Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceReconsidering my(m26) engagement after my fiancé(f25) didn't stick up for her sister...

Reconsidering my(m26) engagement after my fiancé(f25) didn’t stick up for her sister at our engagement party

**TL;DR**: Fiancé didn’t stick up for her younger sister who was bashed on her aunt’s Facebook. She also refused to give me the aunt’s number to talk to her myself

For the sake of this, I’m going to call my fiancé Claire. We go back to high school, but only started dating in 2019. Claire’s extended family didn’t meet for Thanksgiving or Christmas the past two years, and this holiday is supposed to be the first since pre-covid. There was also a family reunion that was cancelled due to covid, so Clair’s parents wanted to invite a lot of people to our engagement party because it was the first meeting in so long. However, the event is making me reconsider for a few reasons

Clair didn’t want a specific aunt (Janice) to come to the party because she is a handful to deal with. But because they hadn’t seen her in almost two years, her parents said they were inviting her anyway. Janice has a history of arguing elections along with voicing disagreements on Facebook that led to ugly back and fourths. She was also outspoken about family who were vaccinated and posted about her “disappointment” too. She disagrees for religious reasons (Christian), and don’t get me started on how she thinks the election was stolen. She is the cause of so much nonsense, but Claire’s parents didn’t want to exclude her to avoid drama. I offered to talk to her parents myself, but Claire asked me not to

The reason I’m writing this is because of something that happened at the party. Claire’s sister (Hanna) performed a dance that her parents asked her to, but Janice told her parents that it “wasn’t appropriate” for a lot of reasons that made me disgusted (Hanna is fourteen). Hanna performed a contemporary dance to a song her parents wanted, and she wore a dress too. Janice said that some of the moves were inappropriate when no one else thought so. Her dance also received a great reception, but Janice took to Facebook to bash Claire’s parents along with posting a picture of the performance that Claire’s parents posted. She said they were “failures” at parenting for allowing it, and that it “wasn’t supposed to be a strip club”. This is the kind of person Janice is, and some other relatives called her out for it too

But Claire’s parents said nothing and told Claire to let it pass because they “don’t engage in drama”, but I disagree because she called her a stripper and used their photos. I asked Clair for Janice’s number to talk to her myself, but she refused to give it to me because “others replied already”. But that’s not an excuse for Hanna’s family to not stick up for her, but Claire wants to let it pass. I vented to one of my friends who said Claire might not stick up for her children if we have them, and he also said she “shouldn’t need her parents approval for everything”. After I vented, I tried to talk again about why I felt it was important to stand up for Hanna, but she kept echoing her parents and staying out of it, and that’s why I’m reconsidering. I just wanted to get another opinion and how to talk to her again because I tried twice, and it went nowhere


*Edit: Hanna is 14. Me wanting to call Janice was just something I said at the end when I was bothered by everything Janice posted. I’m grateful that I wrote this post after others told me that I’d be out of place, makes it all worth it.*

*Something I didn’t say in the post was the rest of Janice’s comment. She called Hanna’s performance “porn” after downloading a picture of the performance from Hanna’s parents’ Facebook and reposting it alongside her rant. Claire and her parents said to “let it pass” because other relatives called her out in the comments, but they had no desire to have the post removed. They still want to invite her to the wedding “after time passed” to avoid more drama, and they don’t care about calling a minor porn on Facebook either*

View Reddit by throwrainuseView Source



  1. I’ll never understand family members who sweep things under the rug to keep the peace. All they’re doing is enabling shitty behavior & letting these people get away with it.

  2. I’m probably older than everyone involved in this situation. Here’s my advice: Don’t talk to Janice. Nothing good will come of that. If you or your children were the target, by all means, take action, but this is not your fight. But do talk to your fiancée about cutting her out of the wedding. People like Janice are toxic and it is appropriate to cut toxic people out of your life and your life events. As you begin your life together, it is appropriate to begin setting boundaries. Your fiancée’s strategy of letting toxic things like that continue is harmful. It tells her sister that it’s okay for people to treat her like that. You don’t need Janice’s toxicity at your wedding. You want to be surrounded by love.

