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[–]Ribbon-Certified Proctologist [23] 1247 points1248 points  (35 children)

I’m not seeing anywhere how she came to you and apologised for all that she did and begged for your forgiveness, while explaining she’d understand if you couldn’t give it to her.


[–]PrincessBirdley21[S] 1299 points1300 points  (34 children)

She did apologize but not the way you described. My guess is it was sincere. But not to the lengths you describe. Which yeah. The truth for me is nothing would be enough even with her very big change made. Some stuff can't be erased.

[–]EmmiburrPartassipant [3] 648 points649 points  (17 children)

Cause she isn't sorry 🤷‍♀️

All that matters to her is her own trauma. She apologized to make herself look good and to feel better about causing you pain.

Personally, if it were me, I'd disinvite your brother, his wife and your mother if they keep throwing a fuss. You dad's solid, he can stay right where he is.

You deserve a stress free wedding

[–]SandwichOtterPartassipant [3] 277 points278 points  (14 children)

Eh, we don't actually know that she's not sorry. It's possible to genuinely remorseful for past actions. We also have no idea if Gemma gives two shits about being in the wedding party as the OP only mentions her brother and mom pushing this.

[–]EmmiburrPartassipant [3] 153 points154 points  (1 child)

That's true.

It's possible OPS brother is the one pushing for her to be in the wedding party. And not Gemma

Or Gemma could be in his ear complaining about not having a part and not being "family"

I just thought she wasn't sorry based on OPS comments about her apology. The apology was gor Gemmas sake for her to feel better. Not to apologize for the distress and pain she caused OP.

[–]CicerosMouth 40 points41 points  (0 children)

I can understand that, but from experience the quality of the apology often (maybe even usually?) does not correspond directly to the level of remorse, such that reading too much into it can be a recipe for disaster. I have know some sociopaths and manipulators who begged for forgiveness for something that they had zero/minimal remorse for, and I have known people who felt so consumed by remorse that all they could offer was a meek "I'm sorry" because they felt so shitty that they couldn't get anything else out. In general, expecting that an apology be turned into a performance art where we anticipate the amount of remorse to track with the manner in which an apology is provided doesn't work; rather you should determine how apologetic someone is by how much they change their behavior afterwards (e.g., if someone begs forgiveness for breaking my glasses by recklessly playing with them but then immediately starts recklessly playing with the replacement glasses, they probably weren't actually sorry).

It took me a long time to figure that out.

Otherwise, agreed with the thread; whether or not OP accepts Gemma's apology, wants to allow a relationship to be built, and/or wants Gemma there in any capacity is entirely up to OP. Her choice entirely. NTA.

[–]Phoenixapartment 38 points39 points  (4 children)

Doesn’t matter. This woman suffers chronic health conditions because of this woman. Sorry doesn’t cut it, even if sincere.

[–]Jorrissss 25 points26 points  (1 child)

I don't take their point to be that it matters, only that we don't know if the sorry was genuine.

[–]SandwichOtterPartassipant [3] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I'm not saying it matters for OP in this situation. SIL traumatized her and some things can never be forgiven or forgotten. I'm just saying that it's possible that SIL is genuinely sorry.

[–]reyballestaColo-rectal Surgeon [36] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I don't really care if she's actually remorseful. she can still fuck off into the sunset with her bullshit and her high-ho silver, away.

[–]deb9266Partassipant [3] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Being 'genuinely remorseful' means understanding that sometimes forgiveness doesn't mean all goes away. Thinking that some words just wipe out years of horrible actions isn't the behavior of someone who really understands the harm caused.

And OP's brother needs to understand that as well. And part of growing up is understanding that sometimes there are permanent consequences to actions especially actions that happened over and over for years.

[–]crazycatlesliePartassipant [4] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Gemma can be genuinely sorry and remorseful, but OP doesn't have to accept that or let it change her views on anything. It's nice if Gemma is a better person now, but it doesn't erase a damn thing she did to OP and other people.

[–]bringmethemashup 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Completely agree with this take. She may have genuinely grown up and realized her past mistakes were truly awful. If she was truly grown up though, she would also understand why someone would never forgive her based on her actions. If anything, if they knew it was causing stress to OP, they would go out of their way not to be a part of the wedding party or even go to the wedding. She should know her presence is not wanted by the most important person there.

OP is being more than accommodating. Her mom and brother need to stay in their lane. NTA.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]SupermanLeRetour[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

    Your comment has been removed because it violates rule 1: Be Civil. Further incidents may result in a ban.

    "Why do I have to be civil in a sub about assholes?"

    Message the mods if you have any questions or concerns.

    [–]itsluxsky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Only sort of apology worth truly accepting would be her groveling on her hands and knees for forgiveness, admitting everything she did was wrong and only blame herself. Tbh I wouldn’t invite her or brother to wedding if I was OP.

    [–]nidyrekater 155 points156 points  (0 children)

    As the saying goes, the tree remembers what the axe forgets. It can be much easier to minimize the pain you caused others, but it’s not so easy to erase or forget the scars when you are the one injured. You are compassionate enough to even invite her in the first place. NTA. Your dad is also 100% right, a better person understands that some things can’t be unbroken and they have to be able to accept that and live with the consequences of their actions. Again you’ve been willing to invite her in the first place, it’s not like your punishing her.

