Q: My very close friend is getting married next month, and I am one of her bridesmaids. She has two sisters in the bridal party, one whom she adores and the other who is, for lack of a better term, bossy. There have been troubles between the bossy sister and the bride for years, and from the beginning of this wedding I could foresee problems arising. The sisters all had a pact years ago that stated each one of them would be the maid of honor at least once. It was the bossy sister’s turn, yet the bride chose to make both of them matrons of honor. There has been a series of disagreements after that, which has led to them barely speaking to each other. I had to sit through a very awkward shower yesterday in which the bride and bossy sister made snarky comments to each other for most of the time. The bride is my friend, and only knowing her side of the story, I sympathized with her. But after seeing and hearing how she acted toward her sister yesterday, I disapprove of her actions and words and tone of voice. The wedding has brought out a side of my friend that I do not care for, but she is my friend and I stand by her. However, I feel bad for the bossy sister, and I just want them to smooth things over.
How can I help the situation? I want them to both see they are both wrong for treating each other this way, and that their relationship is too precious to be disrespected like this.
A: Dear Anonymous,
You don’t. You stay out of it and let sisters be sisters—a dynamic that would be foreign and difficult to understand to anyone outside of the relationship on the regular, let alone during wedding time. It’s not up to you to “approve” of how your friend handles her family. It’s fine to disagree, but only voice that when asked, because it’s really not your business.
Q: My fiancé and I are getting married in a week. A few months ago, my fiancé’s mother called and said that his sister was really upset that she and her kids were not members of the bridal party. He called his sister, she said not to worry about it, and we thought the matter was settled.
Today, my fiancé received an email from his sister stating how sad and hurt she is that neither she nor her teenage daughter are members of the bridal party.
I told him that he should apologize, tell her that he had no idea she felt that way, and explain that we wanted to honor her by giving her the reading.
I am VERY upset, however, that his sister elected to feelings dump on him one week before the wedding, when there is literally nothing we can do to make her happy.
Did I tell him to do the right thing? Is she out of line? Are we gigantic assholes for deciding not to include her and her kids in the bridal party in the first place?
—Crappy Future Sister-In-Law?
A: Dear CFSIL,
Wait, you already called to check in on her feelings, and she said everything was fine? It’s only now when there’s nothing you can do about it that she wants to make a fuss? You’ve done everything you can here. Bringing up hurt feelings at this point doesn’t leave you any options to fix the situation, and just spreads those bad feelings around. You’re not the crappy future sister-in-law in this scenario.
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