Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Fer on September 20, 2013, 08:02:10 PM

Title: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Fer on September 20, 2013, 08:02:10 PM
DS is turning one soon, and DH & I will be throwing a small party for him.  (Really just an excuse for family and close friends to get together for a BBQ and marvel at how big he's grown!)

Unfortunately the timing of the party has coincided with the seperation of my SiL/BiL and the revelation that SiL has been having an affair with one of DH's friends.  All parties involved have already been invited to DS's birthday.

As far as I'm concerned this does not affect my relationship with any of the involved people - up unil now, we've all been very close.  But for the sake of family harmony (and to keep the majority of the focus of the day on DS, the birthday boy, not SiL/Friend), I want to ask Friend not to come.  Heck, at this point, I want to cancel the party and have a picnic with just us and DS's grandparents!

(If the party goes ahead with everyone attending, I foresee arguments, tears, and a whole lot of heartache.)

I know it's dreadfully rude to revoke an invitation.  Therefore under these circumstances, what would ehell advise?
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 20, 2013, 08:07:59 PM
Oh wow.  That is ... uncomfortable!  What a mess.

I think I'd almost be inclined at this point to cancel the 'big' party, rescind the invitations and tell the partiers that you've changed your minds due to unforeseen circumstances and you've decided to keep this very first birthday party just the birthday boy, the two of you and maybe the grandparents.

Couldn't your BIL and SIL have waited just a month or two to break up??  How rude to not consider your child's first birthday!   ;D
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: esposita on September 20, 2013, 08:08:10 PM
Think of it as canceling, rather than revoking invitations. I think it would be a great kindness of you, because even if everyone did act like grown-ups, people will be struggling with heartache. It might also be kinder to your son (and yourself) if you cancel and then have a much smaller party. when you look back at the pictures, your son's day will be what you remember, not what that person and that person had just said, or that this picture was taken just before that awkward moment. Hugs!
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: checkitnice on September 20, 2013, 08:09:02 PM
That's a tough one.  Is SIL your DH's sister?  If it were me, I would just leave the invitations as they are and assume that everyone invited will work it out amongst themselves.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Nikko-chan on September 20, 2013, 08:10:01 PM
I agree with everyone else. Cancel the big party and have just a small one with birthday boy, you, dh, and the grands.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sharnita on September 20, 2013, 08:19:01 PM
I think I would double check with friend to assure he had the wisdom and good tadte not to atyend. Frankly, I'd encourage SIL to choose an alternate day to have an outing with DS. It isn't like the birthday boy really undetstands or will miss the people not attending. Their presence means more to the adults - and in this case it means strife.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: *inviteseller on September 20, 2013, 08:30:27 PM
If anyone should be uninvited, it should be the friend, not birthday boys aunt.  But while you got rid of the 3rd part of this marriage collapse, you still have coming the couple who are at major odds with each other.  Can adults put aside their personal feeling for a day to celebrate someone they love?  Sure, but the question is will these two do it?  I personally would cancel the whole shebang and just plan a fun outing with the grandparents.  Your DS will not know whether he is having a party or not (older DD slept through her huge family party, younger DD only wanted to play with grass during her large family party).  There is too many what ifs involved with this party, that unfortunately you and you DH & DS could get caught in through no fault of your own. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: HenrysMom on September 20, 2013, 08:36:34 PM
Too much trouble, too much drama - cancel the party.  Then go do something else as a nuclear family.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: sammycat on September 20, 2013, 08:44:30 PM
If anyone should be uninvited, it should be the friend, not birthday boys aunt.   

I think they should both be uninvited (even if SIL is DH's sister, not SIL), as they're both 50% responsible for this mess.

But to answer the OP's question, if you don't mind scaling it back to just you and the grandparents then it may be the less stressful solution at the moment. If DS was older I'd probably think differently as why should an innocent 3rd party (birthday person) miss out on a celebration because of other people's bad choices/behaviour, but at one year old he isn't going to notice the scale of the celebration.

Alternatively, cancel the current party and rebook it for a different day and invite all those you want to, including the baby's uncle, but not the aunt and friend.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: JoieGirl7 on September 20, 2013, 08:46:00 PM
If the BIL is your DHs brother, he is the only one I would have come.

If SIL is his sister, then I would disinvite SIL, BIL and the friend.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: baglady on September 20, 2013, 09:02:06 PM
Can you play the fussy kid card? "DS is going through a stage where he doesn't like lots of people around, so we're going to cancel the birthday party in favor of a small gathering with just us and the grandparents."
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: kudeebee on September 21, 2013, 12:16:38 AM
Why did you decide that dh friend should be the one to not come?  Sil is just as much at fault. I would call both of them and ask them not to attend.  If one or both does attend, do you want people focusing on this at the party?  Can you be sure that there will be no problems between sil and bil and dh friend?  Or that another family member won't stir up some trouble?

I agree with canceling the party.  If you are thinking of this now, you will be thinking of it at the party and when you look at the pictures.  I am sure that is not the memory you want of the first birthday party.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 21, 2013, 12:38:41 AM
Why did you decide that dh friend should be the one to not come?  Sil is just as much at fault. I would call both of them and ask them not to attend.  If one or both does attend, do you want people focusing on this at the party?  Can you be sure that there will be no problems between sil and bil and dh friend?  Or that another family member won't stir up some trouble?

I agree with canceling the party.  If you are thinking of this now, you will be thinking of it at the party and when you look at the pictures.  I am sure that is not the memory you want of the first birthday party.

Well the friend is not a "family member" and the SIL is..for now.  So theoretically uninviting friend can be blamed on the "family only party" excuse
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LifeOnPluto on September 21, 2013, 01:32:15 AM
How many guests are coming? If it's a large party (eg 50 guests), it might be awkward and inconvenient to cancel the whole thing. Not to mention, it would be unfair to those guests who love you and DS and want to celebrate this occasion.

My next question is: can your BIL, SIL and DH's friend be trusted to put aside their differences for one day? Or alternatively, decide that one of them will not attend? If so, I recommend doing nothing.

