Author Topic: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87  (Read 19726 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Steve

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 901
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2013, 02:20:31 PM »
Coley I know how you feel.
My brother and I were very very close. When he eloped this lead to some drama, feelings were hurt, mostly mine and my DH's. At some point I was so hurt I could not see straight so I sat down and tried to reason my way out of the situation. I realised this could really hurt my relation with my brother (which I count on to be there untill the end of time because he is younger).

I decided to try and put it behind me. I expressed my hurt and then I (conciously) got over it. I decided it WOULD NOT carry on for years, and I got to know my SIL. My SIL rocks. She is the best thing that could have happened to my brother. I found out I really really like her.

Now I know this will not be how every situation turns out, your SIL may be EHell incarnate. Or she may be as close to wonderfull as my SIL.... give her a fair chance. It will help your relationship with your brother, and it may gain you something as valuable as I have gotten with my SIL. My advice is to be your brothers champion, be the go-between, smooth things over.....



Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2013, 02:57:16 PM »
Coley I know how you feel.
My brother and I were very very close. When he eloped this lead to some drama, feelings were hurt, mostly mine and my DH's. At some point I was so hurt I could not see straight so I sat down and tried to reason my way out of the situation. I realised this could really hurt my relation with my brother (which I count on to be there untill the end of time because he is younger).

I decided to try and put it behind me. I expressed my hurt and then I (conciously) got over it. I decided it WOULD NOT carry on for years, and I got to know my SIL. My SIL rocks. She is the best thing that could have happened to my brother. I found out I really really like her.

Now I know this will not be how every situation turns out, your SIL may be EHell incarnate. Or she may be as close to wonderfull as my SIL.... give her a fair chance. It will help your relationship with your brother, and it may gain you something as valuable as I have gotten with my SIL. My advice is to be your brothers champion, be the go-between, smooth things over.....

Thank you. There is a lot of wisdom in your experience, and I'm grateful that you shared this with me. I'm glad to know that you were able to think through the situation and develop a good rel@tionship with your SIL.

To those who are concerned about me keeping an open mind, I do want to clarify that this has been my intention all along as I stated in a PP. My concern is not about who my brother married or how he got married. It's really about the way the information has been presented.

It seems I thought incorrectly that he might tell me before he informed the rest of the world. I'd been hoping that he might e-mail me sometime before Easter and tell me about his marriage. That's the part that I'm finding hurtful today. His "LOL" response when I posted my congratulations also isn't sitting well with me right now. However, because I'm feeling hurt I would fully admit that it's possible I'm reading more into that than is necessary. I am seriously considering that possibility.

I don't know my brother's wife, so I believe that I am obligated to give her the benefit of the doubt. I don't know anything about her, so I can't form an impression of her right now. To be fair to her, I have to have an open mind. As I told my mother last week, I plan to approach his wife objectively.

I do know my brother, and that's where it becomes more difficult for me to give the benefit of the doubt. Yesterday, when I first posted about this situation, I was trying hard not to ascribe motives to his decision-making process. I'm still trying to do that, but I admit that it's harder for me since he has made his Facebook announcement. My hurt feelings are getting in the way. Regardless, the truth is that I don't know why he did what he did, so it's probably not a good use of my time to worry about it.

I told my mother last week that what's done is done. This is the route my brother took. It seems that all we can do from here is move on.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1297
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2013, 03:13:20 PM »
I think it's worth mentioning that a small ceremony followed by a larger announcement is not technically 'rude'.  I believe I've seen the very thing suggested several times on this board, for couples who want to get married but are concerned about family members taking over the event.

I get that your mom is hurt, I get that you are surprised, but I don't know that we have any reason to think that your brother or his bride have done something wrong.   They may have had any number of good and valid reasons for doing what they did.
I'd buy them a gift, personally, assuming that I'm fond of my brother.   But I buy a gift for most things. ( see various 2nd shower threads currently posted )

I don't agree with this, at least, not yet (with the bolded).

The only good and valid reason I can think of for Coley's brother to behave this way about his wedding, is if Coley and her mother are, to him, toxic relatives.

I'm going to assume Coley & maybe her mom are not toxic so I can't really see his behavior as anything but selfish, manipulative and drama-inducing.

I glean from one of Coley's posts that her brother might have gotten pleasure of surprising them at dinner with a brand-spanking-new wife (who does that?) although I may have read that wrong.

So, no snark intended, could you or other e-hellions enlighten me on what would be good reasons to do this with family - barring toxicity?

