Favortizm-need advice - FamilyEducation
Favortizm-need advice
10/28/2008 at 06:56 AM

My pa remarried and started a new family when I was 3. I have 1 full brother, 1 full sister, and 2 half sisters from my pa's 2nd marriage.  Over the yrs. my brother and I stayed with our pa on and off while our sister always remained with our mother. I wound up staying with my pa the most.

It is now yrs. later and one of my step-sisters has invited my son, my daughter and myself to be a part of her wedding. Of course we agreed. Now I am regretting that decision. My other whole siblings are pissed that they and their children are being left out. I have learned that they always felt that my pa's 2nd family has favored me and my family more so than theirs over the years. They are very passionate about this resentment. I look back and yes I can see what they mean, I just never paid any attention to it.

I am almost 40 now, and all this is stressing me out terrible. Its both a sad situation and disheartening learning of this deep-seeded resentment from my whole siblings.

The wedding is not til Spring of 2010 and we have not been fitted for anything, and I am really thinking of breaking my half sisters heart by changing my mind to be in the wedding just to keep the piece with my other siblings. They are more hurt about their own kids not being acknowledged than anything.  In case you need to know, my step-mother has been a Bridal manager for 25+ yrs. and so this wedding has to be perfect, she also wears the pants in the family. What the heck do I do? Please advise...

sorry. the filtered word(s) should read: very upset

Hi there. I feel for you. I was in a very similar situation w/ my in-laws. Same deal. My youngest BIL had a 2 yr engagement and just recently got married, and my husband and I and our kids were the ones that felt left out of it. We were invited, of course, and my husband was one of the ushers. Everyone else had some part in the ceremony (a reading, speech...). Even two of the kids were asked to be flower girl and ring bearer. They even showed a slide show at the reception, but neither my husband nor I and our children were included in it. Everyone else was in it, though. This made us feel terrible. Looking back, I understand why my BIL didn't involve us as much as he shld've. We distanced ourselves from the family after a disagreement, and since then, things have never been the same. Still we felt we shld've been included in a lot more, and this hurt us deeply. My advice to you wld be to continue w/ your plans to be in your half sister's wedding. You agreed to take part in this day, and I don't think you shld back out now. The last thing you want is resentment from your half sister. Whatever friction is going on between your half sister and your whole siblings has nothing to do w/ you and your family. I know the situation doesn't seem fair, and it's not, but you have to do what you feel is right for you. Is there a reason why your half sister is favoring your family over the others? I'm sure there's 2 sides to the story. Family situations can get pretty tricky, so it's probably best to stay neutral. If you take sides, it'll only cause more tension. Think of it this way. If you don't have a personal problem w/ any of your family members, (they haven't directly hurt you, and you haven't hurt them) then why even worry yourself about it. You have to let the other parties work this out themselves. I agree this is a sad situation, and it's unfortunate that anyone has to feel left out. However, being the middle man is not always the right solution either. I've been there, and it doesn't work. Ask yourself this: If your family wasn't in this situation, what wld you do? In my case, my one BIL got involved, and by doing that, it only made us distance ourselves further. I almost didn't attend his wedding, but at the last minute I changed my mind, and went. I'm glad I did, even though my family and I weren't as involved in the celebration as we wanted to be. These things take time to work through. Hopefully your families can all get together at some pt and talk about everything. Life is too short, and these things are not worth stressing over. I wish you and your family all the best.

PS--A lot can happen in 2 yrs. Do what you feel is right in your heart for you. Good luck.

I can understand your being sensative to your "whole siblings" because you love them and it is hard to see them with hurt feelings. However, would you rather cause emotional pain for your step-sister? Your responsibility is to treat the people you love with respect and kindness. You are not responsible for the relationship between any other two people. Unfortunately these types of events often have a way of causing family discord. It is not fair to impose a penalty on your step-sister (by not participating in her wedding) just because your siblings did not build the type of relationship with each other, over the years, as you did with yours. When a person is planning his/her wedding, they want those people next to them that mean the most to them. It is not your responsibility to bring harmony between your siblings. Just be true to each of them and you have done your job. As far as the resentment, that may be something you want to address outside of the wedding plans.