However, if you suspect there will be unpleasant drama, I'd definitely dis-invite some or all of them. If BIL is DH's brother, it's easy. Disinvite the friend. Some good wording might be "Friend, my brother will be attending DS's birthday party. Given the circumstances, we don't feel it's appropriate that you attend.."

If SIL is DH's sister, it's a little trickier. Is she now officially in a relationship with DH's friend? If she is, and BIL plans to attend, I think you can ask her not to bring DH's friend along (and/or tell DH's friend yourself).

Alternatively, if you don't want her there at all, disinvite her and DH's friend.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: YummyMummy66 on September 21, 2013, 05:22:21 AM
You already invited everyone.  I would not disinvite them now.

But, be willing to stand your ground.  If these adults to not behave like adults, then you ask them all to leave.

Tell them you will not be taking sides, but you will not deal with the fallout of their choices either, nor should your son have to at his birthday party.  And then tell them, that unless they can behave like civilized human beings, they know where the door is.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Fer on September 21, 2013, 06:42:24 AM
Many thanks for your replies - I do appreciate them.

To answer some of the questions:  SiL is DH's sister.  The reason I would dis-invite Friend as opposed to both of them is that SiL is DS's godmother.  She was at his birth, and has been helping plan his party up until very recently.  I'm not sure if they're officially a couple or not yet, as we were only told this week and don't know how long it had been going on for prior to this.

It is a relatively small party - about 20-25 people, mostly family and some friends with kids around DS's age. 

I guess one of the reasons I have been tempted to cancel is not whether or not the three of them can be civil (while he is invited, I don't really expect BiL to come because of this - the poor guy was blindsided and may not be up to seeing his in-laws congregating. :( ), but what, if anything, DH's FOO will do/say.  Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, as I know some of them didn't care for BiL in the first place, but who knows if that will outweigh the reaction to what happened?  On the other hand, cancelling would be unfair to DS (I know, he won't really remember) and my side of the family, especially my grandmother.

Perhaps I will take the high road... and take people aside beforehand to ask them to play nicely.   :-\
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Winterlight on September 21, 2013, 07:29:15 AM
If you go ahead with the party, I'd have a couple of neutral people to keep an eye on potential blowups. And I'd also disinvite Friend.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: *inviteseller on September 21, 2013, 07:47:16 AM
If it is that large of a party with relatives from both sides, I would disinvite friend only, and you are right, BIL probably would not show.  I would also take SIL aside beforehand and tell her that whatever is going on in her marriage is between her and her husband and it is NOT to be brought into the party, including bringing the new man.  If she balks, tell her if she can't think of your son for one day, she should not come either. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: #borecore on September 21, 2013, 08:03:25 AM
Etiquette-approved or not, I would call up the friend and let him know you're having a "smaller" party because your baby's attention span hasn't been up to too many distractions lately. You don't have to specify how much smaller.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: misha412 on September 21, 2013, 09:21:40 AM
If it is that large of a party with relatives from both sides, I would disinvite friend only, and you are right, BIL probably would not show.  I would also take SIL aside beforehand and tell her that whatever is going on in her marriage is between her and her husband and it is NOT to be brought into the party, including bringing the new man.  If she balks, tell her if she can't think of your son for one day, she should not come either.

Parking my POD here. The family and friends should not have to be denied a party because of the situation.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: cicero on September 21, 2013, 10:40:57 AM
Many thanks for your replies - I do appreciate them.

To answer some of the questions:  SiL is DH's sister.  The reason I would dis-invite Friend as opposed to both of them is that SiL is DS's godmother.  She was at his birth, and has been helping plan his party up until very recently.  I'm not sure if they're officially a couple or not yet, as we were only told this week and don't know how long it had been going on for prior to this.

It is a relatively small party - about 20-25 people, mostly family and some friends with kids around DS's age. 

I guess one of the reasons I have been tempted to cancel is not whether or not the three of them can be civil (while he is invited, I don't really expect BiL to come because of this - the poor guy was blindsided and may not be up to seeing his in-laws congregating. :( ), but what, if anything, DH's FOO will do/say.  Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, as I know some of them didn't care for BiL in the first place, but who knows if that will outweigh the reaction to what happened?  On the other hand, cancelling would be unfair to DS (I know, he won't really remember) and my side of the family, especially my grandmother.

Perhaps I will take the high road... and take people aside beforehand to ask them to play nicely.   :-\

The *only* person whose feelings I would consider is BIL. Ask him how he would feel about the party, and having SIL and SIL's New Guy. If he feels uncomfortable, or if this would make him not come, then I would uninvite New Guy. I understand that it isn't etiquettely correct to uninvite someone, i think that under *these* circumstances, it is the best the thing to do.

And if SIL chooses to not attend because of that? that's on her.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: lady_disdain on September 21, 2013, 12:05:59 PM
You already invited everyone.  I would not disinvite them now.

But, be willing to stand your ground.  If these adults to not behave like adults, then you ask them all to leave.

Tell them you will not be taking sides, but you will not deal with the fallout of their choices either, nor should your son have to at his birthday party.  And then tell them, that unless they can behave like civilized human beings, they know where the door is.

I agree. I am not judge and jury to decide who is to blame or who isn't and to pass sentence on them.

I would not rescind SiL's invitation. She is the OP's husband's sister and the child's godmother. If they have separated, I would expect BiL to have the good taste to not attend his estranged wife's family party.

Regardless, I would expect everyone to behave or leave if they feel they are reacting too much.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sharnita on September 21, 2013, 12:41:52 PM
The BiL is still an uncle and if SiL is godmothet thete is a good chance that he is godfather. Whether he is or not, he didn't do anything to create turmoil. I would never expect him to stay away because his wife chose infidelity.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: doodlemor on September 21, 2013, 12:58:01 PM
If it is that large of a party with relatives from both sides, I would disinvite friend only, and you are right, BIL probably would not show.  I would also take SIL aside beforehand and tell her that whatever is going on in her marriage is between her and her husband and it is NOT to be brought into the party, including bringing the new man.  If she balks, tell her if she can't think of your son for one day, she should not come either.