Coley, I'm very sorry for your resultant hurt feelings and I'm afraid I can't quite understand or comprehend this behavior. But PP's have given excellent advice: no gift, extra place settings, congrats, no toast, open mind about new SIL. Don't make a big deal about the wedding because they clearly didn't want it to be, at least with you. If they're so rude as to yak endlessly on about the soiree and honeymoon and gifts and yada yada, just bean dip.

Sounds like Steve has excellent insight into your situation. Best wishes on working through your feelings.


turnip

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 551
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2013, 03:37:39 PM »
I think it's worth mentioning that a small ceremony followed by a larger announcement is not technically 'rude'.  I believe I've seen the very thing suggested several times on this board, for couples who want to get married but are concerned about family members taking over the event.

I get that your mom is hurt, I get that you are surprised, but I don't know that we have any reason to think that your brother or his bride have done something wrong.   They may have had any number of good and valid reasons for doing what they did.
I'd buy them a gift, personally, assuming that I'm fond of my brother.   But I buy a gift for most things. ( see various 2nd shower threads currently posted )

I don't agree with this, at least, not yet (with the bolded).

The only good and valid reason I can think of for Coley's brother to behave this way about his wedding, is if Coley and her mother are, to him, toxic relatives.

I'm going to assume Coley & maybe her mom are not toxic so I can't really see his behavior as anything but selfish, manipulative and drama-inducing.

I glean from one of Coley's posts that her brother might have gotten pleasure of surprising them at dinner with a brand-spanking-new wife (who does that?) although I may have read that wrong.

So, no snark intended, could you or other e-hellions enlighten me on what would be good reasons to do this with family - barring toxicity?

Coley, I'm very sorry for your resultant hurt feelings and I'm afraid I can't quite understand or comprehend this behavior. But PP's have given excellent advice: no gift, extra place settings, congrats, no toast, open mind about new SIL. Don't make a big deal about the wedding because they clearly didn't want it to be, at least with you. If they're so rude as to yak endlessly on about the soiree and honeymoon and gifts and yada yada, just bean dip.

Sounds like Steve has excellent insight into your situation. Best wishes on working through your feelings.


Some reasons I have seen for having a private, relative-free ceremony....

1 - budget - no ability to feed or host even a small number of guests, and a feeling that it might be rude to just invite them to see you at city hall, then leave
2 - extreme shyness/stage-fright for one or both halves of the couple.
3 - _some_ toxic relatives, and a desire not to cause drama by inviting, for example, his mom but not hers.

I imagine there are more.  I also think sometimes people don't realize how important their wedding is to relatives around them - this couple may genuinely be surprised that his mom and sister are hurt, they may not care for weddings themselves and figure they have relieved everyone of the obligation to attend one.   

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4673
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2013, 03:39:38 PM »
So, no snark intended, could you or other e-hellions enlighten me on what would be good reasons to do this with family - barring toxicity?


As I posted before, my siblings all eloped.  Our mother wasn't toxic, but she did tend to fuss, mostly about fiscal responsibility.  The entire time between announcement and wedding would have been filled with scolding and complaint.  Worse, those scoldings and complaints would have lasted years after the marriage.  Who wants to hear about how much money was wasted on the wedding flowers when it's your 20th anniversary?

audrey1962

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4322
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2013, 03:43:39 PM »
My mother encouraged me, and all my siblings, to elope. She believes it's low-stress and low-cost. She's already confident in her relationship with us and doesn't think of it as a snub or something only reserved for toxic relatives.

I admit, I have some difficulty understanding why eloping is seen as wrong. (I'm assuming the brother eloped and didn't have a huge party and invite everyone but his mother and sister - that would be rude).

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2348
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2013, 03:44:32 PM »
I feel the need to seperate Coley's brother's actions and deal with each one individually. (numbered only to help my organize my thoughts)

1) I'd like to think that as an adult, Coley's brother is free to make a decision on his own and without any burden to notify anyone not directly involved in the decision.  Eloping in itself is not rude and he does not need to justify his decision to do so to anyone except himself and his new wife. I understand that Coley and her mother are upset about the fact that her brother eloped, but just because they are upset by it doesn't mean the action itself is rude.

2) Also, I don't think making the announcement on FB is rude.  It's Coley's brother's (and his wife's) decision how and when they want to spread the news of their marriage.  Again, I understand family and friends being upset at not having been told personally, but their upset doesn't make Coley's brother's decision rude.

3) Creating drama by asking Coley to host two mystery guests for a family meal, and getting upset that news of his marriage has reached his mother before he deigned to tell her is rude.

4) I also think the plan of "surprising everyone" is rude.  It's fine that he wants to surprise people, but if that's the case, he should host his own event and drop the big surprise at that event.  I'm thinking that the rudeness of his "surprise" is that he is presuming to hijack a family event that Coley is hosting.

