Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 8:21 PM

Here is my situation at hand and it deals with my FH's fathers side of the family.

My FH's parents are divorced. His father basically cheated on his mom, conceived with another woman and left his mother to be with "his new family." Because of this very sensative situation (And my FH is right next to me as I type this thread) there is bad blood between his mother and his fathers girlfriend. They have been divorced for over 15 years but no one has forgiven anyone for what has happened. FH's fathers side is very large. His father has 7 brothers and sisters (FH's aunts and uncles) and all of them have atleast 2 children or more (FH's 1st cousins) The issue is my FH never see's anyone from that side of the family besides his father, half sister (on occassion), fathers girlfriend and his one cousin (they are very close). When we ask his father "who do we invite?" his father responds, "Invite whomever you want" and thats it. His mother says "the less of his side there, the better." But my FH wants to invite his one cousin that he is very close to...but if we invite him, we can't leave out his parents and sister because those are my FH's aunt, uncle and first cousin as well. I know that word will get around of who we invite on his fathers side, so how do we decide who to invite and who not to invite?

Also, my FH is very concerned about inviting his fathers girlfriend. His mother says that if she is invited, she wont go to the wedding. His father says if his girlfriend isnt invited, he wont go. I am about to give up. Any advice would be appreciated.

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 8:29 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

You and your FH should invite who ever you want to invite. If your FH doesn't want to invite the family on his father's side that he doesn't even see then he shouldn't feel forced to invite them. Only invite those that you two are closest to. I'm assuming you two are paying for the wedding yourselves right? Therefore only you two should have a voice about who should be invited. Now, about drama that may occur due to conflicts...a lot of people on here will say that mommy and daddy have to put on their big boy and big girl panties on and deal with it and be there for the both of you and leave all the drama aside. They should be going to the wedding to celebrate the love of you and your fh. They are adults and therefore they need to put their problems aside. However I am not too sure if dad's gf should be invited... it really depends on long they've been dating and it can get complicated. Someone else on here can help you on that lol ......



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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 8:41 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Since your FFIL is OK with your inviting only those you want, go with it. Invite only those people you are close to. "Blood" is not enough of a reason to invite people that you never see to your wedding. For example, I have first cousins who are male/female twins. I am very close to my female cousin and never speak to her brother (no anger there, just no real relationship). So, she's invited to weddings, etc., and he's not. And, it's OK with everyone. It's also OK to invite people and not invite their children, in-laws, or best friends. Do what's right for you.

As for the Mom/girlfriend conflict, I'm one of those who will say, put on the big-girl panties and deal with it. Maybe if things had occurred yesterday, I'd say something different, but it's been fifteen years--time to move on! Anyone who threatens not to come to a wedding because someone else will be there should be told, "I'm so sorry. We'll miss you." More often than not, this shuts them up.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 3, 2010 10:34 PM Go to message in response to: myra

We are the ones paying for our big day which is why I am asking so many questions about budgets and what is most crucial to have at a wedding. I cant see myself spending 10.00 on a wedding magazine where I can ask the advice of real people who have planned/planning their weddings! My mother said she could probably help a little bit (ie: pay for music or photography...) I told her [b]anything[/b] is appreciated. She has amazing cursive writing. I'd appreciate her even writing the envelopes!

My FMIL is very touchy on the subject so it is very hard. I know that she doesn't want the GF there and I really don't blame her. But she is one of those people who doesn't let ANYTHING go. It could of happened 50 years ago and she will bring it up every single day. I don't want to hurt anyones feelings but I am starting to think that "invite who you feel closest to" makes sense. I just don't want to send an invitation to his male cousin and hurt his cousins sister, mother and fathers feelings. We have already decided on an adult reception- no children under the age of 18. I have a lot of 2nd cousins who are children and I can picture what would happen if all 12 of them were at the reception... it's not a flattering idea...

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 12:32 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

(I'm going to comment on the second issue only)

I'm assuming that your FFIL lives with this girlfriend, yes? In that case, it would be INCREDIBLY rude to not invite her, especially for something that happened 15 years ago. I wouldn't be rude to someone for something that happened over a decade ago just because someone else is trying to emotionally blackmail me.

