Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: Arila on April 28, 2014, 03:25:27 PM

Title: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on April 28, 2014, 03:25:27 PM
My husband and I as well as my sister and her boyfriend are all part of a group that frequently likes to get together for various activities at someoneís home. Invites are typically issued by email, but the genesis of the group was in a public Meet Up where anyone could join, so there may be some carry over of attitudes which explains (but does not excuse) the following.

ďAĒ issued the usual invitation to an email list of approximately 9 people, and issued a second-hand invitation to one personís girlfriend whose email he didnít have. Significant others are usually specifically invited, but in some cases they do not attend because of a lack of interest in the activity. This is the case for Bís wife. (I have met her one time in ~4 years, despite B hosting many times in their home.) Typically all RSVPs are by reply-all.

The last two invitations, B has responded for ďC and IĒ and also added her to the To: line (so he could not have missed the exclusion). C is not invited. C is not his wife. We are all pretty sure that B and C are having an affair. They have denied it in the past, but if not in the traditional (hah!) sense, he is at least spending more time with her socially than he does with his own wife, including arriving and departing in the same car to several events per week, and many overnight out of town trips (they both participate in a coed sport together). We have several divorcees in our group, so it isnít that we hold that against him, just the one foot in, one foot out approach that he seems to be taking.

Add to the above that, A, the host doesnít particularly care for C. Neither does at least half of the guest list. For most people the problem with C is that we tend to be a bit of a sarcastic lot, and C simply doesn't *get* sarcasm. This is but one example of how her personality just doesn't click with the group. There are many others.  C has earned much of her reputation based on her own ďmeritsĒ, but more impactful for me, is that C took advantage of my sister financially (over $1000, perhaps as much as $3k). Their arrangement did not end on particularly friendly terms, and my sister has declined to make ďpublicĒ amongst the group the nitty gritty details of the fiasco. The extent of general knowledge is "C and Sister used to be friendly and then fell out" without any knowledge of the reasons.

The possibility of her attendance to similar things (apparently her not being invited is no guarantee!) is really uncomfortable, which makes RSVPs difficult, and when we canít manage to avoid her, she ALSO doesnít *get* when we are standoffish. (Example: Months after their falling out, C and my sister were at the same event, and C made a big show of being friendly and hugging her repeatedly, despite a somewhat chilly reception from my sister). It is very difficult to avoid her without being rude ourselves, or creating drama.

My sister is somewhat relieved that this is happening on Aís watch, honestly, because it will be up to A to decide if he will start to treat them as a social unit (SO ICKY! Heís still MARRIED!), tell B straight up to stop adding her, or stop inviting B. When we host ourselves, we have gone with the last option, no longer inviting B. Itís somewhat disappointing, because before he took up with C, he was a great addition to a guest list and I had previously looked forward to seeing him.



So, on to the questions:

When I am a guest, I donít suppose there is anything that I can say or do to make her not want to attend? For hosts who are a bit more laid back and donít invite her but also donít make it clear that sheís not invited when the above occurs, is there any way to say that she and I are on a mutually exclusive guest list? To what extent (if any) can I make my wish for her to not be seen or heard by me (she is also loud!) clear, if at all?  If this were one event, I would totally just suck it up, but this represents a significant portion of our social life. I donít wish to be ďmeanĒ or the bad guy. Is that an impossible situation? Is there a tactic to be used jointly by my sister and I which could achieve these ends? (If, perhaps I were to put on my protective big-sister hat and say to hosts, without mentioning gossipy details that there was not merely a falling out, but that C had injured my sister, and she -and by extension I and our SOís- do not wish to associate with her?)
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 28, 2014, 03:34:25 PM
As a guest, you have a responsibility to other guests to not make scenes. That's why the Cut Direct is considered to be a Big Deal.

It used to be that "you cheated my sister out of money and are dishonorable" was a reason to do this.
   You'll have fallout, and it might be unpleasant to everyone else. If they don't understand or agree with your reasons, they may judge you.

There are other levels of "cutting" someone.

You can avoid her like the plague. You can say, "Hmm," and wander off, or go to the bathroom, when she approaches your group.

You can even be a little stern or abrupt when you do this, since you consider her to be a cheat. And it would still be  not as uncomfortable for everyone as the Cut Direct.