ETA: Coley's Brother's actions 1 & 2 above clearly upset both Coley and her mother.  Neither Coley or her mother are wrong to be upset about the situation, and it is absolutely not rude for Coley or her mother to re-evaluate what kind of relationship they want to have with Coley's brother based on his actions.  Just because those particular actions were not (at least in my opinion) rude, doesn't mean that he is immune to having to suffer the fallout from them.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 03:49:42 PM by MrTango »

audrey1962

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4322
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2013, 03:46:37 PM »
4) I also think the plan of "surprising everyone" is rude.  It's fine that he wants to surprise people, but if that's the case, he should host his own event and drop the big surprise at that event.  I'm thinking that the rudeness of his "surprise" is that he is presuming to hijack a family event that Coley is hosting.

Excellent point. I agree with this.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #53 on: March 22, 2013, 03:51:30 PM »
So, no snark intended, could you or other e-hellions enlighten me on what would be good reasons to do this with family - barring toxicity?


Maybe her family is toxic but for some reason she is unable to fully cut ties so they decided together to invite no family from either side to keep things even and more low key.
Maybe new SIL has major anxiety issues about being the center of attention/being fussed over (or had very bad experiences with prior IL's and is gun shy) and that's why they were planning to announce their marriage at another event (Easter) so they would have something to keep changing the subject back to away from her. (This could also explain why they decided to announce it via Facebook instead of personally.)

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4673
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #54 on: March 22, 2013, 04:04:29 PM »
So, no snark intended, could you or other e-hellions enlighten me on what would be good reasons to do this with family - barring toxicity?


Maybe her family is toxic but for some reason she is unable to fully cut ties so they decided together to invite no family from either side to keep things even and more low key.
Maybe new SIL has major anxiety issues about being the center of attention/being fussed over (or had very bad experiences with prior IL's and is gun shy) and that's why they were planning to announce their marriage at another event (Easter) so they would have something to keep changing the subject back to away from her. (This could also explain why they decided to announce it via Facebook instead of personally.)

Excellent point.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8599
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #55 on: March 22, 2013, 04:10:48 PM »
I pretty much agree with MrTango. People have the right to get married when and where and how they want to. And their families have the right to be upset that they weren't included/informed ahead of time.

People who elope (or do any other big life event) without informing their families aren't rude. But they might also not be considering how their actions affect the rest of their family. I have several brothers and I can assure you that all of them have made similar moves in their past. And they been faced with an upset mother, and a father who is angry because Mom is upset. And they learned a lesson.

I'd be upset too. One of my brothers was so into surprising the family with a surprise announcement of his engagement that he overthought things and managed to miss the three days that every one was home for Christmas, and he "surprised" only half the family. I didn't find out for a month about the engagement. (Although I suspected something was up, based on a few things my now-SIL said.)

He was so caught up in "Let's surprise the family!" that he overlooked that he missed telling half of us.  ::) I think some people get caught up in the fun! exciting! atmosphere of the Surprise! that they overlook the real goal, which is to let family and friends know of a big, important event in your life.

In the OP's shoes, I'd be upset. But I would also want as good a relationship with my new SIL as possible. So I'd rant a bit in private. And then I would put on my company face and greet the new family members at the door with a smile. I'd have a bottle of champagne on ice for a toast. I'd try to find out the age of the child and maybe have a small "welcome to the family" gift for him--it's not his fault that the grown-ups he's related to are acting this way. I'd send a card. And I would have a small gift that I'd probably give to them as they leave, so as not to make too big a deal of things at the Easter dinner.

Because just as the OP's brother's choices have affected the OP's family, so will her choices affect her relationship with her brother and his new wife. Unless there is a toxic background, I'd err on the side of "doing the right thing" and trying to create a good relationship.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #56 on: March 22, 2013, 04:12:40 PM »
I feel the need to seperate Coley's brother's actions and deal with each one individually. (numbered only to help my organize my thoughts)

1) I'd like to think that as an adult, Coley's brother is free to make a decision on his own and without any burden to notify anyone not directly involved in the decision.  Eloping in itself is not rude and he does not need to justify his decision to do so to anyone except himself and his new wife. I understand that Coley and her mother are upset about the fact that her brother eloped, but just because they are upset by it doesn't mean the action itself is rude.

2) Also, I don't think making the announcement on FB is rude.  It's Coley's brother's (and his wife's) decision how and when they want to spread the news of their marriage.  Again, I understand family and friends being upset at not having been told personally, but their upset doesn't make Coley's brother's decision rude.

3) Creating drama by asking Coley to host two mystery guests for a family meal, and getting upset that news of his marriage has reached his mother before he deigned to tell her is rude.