That's just my opinion. I'm willing to bet that mom still comes to the wedding.


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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 9:22 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Issue #1: Invite whomever you want. There is no need to invite the entire extended family when you only have relationships with a few people and your FFIL doesn't have an opinion on the subject. And really...since your FFIL doesn't care who you invite, does it really matter whether people that you don't really know are mad at you for not inviting them? I wouldn't care.

Issue #2: In this case, FFIL is right. He has a child with his GF and presumably lives with her. They are an established couple, so it would be rude not to invite her. Your FMIL needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with it.

The real issue is that both parents need to put aside their issues for ONE DAY, act like adults, and not pull this 'it's her or me' bullshit. I'd be tempted to give them a piece of my mind for putting me in the middle of this, but as it's not your family, your FH should deal with them. In any case, he needs to tell his mom that you are following proper etiquette and inviting established couples together, and as your FFIL is in an established relationship, that includes his GF. His mom can then make her decision on whether or not to attend.

Your other option is to adhere strictly to the 'No Ring, No Bring' rule. If you follow this strictly, GF would not be invited, as the couple is not married or engaged (note that you will have to follow the same rule for all guests). Personally, however, I think that a couple who has a child together are pretty established as a couple and should be invited to social functions together regardless of their marital status. They've clearly made a committment, in having a child together.

My personal opinion is that your FMIL needs to suck it up.

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 9:26 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

They do live together. And you are probably right because my FH is their only child so I know FMIL will come even though she says she wont. After talking about the situation last night with FH, he said "If they don't want to come, then that is fine. That will show their true colors. I wont let it ruin our day."

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 10:48 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Dear Bosox,

I'm with everyone else here, pretty much.

1. Just invite the cousin, not necessarily the other cousins nor the aunts and uncles. He's close to the one cousin, that's reason enough. Imagine FH and Cuz were friends, not relatives. He's invite the friend but not the friend's sibs, parents, etc.

2. You cannot control what other people do. You "simply" invite FMIL and FFIL and, out of courtesy, tell each the other is invited. Then they can decided for themselves if they attend or not.

If you hear "If that one is invited, I'm not coming" then you "simply" say "I'm sorry to hear that. We will miss having you there", then drop the subject.

I say "simply" in quotes because I know it's not all that simple, but try your best to not get involved in drama. Actions have consequences. Make a threat; be prepared for the person threatened to call your bluff.

3. Inviting the girlfriend: I am of two minds here. On the one hand, you can invoke the No Ring No Bring rule and decide that if the couple are not married, nor engaged, you do not need to invite her. On the other hand, she is the mother of FH's half-sister and his father's SigOther.

Here is my suggestion. FFIL knows very well the two women, namely his ex-wife and current girlfriend. FFIL knows and I hope loves dearly his son. My suggestion would be for Son and Dad to have a man-to-man talk, in person and in private, then decide between the two of them if Girlfriend should attend or not.

It might be that Girlfriend is a discreet sort and knows that her very presence will cause drama. She might voluntarily and willingly choose not to attend, just because she's a really nice person. OTOH Girlfriend might love being in the middle of drama and wouldn't miss the wedding for all the tea in China.

Let the decision be made between Son and Dad. You back up whatever Son/FH decides.

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JerseyGirlVA Posts : 311 Registered: 9/17/09
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 11:13 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Invite all of them- FMIL, FFIL & FFIL's live-in girlfriend.

And I think that it's great that your FH stated that this will show their true colors. It's obviously an issue that he tired of dealing with too. I'm sure that all three of them will show up for you & your FH!


"Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, Ease my troubles, that's what you do." -Rod Stewart

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 11:55 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

AOTB,

Thank you so much for your advice. (I was truly waiting for your response to my question!) I am going to take it. Mind you, our wedding still has some time but the subject between my FH and FMIL comes up often so I know it bothers her. When FH is ready, he will have to have male bonding with his father and have the talk about the guest list. I do believe that the presence of GF will indeed cause drama bewteen FMIL's side of the family and I do not want that. Her side of the family is not very fond of GF and FFIL because of the events that took place.

