when it suits them, and as being strong enough not to bother men to help them through tough female times, also when it suits them. So, I’m discouraged from participating in certain things because I won’t be able to handle it (I’m female therefore I’m weak) when I know, for a fact, that I’m stronger than they are in that area, and I’m told to suck it up as a “normal” event when the pain and problems are enough to fell any he-man.

        I wonder how many women would have hormonal emotional outbursts if they were allowed to be themselves the rest of the time. As in, if there were accommodations for women with period pain and nausea, or pregnancy nausea and sleepiness, the same as for anyone with a disability. When you don’t have to walk around every single day pretending you’re doing really, really well, with a smile on your face, then you aren’t using up your emotional reserves and they are there for when you really need them.

        I’ve had doctors (male) apologize profusely for the pain caused when anesthetic doesn’t take well and I can feel the scalpel. I’ve sailed through day surgery with a lot of pain that I’ve been able to ignore and just walk out the door while men are groaning and being wheeled out. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt a freaking lot it’s just that I’ve had to master really bad pain from the age of 12 and years of perfecting an outward demeanour of calm happiness while feeling like I’m going to die. You learn early on that nobody wants to hear about that disgusting topic that cannot be discussed openly in public, so you can’t tell anyone about the pain and nausea, and no one cares, since it is so “normal”. Just like pregnancy.

        I don’t know a girl or woman who enjoys how her body betrays her for 1 to 3 weeks every month. For some, pregnancy is a relief, as difficult as it is otherwise. But there are things we can do because of those hormones, ways of looking at things and coming up with solutions, and our strength is uniquely female. If only society was interested in celebrating us in all that we are, including taking time to help us when we are suffering. We work so hard to overcompensate for those times and yet we have no control over the whole thing, and we are so unappreciated most of the time anyway. How can that not contribute to emotional breakdowns? We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

        And what I find so hilarious is how much men love women’s curves but don’t want to deal with the hormones that are the sole cause of those curves. Everything about being female that men want so badly comes with a price. If men want us to be like them then I’m all for taking a hefty trial of man-sized testosterone. I’ll be a man. And I’ll lose my shape and grow a beard, too. So, do men want women to be men or do they want women to be women? That’s the real problem, not the occasional emotional outburst from a woman who is otherwise highly competent.

    • Rattus January 18, 2018, 9:09 am

      I do get annoyed about hormone blaming vis-à-vis reproductive functioning any time a woman behaves irrationally, but I do recall crying incessantly when I was on BC, so I have to admit that medication can be a problem.

      • EchoGirl January 18, 2018, 10:31 pm

        The worst part is the doctors tell you about all the medical side effects, but don’t tell you about the emotional ones (or at least, mine didn’t). I honestly thought I was coming apart at the seams. Then when I worked out the link it with the BC, I thought I’d had a rare reaction, which made me leery of taking other meds, even to treat my severe anxiety disorder (because if BC can do that, I thought, what could meds *designed* alter your mental state do?). Then I found out it’s actually super-common.

        Well, that and the fact that the male birth control pill was pulled from clinical trials for the same symptoms women have been suffering for years. I’m not in any way saying men should suffer or it’s their “turn”, but the medical industry’s rush to spare men from the same symptoms that doctors have dismissed in women for decades…that stings.

    • Iris January 18, 2018, 5:26 pm

      Depends on the context. Some medications can affect people emotionally and mentally, not just birth control, but other medications as well. So if someone (man or woman) were to apologise for recent behaviour with the excuse that their new medication was affecting them then I would see that as relevant information. Any strong, sudden change like that may affect you. For example I took an asthma medication that caused me to become depressed. I didn’t scream at anyone but it certainly produced definite changes in my normal state of being.

      On the other hand the tendency of some people to dismiss any emotion in women as “hormonal” fills me with the fiery rage of a thousand suns. Yes, realistically, women (and men) can be affected by hormones. However we are grown people and ALSO have actual opinions and emotions that do not deserve to be dismissed. It is often used as an excuse to just not listen to genuine concerns raised by women.