Parking my POD here. The family and friends should not have to be denied a party because of the situation.

Me too.  I would also mention to some of the relatives and friends beforehand that this would not be a suitable topic for discussion at the party, and to please help me redirect the conversation if anyone started up on the topic.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Slartibartfast on September 21, 2013, 02:31:42 PM
Don't disinvite anyone.  Do, however, send an email to the three of them involved letting them know that while they're absolutely still welcome to come, they may run into each other at the party and you want them to have a heads-up so they can be prepared to be civil to each other.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Betelnut on September 21, 2013, 03:55:56 PM
The BiL is still an uncle and if SiL is godmothet thete is a good chance that he is godfather. Whether he is or not, he didn't do anything to create turmoil. I would never expect him to stay away because his wife chose infidelity.

In my limited experience that is similar to this one (my sister cheated, she divorced, etc.), the ex stops being part of the family even if the ex is not to blame for the breakup.  My sister is still my sister after all--her husband (a good guy we all liked)--is still just "my sister's husband."  So yeah, I can see inviting the cheating sister and asking the (probably soon ex-) BIL and friend to stay away. 

Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: WillyNilly on September 21, 2013, 05:32:22 PM
Many thanks for your replies - I do appreciate them.

To answer some of the questions:  SiL is DH's sister.  The reason I would dis-invite Friend as opposed to both of them is that SiL is DS's godmother.  She was at his birth, and has been helping plan his party up until very recently.  I'm not sure if they're officially a couple or not yet, as we were only told this week and don't know how long it had been going on for prior to this.

It is a relatively small party - about 20-25 people, mostly family and some friends with kids around DS's age. 

I guess one of the reasons I have been tempted to cancel is not whether or not the three of them can be civil (while he is invited, I don't really expect BiL to come because of this - the poor guy was blindsided and may not be up to seeing his in-laws congregating. :( ), but what, if anything, DH's FOO will do/say.  Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, as I know some of them didn't care for BiL in the first place, but who knows if that will outweigh the reaction to what happened?  On the other hand, cancelling would be unfair to DS (I know, he won't really remember) and my side of the family, especially my grandmother.

Perhaps I will take the high road... and take people aside beforehand to ask them to play nicely.   :-\

It sounds like you and SIL are pretty close - she was helping plan the party, is the godmother, etc.
So I think what I would do is have a candid conversation with her. Just sit down over coffee or something and say "listen, I don't want to get in the middle of things and I don't need to know anything, or whatever, but I do want to talk to you about DS's party. I really don't want any drama or awkwardness. As you know we invited all three of you, and as you know thats now presenting a really awkward situation. You are DS's aunt and godmother, so we do want you there..." And pause here and see if she jumps in with some sort of "oh don't worry I already spoke with both guys neither is planning to attend..." If she doesn't go on and say something like "we don't feel comfortable having friend at the party anymore. Who knows what things will be like in the future, but for now, we just feel like it would be really uncomfortable. I wanted to touch base with you on this before we talk to him."

Normally it wouldn't really be her business of you uninviting him, but since she is going to be around for the next several years, probably decades, its probably easiest to just address the giant elephant she parked in the room.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: CakeEater on September 21, 2013, 06:35:26 PM
Many thanks for your replies - I do appreciate them.

To answer some of the questions:  SiL is DH's sister.  The reason I would dis-invite Friend as opposed to both of them is that SiL is DS's godmother.  She was at his birth, and has been helping plan his party up until very recently.  I'm not sure if they're officially a couple or not yet, as we were only told this week and don't know how long it had been going on for prior to this.

It is a relatively small party - about 20-25 people, mostly family and some friends with kids around DS's age. 

I guess one of the reasons I have been tempted to cancel is not whether or not the three of them can be civil (while he is invited, I don't really expect BiL to come because of this - the poor guy was blindsided and may not be up to seeing his in-laws congregating. :( ), but what, if anything, DH's FOO will do/say.  Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, as I know some of them didn't care for BiL in the first place, but who knows if that will outweigh the reaction to what happened?  On the other hand, cancelling would be unfair to DS (I know, he won't really remember) and my side of the family, especially my grandmother.

Perhaps I will take the high road... and take people aside beforehand to ask them to play nicely.   :-\

It sounds like you and SIL are pretty close - she was helping plan the party, is the godmother, etc.
So I think what I would do is have a candid conversation with her. Just sit down over coffee or something and say "listen, I don't want to get in the middle of things and I don't need to know anything, or whatever, but I do want to talk to you about DS's party. I really don't want any drama or awkwardness. As you know we invited all three of you, and as you know thats now presenting a really awkward situation. You are DS's aunt and godmother, so we do want you there..." And pause here and see if she jumps in with some sort of "oh don't worry I already spoke with both guys neither is planning to attend..." If she doesn't go on and say something like "we don't feel comfortable having friend at the party anymore. Who knows what things will be like in the future, but for now, we just feel like it would be really uncomfortable. I wanted to touch base with you on this before we talk to him."

Normally it wouldn't really be her business of you uninviting him, but since she is going to be around for the next several years, probably decades, its probably easiest to just address the giant elephant she parked in the room.

I think this is a good idea.

I'm sure all three care about you and your little one, but if this has happened really recently, it's unlikely that any of them have this party uppermost in their minds. I'd maybe send BIL a message of some sort not uninviting, but reassuring him that he's still welcome (if he is), but that you completely understand if he doesn't want to attend any more. He will probably be grateful to be able to skip it.

I would uninvite the friend.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: johelenc1 on September 21, 2013, 08:06:22 PM
I'll be the voice of dissent and declare it's absurd to cancel your son's 1st birthday party because of something his aunt did.  That's just makes no sense to me.  SIL is his godmother and aunt.  She's invited.  BIL is his uncle.  He's invited, but I can certainly understand him not wanting to come.  If for some reason BIL and SIL decide to attend, I think you could certainly speak to them before hand stressing that you know things are rough, but you hope they can be civil to each other for you son's sake.   Friend - is a friend.  He's now un-invited.  If he is somehow surprised by this, he's delusional. 