As for being on a mutually exclusive guest list--
  You can leave when she arrives, first stopping by the host to say, "I'm sorry to leave--I regard C as a cheat and a dishonorable person, so I never attend any party that she is at. If I'd known you had invited her, or that she was coming, I would have told you earlier and stayed home. That's how strongly I feel about it. Goodbye."
   This then becomes their advance warning.

But you may find that no one else is going to exclude B, and no one is going to tell him he can't bring C. If you essentially ask them to choose, they're going to choose B and C instead of you. Because, they'll keep inviting you, and they'll tell themselves it's your problem, that you are the one with the problem.

Your sister could reveal all of the details about the financial transaction in hopes of getting everyone to understand and agree with your reasoning. That leaves you (sorry for the slight legal tanget; I just want to mention -that- there may be an issue) possibly open for slander. And it leaves you, etiquettewise, open for some negative judgment. People don't react well to this sort of stuff--they consider it to be airing of dirty laundry or gossiping.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Mikayla on April 28, 2014, 04:58:56 PM

When I am a guest, I donít suppose there is anything that I can say or do to make her not want to attend? For hosts who are a bit more laid back and donít invite her but also donít make it clear that sheís not invited when the above occurs, is there any way to say that she and I are on a mutually exclusive guest list?

First, you have my sympathies.  She sounds awful.  (Who doesn't get sarcastic humor?!)

But I think your logic starts to go a little south here and you may end up with some unintended consequences.  The good news is it sounds like things are trending in your "direction", but not everyone will be on your exact timetable.   If you try to tell a host of an upcoming event that C and you are on a mutually exclusive guest list, you could easily put this person in a really tough spot.   You're asking them to choose between you and B. 

I also think it could be a mistake to try to join forces with your sister.  All of you are adults and any host/hostess is free to set any guest list they want.  When it's your turn, you can decide on your own if you'd rather exclude B altogether, or invite him but just make it clear C isn't welcome in your home.

So I think it's better to lead by example rather than force the issue.  If most people don't like her, it sounds like it's inevitable she won't last too long.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: bah12 on April 28, 2014, 05:51:30 PM
When I am a guest, I donít suppose there is anything that I can say or do to make her not want to attend? For hosts who are a bit more laid back and donít invite her but also donít make it clear that sheís not invited when the above occurs, is there any way to say that she and I are on a mutually exclusive guest list? To what extent (if any) can I make my wish for her to not be seen or heard by me (she is also loud!) clear, if at all?  If this were one event, I would totally just suck it up, but this represents a significant portion of our social life. I donít wish to be ďmeanĒ or the bad guy. Is that an impossible situation? Is there a tactic to be used jointly by my sister and I which could achieve these ends? (If, perhaps I were to put on my protective big-sister hat and say to hosts, without mentioning gossipy details that there was not merely a falling out, but that C had injured my sister, and she -and by extension I and our SOís- do not wish to associate with her?)

To answer your questions directly:
There is a lot you can do or say to make her not want to attend...but all of them will be rude.  You are a guest and as long as the host allows her to attend his event, the only choice you have is whether or not you choose to attend knowing that.

I'm not sure what you mean about being on a mutually exclusive guest list.  If you're asking whether or not it would be ok to ask your friends not to invite both of you to the same event, my answer is 'no.'  You are an adult and I think perfectly capable of managing your own relationships without help or interference from your friends.  Again, if you don't want to be at the same event as she is, then it's up to you to decline the invitation. 

I also don't understand what kind of request you can make (and to whom) that you never have to see or hear from her.  You don't like her. I get it.  But if you can't stand being around her at all, you need to take steps to avoid her.  It's not ok to drag others into it.  And I do think that you need to be prepared for how you will act around her and react to her when you do see her, because it sounds like she socializes in your same circle and 100% avoidance may not be possible.  And I don't think ganging up on her with your sister is good form either.

My advice is this:  It's fine not to like her, but assuming that she is dating your friend (I'd be careful about accusing them of an affair though...that's  a huge accusation to make), you have some choices. Either stop socializing with him or learn how to deal with her.  You can also certainly choose not to go to any party that she's invited to, but I don't think that hurts anyone but you.  If you know that there's no way you can deal with her, then for your own sake, that may be the best choice, but I would encourage you to figure out how to be in the same space as her and how you'll react to her in a way that doesn't cause drama if you want to keep your same set of friends.  I wouldn't worry too much if she does something to cause drama...that's on her.  Don't let her drag you down too.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Cherry91 on April 28, 2014, 06:26:22 PM
Personally, I think the most important thing is to respect your sister's privacy. She doesn't want the details of her and C's issues discussed, and if you make a big show of disliking C, that's exactly what will happen.