      TLDR if an individual woman tells you that *she* is affected by hormones – information, but not excuse. If someone else uses ‘hormones’ to dismiss or minimise a woman – really, really not okay.

    • InTheEther January 19, 2018, 3:46 am

      I guess it depends on the context.

      In this case? I call BS. A) Allison didn’t ever actually apologize if I’m reading the post right. Sounds more like she heard people were annoyed at her behavior and threw out the excuse as a smoke screen. B) She didn’t even speak directly to the bride, or her parents or anyone else as far as we can tell. She made an off-hand comment on Facebook of all things. You know, the oh so mature method of throwing you’re business out to the general public but refusing to speak to those directly involved.

      Personally, I’m thanking everything that my hormones have calmed down. I never dealt with moodswings, but I did deal with the cramps from heck and nausea and vomiting every month all through my teens and early 20s. I pretty much lost all shyness about mentioning my period because I was always assuring people I was fine and it was just my period as opposed to something contagious (apparently I look absolutely miserable when cramping, at least based on how often people would approach to see if I was all right.)

      I haven’t taken any medication that messes with my hormones, but unless you’re REALLY on the wrong stuff, you still have some control over your actions. And if you’re on medication, you kinda know you’re on medication. Based on what other responders have said, you know when you’re acting out of sorts. Worst case scenario, you apologize and explain you’re hormones are out of whack. If not at the time then soon after. And there’s a line after which where everyone involved is pretty sure the issue is the baseline personality.

  • Lerah99 January 17, 2018, 6:22 pm

    I have a cousin who creates drama everywhere she goes.

    She is prone to screaming fits; accusing people of “bullying” her kids if they tell the delightful little munchkins to stop climbing up the bookcase or throwing rocks at the cat; makes vaugebook posts along the lines of “If you have something to say to me, say it to my face!!!!”; and she loves to host family gatherings so at some point she can dramatically burst into tears, run into her bedroom, and scream about how everyone takes advantage of her, no one loves her, and she should just kill herself – queue two hours of people trying to comfort her from the other side of the door assuring her how much they love her and how sad they would be if she killed herself.

    This is a woman in her late 40s. Any attempts to state her behavior is unacceptable, emotionally manipulative, and not ok is met with screaming about how her father molested her, her first husband went insane, and how we’re bullying her.

    She self diagnosis as different things over the years. She’s announced to the family at various times that she has bulimia, bi polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, and that she’s on the autism spectrum. But she never actually goes to see a mental health professional to get any of this diagnosed.

    Basically she comes up with some new reason why she should be allowed to scream and curse and carry on without any reprisals from her family and friends. Because any demands that she act like an adult and stop the never ending drama tornado is met with “I struggle with mentally illness! If I had kidney disease you wouldn’t get mad at me for needing dialysis! So how DARE you get mad at my emotional symptoms. You’re my FAMILY! You’re supposed to love and support me!”

    • Tan January 18, 2018, 5:46 am

      “If I had kidney disease you wouldn’t get mad at me for needing dialysis” should be met with “If you struggle with mentally illness you should see a doctor and I won’t get mad at you for have psychiatry sessions”

    • David January 19, 2018, 8:16 pm

      I’d stop going to the family get-togethers held at her house after the second time she did that – the first time it could be a fluke, tafter that it’s a habit.

  • Dawn January 18, 2018, 6:11 pm

    She spent hours calling. Apparently she only lives 20 minutes away, so she needed her son home that badly why didn’t she just come get him? People like that are exhausting.


  • WendyB January 20, 2018, 4:15 pm

    This sounds like my husband’s younger daughter. She compares herself to her other four siblings constantly. To the point where all grand kid Christmas stuff has to be within a couple dollars or she goes ballistic.

    My personal feeling is to let her go. If she’s that self centered it’s her problem, not everyone else’s. I did tell my husband that if she throws a fit to walk away. He has, and it’s amazing how all of the sudden she becomes contrite.

    I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with this on a regular basis.

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