  3. What’s the point of inviting her to things to “avoid drama” when she then creates her own drama? Better to deal with the drama of her not coming than the drama she creates while she’s there.

    How does Hannah feel about this whole thing? Cause if she just rolled her eyes at her crazy aunt being crazy then her family’s response isn’t actually that unreasonable. Why bother dealing with a drama monger if you just don’t care?

    But I doubt any teenager is so well adjusted that this situation wouldn’t bother her. That’s super messed up of her aunt to post along with her picture l.

    When you talk to her I hope you focus on how ignoring the drama doesn’t make it go away, and that you need to focus on what the victim of the aunts cruel antics actually wants.

  4. Okay you can as the bride and groom decide not to have her invited to the wedding. Sit your fiancé down and tell her that you hope this isn’t a reflection of how she would stand up for your future kids and what you and her have. Tell her that it is important to you that you know where she stands on matters that are mildly disturbing.

  5. u/throwarainuse My boyfriend has a friend exactly like this (As was my mother, but that’s for another time!). He tried to jump all over me while I was minding my business at a party, and my boyfriend barely backed me up. I confronted my boyfriend about the situation, I asked him what redeeming quality does the friend have to make his abuse ok. He didn’t have an answer for me. I asked him why he puts up with it when I know the friend has been kicked out of establishments because of his actions, and now he tried to direct it at me too. He didn’t have an answer for that, either. So I told him from then on, I will not go to any social events if the friend is there, and that’s non-negotiable, and it includes our wedding. He will not be invited, and venue security will have his picture to make sure he stays home. After growing up in an abusive home, nothing means more to me than my peace, and woe are you to disturb it.

  6. You need to have a serious talk with your fiancé. Do not stand for complacency and enabling. If her family doesn’t want to engage in drama with Janice then they need to stop inviting her around to create it. If you go through with this engagement then I would demand that Janice not be invited to any of your events. She can either have you or Janice there but not both.

  7. You talking to her aunt would be overstepping. I understand your desire to stick up for your future sister in law, but family matters are complicated. I would stay out of it and keep in mind that the aunt is not a great person to be around. I would not invite her to any family events and encourage your gf to block her.

  8. Engaging with tha aunt would accomplish nothing. This is not the kind of person you can reason with. This is the kind of person you just have to cut off. You shouldn’t have given in to family pressure to invite her so lesson learned. Don’t invite her to the wedding or any other future event. Just steer clear of her altogether.

  9. One thing I’d be concerned about is the level of control her parents have over your fiancé at the moment, this control will continue into your marriage where decisions that should be made by the two of you will have to be ‘okayed’ by her parents (mother) it’s YOUR engagement and it’s YOUR wedding and it will be YOUR marriage, if you don’t make a stand now this will be your life for your whole marriage!

  10. Your fiance has learnt from her parents to not confront the aunt. Which is fine, if it’s some petty shit.

    What I don’t get is the parent”s attitude to their daughter being called a stripper or a porn star. It wasn’t just at the event, it was broadcast to the world on FB. As the father of a daughter, I would told her to remove the post and that I no longer consider her as being part of the family. I wouldn’t be polite about it either. If the FB post didn’t come down, I would make one of my own. And I would not be nice about the aunt.

    I also don’t like drama and so that shit gets shutdown quickly in my family. I realize that this is your fiancé side of the family, but you marrying into it. You are going to have to live with this for decades. Your choice.

    Good luck

  11. Your girlfriend is clearly parroting her parent’s misplaced superiority of “not engaging in drama” when in fact they are enabling it.

    I agree with others that you engaging with Janice is not helpful, but mostly because she seems beyond help. Have you reassured her sister? That would be a good way to engage with the situation.

