I have been with my fiance for five and a half years, and we have been engaged for two. Both of us come from very traditional southern families. Since I am black and he is white, they felt very uncomfortable about our relationship and pending marriage, so we decided to wait and let everything calm down before tying the knot. My cousin, who introduced me to my fiance, got engaged a year after me and has since stabbed me in the back. I have spent the last nine months helping her plan her wedding, and when we went home a few weeks ago, I found out that her fiance doesn't want my fiance invited to their wedding. She has let him stir up trouble by talking to other family members who had finally accepted my relationship. Her fiance lectured me about the history of white men and black women, and what made me so angry is that my cousin sat right there and agreed with him!
Despite the fact that we have just bought a house and are saving for our wedding next year, I put serious financial strain on us by helping her plan her wedding. I have shelled out well over $2,000, and my fiance even gave me an extra $1,000 to pay for the shower and bachelorette party. She's being a huge hypocrite because she has dated outside of her race too, but when we talked this week, she said she stands behind her fiancé 100 percent, and since it's his wedding too, he has a right to make choices on the guest list. That was the final straw for me. I have handed over all the plans for the bridal shower and bachelorette party to another bridesmaid and have let her know that I am not going to her wedding, which is in three months. Family members think I'm being extreme and have an obligation to go, but I just can't get past my anger toward her and the pain she's caused me. Do I have a right to be this upset, or am I really being to extreme? — Backstabbed Brandy
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Dear Backstabbed Brandy,
Since I don't know all the details here, the only advice I can offer you is to trust your instincts on this one. It's pretty clear that your cousin is rocking the boat — could it be because she wants to be the only one in the spotlight? Since you're engaged too, she might be feeling some sort of competition with you. Whatever her reasoning, I agree that there's no excuse for her to throw you under the bus, so to speak, in front of your family. It's very clear that you're in love and have a strong relationship to be able to overcome the stresses and pressure of your family, so try not to let your cousin's fiance make you feel any differently. Interracial dating means something different for everyone, but at the end of the day, if you love each other, that's honestly all that matters.
I'm all for putting family first, but sometimes you have to put yourself even before them. Since you're understandably angry with your cousin, I don't blame you for passing off your duties, but you might want to reconsider skipping out on her wedding. Since it's three weeks away, could you have a heart to heart with her and hash out your differences before the wedding day? I think if you were honest with her and make her understand how she's made you feel, perhaps you can put this behind you, or at least agree to disagree. Feeling backstabbed by anyone is a terrible feeling, so let her know that it's her lack of support that is hitting such a nerve with you. She obviously likes your fiance to some extent or else she wouldn't have set you up in the first place, so remember that sometimes brides become bridezillas, even if they can't see it, and perhaps time will just be what it takes to mend your hurt feelings. Good luck.
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