Be distant, don't let her try to hug you or draw you into conversation, but if you're overly unfriendly, the fallout could effect your sister.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on April 29, 2014, 11:14:43 AM
Honestly, I'm OK with not attending when she's there. It may be amplified by my general dislike, but every 5 minutes she is doing something which is like nails on a chalkboard to me. As I suspected, there's really no good answers.  I just thought that someone more etiquettely clever than me could determine the right course, given that etiquette was also supposedly useful in bringing people into alignment with expectations, since they are breaking some fundamental rules...The answer, it seems is that if I were the host I would have options, but since I am not, I don't, except to decline as my first, timely response to the initial invitation.


Something funny -- I read the other day on another social media site: "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." I laughed, because I thought, "Boy, some people on eHell should take that to heart." Oh, the irony! Haha
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 29, 2014, 12:37:56 PM
Quote
.The answer, it seems is that if I were the host I would have options, but since I am not, I don't, except to decline as my first, timely response to the initial invitation.

I don't think that's true. I think you can go, and then leave if she arrives.
Maybe you'll decide you don't want to explain to your host that you're avoiding her--pretty high drama quotient, that--but you can certainly quietly make your excuses and leave.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 29, 2014, 12:55:07 PM
In the interest of not making waves, as a host, I would just stop inviting B.  If someone else then invites B, who then invites C, I'd tell someone that I really wish they hadn't done that.  And at that point, I'd have to call B and tell him that while he is welcome, C is not.

As a guest at someone else's event, I wouldn't employ the cut direct, although I do think C is completely worthy of a cut direct from you and your sister.  What I would do is that any time she tried to engage me in conversation, I would suddenly need to use the bathroom or get a drink or get some more food.  When I came back from my errand, I'd join a different conversational group.  And any attempted hugs would get a hand up and a forceful, 'Do not touch me.'

I'd do my best not to make it awkward for the other guests but I wouldn't put up with her nonsense, either.  If she continued to hound me, I would make my excuses to the host and head home.  And if that meant that the group chose B over me for the next event?  I'd have to live with that.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: wolfie on April 29, 2014, 01:01:17 PM
given that etiquette was also supposedly useful in bringing people into alignment with expectations, since they are breaking some fundamental rules...

I am not sure what you mean by that. If you mean because B brings C when C wasn't invited - that is something for the host to bring up. If you mean they are having an affair - that goes a lot deeper then who gets invited to a party and is generally not something that other people can stop. All you can do is stop associating with them. Ultimately you can't change anyone else - all you can do is change your reactions to them.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 29, 2014, 01:28:24 PM
One of the things about etiquette--it can't really bring people into alignment with expectations, because it has relatively little force.

There is no higher authority to come along and order people around, and impose consequences.

Individuals can impose their own consequences--stiff-arming a hugger, saying sharp things to them, avoiding them, refusing to invite them, giving them the cold shoulder.

But the only strength that etiquette has is in the voluntary participation of people, and perhaps in the peer pressure that a bunch of like-minded people can impose.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: SamiHami on April 29, 2014, 01:38:08 PM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on April 29, 2014, 01:59:49 PM
given that etiquette was also supposedly useful in bringing people into alignment with expectations, since they are breaking some fundamental rules...

I am not sure what you mean by that. If you mean because B brings C when C wasn't invited - that is something for the host to bring up. If you mean they are having an affair - that goes a lot deeper then who gets invited to a party and is generally not something that other people can stop. All you can do is stop associating with them. Ultimately you can't change anyone else - all you can do is change your reactions to them.

I meant just the invitation scenario, really. I agree with you that people who are willing to have an affair probably won't suddenly see the light because I give them a withering stare.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Deetee on April 29, 2014, 03:08:29 PM
I think you've got the right attitude as a host by not inviting B anymore.

As a guest you are much more limited because you have accepted hospitality and you have an obligation to be civil to fellow guests. Here you have 3 reasons to dislike her.

1) She cheated your sister on a financial transaction.