Having SIL and Friend at the party at the same time (as a couple or just in the same room) is just not appropriate under the circumstances.  It's too new and it brings their drama to your son's party. 

I would suspect that SIL won't be too keen on discussing her affair with everyone at a kid's BD party.  Hopefully, there will be enough going on that the rest of the family can ignore it for a little while.  If it does start to come up, you can always say that it's really not an appropriate topic at a BD party and move on.

I say have your party.  Celebrate your little boy.  Expect everyone has enough sense to act civil, but be prepared to kick 'em out if they don't!
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LifeOnPluto on September 21, 2013, 11:20:51 PM
The BiL is still an uncle and if SiL is godmothet thete is a good chance that he is godfather. Whether he is or not, he didn't do anything to create turmoil. I would never expect him to stay away because his wife chose infidelity.

I agree. If BIL decides to attend the party, I don't believe he's showing a lack of "good taste".

And really, who knows what will happen in future? Right now, it does look as though SIL is leaving BIL for the Other Man. But (IME) a lot of people change their minds, and decide to return to their spouses and repair their marriages. I think it's counterproductive *at this early point in time* to suddenly treat BIL as if he is "no longer part of the family" and henceforth not really welcome at family events.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: earthgirl on September 24, 2013, 08:42:34 AM

So I think what I would do is have a candid conversation with her.

I agree - I think being transparent about your concerns is the best chance for a conflict-free party.   You don't have to get involved with the drama, just make sure that she knows that it's all about your son, and your desire to keep his party a happy occasion - I'm sure she shares that desire. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: katycoo on September 24, 2013, 07:29:21 PM
Is SIL still with Friend?  If so, I think you should ask DH to contact her and ask her not to bring Friend under the current circumstances.

Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: bopper on September 25, 2013, 08:05:36 AM
I would keep the family invitations as is...BIL /SIL can decide amongst themselves to attend or not.  I would call Friend and say "Under the circumstances I am going to have to ask you not to come to the party since SIL/BIL are still married.  Once legal circumstances change it will be a different story."
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Zilla on September 25, 2013, 08:12:02 AM
As another suggest, you or your dh (since it's his sister) should talk to sil and ask her to please talk with friend and tell friend not to attend for sake of harmony.  If they are tactful at all, I am sure friend wasn't planning on attending since the affair came to light.  But just in case, have a conversation with sil.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: NyaChan on September 25, 2013, 09:08:25 AM
I'll be the voice of dissent and declare it's absurd to cancel your son's 1st birthday party because of something his aunt did.  That's just makes no sense to me.  SIL is his godmother and aunt.  She's invited.  BIL is his uncle.  He's invited, but I can certainly understand him not wanting to come.  If for some reason BIL and SIL decide to attend, I think you could certainly speak to them before hand stressing that you know things are rough, but you hope they can be civil to each other for you son's sake.   Friend - is a friend.  He's now un-invited.  If he is somehow surprised by this, he's delusional. 

Having SIL and Friend at the party at the same time (as a couple or just in the same room) is just not appropriate under the circumstances.  It's too new and it brings their drama to your son's party. 

I would suspect that SIL won't be too keen on discussing her affair with everyone at a kid's BD party.  Hopefully, there will be enough going on that the rest of the family can ignore it for a little while.  If it does start to come up, you can always say that it's really not an appropriate topic at a BD party and move on.

I say have your party.  Celebrate your little boy.  Expect everyone has enough sense to act civil, but be prepared to kick 'em out if they don't!

Add me on to this as well.  Your husband's sister should absolutely be invited and her husband, regardless of what she has done in this instance to their marriage is the other part of her social unit.  The friend gets the disinvite - I don't think you'll have to go into details about why, pretty sure he'll know.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sophia on September 25, 2013, 10:03:28 AM
What kind of "friend" would still want to come to your DS's party knowing the drama that would be caused? 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sharnita on September 25, 2013, 10:25:15 AM
What kind of "friend" would still want to come to your DS's party knowing the drama that would be caused?

Of course, one might also ask what kind of friend would carry on an affair with your married sister instead of waiting for her to resolve her marraige.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: TurtleDove on September 25, 2013, 10:27:25 AM
I'll be the voice of dissent and declare it's absurd to cancel your son's 1st birthday party because of something his aunt did.  That's just makes no sense to me.  SIL is his godmother and aunt.  She's invited.  BIL is his uncle.  He's invited, but I can certainly understand him not wanting to come.  If for some reason BIL and SIL decide to attend, I think you could certainly speak to them before hand stressing that you know things are rough, but you hope they can be civil to each other for you son's sake.   Friend - is a friend.  He's now un-invited.  If he is somehow surprised by this, he's delusional. 

Having SIL and Friend at the party at the same time (as a couple or just in the same room) is just not appropriate under the circumstances.  It's too new and it brings their drama to your son's party. 

I would suspect that SIL won't be too keen on discussing her affair with everyone at a kid's BD party.  Hopefully, there will be enough going on that the rest of the family can ignore it for a little while.  If it does start to come up, you can always say that it's really not an appropriate topic at a BD party and move on.

I say have your party.  Celebrate your little boy.  Expect everyone has enough sense to act civil, but be prepared to kick 'em out if they don't!

Add me on to this as well.  Your husband's sister should absolutely be invited and her husband, regardless of what she has done in this instance to their marriage is the other part of her social unit.  The friend gets the disinvite - I don't think you'll have to go into details about why, pretty sure he'll know.

This. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sophia on September 25, 2013, 10:29:43 AM
What kind of "friend" would still want to come to your DS's party knowing the drama that would be caused?

Of course, one might also ask what kind of friend would carry on an affair with your married sister instead of waiting for her to resolve her marraige.

There is that.  Different levels of hell, I guess. 
Although, there would be something soooooo premeditated about coming to the party.  With no upside.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: DavidH on September 25, 2013, 11:02:54 AM
If you don't disinvite anyone, at the minimum, I'd make sure BIL and Friend know that the other will be there.  I'm not sure I'd be up for attending a party with my spouse who I'd just separated from under any circumstance.

