Monday, March 8, 2010

Like ripping off a band-aid

I've been debating writing this post for a while, and I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about it.  But in order to really understand some of the decisions we are making for our wedding, you kind of need to understand what happened with our planning.  (and maybe I can just direct people to this post when they ask me why I don't have a maid of honor, 'cause I'm sick of explaining...)

So, as you may know, I haven't really had the best examples of marriage in my family.  What you don't know is that until recently, I did have one example.  You see, my brother and his wife were married for almost 8 years when the boy asked me to marry him.  His wife, let's call her Betty, was one of my closest friends.  We couldn't have been more different.  She was conservative, I'm a total liberal.  She's country, I'm city.  She hates being away from family, I moved away the first chance I got.  But we bonded when she was dating my brother 9 years ago, I was the maid of honor in their wedding, and now we really just think of each other as sisters.  Since then, she and my brother have really been my one source of stability.  Their home was where I stayed during the holidays, they were who I brought P home to meet, etc.  P and my brother got along perfectly.  My brother and I have always had a fierce closeness, we talk about everything, and we have a bond that I cherish more than I can explain. 

Flash forward to the day we got back from our backpacking trip.  Betty and my brother were the first people I called to share the news.  I, of course, asked Betty to be my MOH, and my brother to be a groomsman.  Four weeks later I found out that my brother had left Betty after months of cheating on her.  She was an absolute wreck, had lost an unspeakable amount of weight, and needed me.  I finished my last paper, skipped graduation, and drove the 7 hours to their home to try to support her and figure out what the hell was going on with my brother.  In the meantime, I picked up a pretty awful case of anxiety, and put our wedding planning on hold. 

A lot has happened since then.  Betty and my brother are in the middle of a pretty nasty divorce.  My brother and I have just begun to talk again, trying to piece together our relationship after over 9 months of radio silence (he refused to talk to me at first, and then I refused to talk to him).  Betty and I are trying to figure out how we can still be friends, without it being too difficult for her.  We decided it would be too hard for her to come to the wedding, and so now I am MOH-less.  As of now, my brother is coming ALONE, and I am trying to figure out how I feel about that. 

It's basically a hot mess.  And the truth is, a lot of people expected me to cut and run.  No wedding, no marriage, no boy.  Because I was freaked out.  But actually, this whole thing has made me love him more.  He has been incredibly supportive, understanding, and we have talked about things we never would have before.  It's definitely changed me a bit.  (I'm more cautious about other women, for one.  Which I never was before.)  It's made wedding planning extremely difficult and emotional at times.  But I know it's made us stronger. 

*By the way, I have 5 AMAZING bridesmaids.  I just didn't want to replace Betty, it just didn't feel right, which is why I don't have an MOH.


  1. well written and hopefully therapeutic. i couldn't imagine going through what you're going through. you're a very brave person.

  2. Oh dear. I have perfect record in my family and I am still freaked out. My thoughts are with you.

  3. I am so sorry. That sounds like a hard situation. I would be furious with my brother, too. And this did happen to me. My brother dumped the mother of his children, who is a friend of mine. But I tried to hear both of their sides because you just never know what really happens in someone's relationship.

  4. My brother cheated on my super awesome sis-in-law. It's hard in a way that's hard to the Wizard of Oz when you realize it's all a fake.

  5. The messy joy of family. This really sucks.

    My parents marriage of 38 years broke up a month after Mr B & I got engaged. I was a mess. It was a mess. It made me question everything and everyone in my life. But in the end it made US stronger.

    Marriage takes work, and commitment. But in the end it is still a leap of faith. You just have to find the best person to take that leap with.

    Sorry you have to deal with this in the lead up to your wedding. But thanks for sharing.

    P.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  6. i'm there with you- not having the best examples of marriage. and then the one you have, that gives you hope, comfort, security blows up in your face. totally unexpected.

    do you feel the need to have a maid of honor? how about just having all your lovely bridesmaids still be your lovely bridesmaids. no need to promote someone into a role just to have someone.

  7. @Shannon and brideonashoestring: Thanks for your kind words and thoughts, I really appreciate it.
    @cupcakewedding: I feel you. That's why I've started talking to him again, I felt like I needed to hear both sides, and then just move on. He is my brother, and I don't have a lot of family to choose from here!

    @happynappybride: It's just like that!

    @Mrs. T: OMG. I can't even imagine dealing with that. I totally agree on it making you stronger as a couple.

    @maura: I totally agree, I am just going to have them be the lovely bridal brigade. period. I'm choosing the one who has had a crush on the best man for years to walk with him, for obvious reasons. :)

    @everyone: Thanks so much for your comments. I was nervous to post this and I am amazed by this lovely little community we have here. I feel blessed to have discovered it.


I love comments. Please share your thoughts!