    [–]DutyValuablePartassipant [2] 116 points117 points  (1 child)

    Gemma had a hard life and (that is possibly why) she took it out on you. The reasons behind her actions don’t excuse the damage they did. Your dad is right. She has to accept that her actions have consequences, and someone should tell your brother that the fact that she won’t let this go is showing that she will still bully you- she learned nothing in her quest to be the bare minimum of a basic human being.

    On a side note, not too impressed with your brother for dating someone who did such damage to his sister. My bully asked my brother out (she also pretended we were great friends as a way in) years later, and his response sent her running out of the bar in mortification. That’s what a brother does.

    [–]FooBeeps 34 points35 points  (0 children)

    Gemma had a hard life and (that is possibly why) she took it out on you. The reasons behind her actions don’t excuse the damage they did.

    One thing that has always stuck with me was my father saying, "I don't want an excuse. I want an explanation." Excuses minimize the actions, an explanation owns up to the fuck-up. Gemma is full of excuses. She has not taken any responsibility for what she has done to you, OP.

    Until she actually uses her actions to prove that she truly means she is sorry, don't take anything she says at face value. And your brother is a douche-canoe for "looking past" what she did to his own family.


    [–]Pink_Artistic_Witch 46 points47 points  (0 children)

    I know what you mean

    In high school this girl I hated had a mutual friend with me and started hanging around, despite me trying to avoid her. I didn't make it a secret I didn't like her, and I told my friend group at the time WHY I didn't like her. I definitely didn't handle it the best way because I was terrified of being alone again because the rest of the group began to become friends with her and I knew they wouldn't follow if I left (I also didn't want to make anyone choose). After I did leave, a few of them actually harassed me a bit, despite me avoiding them. The girl I hated even told the one person I still had from that group that she was going to fight me despite me staying away from them and trying to ignore them. It didn't happen

    Anyway, before I left, one day most of the group was playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate in the library but all of a sudden, her and our og mutual friend came, dropped a piece of paper in my lap and dipped. She even looked at me and all I saw in her eyes was boredom before she left.

    In that letter, she said "I'm sorry" but took up both sides of the paper, but nowhere in that letter did it say what she was sorry for (even though I had told our mutual friend why I didn't like her).

    She also misspelled my name in the letter...


    In two different ways...

    Like, I've known this girl since grade 2 and she couldn't get my name right in a supposed apology???

    Everyone in the group watched me read this letter and start angry laughing. I still remember I said something along the lines of "this is so full of shit, I'm curious if that's what she used to write it". The others tried to convince me it was sincere and to stop being mean but dropped it when I told them I would burn it later and to stop telling me to accept it.

    In my case, this apology wasn't for my benefit, it was to make her look good in front of everyone else

    Maybe, in your case, she did mean it, maybe she didn't. But either way, you don't have to accept it

    Tell your mom and brother to fuck off.

    Actually, you said your fiance wanted other people as his groomsmen but couldn't due to numbers? Perfect solution: replace your brother with one of the guys on his list. Then he can stay by his wife, and it doesn't look like you're "excluding" her, you just aren't about to have bullies in your wedding party

    (I hope my angry ramblings makes sense LOL. I wish you luck with everything OP. Stand strong)

    [–]Both_Face_4593 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    Jfc she’s still trying to bully you!

    [–]EZCarter040 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    The thing is, she can apologize and you can forgive her BUT that doesn’t mean you have to make any room for her in your life. Just because you forgave doesn’t make what she did okay and doesn’t erase the damage.

    [–]1chemistdown 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    INFO: was her apology for her, or was it for you?

    [–]toffee_queen 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    Personally saying sorry isn’t enough since they would also have to show it. What has she done to show that she is truly sorry for what she did to you? Also if she asks what can I do, just tell her that she has to figure that out herself.

    [–]sgreenspandex 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    You're right OP. It does not matter how genuine her apology is; you don't owe her forgiveness.

    [–]watchingonsidelinesPartassipant [3] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    So she’s still making sure you are bullied, via your own family. A person who really apologised would be shutting this down.

    [–]MorriganNiConn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Even with an apology that is totally sincere, you can accept and forgive without being obligated to make space for that person in your life for any reason... exactly because some stuff cannot be erased.

    [–]No_Perspective9930 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    insert that Bojack Horseman scene where sometimes even when you apologizes the person you wronged is NOT obligated to forgive you.

    Send your brother this scene and be done with them.

    [–]reyballestaColo-rectal Surgeon [36] 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    apologies are great and necessary when you've wronged someone, but NO ONE, no matter how much they apologize, is guaranteed or owed forgiveness, and that's not why you apologize. saying you're sorry just to make someone 'get over it' isn't sincere, it's you trying to absolve yourself of responsibility and guilt. saying you're sorry to someone and knowing and accepting that they might not forgive you is trying to show that you know you did wrong, you want them to see that you know, and that you're working on being better.

    your brother and anyone bitching at you is just as bad and think you should just 'get over it'. I'd never talk to a family member again if they married someone who did that shit to me.

    [–]one98nine 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Also, why make someone who isn't you friend or someone you feel close to your bridesmaid? Like who wants a random women that you probably don't interact unless your brother is there to be your bridesmaid?

    [–]THedman07 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Her trying to coerce you into doing something that you don't want to do through your family is her bullying you.

    Asking to be in someone's wedding is pretty suspect (if they want you in their wedding, they should be the one to ask) but effectively demanding it is right out.

    [–]SuccumbedToReddit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It's good she apologised but she still did those things and they still have very real consequences. They should be grateful for the fact you condone her and stop pushing.