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Tell Me About It: Trying to accommodate sister's wedding request shows empathy

Trying to accommodate sister's wedding request shows empathy

Q: My boyfriend and I decided on a wedding date that was convenient and would have great romantic meaning. The wedding is abroad and we traveled to make all of the arrangements.

My older sister has been trying for over a year to get pregnant, and she is undergoing medical treatment. She said she was pregnant (it turned out she wasn't), and asked us to change the date. I didn't even think much when I said no because we had already paid deposits and I like the date.

She is very upset and she thinks I am wrong and selfish. I think the same about her request. She gave me a big wedding gift (so I can help pay for the wedding) so I think she thinks I must change the date. But I have a date, she doesn't. We have always been very close, but this is creating a deep crack in our relationship. How can we move past this?


A: The fact that she's actually not pregnant does not, as you suggest, prove the wisdom of your brush-off. It only makes it sound even more tone-deaf. Would it even have been possible to change your date to accommodate your sister? Maybe not; maybe the change fees would have been so prohibitive that "Tough" was the only practical answer.

However, for a sister who gave generously and is probably teeming with extra hormones and the stress of a hesitant womb, the loving response would have been, "I so want you there. Let me make some calls." Even if checking it out produced the same outcome, the act of checking would have told your sister you had your priorities straight. As in: family; gratitude for gift; (lots and lots of other stuff); romantic wedding date.

Tell Me About It: Trying to accommodate sister's wedding request shows empathy 10/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 1:59pm]
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