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Sibling weddings cannot be in same month, even in different years?
June 30, 2014 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I have two brothers-in-law, my husband's younger siblings. Both of them are getting married. The older of the two, who we'll call Brother A, has been planning his wedding for a while. His fiancé and he have been dating for a few years and are planning a traditional wedding for next year in August. The younger, Brother B, is getting married ASAP to a girlfriend he has only been dating briefly, for well... the classic reason for getting married in a hurry. They also want to get married in August, of this year. Brother A says that's "his" month. Is that even a thing?

Brother A is flipping out because Brother B is impinging on "his" month, even though they're in different years. My spouse and I are of the mind that complaining about "sharing a month" when there is actually a year between ceremonies is silly even to say out loud. Half of the US seemingly gets married in June and those people make it work.

What could possibly be the harm in this? Anniversaries are for the couple. Maybe your mom sends you a card. Who cares if someone else shares your month or even date?

This is ridiculous. It feels like the worst kind of straining to make something about yourself. And honestly, the BIL rushing to the altar before his fiance starts showing has bigger problems to worry about and shouldn't be hassled over silly BS like this. But Brother A just stormed out of here in tears saying he always sacrifices for the family and why can't Brother B just get married in September? (Even if baby bulge weren't making sooner much better than later, Brother B's birthday is in September and having both your major personal holidays in one month sounds like an actual drag, rather than an imagined one.)

All of this ranting aside, Brother A and his fiancé really are important to us. We've only recently emerged from a prolonged falling out and I'd hate to see things get frosty again. As much trouble as we have seeing things their way, I have to ask: are we missing something? Is this a valid complaint? No "sharing a month"... is that even a thing?
posted by Comrade Doll to Human Relations (53 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is definitely not a thing, but I would not venture an opinion about that to a single person outside of your own marriage. This is an argument you don't want to touch with a ten foot pole.
posted by something something at 6:58 PM on June 30 [57 favorites]


No, and seems like the falling out was likely due to Brother A being unreasonably self-centered, so trying to avoid another kerfluffle will mean bending over backwards. Not worth it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:00 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Brother A is flipping out because Brother B is impinging on "his" month

We've only recently emerged from a prolonged falling out

Brother A sounds like kind of a difficult, high-drama person. Not sharing a wedding month is not a thing. This is the opposite of a valid complaint.

I agree that you shouldn't volunteer your opinion, but I would suggest that it sounds like you'll have future opportunities (around this or some other issue) to choose between accommodating A's irrational demands or alienating A. Since you're genuinely asking if A's current freak-out is reasonable, be aware that your tolerance for bizarre demands might be a bit high.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:12 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Ideally, we would stay out of it, yeah. The problem is, since their father died, my partner and his brothers take irregular shifts turns as de facto patrtiarch for the family, settling disputes, propping up their mom, etc. And if no one says anything, all of this drama will come crashing down on my poor MIL. So not stepping in is tantamount to throwing this into her lap.
posted by Comrade Doll at 7:14 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I've seen very seemingly-high-maintenance brides complain about it on wedding sites, but even they seem to be complaining about siblings or friends getting married in the same month of the same year, and the general consensus is to tell them to get over it.
posted by jaguar at 7:15 PM on June 30


Given that Brother A is apparently prone to fallings-out with his brothers, and what you mentioned about his complaint about "always sacrificing" I'm going to guess that this is actually about something else/there's more going on than you or us are privy to. That's usually the case with sibling hissy-fits that don't make any outward sense, in my experience. You and your hubby, but especially you, should stay out of it. Think of some neutral things to say and subjects to change to.
posted by bleep at 7:15 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


He's being totally ridiculous. Maybe his fiancee can talk some sense into him. Surely she sees how ludicrous he's being.
posted by amaire at 7:17 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


So not stepping in is tantamount to throwing this into her lap.

She's an adult, she should be able to tell them to knock it off. My mom started saying "Take your squabbling elsewhere" when my brother and I were little.
posted by bleep at 7:17 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


This is not a thing, and Miss Manners would slap Brother A silly, she hates it when people try to "claim" dates (let alone months!). It is a little bit reasonable when you have already scheduled your wedding for which people will have to travel for a particular month, and another family member schedules theirs for the SAME month, same year, so you know some relatives won't go to both, but that's when they're in the same year.