    It sounds like what you need are boundaries with Janice. One of the most important parts of getting married is establishing those family boundaries – a lot of marital disfunction comes from one spouse putting their parents first, and still acting like they’re under their house rules. Tell your girlfriend you are uncomfortable with Janice and do not want to associate with her. Tell her you are not comfortable with her behavior and do not want to sit idly by while others or eventually the two of you become targets. This would mean not inviting her to your wedding, too. If your girlfriend has a problem with that, well, that’s good to know. If this is how she acts in response to a problem where someone is clearly in the wrong, you’re in trouble for any of the more complex problems that are bound to rise throughout the course of a relationship. Good luck.

  12. I get so tired of people letting others get away with being absolute asshats, just to “keep the peace”. I learned a long time ago, that leads to nothing more than continued BS! Friend or family or complete stranger (providing I have enough info to warrant it), if I see it, I’m gonna call it for exactly what it is!

    Sit your fiancé down and tell her exactly what you think (and why) and what you will do in the future if it happens again, especially to a minor. Explain to her what YOU think is acceptable and not and if you guys are not in the same page, there is a problem. But only you can decide if it is a problem big enough to end the relationship over.

  13. People who avoid drama (“peace keepers” and “people pleasers”) have overcooked spaghetti for spine.

    You addressing family in a situation that doesn’t directly involve you is overstepping. If you were her cousin it would still be overstepping. Wanting to stand up for Hanna is understandable, but it’s not your fight. But this drama was created by 3 key players (MIL/FIL/fiancee) “avoiding” drama. Instead they invited it in and allowed it to create a situation that is being ignored. They enable Janice’s poor behavior and allow it to fester instead of cutting it off entirely.

    Janice will be invited to your wedding. She will cause a fuss. If YOU cause a fuss to prevent her invitation then YOU are the problem in their eyes. That is the overcooked, tangled spaghetti you are surrounded by. This enabling and spinelessness is not a good look on fiancee or family.

    At this point it’s worth a very frank discussion. And tbh I would have it with a therapist because it can snowball very quickly (here are some ways I could see it spiraling):

    * Would she stand up for your kids? I agree with your friend, probably not, but she will likely guarantee she would. How do we know probably won’t follow through? Look at her parents and see what they allow with Hanna. If you can’t trust her to protect your children then you can’t trust her as a parent.

    * Her and her parents’ complicity in Janice’s bullying and poor behavior is not a good look. To allow Janice around is to enable the behavior. That’s a problem for many reasons. Have you seen this behavior elsewhere?

    * What is it about this situation that bothers you, and how can Claire “fix” it? Can she even fix it? Is this a molehill or a mountain? Is this something you can live with if it doesn’t change? Janice has either always been like this or gotten worse, at what point would you expect Claire to stand up if at all?

    That conversation can go in many directions. Given the longevity and apparent health of your relationship, I wouldn’t call this an immediate dealbreaker. But definitely a serious conversation is needed regarding your roles in similar situations and what you expect from each other.

  14. Just because someone’s a blood relative doesn’t mean you have to have their toxic ass in your life.

    I would not let this person to my wedding and that would be the hill to die on. She is a horrible person to begin with but to do that to a child is disgusting.

    I would straight up give “Claire” a her or me situation. Imagine what “Jaince” is going to post about your wedding and possible future children. Tell her you don’t like what she did to “Hanna” and will absolutely not put up with it again so no “Janice”.

    And kudos for sticking up for the sister in law when her own parents wouldn’t. I hope you can work it out with “Claire”.

  15. Janice is the “missing stair” that everyone has to step around to get upstairs. But people who do this are all being complicit in enabling her arseholery, and letting Hanna take the fall just so they can avoid the hassle of fixing the damn stairs.

  16. Yeah if she doesn’t ackonwledge it’s not the right thing to act you should probably cancel engagement. It will cause drama, sth she is prefers to avoid even at the cost of her own family. Which is exactly the point. I don’t suggest just breaking up, but if she can;’t comprehend her attitude is unacceptable then it might the right way to go. Why? Becuase it will negatively your life together going forward. In time of criis when you want to be supported by your wife she might abandon you/your children just because she doesn’t to cause any more drama. Good indicator of whether she accepts this is wrong is if she actually apologises to her sister and isn;t afraid as to not invite aunt even if it means confrontation.

