My husband and I are throwing a huge party to celebrate the completion of our year-long DIY home renovation. We are excited to invite all of our friends and family. We are going all out and hiring a Dj, a caterer, servers, bartenders and a photographer. We are expecting approximately 100 guests.
Now for the dilemma:
I have a dear friend that is a work colleague. She is in an extremely toxic on-again/off-again relationship with a man. Of course I’ve only heard her side of the story but he has a major problem with alcohol (he has an ankle bracelet that detects if he drinks). He is out on parole after going to jail for multiple DUIs. In addition to his drinking problem he just isn’t a pleasant person in general to be around. My friend is very sweet and because of her compassionate heart and giving spirit he talks his way back into her life constantly. Everyone that knows him despises him not only for his behavior but for the pain he has caused my friend. I hope that she finds the strength to leave this relationship for good one day and live her life away from him.
Currently they are “off”, which doesn’t mean they don’t see or talk to each other. He constantly shows up at our workplace, work functions and social gatherings he isn’t invited to but finds out about through social media or friends. My friend justifies his behavior by saying that this shows he is “at least making an effort”. To me and everyone else it feels stalker-like and controlling. They frequently fight at events, regardless of their relationship status.
You probably see where this is going. I mailed out invites to our event a few weeks back. It’s a family friendly event so I made sure to include the names of her children on the invite. It wasn’t until after I sent the invite that I realized this man could show up uninvited and unannounced at our home, get drunk, cause a scene or (God forbid) drive away from our party intoxicated.
My friend is convincing. Over the course of three years they have broken up 3 dozen times and every time she convinces me she is done with him forever. A month later they will be back together and she will sheepishly say that he has changed or had some life altering experience that is going to fix everything.
This time around they have been broken up longer than usual. I didn’t think about him when I sent the invite because I am optimistic that she really is done with him.
Even though they don’t live in the same residence, are not in a relationship and his name wasn’t on the invite, the possibility of him showing up at our event is pretty high. This concerns me for a number of reasons – mostly the safety of him, my friend and our guests – but selfishly it concerns me because I don’t want him/them to ruin our party.
My question to you is this: Is there a polite way to approach her and ask her to be discreet about her whereabouts on the night of the event because he is not welcome in our home, regardless of their relationship status on the night in question?
I don’t want to be rude but I also really don’t want him in our home. Help. 0929-16
This isn’t really about uninviting an invited guest because you have not extended an invitation to Sluggo, your friend’s on-and-off again boyfriend. One way to address the situation is to speak to your friend about the upcoming party in the context of her invitation. Example: “My husband and I are looking forward to a lovely, happy party for our guests. Did you receive YOUR invitation? I hope YOU are coming. I look forward to seeing YOU there. Now that you are finished with Sluggo, there are some wonderful single guys coming who I would like to introduce you to. You did tell me you were done with Sluggo, right?”
By her reactions you should be able to discern if she’s back with Sluggo or even thinking about it. If she mentions the possibility of bringing Sluggo, that is the point at which you say, “I’m sorry, we did not extend an invitation to him to attend. This party is for close friends and family.”
I do not think you should tell her to curb her talk to or around him. If he shows up, escort him from the property as soon as he steps onto it. Put a few of your brawniest guy friends on alert that they may be needed as back up and have your husband approach him to say, “I’m sorry but this is an invitation only party and I do not see your name on the guest list. I’ll have to ask you to leave immediately. The cars are parked over here, may I escort you to your vehicle?” If Sluggo starts even a hint of drama, have your husband take out his cell phone and say, “You have a choice. You can either leave quietly or I will call the police.” My guess is that Sluggo will leave.
READ THE UPDATE TO THIS STORY HERE.