Part of my answer depends on SIL and Friend's relationship.  If I thought it likely they'd get married, I'd alert BIL to the circumstance, have DH tell SIL NO DRAMA!!, and go from there.  If I thought a future marriage was unlikely, I'd probably disinvite Friend and just alert BIL that SIL will be there and let them choose. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: TurtleDove on September 25, 2013, 11:18:02 AM
I think the friend is not a friend so should be disinvited, and both SIL and BIL "deserve" to be there since they are the aunt and uncle of the guest of honor.  I would assume they would be able to put their differences aside and focus on their nephew for the party. If they cannot, they should be asked to leave.  I am a fan of assuming people will act appropriately and making this assumption understood. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: NyaChan on September 25, 2013, 11:28:51 AM
I think the friend is not a friend so should be disinvited, and both SIL and BIL "deserve" to be there since they are the aunt and uncle of the guest of honor.  I would assume they would be able to put their differences aside and focus on their nephew for the party. If they cannot, they should be asked to leave. I am a fan of assuming people will act appropriately and making this assumption understood. 

Yes, and this puts me in mind of what I was kind of thinking as I read your OP - Yes, you know that your SIL and BIL are having marital issues.  You know she cheated and you know who she cheated with.  However, I think that in the context of the birthday party you should maintain the polite fiction of ignorance even if they know you are aware of what is happening.  Whether they want to attend as a married couple or not is up to them, but I think having the friend either way would be a mistake. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Fer on September 28, 2013, 06:08:42 AM
Thank you, once again for your insights and suggestions regarding this delicate party situation. :)  The party is tomorrow (eek!) so I will update again once it's all done and dusted.

I had hoped to be able to speak to SiL quietly about the issue, but when I was able to broach the topic, I wasn't able to get any farther than "I really don't want any drama or awkwardness at the party..." before she interrupted:
"Oh, I know.  I've spoken to [BiL]*, and let him know that both [Friend] and I will be there, but that it shouldn't stop him attending if he wants.  I'm more worried about [her brother, BiL2**] causing a scene." 
I replied (desperately wishing I had a stronger spine than I do!), "If anyone causes a scene or can't be adult enough to put it aside and enjoy the party, they'll be asked to leave."  DH came into the room at that point, and agreed.

(*SiL and BiL are still trying to remain friends.  He's a bigger person than I would be under these circumstances!)

(**slight BG: BiL2 is the eldest sibling, and quite opinionated.  He never liked BiL, but I think his disapproval over the situation outweighs how he felt about BiL.  If we ask him in advance to be nice, he'll likely sulk and try to drag the mood of the whole party down.  That will NOT happen tomorrow!)

So.  This is where we stand: SiL and Friend attending and BiL "maybe".   :-\  Weather permitting we should have enough room to keep everyone seperated if need be


I think the friend is not a friend so should be disinvited, and both SIL and BIL "deserve" to be there since they are the aunt and uncle of the guest of honor.  I would assume they would be able to put their differences aside and focus on their nephew for the party. If they cannot, they should be asked to leave. I am a fan of assuming people will act appropriately and making this assumption understood. 

Yes, and this puts me in mind of what I was kind of thinking as I read your OP - Yes, you know that your SIL and BIL are having marital issues.  You know she cheated and you know who she cheated with.  However, I think that in the context of the birthday party you should maintain the polite fiction of ignorance even if they know you are aware of what is happening.  Whether they want to attend as a married couple or not is up to them, but I think having the friend either way would be a mistake. 

The two bolded quotes are where I'm sitting right now.  I don't know (or care) how long the relationship has been going on, who started what or whether they see a future together, and I don't care if the whole world knows what's been going on, but as long as everyone can behave at the party I'll be happy.  Both sets of DS's grandparents are on alert to keep the peace if DH and I are busy (cooking/wrangling small children), but I truly hope it won't come to that. 

It really was highly inconvenient of them to announce all of this right before DS's party!
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: lady_disdain on September 28, 2013, 08:38:56 AM
I replied (desperately wishing I had a stronger spine than I do!), "If anyone causes a scene or can't be adult enough to put it aside and enjoy the party, they'll be asked to leave."  DH came into the room at that point, and agreed.

[...]

It really was highly inconvenient of them to announce all of this right before DS's party!

Good luck with the party!

I actually think your answer was perfect. You made it known that you won't tolerate a scene, no matter who it is from, and done it in a way that is neutral, not on anyone's side.

Yeah. Well, there is never a convenient time for this sort of thing.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: MayHug on September 28, 2013, 08:45:01 AM
It's not much easier after the party either. My husband and I hosted a small birthday party for our grandson. It was just a couple of family members the parents and us. At the last minute she asked me to invite a couple friend of theirs. She said they were like family to her.We had not met them, but said sure. Three days later she asked my son for a divorce and moved in with the male half of the couple. She admitted she'd been seeing him for six months. She told my son she asked me to invite them so all four of them could be together one last time as friends!
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Hopefull on September 28, 2013, 09:09:24 AM
It's not much easier after the party either. My husband and I hosted a small birthday party for our grandson. It was just a couple of family members the parents and us. At the last minute she asked me to invite a couple friend of theirs. She said they were like family to her.We had not met them, but said sure. Three days later she asked my son for a divorce and moved in with the male half of the couple. She admitted she'd been seeing him for six months. She told my son she asked me to invite them so all four of them could be together one last time as friends!