The kind thing to do might be to ask Brother A what he's afraid will happen if they "share" a month. The only really reasonable thing I can think of is that they're afraid Brother B might have some kind of first anniversary celebration that steals his thunder, which Brother B can assure him he won't do. It's more likely he's being irrational about Brother B beating him to the altar and taking away some of the excitement around his wedding, which maybe you can gently talk him out of by kindly pointing out the irrationality in a fashion that reassures him how important his wedding is to the family.

(I'm honestly sort-of curious what his reason is because I never understand why people think having to "share a date" is a thing, but one of my younger siblings was born on my birthday and the world didn't end, so my views may be skewed towards it not being a very big deal.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:19 PM on June 30 [16 favorites]


FWIW, I'm Comrade Doll's spouse.

I went to my phone and found six or seven texts from Brother A, the injustice of it all, my own brothers can't respect my special day, etc.

I sent a reply saying I felt he was being a bit unkind and self-absorbed to our other brother, but that Comrade Doll and I shouldn't have hectored him and we hope he and Brother B are able to work things out in a way they're both happy with.

(washes hands of situation; uses one freshly clean hand to wave hi to partner, who has finally posted something)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:26 PM on June 30 [52 favorites]


My mother's twin brother got married on her one year wedding anniversary. Now both couples like to get together at that time of year and, like, go deep sea fishing or something. I don't really know what they do every year, because it's their anniversary and not something that the whole world gets in on celebrating, really. But you know, stuff. It's nice, it gives them a reason to see each other every year and do something fun that they might not do as individual couples.

That is how grown-ups handle their shit. (Even if the grown-ups may have once been a tiny bit peeved that their brother who they've had to share a birthday with their whole damned life just stole their actual wedding anniversary, too.)

If little brother was proposing to get married in the literal same month as big brother, that'd be shitty, because lots of people won't be able to afford to travel to both, buy nice gifts for both, etc. But a year apart? And not even on the same day? There's no dibsies on that.

All of that said, there is some bigger issue here, I'm betting. Possibly it is little brother upstaging little brother by getting married first. Possibly the feeling that little brother's impending baby will draw attention from big brother's wedding. Possibly little brother is stealing shamelessly from big brother's wedding plans in some way. Possibly big brother thinks little brother is irresponsible for knocking his girlfriend up before marriage. I'm not saying these are reasonable objections, either, you understand, just that there has to be something else involved other than 'you didn't pick one of the other three summer months to get married in.'
posted by jacquilynne at 7:28 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


If this is now a thing, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

I'd opt for upsetting Brother A over upsetting anyone else involved, if that's what it came down to. Regardless of childhood dynamics, or whatever, you can't keep pandering to adults who act so unreasonably, at everyone else's expense.

Time for him to grow up.
posted by Salamander at 7:30 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


I have a friend whose sister decided to get married on New Years Eve which also happened to be their mother's birthday. Mother was upset because now along with sharing her birthday with a public holiday she'd have to share it with her daughter's anniversary.

That's the sort of thing that might be considered a valid concern about a choice of wedding dates. The same month in a different year? No. Not valid.
posted by alms at 7:31 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


No "sharing a month"... is that even a thing?
Sure it's a thing. Specifically, it's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.
posted by Flunkie at 7:32 PM on June 30 [118 favorites]


No "sharing a month"... is that even a thing?

No, it's not a thing.

Brother-in-Law A is being a fucking moron, and you should slap him upside his stupid thick head. Except that you shouldn't, because there is not single scenario in the limitless multiverse in which you should get involved in this asinine argument.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:36 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


I'm guessing the thing is more about the baby, and possibly the shotgun nature of the wedding, than the month. The thing to do is to make non-committal noises and bring the conversation around to what actually is happening in Brother A's wedding.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:37 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


We kind of already pooped the bed where pretending to be neutral is concerned. I believe I might have used the words "this is a bunch of silly bullshit." Comrade Doll very literally laughed in his face.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:40 PM on June 30 [35 favorites]


Coming from a large Irish-Catholic family that tends to have weddings around St. Patrick's day (usually with green dresses, bagpipes, and even at the same reception hall) I'm not getting the issue. Even if my family wasn't incredibly unimaginative, eventually big events will happen in the same month if you have a large enough family or know enough people. You learn to roll with it.