2) She is involved in an (alleged, but at least emotional) affair

3) She is just an annoying person who doesn't mesh with the group

So while she is an unpleasant person, your actions are limited to a quiet coolness while you are both guests. You can't shun her in someone's home. You can refuse to attend events if she is there. You can mention to the host that you will not attend events if she is there (but in an informational way, not a threatening way)
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: katycoo on April 29, 2014, 09:35:32 PM
Are you certain its an affair, and that B simply has separated from his wife?
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: gramma dishes on April 29, 2014, 10:02:13 PM
...   Significant others are usually specifically invited, but in some cases they do not attend because of a lack of interest in the activity. This is the case for Bís wife. (I have met her one time in ~4 years, despite B hosting many times in their home.) ...

I appreciate the awkwardness of your situation, but this sentence keeps coming back into my head.  If you've only met his wife once in roughly four years, it sounds like she really doesn't want too much to do with your group of friends either.  Not that that excuses his having an affair of any kind if he's still married!  But it does raise a question mark in my mind.

I agree with your own ultimate suggestions to yourself and those of others in previous posts.  You can just not invite B when you are hosting and if you must see him with his new whatever at other social events you can either ignore them or just get up and leave.  If she's as grating as your description of her has indicated, I expect other hosts will eventually follow your lead and stop inviting him (and therefore her) too. 

But I wouldn't go so far as to tell future hosts the line about "If she's going to be there, I'm not coming."  Sounds a bit too junior high.  Not to DO it (-- not go), but to announce it in advance.  It would put your host in a very ugly position.  Whatever decision he/she/they make has to be because THEY made that choice on their own, not because someone or even lots of someones threatened not to come if they didn't approve of the guest list.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: lakey on April 29, 2014, 10:09:49 PM
I don't think you want to create a scene at someone else's party. That thing she does where she acts all friendly with your sister after cheating her out of over $1000 would stick in my craw. I believe in being direct and honest, so I don't think there would be anything wrong with your telling her in private that since she cheated your sister, the least she can do is to stop putting on the phony friend act and give your sister a wide berth.

I do believe that when people behave badly it needs to be pointed out to them. If she doesn't take the hint and continues to hug your sister, your sister could always oops, accidentally step on her foot. Just kidding.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: doodlemor on April 29, 2014, 10:47:23 PM
I suspect that this advice is not etiquette approved, but here goes.

Perhaps your sister should start asking C for the $$$$ back each and every time that she encounters her at a social event.  She could ask about a lump sum, or a payment plan.  This would be done quietly and out of the hearing of others so as not to disrupt the party and make others uncomfortable.  For example, she could whisper in C's ear when C tries to cozy up to her.

Maybe C would get tired of being nagged, and stop coming to events.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: purple on April 29, 2014, 11:40:24 PM
When I am a guest, I donít suppose there is anything that I can say or do to make her not want to attend? For hosts who are a bit more laid back and donít invite her but also donít make it clear that sheís not invited when the above occurs, is there any way to say that she and I are on a mutually exclusive guest list? To what extent (if any) can I make my wish for her to not be seen or heard by me (she is also loud!) clear, if at all?  If this were one event, I would totally just suck it up, but this represents a significant portion of our social life. I donít wish to be ďmeanĒ or the bad guy. Is that an impossible situation? Is there a tactic to be used jointly by my sister and I which could achieve these ends? (If, perhaps I were to put on my protective big-sister hat and say to hosts, without mentioning gossipy details that there was not merely a falling out, but that C had injured my sister, and she -and by extension I and our SOís- do not wish to associate with her?)

To answer your questions directly:
There is a lot you can do or say to make her not want to attend...but all of them will be rude.  You are a guest and as long as the host allows her to attend his event, the only choice you have is whether or not you choose to attend knowing that.

I'm not sure what you mean about being on a mutually exclusive guest list.  If you're asking whether or not it would be ok to ask your friends not to invite both of you to the same event, my answer is 'no.'  You are an adult and I think perfectly capable of managing your own relationships without help or interference from your friends.  Again, if you don't want to be at the same event as she is, then it's up to you to decline the invitation. 

I also don't understand what kind of request you can make (and to whom) that you never have to see or hear from her.  You don't like her. I get it.  But if you can't stand being around her at all, you need to take steps to avoid her.  It's not ok to drag others into it.  And I do think that you need to be prepared for how you will act around her and react to her when you do see her, because it sounds like she socializes in your same circle and 100% avoidance may not be possible.  And I don't think ganging up on her with your sister is good form either.

