Help my fiance doesn't like my family

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    Hi guys.
    I have been with my partner for 8 years and in November last year I proposed to her infront of the trevi fountain. I am happy with our relationship but she has never really embraced my family, nor have our families met.

    I am somewhat ashamed of my fathers unemployment (my mother is disabled) so I never forced the matter. But now we are getting married and the distance between myself, my fiance and my family is becoming an issue. The issue that brought it up was that my fiance doesn’t want to have my sister as one of her bridesmaids. This has caused a rift.

    Now my fiance has never been as close with my family as I was hers. In fact she pretty much avoids seeing them or sees it as a chore. This has always driven me mad as her family pretty much treat me as one of their own now but she barely knows my side of the family and though she hasn’t stated it she basically has no interest in knowing them.

    My sister will be hurt by not even being asked to be a bridesmaid and she is my only sister, and basically the whole wedding seems more geared towards her side of the family than mine.

    I have argued my case that she should be included but my fiance just says she doesn’t know her enough to feel comfortable with her being included in all the bridal stuff. And I get it she doesn’t know her that much and to be honest the only exposure she has to my sister is when my sister calls up asking for a favour or the time when she owed me £800 and hasnt paid it back still. I wont fall out with my sister because of daft stuff like cash but my fiancée just doesnt have any interest in my family at all.

    What do I do? I don’t want my life to be influenced forever by this and I am really concerned about the day when our families meet.

    Do I call off the wedding? Do I force her to ask my sister? I am so confused. This is making me regret even getting engaged, we were fine then. All I did was buy a ring and all hell has broken loose.



    This sounds stressful for you but what I can tell you, from some friends that I’ve known for a long time, that have a happy & healthy marriage is this. Sometimes your partner or yourself may not like certain family members for your own or their own personal reason(s). I know a few married friends of mine, that just don’t like particular members of their partners family and that is fine. As the marriage is their own sacred relationship that doesn’t get interfered with their husband or wife’s relationship with their family. You can still have a great relationship with your family, without compromising your relationship with your wife. These things happen at times, as not everybody is meant to always like one another. The only thing that matters is the relationship with your wife.

    Take as much time as you need to think about this. Everything will work itself out if you can come to some healthy and respectful boundaries.

    Wishing you all the best on your beautiful marriage. 🙂




    Dear Ben:

    For eight years you were not bothered significantly, if at all by your fiance not liking your family, is that so?

    And… do you like your family?

    There is the wedding ceremony and party itself and there is your life with your fiance before (8 years) and after the wedding ceremony and party. If the Before was okay with you, then I suppose the After will be okay with you…?

    And so it is the issue of the wedding ceremony and party itself?

    Are her parents/ family paying for a good part of it? Your parents/ family?

    And then there is the sister that owes you this money. If I was your fiance and your sister borrowed money that she does not intend to pay back, that is she broke a contract with you under which she “borrowed” that money, then I too wouldn’t want her as my bridesmaid. Not because of not knowing her but because of knowing she broke her word to you.




    Dear Ben,

    I think it might be a good idea to take some time alone to think about what is it that you really desire. Remember this is your life – not your family, not your fiancée’s. In your opinion, is finding someone that respects your family a very high priority? If so, perhaps you can think about whether you can still live in the current situation in the future? Also, if you decide to have children in the future, would your future wife be shutting out your side of the family?

    I grew up with parents that were very similar to the way you described you & your fiancée’s situation. My dad loved my mom enough so that he could tolerate not seeing my dad’s side of family. She simply didn’t like my dad’s side because he had alot of siblings (8 in total) and they were always loud & talkative. It just became worse over the years because my dad built resentment towards my mom for not letting him see his family. They would get into a lot of fights. As a child, I was also upset over the fighting and the fact that I never got to see my dad’s side of the family. Even though they were “loud” according to my mom, I felt much love from my dad’s side…it seemed as if a part of me was missing while I was growing up.

    Also, I think you shouldn’t be ashamed of your dad’s situation at all. Unemployment doesn’t make anyone less of a person. He is your dad & I would respect him because he raised you up.

    Aside from the wedding, how is the relationship between you and your fiancée?

    Also, do not be ashamed of backing away from a marriage. I know a friend that called off a marriage because he felt he wasn’t ready. I think he is free & happy now. We need to love & figure out ourselves first, before we can commit to loving someone else.

    Best of luck Ben! Take care!