4) I also think the plan of "surprising everyone" is rude.  It's fine that he wants to surprise people, but if that's the case, he should host his own event and drop the big surprise at that event.  I'm thinking that the rudeness of his "surprise" is that he is presuming to hijack a family event that Coley is hosting.

ETA: Coley's Brother's actions 1 & 2 above clearly upset both Coley and her mother.  Neither Coley or her mother are wrong to be upset about the situation, and it is absolutely not rude for Coley or her mother to re-evaluate what kind of relationship they want to have with Coley's brother based on his actions.  Just because those particular actions were not (at least in my opinion) rude, doesn't mean that he is immune to having to suffer the fallout from them.

Just to clarify for the first bolded item, I don't think eloping is rude in general, and I don't think my brother and his wife are rude for having eloped. My mother is very upset about the elopement itself. She feels snubbed because they eloped.

For the second bolded item, when my brother asked me to set the two extra places for dinner, he specifically told me that he would explain more later. He didn't say anything more directly to me about it. Instead, it was posted on Facebook. That's one reason why I'm feeling hurt. I'm also hurt that I didn't know anything about this rel@tionship before he got married. I'm trying not to take it personally, but wow, that's hard.

I'm definitely in agreement about #3 and #4. And I also think that actions can have consequences regardless of whether rudeness was involved. Given that, I recognize that the way I handle this situation also will have repercussions -- positive or negative. That is something for me to think about.

P.S. I'd prefer not to speculate on why my brother and his wife handled their marriage and the announcement this way. There are so many possible reasons, and only they know the answer to that.

Kaypeep

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2301
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #57 on: March 22, 2013, 04:28:14 PM »
Coley, I think everything you feel is justified.  The only advice/suggestion I have is that I'd call your brother and ask him to tell you about his new wife and stepson.  I'd tell him that he really caught me off guard and it would really help make you more comfortable for the Easter dinner if he could give some background on them so that you know a bit about them first.   There's already enough stress in hosting a family dinner, having to play 20 questions with surprise guests who turn out to be family members now is really just too much.  So, if he could give you some backstory you'd appreciate it because while I'm sure he's filled in his wife about his side of the family, you are at a disadvantage because you don't know anything about her or her son at all.

GrammarNerd

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #58 on: March 22, 2013, 05:47:39 PM »
I get you being upset, Coley, or at least miffed.  And, having had a relative that would frequently do things similar to this to direct the attention to herself or to create drama, I have to wonder if this is your brother's way to do this.  Maybe when he asked you to set two extra places, he expected more questioning from you (attention).  And then when he didn't get it, he announced everything on FB, now expecting you to give him some of the attention that he didn't get before. 

I'm thinking that he's going to expect *something* at the Easter dinner....a gift, a toast, some fawning...something.  So I would just be prepared for that, and have some ways to redirect the conversation if you don't feel like doing the expected fawning.

(In this situation, my relative would be all smiley and happy when she showed up for Easter, and would keep directing the conversation around to her secret wedding.  If I didn't fawn over her, hang on her every word, ask a thousand questions and change the entire focus of the gathering to her and her new marriage, we would hear about it later; she would whine and complain to someone else about how rude I was, how I hated her, etc.  Never mind the fact that she created the drama (or lack thereof) herself by how she handled informing close family members about an important life event.)

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1297
Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #59 on: March 22, 2013, 06:05:12 PM »
I get you being upset, Coley, or at least miffed.  And, having had a relative that would frequently do things similar to this to direct the attention to herself or to create drama, I have to wonder if this is your brother's way to do this.  Maybe when he asked you to set two extra places, he expected more questioning from you (attention).  And then when he didn't get it, he announced everything on FB, now expecting you to give him some of the attention that he didn't get before. 

I'm thinking that he's going to expect *something* at the Easter dinner....a gift, a toast, some fawning...something.  So I would just be prepared for that, and have some ways to redirect the conversation if you don't feel like doing the expected fawning.

(In this situation, my relative would be all smiley and happy when she showed up for Easter, and would keep directing the conversation around to her secret wedding.  If I didn't fawn over her, hang on her every word, ask a thousand questions and change the entire focus of the gathering to her and her new marriage, we would hear about it later; she would whine and complain to someone else about how rude I was, how I hated her, etc.  Never mind the fact that she created the drama (or lack thereof) herself by how she handled informing close family members about an important life event.)

Yeah, I gotta admit, GrammarNerd, my nasty, suspicious mind thinks that Bro &/or SIL will angle for some fawning. Which Coley may choose to fawn - nothing wrong with that I suppose - but I myself would end up making a game of beandipping every angling for it if I felt like it.

Thanks, Turnip, and everyone else for answering my question. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around this.