WOW
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: *inviteseller on September 28, 2013, 04:10:20 PM
After reading your update OP, I am inclined to think your SIL is a spoiled SS.  She honestly should not be parading her and friends infidelity around to the family at a child's birthday party.  It is almost like the happy couple want to be seen and accepted as a social unit, when in fact they are not.  Friend, if he was one, should be staying home also.  Listen, affairs happen, and I don't want to judge others marriages and their issues, but for her to interrupt you and say that they WILL be there as a couple is someone who wants attention on themselves and honestly, I wouldn't trust her for one minute at the party.  Maybe she will be happy with her new situation, but she is going to make others uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Sharnita on September 28, 2013, 04:18:30 PM
imviteseller, I agree completely. It sounds kind of like the party is being used as leverage to make family and friends treat her and the other man as an established couple and her spouse as theoutsider. Anybody who balks is "causing a scene". That seems like kind of a crock.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Queen of Clubs on September 28, 2013, 06:52:25 PM
After reading your update OP, I am inclined to think your SIL is a spoiled SS.  She honestly should not be parading her and friends infidelity around to the family at a child's birthday party.  It is almost like the happy couple want to be seen and accepted as a social unit, when in fact they are not.  Friend, if he was one, should be staying home also.  Listen, affairs happen, and I don't want to judge others marriages and their issues, but for her to interrupt you and say that they WILL be there as a couple is someone who wants attention on themselves and honestly, I wouldn't trust her for one minute at the party.  Maybe she will be happy with her new situation, but she is going to make others uncomfortable.

The way she interrupted the OP leapt out at me as well and I wouldn't be surprised if inviteseller is right. :(
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: WillyNilly on September 28, 2013, 08:03:33 PM
After reading your update OP, I am inclined to think your SIL is a spoiled SS.  She honestly should not be parading her and friends infidelity around to the family at a child's birthday party.  It is almost like the happy couple want to be seen and accepted as a social unit, when in fact they are not.  Friend, if he was one, should be staying home also.  Listen, affairs happen, and I don't want to judge others marriages and their issues, but for her to interrupt you and say that they WILL be there as a couple is someone who wants attention on themselves and honestly, I wouldn't trust her for one minute at the party.  Maybe she will be happy with her new situation, but she is going to make others uncomfortable.

I agree! In fact I think I would have interrupted right back (does that count as interrupting? or just resuming?) and said "actually we are going to ask [friend] to not attend. Perhaps in the future, once things have settled down, he will be re-included, but we have already decided that his attendance is not appropriate at this time. The sole focus of this party is DS."
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 28, 2013, 08:26:17 PM
If women could be cads, she would be one.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LifeOnPluto on September 29, 2013, 02:14:40 AM
After reading your update OP, I am inclined to think your SIL is a spoiled SS.  She honestly should not be parading her and friends infidelity around to the family at a child's birthday party.  It is almost like the happy couple want to be seen and accepted as a social unit, when in fact they are not.  Friend, if he was one, should be staying home also.  Listen, affairs happen, and I don't want to judge others marriages and their issues, but for her to interrupt you and say that they WILL be there as a couple is someone who wants attention on themselves and honestly, I wouldn't trust her for one minute at the party.  Maybe she will be happy with her new situation, but she is going to make others uncomfortable.

I agree! In fact I think I would have interrupted right back (does that count as interrupting? or just resuming?) and said "actually we are going to ask [friend] to not attend. Perhaps in the future, once things have settled down, he will be re-included, but we have already decided that his attendance is not appropriate at this time. The sole focus of this party is DS."

I agree too. I don't think you'd have been rude to tell SIL "Actually, we'd appreciate it if you don't bring [Friend]."

imviteseller, I agree completely. It sounds kind of like the party is being used as leverage to make family and friends treat her and the other man as an established couple and her spouse as theoutsider. Anybody who balks is "causing a scene". That seems like kind of a crock.

I thought that too. She's forcing everyone to accept the situation when the dust hasn't even settled yet. Heck, it's not even finished rising! I get that sometimes nice people make big mistakes, but nice people generally have the good grace to be ashamed of themselves, for at least a short period of time.

Yep. I suspect that at the party, she'll be strolling around hand in hand with Friend, using "we" language, playing "Happy New Couples" acting like nothing wrong has happened, etc.

Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Fer on September 29, 2013, 06:14:00 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 29, 2013, 06:49:52 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?

This woman seriously lacks boundaries.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: *inviteseller on September 29, 2013, 07:35:12 AM
I am so glad to hear the party went well.  My outside analysis on the affair?  SIL is investing herself in a fantasy..she signs his name and his kids name to the card?  He spends the party with your DH grilling instead of basking in the new love?  Sounds like at least he had some class but she is living in LaLa land.  I think you and DH are good people for wanting to still keep BIL involved in your lives but I bet SIL will not see it that way.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: missmolly on September 29, 2013, 07:38:33 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?

This woman seriously lacks boundaries.

Clearly the reality of cheating on two spouses and most likely breaking up a family with kids has not set in for SIL.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Sophia on September 29, 2013, 07:39:31 AM
"elephant in the room wore a party hat"  I am sooo going to steal that. 
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 29, 2013, 07:45:32 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?

This woman seriously lacks boundaries.

Clearly the reality of cheating on two spouses and most likely breaking up a family with kids has not set in for SIL.

A person with good boundaries probably wouldn't commit adultery in the first place. Then, she interrupted Fer in a conversation the other day, telling her that her cheat-mate would be coming. Last, she signed a card (attached to a gift bought originally by her and her husband) with her cheat-mate's and his children's names.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 29, 2013, 07:48:06 AM
Glad you and your son had fun.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: cicero on September 29, 2013, 09:24:33 AM
"elephant in the room wore a party hat"  I am sooo going to steal that.
lol me too.

Fer - i'm glad it worked out OK. I have a feeling you are going to have additional stories to tell us...
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Luci on September 29, 2013, 09:36:46 AM
Since you really can't do much about SIL, I'm wondering if you'll have fresh stories for the Know-It-All Thread.

Glad was party was good and the guest of honor had a day.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: HenrysMom on September 29, 2013, 10:02:49 AM
I'm glad that the party was drama-free, for your child's sake.

My fear is that SIL and Friend now think that you and your DH condone their infidelity.  So I have a feeling that you two will now be expected to host them as a social unit.

I'm sorry, but I think there are all sorts of wrong to that.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on September 29, 2013, 10:41:43 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?

This woman seriously lacks boundaries.

She's busily rewriting her marital history, so she can tell herself she's the wronged party without pangs of conscience.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 29, 2013, 10:45:02 AM
I'm glad that the party was drama-free, for your child's sake.