My advice is this:  It's fine not to like her, but assuming that she is dating your friend (I'd be careful about accusing them of an affair though...that's  a huge accusation to make), you have some choices. Either stop socializing with him or learn how to deal with her.  You can also certainly choose not to go to any party that she's invited to, but I don't think that hurts anyone but you.  If you know that there's no way you can deal with her, then for your own sake, that may be the best choice, but I would encourage you to figure out how to be in the same space as her and how you'll react to her in a way that doesn't cause drama if you want to keep your same set of friends.  I wouldn't worry too much if she does something to cause drama...that's on her.  Don't let her drag you down too.

I agree with this and I would also add that if/when you do decide to decline an invitation when you know she will be there, make another polite excuse or don't give any excuse - a polite decline with no reason given is not rude.

Also, be careful about the accusations.  I am a female with lots of male friends (and a total of 2 female friends).  I spend lots of time with my male friends with and without my husband and their SO's.  Yes, we go on weekend trips together sometimes - just me and 4 or 5 or 6 of them to participate in a sport/hobby that we all enjoy - and no SO's are present.  At various times, a single male person will park his car outside my house when my husband is away travelling with his job and the person will stay for hours sometimes, late at night, midday, early morning or whatever.  Sometimes we'll grab our dogs, go walking downtown, have lunch together and then walk home and spend hours longer talking or watching TV together or something.  If somebody wanted to make assumptions based on what they could see from the outside, they may very well jump to the conclusions that you have here.  But. They. Would. Be. Wrong.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: perpetua on April 30, 2014, 03:37:40 AM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.

OP, please don't do this. You have absolutely no idea of the relationship between B and his wife, if there even is one at all. For all you know they've separated and are still living in the same house, or they have an open relationship, or or or, and C is a legitimate partner. Assuming she's some kind of terrible adulterer when you have no idea of the full story is just not fair and to put her in this position of bigging up the (possibly ex) wife in front of her would be terrible.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: nayberry on April 30, 2014, 10:13:45 AM

When I am a guest, I donít suppose there is anything that I can say or do to make her not want to attend? For hosts who are a bit more laid back and donít invite her but also donít make it clear that sheís not invited when the above occurs, is there any way to say that she and I are on a mutually exclusive guest list?

First, you have my sympathies.  She sounds awful.  (Who doesn't get sarcastic humor?!)

But I think your logic starts to go a little south here and you may end up with some unintended consequences.  The good news is it sounds like things are trending in your "direction", but not everyone will be on your exact timetable.   If you try to tell a host of an upcoming event that C and you are on a mutually exclusive guest list, you could easily put this person in a really tough spot.   You're asking them to choose between you and B. 

I also think it could be a mistake to try to join forces with your sister.  All of you are adults and any host/hostess is free to set any guest list they want.  When it's your turn, you can decide on your own if you'd rather exclude B altogether, or invite him but just make it clear C isn't welcome in your home.

So I think it's better to lead by example rather than force the issue.  If most people don't like her, it sounds like it's inevitable she won't last too long.


dr sheldon cooper for one ;)   i knew some engineers and it would take about 5 minutes for one of them to get a joke, seriously!  he was very spock like in his thinking.

OP, i think your options are limited,  you can ignore c if she is at an event, you can certainly not invite her or b to your events,  you can't tell other people that they can't invite her.  and if b is adding her on its up to the host of each event to deal with that.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 30, 2014, 10:29:24 AM
I suspect that this advice is not etiquette approved, but here goes.

Perhaps your sister should start asking C for the $$$$ back each and every time that she encounters her at a social event.  She could ask about a lump sum, or a payment plan.  This would be done quietly and out of the hearing of others so as not to disrupt the party and make others uncomfortable.  For example, she could whisper in C's ear when C tries to cozy up to her.

Maybe C would get tired of being nagged, and stop coming to events.

Or at the very least, she'd leave your sister alone.

I don't actually think it needs to be whispered. I'd just start bringing it up at a regular conversational volume. Maybe even initiate the conversation--walk up to her and say, "Oh, hi, C, and Other Person. Sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to ask--you owe me $2,780 from that project where you borrowed it two years ago. I've been waiting, can you give me some of it back now? I can write you out a receipt."