    Ah, if she has been programmed like for her entire youth she might need therapy to get over it.

  17. You may be able to report the post to Facebook as featuring a minor in a so called sex act. If Janice herself called it porn, the filter will probably auto remove it without even going to a human.

    Also, do you want to marry someone with convictions, or someone who is afraid of drama. Claire will treat you the same way she is treating her sister. She will not have your back and when Janice attacks you, you will be all alone.

    This behavior would have me seriously questioning if I want to be a part of a family who would turn their back on their own child for the sake of peace with a bigot. Remember, you aren’t just marrying Claire, you are marrying into her family as well.

    Dating and being engaged are phases to the culmination of combining two lives into one. First you see if you are compatible. Then you see if you are compatible with eachother’s families. This is the point where you make that decision.

  18. Dude red flags left right and center. What kind of sister does not protect her 14 little sister? What kind of family allows Janice to speak the way she does? How can Claire not allow you to try to say something? And ABOVE ALL how can she invite Janice to your wedding?

    I’m sorry dude, you will regret this marriage for the rest of your life. Or you know, a couple years before divorce.

  19. Re-think your relationship, your fiancé will not stand up for you or future kids. It’s so damaging to children when parents won’t protect them to “avoid drama”. She cares more about the aunt feelings and how other view her then her own 14 year old sister. She will never let you create boundaries to protect yourself or your kids. Please make sure you are okay with this as a partner. Don’t marry her hoping she will change.

  20. The problem are Claire’s parents, not her.

    First, it’s not your place to call her aunt. What do you think calling her will get you? You are not her family and she is going to make yet another post, this time insulting you. You cannot call a crazy lady to berate her; it’s not going to get you anywhere. She is not going to change her mind.

    Second, Claire most likely nows she is drama and engaging is creating more drama. I don’t know what you want Claire to do? Get into an argument with her on facebook? She already told her parents she doesn’t agree with her and they don’t want to do anything.

    Finally, this aunt should be banned from now on from wedding, or any type of event. That’s all you can do.

    I think that if you want to break up over something that was her parents’ decision, it’s just dumb. She does have to tell her parents “no”, though; and if they are using money as a manipulation, then no money gets accepted. This of inviting family members to avoid drama, but then those same relatives create tons of drama… I don’t get it.

  21. ” I vented to one of my friends who said Claire might not stick up for her children if we have them” Oh, she definitely won’t. Look at her parents not sticking up for their children… that’s who she learned how to parent from. You *would* be overstepping if you talked to the aunt, but you would not be to have a discussion with both Claire and her parents to let them know that going forward Aunt will not be invited to the wedding, or any other event that you host. I would also make it clear that if there is another event where she is present and this behavior is repeated, you will not be ignoring it because “that’s just how she is.” You will call out any bullying that you see, because that’s just how you are and you will stand up for the people that you love.

  22. While it’s not your job to correct her aunt (it should be her parents job) you certainly have a say in who comes to your wedding. Lay it out for your fiancé, if she comes there will be no wedding.

    The woman is a bully and needs to be stood up to. This woman will disrupt your wedding if she’s there especially if she knows you were upset by her actions. The best way to avoid her “drama” is kicking her out. Her parents don’t want to deal with her and are foisting on you and making it your problem.

    You simply let in be known that she will not be invited to the wedding unless she makes a public apology (which she won’t do) of how she treated her niece.

    BTW, if she truly believed it was “porn” then she knowingly posted child porn on Facebook. That’s a very serious crime.

  23. Your friends are absolutely right. Today, Claire doesn’t stand up for her sister for for your engagement party. Tomorrow, she will similarly give in to her parents about your kids.

    Note that Hanna only danced because their parents insisted that she perform like a circus animal. She didn’t want to do it. This is the dynamic you will be marrying into and Claire supports it 100%.

  24. You can absolutely be disgusted your fiance and her family didn’t stand up to a piece of shit human like their aunt and defend a 14 year old. Do you really want spineless people like this as your family?