I agree with the above that this may not really be about the wedding.
posted by bgal81 at 7:41 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Were I brother B, I'd say to Brother A, "Well, we could wait until after the baby is born and mother is feeling up to it, which would be around....next August. So make your choice."
posted by greta simone at 7:44 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


The problem is, since their father died, my partner and his brothers take irregular shifts turns as de facto patrtiarch for the family, settling disputes, propping up their mom, etc.

Look, both these guys are adults. Notwithstanding that other people have apparently historically stepped in to settle their idiotic disputes, they don't need someone to fulfill that role. They need to grow the fuck up and work it out for themselves - it's an important life skill, if nothing else.

And if no one says anything, all of this drama will come crashing down on my poor MIL.


And she can just as easily wash her hands of it, and tell her adult sons to sort their own nonsense out. That's her choice to make.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:44 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


Well, whether he has the right to feel possessive over August or not, it's not a family decision. His brother can get married whenever he wants and it's none of his business and there's nothing you can do about it either. He's going to have to realize that at some point.

This guy sounds like an emotional wreck, but is there any chance he has concerns about the shotgun wedding thing? It doesn't sound like a great situation for Brother B and I'd personally discourage my brother from marrying a girl he's been dating briefly just because she got pregnant. That's a recipe for disaster.
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:46 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


We could fill three or four more of these AskMetafilters with Brother B. You have no idea.
posted by Comrade Doll at 7:50 PM on June 30 [16 favorites]


My former wedding anniversary and my brother's current, sister's current, and parents' current wedding anniversaries are all in the same month. In fact, they are all in a row. We all saw it as an awesome thing, not a thing to be upset about!
posted by misskaz at 7:52 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


But Brother A just stormed out of here in tears saying he always sacrifices for the family

This is what this is about. Rightly or wrongly, this emotion is what is driving his response. Whether you want to delve more, is up to you. My guess is that he's feeling like the "less responsible" sibling is getting all the attention right now. (I'm totally projecting and reading between the lines, of course. But sibling dynamics die hard. Sometimes people just want to know that the (hard, but perhaps invisible) work they've put into their lives (in this case, his traditional wedding) are seen and appreciated by others.)
posted by megancita at 7:59 PM on June 30 [28 favorites]


Yes, brother in law A is not acting like an adult. There's some sort of manipulation or emotional racketeering going on here, but you knew that.

I think the go-to statement is, "It's upsetting to see people you're close to in a dispute like this, but I don't have anything to add to this discussion. I do hope you are able to work it out."

As with all instances of people acting unhinged, the only sensible course of action is to not engage.

And if no one says anything, all of this drama will come crashing down on my poor MIL. So not stepping in is tantamount to throwing this into her lap.

The line I gave you is equally applicable to your mother in law. Hell, it's probably even applicable to your spouse. You could maybe suggest that the MIL get an askme account and ask the hive mind for advice directly on how to work this out.
posted by alphanerd at 8:19 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I would not be surprised if Brother A is subconsciously creating a crisis as a means of channeling some kind of anxiety over his own upcoming marriage; any obstruction to it will do, including displacement onto Brother B and this stupid "my month" thing.

Could be totally wrong. But regardless, I think the thing to do is what you have done -- attempt de-escalation -- and follow it with an attempt to listen to him sympathetically, until such point as the whining proves either endless and fixed and pettiness personified . . . or dissipates and turns into something else.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:25 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


"My month" does seem unreasonable, and I have never heard of such a thing. Like jacquilynne says, I imagined it was about being "upstaged" by a younger brother, and potential baby also probably figures in the mix. I suspect what Brother A would really like is for Brother B to wait until after Brother A is married, but that ship has sailed, unless they want their baby to be a bridesmaid/pageboy! In reality Brother A gets off lightly since there is hardly any lead time to Brother B's wedding, and after that Brother A can go back to being the centre of family attention and anticipation - they could easily have made it much closer to next August, as greta simone pointed out!