Then everybody will know she owes your sister money for years. That's actually an appropriate piece of info for people to know, and it's completely factual.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: SamiHami on April 30, 2014, 10:58:21 AM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.

OP, please don't do this. You have absolutely no idea of the relationship between B and his wife, if there even is one at all. For all you know they've separated and are still living in the same house, or they have an open relationship, or or or, and C is a legitimate partner. Assuming she's some kind of terrible adulterer when you have no idea of the full story is just not fair and to put her in this position of bigging up the (possibly ex) wife in front of her would be terrible.

Because B is married and his wife is known to the group, the only polite thing to do is assume that C is a platonic friend that the wife knows about and approves of. It would be very rude to assume that B is a cheater. The fact that B is married makes it impossible for C to be a legitimate partner. Asking a person about their spouse is not "bigging up" anything. It's a perfectly polite and friendly thing to do. The only ones who would have a problem with it would be the ones with a guilty conscience.

We cannot assume that they have an open marriage or any of the other scenarios you suggested. Until B makes information to the contrary public, people have to assume that everything is fine.

If they are just friends and no cheating is occurring, then no one will feel uncomfortable. If they are cheating, then they probably will-and should.

There's not a reason in the world why OP shouldn't ask after his wife, since she is his only legitimate partner.

Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: perpetua on April 30, 2014, 11:40:53 AM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.

OP, please don't do this. You have absolutely no idea of the relationship between B and his wife, if there even is one at all. For all you know they've separated and are still living in the same house, or they have an open relationship, or or or, and C is a legitimate partner. Assuming she's some kind of terrible adulterer when you have no idea of the full story is just not fair and to put her in this position of bigging up the (possibly ex) wife in front of her would be terrible.

Because B is married and his wife is known to the group, the only polite thing to do is assume that C is a platonic friend that the wife knows about and approves of. It would be very rude to assume that B is a cheater. The fact that B is married makes it impossible for C to be a legitimate partner. Asking a person about their spouse is not "bigging up" anything. It's a perfectly polite and friendly thing to do. The only ones who would have a problem with it would be the ones with a guilty conscience.

We cannot assume that they have an open marriage or any of the other scenarios you suggested. Until B makes information to the contrary public, people have to assume that everything is fine.

If they are just friends and no cheating is occurring, then no one will feel uncomfortable. If they are cheating, then they probably will-and should.

There's not a reason in the world why OP shouldn't ask after his wife, since she is his only legitimate partner.

I disagree. Equally, you can not assume that any of those scenarios are *not* the case. Because you just don't know.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: SamiHami on April 30, 2014, 02:24:16 PM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.

OP, please don't do this. You have absolutely no idea of the relationship between B and his wife, if there even is one at all. For all you know they've separated and are still living in the same house, or they have an open relationship, or or or, and C is a legitimate partner. Assuming she's some kind of terrible adulterer when you have no idea of the full story is just not fair and to put her in this position of bigging up the (possibly ex) wife in front of her would be terrible.

Because B is married and his wife is known to the group, the only polite thing to do is assume that C is a platonic friend that the wife knows about and approves of. It would be very rude to assume that B is a cheater. The fact that B is married makes it impossible for C to be a legitimate partner. Asking a person about their spouse is not "bigging up" anything. It's a perfectly polite and friendly thing to do. The only ones who would have a problem with it would be the ones with a guilty conscience.

We cannot assume that they have an open marriage or any of the other scenarios you suggested. Until B makes information to the contrary public, people have to assume that everything is fine.

If they are just friends and no cheating is occurring, then no one will feel uncomfortable. If they are cheating, then they probably will-and should.

There's not a reason in the world why OP shouldn't ask after his wife, since she is his only legitimate partner.

I disagree. Equally, you can not assume that any of those scenarios are *not* the case. Because you just don't know.

Yes, you can (and should) assume they are not the case. As far as anyone knows (from the info we are given) B and his wife are married and have not announced anything to the contrary. Therefore the only polite thing to do is to assume that their marriage is intact.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 30, 2014, 03:07:02 PM
I agree: unless you have information to the contrary, either C is a platonic friend who you don't happen to care for, or B's wife is okay with whatever other relationship B and C do have. By all means invite B's wife to things--not just as a vague dig at him always bringing C, but directly, if you actually want to see her. Get in touch with her and say that you'd like to see her, and you know she doesn't like these large group things, so how about brunch sometime? Or dinner at your house, just her and her husband. Or send a similar invitation to B, specifically for the two of them.

