Anonymous asks:

Do I have a right to be upset/angry? My fiance proposed to me in August this year and it was the most magical, romantic moment of my life. 

A week later, his younger brother started making comments about proposing to his long-term girlfriend - and a month after I got engaged, he proposed! (note that my fiance's brother has always rivalled and tried to 'better' my fiance) 

This really upset my partner and I as it felt that they hadn't let us enjoy our moment and we're trying to 'steal' the limelight. 

Nothing was said, but I was left upset by this. My fiance and I have booked our wedding for April 2022 - as he is a teacher we are restricted to school holidays. 

We have then planned to have a three week honeymoon during the summer holidays. 

I work for the NHS and have a limited number of days holiday - so with the wedding and a three week honeymoon this will be taking up most of my annual leave! 

Today, we have been contacted by my fiance's brother to be told that they will be getting married abroad in September 2022 and want us to go away for a week. 

As mentioned, my partner is a teacher and so will not be able to get this time off work - and also I do not have the annual leave allowance as I am using it for my own wedding. 

I really feel for my fiance as he is 'piggy in the middle'. 

Of course I respect that his brother and partner want their dream wedding - but I also feel that they should respect that our attendance will be difficult/impossible due to our work commitments and our own wedding. 

I have said to my fiance that I feel as we have already planned our wedding they should respect our plans and should not be expecting us to accommodate them for the sake of our own wedding. 

I am really struggling to not get involved - I am so angry by this as I feel his brother is making it 'all about him' and showing little regard to his brother and I. 

Am I right to feel annoyed? Or am I being selfish? 

His brother is constantly trying to compete - we have recently moved house and now his brother is talking about doing the same and I am not up for all this 'competition' - it is not in my nature and it is mentally exhausting! 

I would really appreciate your advice - do I ask my fiance to have words? 

I don't want them to fall out over it but at the same time I don't see why we should have to try and 'compromise' when they've chosen to get married relatively closely to our date!


Noel McDermott says: “Without doubt you have the right to be upset, but I will advise you not to let the upset live rent free in your head for too long! Giving your emotional wellbeing away to your soon to be husband’s brother in that way is not a good idea. Letting him disturb your peace of mind is to step into the dynamics that exist between your fiancé and his brother already, it recreates the dynamic and as you can see their way of dealing with it is not working. So do try to stay away from it. The risk is a drama triangle emerges (rescuer, victim, perpetrator) from which you will not get free. These cannot be resolved, only avoided.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

In this case don’t make their problem your problem.  They have lived with this for a long time and don’t fall into the trap. With the issues of your marriage and honeymoon I would suggest you write down your boundaries, your wants, your wishes, WITHOUT REFERENCE TO YOUR FIANCE, HIS BROTHER OR THEIR RELATIONSHIP! Once you have that clear in you can negotiate with your fiancé in terms of what he wants to add to the plans and also listen to him in terms of what he can’t bear to happen! Plan the wedding and honeymoon in completely selfish manner. If the subject of his brother comes up, ban it from the conversation. Your fiancé has to deal with his brother, not you. 

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This needs to become the pattern in regards to how your deal with your fiancee’s brother and their relationship, in that you don’t get involved, you simply have clarity about your side of the street, what it is you want. If you try to get involved you will simply end up recreating the dynamic, step into the drama triangle as I prescribed, and give away your peace of mind. Your fiancé is an adult, he can and will navigate his way into a more mature way of relating to his brother, and if he doesn’t you just stay away from it. 

Finally have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon, we all wish you both the very best for your life together.”

Noel McDermott is a Psychotherapist and International Speaker with over 25 years’ experience in health, social care and education. He is the founder and CEO of three organisations, Psychotherapy and Consultancy Ltd, Sober Help Ltd and Mental Health Works Ltd. which provide health and social care services to individuals, families and organisations dealing with mental health and addiction problems.

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