Family Matters
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Groom may feel obligated about choosing rude brother as best man.

edited September 2013 in Family Matters
What do you do, as a bride, if the most likely choice for your groom's best man is someone who A. is a total d*ck to you and B. is a d*ck to your fiance, but you can tell he feels like he "has" to?

>a little back story, for what it's worth.
My fiance grew up very closely with his brother. They were always together. After high school, they moved to a different country (long story.) So his brother met a girl there and married her after 3 months of dating to bring her back to the US. This girl "pulled them a part" and caused quite a bit of family drama.

Fast forward a few years, back in the US, my fiance and I meet. We get serious. I meet his family. Brother's wife is very rude and very cold to me. His brother is two faced; when wife is around, he's an a-hole. As soon as she's gone, he *used* to at least fake being nice. For the past few months, he's been rude to both me AND my fiance. Over the past year, my fiance has tried discussing it with him/hashing it out 3 times. It's never worked out. :\

>the problem
My fiance is really hurt. It's sad. He's a sad little brother and I know he really wishes his brother could/would be his best man. He's literally cried over missing his brother, but not being able to fix it. We both know for the past few years, he's done NOTHING to deserve being a best man. In fact, it would really upset me. We DO anticipate his parents throwing a fit if my fiance doesn't choose him. I think he might give into the pressure, even if he didn't feel right about it. I, on the other hand, don't have any attachment to his brother and don't want him to be involved. And it's also important that I mention we're close with his parents. We know they're already upset our ceremony will not be religious. 

How do we avoid this sh*tstorm as well?

Re: Groom may feel obligated about choosing rude brother as best man.

  • Nobody has the right to dictate your wedding party. They are supposed to be the people that you would hide a body for. If his parents want to have a fit, your fiance can tell them exactly what you said here. That his brother has had the chance to make amends and he hasn't taken it, and you only want supportive people in your WP. Tell them sharing genes doesn't mean anything if brother can't respect you both.

    Good luck to you.
  • The problem isn't who he picked as his best man.

    The problem is why isn't your FI telling his brother to buzz off and shut up and treat you civilly and why didn't he do that the second his brother started the divisiveness towards you?

    I would put the wedding on hold until you figure out whether it is okay to marry such a pushover who permits somebody to come between the 2 of you.

    The best man is like the maid/matron of honor: all he does the day of is show up, look nice and sign the license. THat is a one day thing.

    HOW you are treated by FBIL is FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    Think about it.
  • Your FI needs to accept the brother he grew up with is gone. Even if his wife is a complete bitch, it's not all her fault, he's let her behave that way. This isn't going to be easy for your FI and it will likely take years for him to really get it. I would stay away from FBIL and FSIL as much as possible. You don't need to deal with them. FI doesn't either. I'm sure there are going to be times when you have to see them. Be polite and detached. Avoidance is a lovely thing.

    Your FI needs to choose whomever he wants to be his best man. If his parents are going to be upset, he needs to sit down with them and tell them who he picked and why. Tell them he has tried to mend his relationship with FBIL, but he's not cooperating. Tell them how hurt he is by their relationship deteriorating, but he needs to move forward with his life in a positive way and not hold on to a wish of what should have been.

    If his parents are still upset after that, oh well. They'll have to get over it.
  • I agree w/ Tarpon's point about why isn't your FI more proactive in dealing w/ his brother. 

    However, overall, I agree w/ sillygirl on how to approach his parents if he does indeed decide NOT to have his brother as best man.  And also on the point that your FI needs to accept that this is who his brother is.

    My DH didn't have his brother as best man.  He was a groomsman, but DH and he aren't super close. They love one another, have a good relationship - but they aren't close.  HIs parents were upset, but he stood his ground on this.  He loves his brother, but the person he chose to be his best man is a lot closer to him and over the years, has been more like a brother than his actual brother. 

    And speaking of DH's best man- he TOO didn't have his brother as best man,  Heck, his brother wasn't in the WP at all.  For many of the same reasons. 

    I do think your FI needs to reconcile his feelings about his brother.  He needs to start that process now.  Even if he doesn't get to an "end" by the wedding, if he at least starts the process, perhaps he can make a more thought out choice that isn't as based on emotion as it is now. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • If he really wanted his brother to be his best man, he would have asked him right away. He clearly doesn't, if he has to think about it. Yes, generally family should come first, but there are just those family members that don't even act like family sometimes. It happens, and clearly he won't be offended. Cut the unnecessary stress and move on from him. It's not worth it. It's about your day together. He won't regret not choosing his brother after the fact. He'll only think about you. Trust me. He'll get over it.

  • edited September 2013

    Thanks, ladies, I appreciate it. 

    My FI would do whatever I asked him to, when it comes to his brother. I just know that he misses him a lot. But like Sillygirl said, I think he needs to accept that FBIL is not the same person. He's really not. It's unfortunate, but if FBIL was worried about being my FI's best friend and a great brother, he WOULD BE ONE! FI comes from a close family, a generally very happy family too. I come from a family that is much less functional, so dealing with this kind of issue is almost normal for me. I can deal with my siblings without a second thought. For him, it's like something he's never had to deal with before. His brother WAS always there for him. For the past few years, it hasn't been the same and he's having a really hard time dealing with it. We have removed ourselves as much as possible from the situation with them. They just had a baby though and I think FI feels guilty that he's not as close to his brother during this time. He knows it isn't his fault, but can't help feeling guilt.

    As for the FMIL and FFIL, they know what's going on. FFIL doesn't seem to mind. He hasn't had nice things to say about FBIL's wife. He knows she starts trouble, and he has seen FBIL perpetuate it. FMIL, however, just keeps asking FI to fix things, to try harder, to be there for FBIL. But I think my fiance is tired, hurt, and I really think he's tried to put himself out there too many times already, just to be let down.

  • OP, I think this is something you should let your DH decide. If he really wants his brother as his best man, I think telling him he can't would be setting yourself up for resentment and trouble. He needs to make the call. If you'll feel betrayed if he chooses his brother, that's a whole other issue that needs to be dealt with before the wedding, because it's about more than just the wedding party. I'm on the fence here, because I don't like my BIL, and he's been an ass to me too. But, I also know he's still DH's brother, and it's not likely that my DH will cut him out completely. So I stand my ground for my comfort level with my BIL and how involved I'll be with him, but I don't tell my DH how to handle his relationship with his brother. I also have a difficult relationship with my sister, and she's done things that hurt me, but I still had her as my MOH, even though I knew she would be no help with wedding stuff. That's the way she is. Weddings are never perfect, and it's only one day. There are going to be tons of people who annoy you and don't act the way you'd like them to. It sucks, but weddings are stressful. The truly supportive people will still be there and be supportive. Your BIL will show up (hopefully) and be a wang, whether he's a best man or not. But let your DH decide, or he might really regret and resent it. Better if it comes from him. Good luck!!
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