My fear is that SIL and Friend now think that you and your DH condone their infidelity.  So I have a feeling that you two will now be expected to host them as a social unit.

I'm sorry, but I think there are all sorts of wrong to that.

The camel's nose is under the tent.
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: LeveeWoman on September 29, 2013, 10:45:50 AM
Well, the party is over, I have a mountain of cupcakes left over, and .. it all went surprisingly well, actually!  Perhaps it was helped by the fact I was so disorganised and run off my feet to notice anything but the day seemed to be pretty much drama-free.

BiL didn't come - I didn't really think he would, but it would have been nice to see him.  We'll see abut having him over one of these days for cupcakes and gaming instead.

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? )  Friend stayed with DH most of the day, manning the BBQ.  SiL brought her dogs, which I thought was another ??? moment as our property is not dog-friendly and there were small kids running around.  But given the recent events, forethought may not be one of her strongest characteristics.

BiL2 was in good spirits, so no dramas on that front.  Actually, the only thing that really bothered DH was his dad backseat-driving the BBQ and telling him how to cook.  (And for me, my folks trying to talk about planned renovations while I'm trying to do a zillion things at once).  One friend did FB-message me and ask what the deal was with SiL, but aside from that the topic didn't seem to be mentioned.  And elephant in the room, yes, but it wore a party hat and blended in.

Overall, a good day was had.  The weather was flawless, and the birthday boy had tons of fun.  And that's the main thing!

Thank you all so much for your insights and advice!  Who wants birthday cupcakes?

This woman seriously lacks boundaries.

She's busily rewriting her marital history, so she can tell herself she's the wronged party without pangs of conscience.

All the while everyone else will know the truth.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on September 29, 2013, 10:54:59 AM
Exactly.  My ex did it, and everybody but his parents bought it initially, but it unravelled on him pretty fast.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Petticoats on September 29, 2013, 11:13:36 AM
Between her blithely assuming it was okay to bring her lover, putting his name on the card, and bringing her dogs uninvited, it sounds like SIL is completely self-centered. She seems to do as she wants while expecting everyone else to fall into place obediently, regardless of their needs.

OP, I'm very glad the party went smoothly, but at some point I suspect SIL is going to have to learn that reality is not always going to shape itself to suit her--or not without consequences.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: NyaChan on September 29, 2013, 11:14:21 AM
I'm glad the party went smoothly - I hope your son had a good time and remembers it as a fun day!
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: VorFemme on September 29, 2013, 11:20:11 AM
"elephant in the room wore a party hat"  I am sooo going to steal that. 

Me, too, the mental imagery is just so perfect...my elephant is young, small (as elephants go), and the party hat is sparkly with snowflake designs on it.  The elephant may or may not be a slightly pastel shade of pink...that coordinates nicely with the sparkly snowflakes on the hat - SIL is wearing one, too.  At least, in my imagination - SIL and the elephant are wearing matching hats - and the dogs have sparkly pink collars on, too.  With rhinestone snowflakes hanging from the collar with their tags.  They've been vaccinated against frost bite...
Title: Re: Ciildrens parties, infidelity and breakups - oh my!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 29, 2013, 12:43:49 PM
...   

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? ) 

Did this card accompany the gift she and BIL had purchased together, or was the astonishingly inappropriately signed card the only "gift" they brought for your son?
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Miss Understood on September 29, 2013, 06:49:35 PM
"elephant in the room wore a party hat"  I am sooo going to steal that.
lol me too.

Fer - i'm glad it worked out OK. I have a feeling you are going to have additional stories to tell us...

I loved the "elephant in a party hat" line too!  Such a great image.  I'm glad it worked out.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Fer on September 29, 2013, 07:20:16 PM
Between her blithely assuming it was okay to bring her lover, putting his name on the card, and bringing her dogs uninvited, it sounds like SIL is completely self-centered. She seems to do as she wants while expecting everyone else to fall into place obediently, regardless of their needs.

OP, I'm very glad the party went smoothly, but at some point I suspect SIL is going to have to learn that reality is not always going to shape itself to suit her--or not without consequences.

You know, you're right - I do think SiL has, until now, lived a fairly charmed life.  Being the youngest child, and the only girl, my ILs have spoiled her somewhat, and she's been able to get away with a lot.  If she needed them, any one of DH's family would drop everything and drive halfway arcoss the state for her.  BiL adored her, and would get the moon for her if she asked, and compromised a lot to make her happy.

She can be warm, generous, and funny, but also highly inappropriate.  If the Karmic Bus hits her, it's not going to be pretty.

I was most annoyed about the dogs.  I understand they're her fur babies, but we'd had no warning, my frail, elderly grandmother was there, and there were lots of very small children toddling around.  It could have been disastrous.  At least she kept them on leads and away from the kids for the duration of the party.

I want to clarify one thing:
...
Clearly the reality of cheating on two spouses and most likely breaking up a family with kids has not set in for SIL.

Friend was single prior to this, and his children live primarily with his ex.  DH and I have hosted Friend and his children, so we do know them - actually, I was half expecting him to bring his youngest with him.  The card was written in Friend's handwriting; the gifts from SiL and BiL placed on the table seperately (no card, so I can only assume SiL placed it there but given the nature of the gift, it had BiL all over it!) 

...   

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? ) 

Did this card accompany the gift she and BIL had purchased together, or was the astonishingly inappropriately signed card the only "gift" they brought for your son?

The card-but-no-gift didn't really bother me, as I did stress in the invitations that nobody should feel obligated to bring a gift (slightly tacky, I know, but some of our friends are less well-off than we are and I did not want them to feel that they were invited as a gift-grab or that they had to spend money they may not have on DS.)

I'm glad that the party was drama-free, for your child's sake.

My fear is that SIL and Friend now think that you and your DH condone their infidelity.  So I have a feeling that you two will now be expected to host them as a social unit.

I'm sorry, but I think there are all sorts of wrong to that.