Is Brother A genuinely enthusiastic for his big traditional wedding? Is there any chance he's going the traditional path because he feels' it's right and proper, and he feels aggrieved that his younger brother is not doing things the "right" way?
posted by Cheese Monster at 8:42 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


I could see a reason for complaint if both brothers were getting married in the same month of the same year. But this is just silly. (I'd also interpret Brother A's behavior as a warning sign of a major high-maintenance high-drama wedding that will probably be really boring and have awful cardboardy cake.)

I'm not really on board with shotgun weddings and think Brother B should reconsider, but it seems like that's completely tangential to Brother A's shit fit.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:43 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Sibling dynamics are tough. Let's see, what if A had said "I try so hard to play by the rules, and B just waltzes in, knocks up his lady, and now they're going to take center stage while we get less attention?" I guess ideally you could try to tease out what he's really feeling: resentful at having to play by the rules while others don't, carrying old hurt at not receiving the love and attention that others do, or...? Then you could empathize with it ("yeah, i love B, but his antics always stole the limelight when we were kids, didn't they?"), then maybe suggest an alternative perspective or ask how you can help him get what he's wanting (e.g., how can I help this wedding be a place where you really feel supported and loved?)(that's cheesy, but in the midst of the conversation you'll find a down to earth version of it).

Tl;dr - yeah, A is not right, but there are real feelings and needs here, and if you have the energy, you could try to figure out what those are and how you can help.
posted by salvia at 8:50 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Agreed that you should certainly validate his feelings, not the complaint. I can imagine thinking a lot of impolite petty things with the only one I could admit publicly would be "And you can't even have the decency to have your shotgun wedding in a different month?"

It's not a thing. But right now it's his shorthand for feeling like the sibling everyone takes for granted.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't even bother fighting him on how silly the "same month" complaint is. I'd just say "Ugh, I know it sucks. But can you imagine how mortified Mom would be if the baby bump was obvious in the wedding pictures? Besides, the sooner it's behind us, the better. Have you picked out a band yet?"
posted by politikitty at 9:23 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


No sharing an anniversary month, even though the weddings are in different years? I've never heard of such a thing. (But it does remind me of a post I read on Etiquette Hell years ago about a woman who got engaged and her sister, who was also engaged, threw a fit because "everybody knows it's bad etiquette to have a wedding in the six months before or six months after mine!")
posted by SisterHavana at 9:50 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


It's not about the month at all. Everyone knows it isn't about the month.

It's almost definitely about your brother B 'beating' A to the altar, and having (another?) big drama filled fuss, but that sounds silly, so they've focused on something really small and tiny. Like the month. Which sounds sillier, but hey, that's how people deal.


Point out that hey, it's another Brother B drama, but what you gonna do. That you know it's not about the wedding, but look at it this way, Brother A's wedding will at least, be a whole year off at that point, and that you know they're going to have a really lovely, well thought out occasion (throw in all the subtext you can that they're gonna have a better wedding. Yay!).
posted by Elysum at 10:54 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


I'm right there with everyone who thinks this is bananas. But. When I tried to put myself into Brother A's shoes, being as uncharitable to Brother B as I could be, I ended up here: It's the week of my wedding, and all anyone can talk about is that my idiot brother and his soon-to-be-ex are fighting nonstop, that he's moved out but wants custody of their baby, who's teething BTW, and what we should do to get through the events without big public humiliations all around. I feel completely upstaged and embarrassed by his stupid drama on what should be the happiest day of my life! And this is after their baby shower upstaged our wedding shower! (I had to imagine Brother A as Bridezilla for this to work. But I do feel more sympathetic to him now.)

Maybe it's not so much about the month as it is about the prospect of their first anniversary (or, you know, absence thereof) being at the same time as his wedding.
posted by gingerest at 11:03 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


gingerest above makes such a good point, I'm almost ashamed to write my initial take on this....

