It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Not Interested in Their Wedding” whose BIL was planning a wedding to a woman the family didn’t especially like (on the heels of his divorce from a woman the LW liked a lot). “While my fiancé has no problem with going (other than not supporting the marriage), I have several. First, one of my best friends is getting married that day. Next, I am in grad school completing an internship and do not have extra days to spare. Lastly, I cannot financially make it so my fiancé will be paying for all of the related wedding expenses.” Keep reading to see what she decided to do.
My fiance, however, was adamant about my not going. He would be paying for me to go because I was in grad school and could not afford the flight and hotel. The wedding was on a Friday and the brother and (now) wife planned to leave for a mini-honeymoon on Saturday. Because I was doing an internship for grad school, I would have left for the wedding Thursday evening and returned Saturday morning, a very short trip! We compromised by deciding that I would talk to the brother. If the brother was either leaving for the honeymoon later, we would extend our trip so I could spend time with him, or if he expressed that he really wanted me there, I would go. The brother was understanding, said he was leaving for the honeymoon the day after the wedding, and did not beg me to come. So, I decided not to go, and I told the brother that we would plan a trip out west to see him next year and that I would help to plan an East Coast celebration. He seemed very happy with this compromise!
Both of my fiancé’s parents still strongly disapprove of the relationship. I, however, have decided to let it go. If the brother is happy, that is what matters. Also, even if she does not like spending time with the family, it is his decision to marry someone who does not have the same family values. The last piece I need to let go is that the brother is not coming to my fiance’s bachelor party. My fiance was his brother’s best man for his first wedding and planned the bachelor party. He also flew out early for this second wedding so that he could go out for a guy’s night before the wedding. I just feel bad that my fiance seems to put more into their relationship. I know that it is not my relationship to manage though and that my fiance is perfectly capable of handling his relationship with his brother!
Well, I’m glad you are happy with your decision to skip the wedding and that your BIL (to be) is happy with your compromise to help plan an East Coast wedding reception. And it’s probably for the best to just let go of any residual resentment you’re feeling toward the new bride and your feelings about how your BIL is treating your fiancé as a brother. Also, for the record, it’s pretty typical to not get much time with a bride and groom during/ right after their wedding, even if you spend a lot of money to fly out to their wedding. I’m not sure that should be a deciding factor to attend or not attend a loved one’s wedding, but, hey, if you and everyone else (including your fiancé who would be paying for your trip), are happy with your decision, then cool.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.