Dealing With Mean Brother-in-Law?
Question: My fiancé and I have been together for 8 years, and just recently set a wedding date. His 23-year-old brother is always rude to me when we are in the same room, and has twice even referred to me using a racial slur. This has been going on about 2 1/2 years, and I've never done anything to antagonise him. My fiancé excuses his brother's behaviour, saying he doesn't mean those things, or that he was "only joking". This weekend the brother asked if he could be the best man in our wedding, and my fiancé said yes. I am livid. I feel that giving him this honour is condoning the lack of respect his brother has shown me. I have explained all of this to my fiancé and he has agreed to consider "un-asking" his brother. Am I being unreasonable? And if not, how can he do this without starting a major battle? His brother is a spoiled brat, and we are worried about how he'll take the news.
Answer: by The Knot
Your problems with your fiancé’s brother continually treating you badly seem to stem from how your fiancé has dealt (or rather, not dealt) with his brother’s horrendous behaviour up until now. Sounds like he has not actually confronted him, but has just tried to explain away his actions as harmless teasing. Perhaps your fiancé doesn’t realise how hurtful he has been to you, or maybe he doesn’t believe that his little brother is capable of being so rude. Either way, you have to drive home the point to your groom-to-be that this has to stop immediately.
Request that the three of you sit down together and talk about what’s been going on. Your fiancé should let his brother know unequivocally that if he truly is joking with you, this is not the kind of joking you find acceptable and that it has to stop. If his words are not intended as mere teasing, perhaps you can get him to ‘fess up to why he seems to have such a problem with you. For all you know, this could be his immature reaction to some past misunderstanding. Impress upon him that your marrying his brother means you are joining his family, and so it’s time to lay things on the table. Hopefully once you understand his motivations you can all work toward a resolution.
If he doesn’t respond to talking it out with you, let him know that this is the reason that he will not be in your wedding party. But remember that this is a course of action you and your groom must agree on beforehand and stick to during the conversation: It’s important that you both appear as a united front on this issue. If you let your fiancé talk to his brother alone, he may use that as an opportunity to deny or come up with another lame excuse for his behaviour.
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