Anywho

I guess I was just wondering if Brother A's usual emotional response was to cry over trivia? Because that seems damn immature and notable.

But if the family dynamic is truly dysfunctional, then I have some news for you guys about this: NOT EVERY SIBLING'S EXPERIENCE IS THE SAME AS THE OTHERS.

I grew up abused, so this is an extreme example, but it is true that I was actively abused, and my brother was not. I'm utterly (happily) estranged from my entire birth family by choice. They are still making him miserable and crazy, but his tolerance overall is higher for their shenanigans. Me? Every instance of cray cray triggered my PTSD so much I had to exhile myself from their group.

Looking back, I am certain many reactions I had to them seemed laughable and overblown. However, I my reactions were normal based on my personal history and experience.

Is your brother right? Is there some giant looming drama for him that he can't articulate well enough and you can't perceive?

You guys seem reasonable and understanding, so maybe not - but it is something to consider in the sea of validation you're getting in this thread.


(FWIW, I personally think Bro A should STFU, but yo, even in my worst pain I tried not to be petty. Sometimes pain makes people really petty, so I shouldn't judge. My two cents.)
posted by jbenben at 11:37 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


Yeah, what if you were to acknowledge this pattern (B is always stealing the show doing crazy shit), acknowledge the unfairness (it sucks that this is coming up now just as you were about to send out the Save the Date for your wedding, it's so unfair the way it feels like our family always has to put his crisis at center stage, and your wedding is the last thing that should be pushed off the stage), then turn to a mix of solutions (let's figure out how to get your wedding planning the attention it deserves) and acceptance (I mean, inevitably B will throw a wrench into things, we can't stop that, but that would've happened no matter what date he picked or whether or not this girlfriend got pregnant).
posted by salvia at 1:45 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Thank you Brother A for relating your actual feelings because the rest of us would feel this way but keep our mouths shut. As to the two of you who were taken off guard and weren't able to keep a straight face, you must practice such behavior if you intend to keep this one pacified.

Of course, I would be inclined to tell Brother B...have the wedding on July 31. Done. Now the verbalized reasons are gone...and we know that is all you really want to do is shut Brother A up.
posted by OhSusannah at 3:51 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Thank you Brother A for relating your actual feelings because the rest of us would feel this way but keep our mouths shut.

Um, no. In fact, my husband's brother just got married in our anniversary month, and it never crossed my mind to be bothered by this.
posted by amro at 4:04 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Unless he's Augustus, that's not his month.

If he had been planning the wedding for years and brother b suddenly got married in the same month and year, I might think he could have standing for a legitimate grievance. Might.

The real key here is that he is not excited about his brother's wedding and somehow it's about him. That tells you all you need to know.
posted by milarepa at 4:30 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Thanks to the internet, there is a lot of pressure on couples these days to make their wedding different, unique and special. Spend a bit of time on Pinterest or YouTube and it is easy to get the impression that the point of a proposal, engagement, & wedding is to impress your friends and family with how clever and creative you are.

I suspect Brother A and his fiance chose August as their month with this in mind. Maybe they are trying to go super-unique and August/late summer tie-ins are a big part of their theme. Or maybe they don't have much that is unique and August was kind of it for them: "June is traditional, therefore, we will do August and have a late summer theme, and it will be different and cool and we'll do sunflowers and serve lemonade punch in mason jars and everyone will admire us for thinking of it!"

So now if Brother B gets married in August of this year, when Brother A's wedding comes around next year August has already been "done". Even though Brother A thought of it first, he now (in his mind) has not only not done something different, people may even think he copied Brother B! Poof, no more special for you.

(Yes of course other people get married in August, but he doesn't want to stand out among all people everywhere, just among the group of people he is a part of.)