    Hi guys. I have an update on this and need to clarify some points. This will be a bit disjointed but I will try to cover everything. Thank you for your responses.

    Firstly my dad is unemployed by choice. Without getting into too much detail my mother is 80% disabled but was capable but in her youth laws changed and she was let go by her company for ridiculous reasons I wont go into. She was encouraged to claim benefits and has been there since. My dad claimed that she needed his support daily as a carer thus he left work and didn’t go back. He is very skilled tradesman without official qualifications , basically one of those guys who can do anything they set their mind to yet he wont work. He would rather sit on his arse for £10 then work for £1000. It goes a lot deeper than this but this is my shame. Compared to my partners family who even after retirement still work part time jobs.

    My partner and my sister actually do get along, but my family just do not do anything so there has never been a convenient ‘neutral ground’ for them to meet and my family would not go to my partners house to meet neither would they be comfortable having my partners family over. In fact until I met my partner I had never eaten at a restaurant and my parents had never had friends over to visit so it was so hard to get them to meet and I wasn’t so enthusiastic to begin with. My sister works all the time all over the country so shes never available to meet and is unreliable at the best of times. She only calls when she needs something and is notorious for borrowing money and never paying it back. She currently owes me £800 and owes other members of my family thousands. Shes a nice person and has a heart of gold and was great to me growing up but she just has bad luck and is unreliable.

    My partner knows all of this except she didn’t ever see how good she was to me when I was young so all she has to go on is the negative stuff. She is also reluctant to include my sister as a bridesmaid as she doesn’t want to trust her to do anything in the chance she won’t do it. I get why my partner doesn’t want her as a bridesmaid because she just doesn’t know her.

    I do not mind if my family doesnt like theirs and so on. To be honest their family has adopted me as one of their own and given me a lot over the years. My family on the other hand (due mainly to my dads unemployment) didn’t have the money to equally contribute to my partner the way her family did to me and my parents are so emotionally crippled they made my partner feel awkward when they met. When we bought the house my fiancees father helped with almost all of it himself or put us in touch with tradesmen when he couldnt do it. They paid for loads of things and really did everything they could to help. My family are feeling insecure right now because they realise that they haven’t done nearly as much for me and my faincee as her family has and they feel like they have been shunted out to one side, but the truth is they did it themselves by not supporting us. I get they simply cant afford to financially support us but they could have put some effort in at least but nothing has come.

    My dad on the other hand skilled as he is didn’t even come down to do anything, even though he said he would he just didn’t turn up and offered no explanation.I lost a lot of respect and seeing as I talked him up to my fiancees family him not showing just embarrassed me. Now when it comes to the wedding my faincees family are intending to pay a fair bit of that too so its no surprise my partner gets more influence over the proceedings (not that she excludes me, just that she has a direct line to the accountants:)).

    I get why my parents want to push my sister as bridesmaid as I think its more a matter of pride and respect for them in this small thing but at the same time I get why my partner doesn’t want her. She does want her there as a guest certainly just not as one of her bridal party and it is of course her choice after all.

    So this leads me to the current situation.

    I brought this up with my fiancee, she was very upset and cried a lot thinking my family hates her. She still kept her point though she doesn’t know my sister and doesn’t feel comfortable including her in the bridal party as she is pretty much a stranger. We argued for a while but in the end she suggested that perhaps my sister could do a reading at the wedding for us, or at the reception. I have not told my family about this yet though.

    I really hate being in the middle of all this. It makes me regret proposing.

    Thanks for your support.


    Dear Ben:

    It seems to me that you are fortunate to be a part of your fiance’s family, her parents being more attentive and supportive of you and your marriage than your own parents. Actually your parents and sister are … absantee family, really. So, it is not that your fiance is excluding your family, it is your family not being there.

    As far as your fiance not knowing your sister: she doesn’t know how your sister WAS with you in the past, but she does know her now, as you do, for being unreliable. You both know she is unreliable and has been so for a while. Knowing this it would be very unwise to give her any money in the future and expect it to be returned. Knowing what you both know about your sister and your parents needs to be taken into consideration in the preparation and execution of the wedding and your life after that.

    I hope you hold on to what is good in your life and let go of the bad stuff, the unreliability, irresponsibiliy and lack of support that unfortunately is the reality of your bio family.

    And take care of your health first! Whatever it takes!



    Don’t get me wrong none of my life has been worthy of making into a TV drama or anything. Its not like I was abused or anything, more the case that my fiancées parents are just much better than my own in almost all areas.