It's supposed to be a happy day. Our day. If it gets to a point where nothing can be resolved, I know for a fact that FH will say "I'm sorry that you feel this way mom/dad but this is how it's going to be."


"Now I know why all the tree's change in the fall. I know you were on my side even when I was wrong. And I love you for giving me your eyes. Standing back and watching me shine. I didn't know if you knew so I'm taking this chance to say, 'I had the best day with you today.'"


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 12:50 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Dear Bosox,

Remember what I said. Actions have consequences.

(I must have said that 10,000 times when raising my children.)

Do not make a threat unless you are fully prepared to carry out that threat. Someone will call your bluff. Then, what do you do?

That was an iron-clad rule of mine when raising my kids. I never threatened anything unless I was fully prepared to carry out that threat. I know of many parents who make empty threats "Get in the car or we will leave without you." The kid knows darn well the parents will not, cannot, leave without him. If I needed to get a balky child in the car, I would pick the kid up and buckle him in. No threats. Just predictable-by-a-child action.

If you are on the receiving end of a threat, call their bluff.

"Mommy, if you don't buy this toy for me, I will scream and cry." "Go ahead. Scream. Cry. You won't get the toy. You will, however, be carried outside where you can scream all you want without bothering anyone." It might take a few instances of being carted outside, but they get the message. Incidentally, store personnel are usually pretty good about holding Mom's shopping cart for her until she comes back with a subdued kid.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 1:55 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

I do believe that the presence of GF will indeed cause drama bewteen FMIL's side of the family and I do not want that. Her side of the family is not very fond of GF and FFIL because of the events that took place.

Interesting--so FFIL, who was certainly as much at fault in this whole debacle, can show up and FMIL would be OK with it? What about the little "bastard" child? Would that be OK? So, it's just the girlfriend who would cause the whole party to go to crap? I would seriously put out the word that the girlfriend is invited, and that those who can't deal with it should please stay home. I can't imagine wanting anyone at a wedding who is so self centered that he/she chooses to act out and spoil someone else's day. If they all can't put you and FH first, let them not attend!
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 2:16 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Myra,



FMIL can stomach FFIL but can not stomach GF of FFIL. FMIL and FFIL keep in touch regulary but are the first ones to say when they are annoyed with one and other. Very complicated story, even more complicated family. As for the "bastard child," I'd prefer if she wasn't invited but that is my FH's half sister. They do see eachother and talk on occassion. She hardly speaks to me and her body language comes off as if she has a problem with me...do I care? Not really. (To this day, she is unaware that she is a "bastard child")



Since FFIL's family is hardly being invited since they isolated themselves from my FH's life for 15 years, he wont have many people to associate with. I am not sure how awkward it is going to be but it is a hole that he dug himself...who are we to pull him out? I'd be fine with inviting some of his family if he were going to help pay but (I am not trying to be selfish) why should I shell out my money for his family to eat and drink when I have never met them a day in my life?

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 5:43 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

Dear Bosox,

The only really, truly innocent person in this situation is the half-sister. She had nothing to do with the circs of her conception. I think she should be invited and made to feel welcome. Her half-brother is getting married, after all. You might even consider asking her to be a bridesmaid or junior bridesmaid, depending on age.

I say this as I am the illegitimate half-sister in two familes, my bio-mother's and bio-father's. I am older than the half-sibs, though, as I came along before my bio-parents married other people had had their legitimate familes.

Reach out to the young lady. Seriously.

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delmarplatinumb... Posts : 33 Registered: 5/29/09
Re: Who to Invite - URGENT - Need advice!!!!
Posted: Feb 9, 2010 5:37 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

WTF BGirl? I have read this thread and agree with most other posters, just invite both and see what happens. If they choose not to show, their loss.

However, calling an innocent child or teen a "bastard child" is cruel. She did not choose this situation. She didnt choose to be a "bastard". So she may not be the most friendly to you, but it seems like from the way you talk about her, she is feeding off your energy. You can say you try to be friendly or whatnot, but children are not stupid.

Remember, she is the innocent one in all of this. And she is still a child. You are an adult.

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