So yeah, it is petty but I can kind of see where he might be feeling upset. It would be a nice gesture from Brother B to switch his wedding to the end of July or early September. But if they don't switch, at least try to feel a bit of compassion for Brother A's hurt ego. It sucks to have your thunder stolen... and to him August was apparently part of his thunder, even if it seems petty or stupid to everybody else.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:44 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I still think we should just slap Brother A in his stupid face. But DirtyOldTown is going to try and connect with him by expressing empathy about having their thunder stolen. Perhaps people are right and we can try to understand his feelings, even if his demands are ridiculous. I'll reach out to Fiancé A and see if I can help that way. Thanks everyone!
posted by Comrade Doll at 4:52 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


Is there any pressure being exerted by Fiancée A? I can imagine a scenario where the bride-to-be is just going BALLISTIC about sharing the limelight and is putting the groom-to-be through all levels of hell. That, plus the fact that Brother A seems pretty sensitive (rightly or wrongly), could be what's pushing him over the edge.

Maybe it's possible to sit him down and calmly explain that it's okay for Brother B to be getting married a full year before him, it's so totally not the end of the world, could this be about something bigger that maybe he should be exploring, if he's ready for marriage he is ostensibly an adult and should be acting like one, etc.
posted by cooker girl at 5:47 AM on July 1


My younger sister got engaged six months after I did and decided to get married four weeks after me, meaning all of our out-of-town family had to decide between my already planned traditional wedding or her big-fancy-wedding-after-already-being-married-by-a-Justice-of-the-Peace. I had some feelings like Brother A did - I'm the middle child and my sister's the youngest and it sure did stir up some childhood feelings about the baby always getting what she wanted and SeedStitch having to make do - so I read your question and went HOO BOY family wedding drama, I get that. But no. Brother A is being unreasonable. Brother B seems to be making some interesting choices (who cares if his bride is showing when they get married, if people already know she's pregnant?) but clearly there is more to this than just Brother A's insistence that August belongs to him from now until the end of time.
posted by SeedStitch at 7:06 AM on July 1


Nthing the "maybe brother A is just hurt by once again taking second stage after brother B" crowd. Of course I don't know for sure, but that's how I'd feel if I announced my wedding and then my little brother, the Golden Child, pulled something like that. I can even imagine my mother giving wedding accessories to his bride and not to me if their wedding came first.

If that's not it, then yeah, brother A has to suck it up and deal.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 7:17 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


And to go completely off topic but address your other question, my birthday and anniversary are exactly two weeks (14 days!) apart, in the same month. It's not too big a deal, but we're not big celebration people to start with.
posted by RogueTech at 11:28 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I still think we should just slap Brother A in his stupid face. But DirtyOldTown is going to try and connect with him by expressing empathy about having their thunder stolen. Perhaps people are right and we can try to understand his feelings, even if his demands are ridiculous. I'll reach out to Fiancé A and see if I can help that way. Thanks everyone!

This seems like rewarding the bad behavior?

I feel like the best thing to do in these situations is to support and listen to the people who are being wronged, in this case, Brother B, and ignore the person/people who are being stupid and dramariffic.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:49 PM on July 1


I feel like the best thing to do in these situations is to support and listen to the people who are being wronged, in this case, Brother B, and ignore the person/people who are being stupid and dramariffic.

We could fill three or four more of these AskMetafilters with Brother B. You have no idea.

In some families, all you can do is gently encourage the least drama in any given situation, and ignoring the stupid and dramariffic would be most of the family.

And, y'know, the straw that breaks the camels back is usually a pretty pathetic spindly bit of grass. I kind of speculate that the people who usually deal with crises, are kind of used to putting their own wants/needs on the backburner, so when there is a real problem, they deal with it. It's usually when there isn't a real problem/crisis that they have their complete meltdown.

Not saying that's Brother A, except for the bit about them having a complete meltdown.
posted by Elysum at 2:15 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


In some families, all you can do is gently encourage the least drama in any given situation, and ignoring the stupid and dramariffic would be most of the family.

Typically that means that you avoid reinforcing childish nonsense. So when brother b is being ridiculous, you don't indulge that either. Believe me, I have a ridiculously dramatic family (I'm also familiar with sibling dynamics). Rushing to reassure the person who is, in effect, the aggressor is a bad move. The fact that everyone wants to referee this fight and take the instigator seriously instead of treating it like a bizarre outburst and ignoring it as much as possible is a large contributor to these ongoing fights. There's no need to referee between adults. It's a ridiculous dynamic and everyone should ignore the instigators as much as possible instead of feeding them with "reassurance" and trying to talk them down.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:13 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I'm sure the 50 comments I haven't read all said the same thing I'm about to say, but this is in no way a valid complaint. My sister and I have nearly the same anniversary and it is a complete non-issue, it's not like there's some big family party for our wedding anniversaries every year. The year she got married she said "I'm so sorry you're spending your anniversary on a plane" and I said "that's really okay, you can't help it that you're smart enough to pick the best week of the year to get married" and that is the last time there's ever been an occasion to discuss it.

