This week, my brother is getting married. He’s been with his future wife since 2014, and despite all the time together, I can safely speak for all of us to say that we don’t like her.
She’s not a very nice person, she’s very selfish, and she has zero interest in becoming a part of our family. She makes us all uncomfortable, and despite my parents’ protests, he is marrying her.
He proposed with my grandmother’s engagement ring, the same one my mother had. She didn’t like it, so he bought her a different one. She will not return the ring. It is now lost to her and her greed.
She has expressed no thanks and gratitude for the amount of time and work my sister and I are spending on their wedding.
When she visits my parents’ home, she leaves a mess wherever she goes. My sister, mother, and I are often cleaning up after her because my brother can’t be bothered and doesn’t see it as a problem.
She doesn’t know how to spell my name. Despite the corrections and many cards, emails, etc. that were sent between us. She still refers me to my maiden name (now legally changed) and misspells my first name.
She offers no help at family functions. She sits there and is on her computer or phone when we are all cooking and setting the table.
While my grandfather was dying in the hospital, she sat in the waiting room and began planning their wedding. This is because my brother decided to announce it, at my grandfather’s passing, that they are going to get married.
We’re all in mourning, in a way. Out of all of us, my father is the one most in mourning.
He had this dream, this vision, of what life would be like when he was gone. My brother would be the head of the next generation, with his children carrying on the family name and traditions.
He imagined my brother looking after all of us, just like my father did and his father did before him. He worked hard to lay a strong foundation, where my brother can easily step into the role.
But, like most things in life, life has its own ideas. My brother never took to that idea, despite him being bossy and controlling (he never had the compassion and patience of a leader), and now his choice of wife has cemented that he will never fulfill that role.
He always had a temper, often violent, growing up. He was completely cruel and devoid of any gentleness. I used to think it was normal for little boys to try to beat up their younger sisters. I used to think men were supposed to have explosive tempers and lash out at every small thing. My father wasn’t around much, due to work, so my brother was the true learning curve of men.
I am grateful to say my husband is nothing like him at all. Where my brother is angry, my husband is loving. Where my brother is full of rage, my husband is full of kindness.
When my sister and I married, we knew that our spouses should not just fit us, but be part of the family. We wanted them to have the same attitude, enthusiasm, and focus on our parents and relatives just as they would give to their parents.
We wanted to make sure it wasn’t just our husband, but another son. My parents say again and again how lucky they are, since their sons-in-law are so kind, so patient, and such good men. They say they focus on that, and not on my brother’s choices and his wife.
So why are we all surprised he married someone as aloof and selfish as him? Why are we all sitting here, in disbelief that this is where he wound up?
I guess in a way, we all had hope. My mother and father admitted that they hoped he would find someone like me in temperament. Someone gentle, good natured, patient, and very sweet (I was touched they thought this of me!). Of course, they also knew his anger and his impatience would repel any woman like that.
They thought he would find a partner who will soften him and make him more attentive, more loving to his family. Well, he is attentive and loving but only to her.
My mother told my brother that he is now his wife’s husband, and not her son. He got very upset, but it’s completely true. While men (and women!) should be devoted and present for their partners, their partners should remind them to be better children and siblings.
They should help you be a better person.
So while we spend a small fortune to attend a wedding that none of us want to happen or attend, we are also saying good-bye to this dream.
My sister and I are closer than ever, mainly because our husbands are very similar in temperament and extremely supportive of any family endeavor. My brother always marched to the beat of his drum, and never really liked being tied down.
We all saw this coming. Now, we finally see it happen. We are happy that he is happy, but we also know we won’t have the family we wanted.
In a way there is peace. But it hurts me to know that my parents will spend the rest of their lives, wondering, what could have been.