    I am going to call my sister shortly and ask her if she would do a reading for me at the wedding. I think this is a good middle ground and will keep her involved as really out of my family I love her the most.

    I will let you know what she says.

    Thanks for all your help, this place is really helping me mange stress by giving me somewhere to air worries.



    Dear Ben:

    I am glad this place is helpful to you!

    I like your solution effort regarding involving your sister. The fact that you love her the most of all your family members is a very, very good reason for you to involve her in the wedding ceremony. Who the groom loves is to be taken into serious consideration in the groom’s own wedding!

    Till what I hope to be good news on your next post here, be well!



    Well that went badly. I called my sister and she told me she didn’t want to be bridesmaid anyway and stuff then hung up. Then called me back minutes later saying that my fiancee has hurt her feelings and that she did want to be a bridesmaid really and stuff. It escalated into my fiancée hating all my family including her and that they all think my fiancée is a snob and ignorant. She topped it off by saying she was done with me and that was that. She basically said she disowns me.

    She also says she hates that I asked her to do a reading for me too and that she wont be at the wedding now.

    I broke down for a while then called my mother who although she does appreciate my situation still maintains that my fiancee should have asked my sister to begin with. And she says that she should still ask her and stuff. Even when she spoke to my fiancée (who was also in tears now) she still maintained this stance.

    I am right in the middle here as I agree with both parties. But I was not asked to be a groomsman at my sisters wedding and didn’t expect to be and neither do I expect to be a groomsman at her next wedding (if she remarries). It never occurred to me that this would be such a big deal. But on the other hand I also think my fiancee could have done with being more considerate with my families feelings (granted so could I).

    My sister then texted me with a nasty text and did the same with my fiancée. She’s always had a temper but this really surprised me.

    So now we dont know what to do.


    Dear Ben:

    Your sister “disowned” you and then texted you a nasty text: didn’t keep her word… again. Disowning (did she … own you?) means she is done with you, and that means no more texting.

    First priority: your health, your blood pressure. Whatever it takes.

    I don’t like your sister’s behavior. I wouldn’t have her as my bridesmaid and prefer it if a person like that did not attend my wedding. But that is just me.

    Your health first.



    Hey Ben,

    Here is my two cents. In a nutshell your right. The moment you got the ring all hell broke loose. Correct, and its just the start. Dating/serious relationships are very very different from Marriage. Before you get married you can wing a lot of things, after you get married you need to make choices with the other over everything! And in the long run it can lead to some pretty long days over who will win.

    Anyways, I have the same problem with my wife not getting along with family or wanting to be around them. I cant speak for all females but in my case its the whole jealous thing and being selfish. She just wants me to herself and wants everything her way. Case in point, your seeing her family more than yours. Not 50/50 is it? I call that selfish. Now that might or might not be the root of the problem. I will admit I didnt read your short story replies. Have you asked your other what the problem is? And whats the best way you can get what you want?

    I believe in love, and I say Congrats on your new journey BUT dont think it will be like the movies because its not. Even when things are “Good” Married life is NOT for the weak. I know, 7 years in. Alot of what I had to say may seem harsh, but is 100 % bs free truth.


    Hi Ben,

    I stumbled upon this today. I don’t know how it all turned out, but did want to chime in, in case it isn’t too late. I am getting married soon and agree that the bond of family is important, but your fiance has every right to pick her bridal party. On your special day (and the events leading up to it), she should be surrounded by the women who make HER happiest, support HER entirely and are there for HER through thick and thin. Regardless of the circumstances, your fiance and sister do not have a close relationship. Hopefully, their relationship will evolve over time, but your wedding is not the appropriate venue to force such a bond.

    Have you picked your groom’s party yet? The reason I ask, is there is no reason to be traditional. Just as your fiance should be surrounded by those she cares most for, you should too. If it is important to you that your sister stand up with you during your wedding, she can. She can stand as a “groomsman” on your side, in support of you. If it is super important to you, you can deal with the issues that come along with having your sister stand in at the wedding and your fiance can deal with the people she has chosen.

    Look at this another way. My female friend was a groomsman in a wedding. She wore the same dress as the bridesmaids (but in black – the color of the guys suits). It looked great, everyone was happy, and my friend wasn’t stuck in a bridal party where she wasn’t welcome and didn’t know the members. Why would your sister want to be part of the bridal party when should could stand by her brother instead?

    Just my two cents. Hope it helps or gives different perspective.


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