Weddings make people crazy, and in my experience it's usually not brand-new crazy but instead long-standing emotional stuff that boils to the surface. So I always try to be nice to people who inexplicably start acting like assholes during wedding planning time, as I'm sure you will, but I don't think you need to worry about whether he's got a legitimate concern here.
posted by gerstle at 4:17 PM on July 1


I think it is a thing. I support brother A.

Brother A has planned his life. He took the time to date a girl, investing years into it. He didn't rush out and get knocked up. He is choosing to spend the rest of his life with this girl, and maybe this wedding is only important to his fiance, or maybe Brother A will be divorced and Brother B will live the rest of his life with this girl...either way...Brother A has worked hard to make his wedding something special for him and his new wife. It is shitty for Brother B to just jump in there like that. If getting married is so important to Brother B, than do it right now, today....or do it at the moment of birth. But don't do it in August. Brother B should also show some respect for his brother, and the good choices that he has tried to make in his life. Brother B should realize that he only feels the way he does because it is his lack of choices that forces him to feel this way. Either do it today, or next week...or at the birth..(or later), but don't do it in August...and don't be that kind of dick that says "Oh, Okay....September 1st."
posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:08 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Brother A has planned his life. He took the time to date a girl, investing years into it. He didn't rush out and get knocked up. He is choosing to spend the rest of his life with this girl, and maybe this wedding is only important to his fiance, or maybe Brother A will be divorced and Brother B will live the rest of his life with this girl...either way...Brother A has worked hard to make his wedding something special for him and his new wife. It is shitty for Brother B to just jump in there like that. If getting married is so important to Brother B, than do it right now, today....or do it at the moment of birth. But don't do it in August. Brother B should also show some respect for his brother, and the good choices that he has tried to make in his life. Brother B should realize that he only feels the way he does because it is his lack of choices that forces him to feel this way. Either do it today, or next week...or at the birth..(or later), but don't do it in August...and don't be that kind of dick that says "Oh, Okay....September 1st."

I'm convinced. I just wanna say, though, that if any of you people decides to buy a flat screen television on my Black Friday, after all I went through, you're being a complete dick. Same goes for Saturday.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:25 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


A possibility to consider, since you've married into this family, is that you're seeing the reaction (A is wayyy insensitive) but maybe weren't there for the cause (e.g. this is the thousandth time B has stolen the limelight). Just one possibility to consider.
posted by salvia at 9:10 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


My wife (then fiancée) and I had set our date for July 1st (happy anniversary to us!) quite a while in advance. My cousin, who I am not especially close to but am on friendly, good terms with, decided to set his wedding date for the same weekend (I think the next day). Since we were getting married in the middle of the country and he was getting married in California, it basically meant that all my aunts, uncles and cousins on his side of the family, many of whom I would have loved to have seen at my wedding, didn't attend my wedding.

I suppose I would have been justified in being upset with my cousin, but honestly, whatever upset feelings there were really only momentary when finding out we were getting married on the same weekend, and after that it was just the reality of the situation.

I can't imagine in what world someone would ever be justified in being upset that a relative chose a wedding date a full year later than their own.
posted by adamp88 at 9:39 AM on July 2


I sort expected Comrade Doll might check in and tell the latest. But then I guess she's not really in the full-on MeFi habit.

Anyway, Brother A continues to be a jackhole. We awoke this morning to thousand word FB messages blasting us for FB liking a pic of Brother B and his fiancé taken right after he proposed. There are more wrinkles of course, but my understanding is that she is effectively in Who Gives a Fuck What This Ridiculous Jackass Thinks? territory now. I sure am.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:54 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


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