  25. Kinda agree with your friend here. Her parents let their daughter get bashed, and clearly has taught Claire that parents shouldn’t protect their own children. She also agreed with it. They also refused to cut contact with this kind of person

    If this happen to your future child she probably would do nothing to ‘stay out of the drama’

  26. If you marry her, and you have kids, what kind of bullying, degradation and emotional trauma would she force your own kids to endure in the name of keeping the peace with her family. Do you know how destroyed some kid’s life could be with bullying if someone posted something online saying they did porn? I wouldn’t marry someone who wouldn’t protect any kids we had.

  27. OP, please get premarital counseling before you seal the deal with your fiancee. This is an illustration of deeper values around family, conflict, peacekeeping, and boundary-setting that WILL come up in your marriage, and you need to make sure that if you and Claire aren’t on the same page, you have some strategies in place to figure out how to come up with solutions you both can live with. I guarantee this will cause resentment in your marriage if you don’t prepare to deal with it now.

  28. People like Claire’s parents inadvertently enable idiots like Janice. I’m an alpha when it comes to stuff like this. I would say something on Facebook that would make Janice so mad she wouldn’t want to come. It may stir up drama in the short term, but I guarantee nobody else really wants her there and you’ll be a silent hero to many. As an added bonus, it’ll distance you from her in the future

  29. She definitely wouldn’t stand up for your kids. I’d throw hands with any family member for talking about my younger siblings that way. I’ve made family members cry for saying less about my younger siblings and cut contact. Your fiancé needs to grow a spine

  30. I am somewhat older than you and I want you to think about this. Your fiancé doesn’t have a backbone. Your are marrying into a family of spineless synchphants. Imagine your future with someone like this.

    She can’t say no to her parents, her parents can’t stand up for their minor child and they willingly let a bully on their midst. This is what you are signing up for.

    If you are this angry about something that and no one is willing to do anything, imagine when it’s the future and it’s your kids. Spineless people don’t automatically grow a spine you know.

    I would seriously reconsider marrying into any family that has this many people with no backbone.

  31. It seems like in their efforts to “avoid drama” actually mean they “invite drama” whenever they invite this person to some kind of family event.

    Sound to me like this family is so traumatized by this person that they’ve learned to bend over backwards to give her whatever she wants in an effort to try and contain her. I would NOT like to be in this family with their preferred method of handling this person.

    Like a spoiled child, she will continue doing shit to her family because no one (in particular her parents) has held her accountable for her behavior. As long as they continue to tolerate her behavior it will continue, and likely escalate. I wouldn’t want to be around for that shit show.

  32. It’s not engaging in drama, it’s protecting a child’s online presence. That post will stick around forever. 14 is a very impressionable age as well. What if people from her school see this and a rumor starts? Claire and her family are seriously underreacting.

    You’re right to reconsider. This enabling won’t stop and could have serious consequences one day.

  33. Her parents care about protecting Janice’s feelings than they do their own daughters’ feelings. Your GF is complicit and is a doormat to her family. Your future daughters would be bullied and not protected. You’ve already seen it with your own eyes. The only way this relationship will work if you both agree to cut contact from the aunt and stand up to her parents. Stay firm on your stance against the not being around the aunt or having her anywhere near your wedding. Plan on paying for your own wedding if her parents are going to be financially abusive to control your wedding. But you need to explain all this to your GF if you break off the engagement.

  34. My family has very differing political views. Biden voters. Trump voters. Libertarians. Probably even a sovereign citizen. And we avoid talking politics as a family. This doesn’t mean we always ignore what’s happening and will, one on one, have hard conversations with each other. But we prefer to “keep the peace” when we’re all gathered.

    That said, if any of my aunts said anything CRUEL to a CHILD, that would be a whole different ballpark. We would not stand for it. We can disagree about a lot of stuff, but you do not slander children and get a free pass because of “keeping the peace.”

    That aunt is disturbing the peace and needs to be put in her place. OP, is this really the family you want to be a part of?

Comments are closed.

Most Popular