Funny you should say that.  While SiL and I were working on the cake last Friday (in which the atmosphere was slightly awkward and she was texting Friend whenever she had a hand free), Friend called in after work.  It seemed to both DH and me that it was a test, to see how we would treat them as a social unit and in the one room.  We rose to the challenge and were perfectly civil to both - as we would have done prior to this - and ignored any overt references to the festive elephant in the corner. 

(I kind of want to buy SiL a small figurine of an elephant in a party hat, but I think it would be over her head.  Maybe I'll buy one for me, anyway :D)

What's hard for me is that I do genuinely like all the players in this drama individually.  I want them all to be happy, but it's hard to reconcile that with how I feel about the situation.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Tea Drinker on September 29, 2013, 08:35:57 PM
Between her blithely assuming it was okay to bring her lover, putting his name on the card, and bringing her dogs uninvited, it sounds like SIL is completely self-centered. She seems to do as she wants while expecting everyone else to fall into place obediently, regardless of their needs.

OP, I'm very glad the party went smoothly, but at some point I suspect SIL is going to have to learn that reality is not always going to shape itself to suit her--or not without consequences.

You know, you're right - I do think SiL has, until now, lived a fairly charmed life.  Being the youngest child, and the only girl, my ILs have spoiled her somewhat, and she's been able to get away with a lot.  If she needed them, any one of DH's family would drop everything and drive halfway arcoss the state for her.  BiL adored her, and would get the moon for her if she asked, and compromised a lot to make her happy.

She can be warm, generous, and funny, but also highly inappropriate.  If the Karmic Bus hits her, it's not going to be pretty.

I was most annoyed about the dogs.  I understand they're her fur babies, but we'd had no warning, my frail, elderly grandmother was there, and there were lots of very small children toddling around.  It could have been disastrous.  At least she kept them on leads and away from the kids for the duration of the party.

I want to clarify one thing:
...
Clearly the reality of cheating on two spouses and most likely breaking up a family with kids has not set in for SIL.

Friend was single prior to this, and his children live primarily with his ex.  DH and I have hosted Friend and his children, so we do know them - actually, I was half expecting him to bring his youngest with him.  The card was written in Friend's handwriting; the gifts from SiL and BiL placed on the table seperately (no card, so I can only assume SiL placed it there but given the nature of the gift, it had BiL all over it!) 

...   

SiL and Friend came together.  They also gave a card, signed Friend, SiL and Friend's kids.  (SiL had told me on Friday that she and BiL had bought something for DS months ago, so the card, I thought was a bit  ??? ) 

Did this card accompany the gift she and BIL had purchased together, or was the astonishingly inappropriately signed card the only "gift" they brought for your son?

The card-but-no-gift didn't really bother me, as I did stress in the invitations that nobody should feel obligated to bring a gift (slightly tacky, I know, but some of our friends are less well-off than we are and I did not want them to feel that they were invited as a gift-grab or that they had to spend money they may not have on DS.)

I'm glad that the party was drama-free, for your child's sake.

My fear is that SIL and Friend now think that you and your DH condone their infidelity.  So I have a feeling that you two will now be expected to host them as a social unit.

I'm sorry, but I think there are all sorts of wrong to that.

Funny you should say that.  While SiL and I were working on the cake last Friday (in which the atmosphere was slightly awkward and she was texting Friend whenever she had a hand free), Friend called in after work.  It seemed to both DH and me that it was a test, to see how we would treat them as a social unit and in the one room.  We rose to the challenge and were perfectly civil to both - as we would have done prior to this - and ignored any overt references to the festive elephant in the corner. 

(I kind of want to buy SiL a small figurine of an elephant in a party hat, but I think it would be over her head.  Maybe I'll buy one for me, anyway :D)

What's hard for me is that I do genuinely like all the players in this drama individually.  I want them all to be happy, but it's hard to reconcile that with how I feel about the situation.

Rather OT, but if you find a good source elephant-in-party-hat figurines, please post a link.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 29, 2013, 08:44:06 PM
You can like the people without liking the situation.  I think the most important thing is making it clear that you won't be manipulated by anyone.  whether that's BIL or SIL.  I also think being a little selfish may be called for as well.  You may need to run any interaction with them through the "How do I feel about this" filter.  If that means they get their feelings hurt because of it...oh well. but getting in the middle of an exploding relationship is nothing but bad news.

I like the idea of tiny elephant in a party hat.  Maybe you could keep it in the living room or kitchen so you always see it and giggle a bit.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 30, 2013, 04:52:08 PM
Google is my friend!

http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2011/07/pink-elephant-with-party-hat-and.html



AWESOME. SAUCE. :)
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: VorFemme on September 30, 2013, 05:18:26 PM
Google is my friend!

http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2011/07/pink-elephant-with-party-hat-and.html



The very image of a modern pink elephant in a party hat! (sung to the tune from one of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas - "the very image of a modern major general" - I forget how the rest of it goes....) - but now the elephant is humming along!
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: Fer on October 01, 2013, 07:19:48 PM
Google is my friend!

http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2011/07/pink-elephant-with-party-hat-and.html

That is just perfect!  :D

Although I'm thinking I'm going to need a whole herd of elephants-in-party-hats for different festive occasions: SiL has indicated she wants to bring Friend and his kids to the InLaw's Family Christmas (this year hosted by BiL2).

This cannot end well...
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: *inviteseller on October 01, 2013, 07:49:59 PM
Ohhh, way to shove an uncomfortable situation at everyone.  What color is the sky in her world where her behavior is acceptable???  I am thinking your poor BIL got the better deal out of this by her leaving.
Title: Re: Childrens parties, infidelity and breakups - UPDATE P4 post 53
Post by: nolechica on October 01, 2013, 10:30:28 PM
Google is my friend!

http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2011/07/pink-elephant-with-party-hat-and.html

That is just perfect!  :D

Although I'm thinking I'm going to need a whole herd of elephants-in-party-hats for different festive occasions: SiL has indicated she wants to bring Friend and his kids to the InLaw's Family Christmas (this year hosted by BiL2).

This cannot end well...

Wow! What about Thanksgiving? With your family one can hope?