There are multiple things going on here: even if B's wife came to some of these events and was clearly friendly with C, you still wouldn't like C or want to spend time with her, for other reasons. So I'd ignore the question of whether B and C are also having a relationship you disapprove of, because even being sure they aren't wouldn't make you want C around.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: katycoo on April 30, 2014, 04:06:37 PM
You don't know for certain that they are having an affair...you just think they do based on observations of their behavior. Therefore, there is no reason at all for to refrain from saying, every time you see them, "B! How good to see you. Hey, how is your wife? We really need to get together sometime, just us couples and do something." or "I saw X at a store that made me think of your wife! She is just such a lovely woman. You really are lucky to have her! Why don't you ever bring her along to these get togethers! We all just love her so much and wish she would come out with us more!"

Quite frankly I think B and C are both horrible people. Cheaters, and those that willingly get involved with cheaters, are both beneath contempt.

OP, please don't do this. You have absolutely no idea of the relationship between B and his wife, if there even is one at all. For all you know they've separated and are still living in the same house, or they have an open relationship, or or or, and C is a legitimate partner. Assuming she's some kind of terrible adulterer when you have no idea of the full story is just not fair and to put her in this position of bigging up the (possibly ex) wife in front of her would be terrible.

Because B is married and his wife is known to the group, the only polite thing to do is assume that C is a platonic friend that the wife knows about and approves of. It would be very rude to assume that B is a cheater. The fact that B is married makes it impossible for C to be a legitimate partner. Asking a person about their spouse is not "bigging up" anything. It's a perfectly polite and friendly thing to do. The only ones who would have a problem with it would be the ones with a guilty conscience.

We cannot assume that they have an open marriage or any of the other scenarios you suggested. Until B makes information to the contrary public, people have to assume that everything is fine.

If they are just friends and no cheating is occurring, then no one will feel uncomfortable. If they are cheating, then they probably will-and should.

There's not a reason in the world why OP shouldn't ask after his wife, since she is his only legitimate partner.

I disagree. Equally, you can not assume that any of those scenarios are *not* the case. Because you just don't know.

Yes, you can (and should) assume they are not the case. As far as anyone knows (from the info we are given) B and his wife are married and have not announced anything to the contrary. Therefore the only polite thing to do is to assume that their marriage is intact.

I agree -and that also means assume he is NOT having an affair.

I wouldn't actively avoid mentioning the wife, but I certainly wouldn't do it intentionally and effusively to prove a point.  If they have separated it could be very awkward.

I would continue invite the wife, and  if necessary, take B aside and let him know that while you assume it was an accident, you were wuite put on the spot when he invited C of his own accord, and please not to do that in future.  He can then spell out any special circumstance he wishes to share.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Danika on April 30, 2014, 05:11:17 PM
Now, I'm wondering the following. Let's say that A does not like C. And he does not appreciate that B invited C, and put C on the "To:" line of the email instead of just asking A privately if he could add C to the guest list. What should A do? Should he email B privately and say "I did not invite C. Please, rescind the invitation. She is not welcome at my event"? And let's say that A suspects that others don't like C and that's why they might RSVP "no", how would A communicate that to everyone else? Should he email everyone privately and say "In the future, if you reply to all, please, ensure that C's name is not on the 'To:' line because she is not invited"? Or should he say nothing publicly and just let most of the people RSVP no and then he just has a tiny little gathering? Or should he cancel it outright, and then issue a new invitation (maybe for a different date to present the illusion that a date conflict is why he canceled the first gathering) to everyone except C? And except B?
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on April 30, 2014, 05:49:28 PM
You know, I had typed out a long list of suspicious observations about this couple which have lead to my conclusions about the status of B's relationships. Purple, they go way beyond what you have described. I also work in a male dominated industry and have male dominated hobbies, so I get that there isn't always gender segregation, and I don't immediately leap to the conclusion of affair just because mixed genders get together.  I have also been doubtful of the impartiality of other posters, so I get that too.

I already feel a bit uncomfortable about the amount of data that I have shared at this point, so I will summarize on the topic of the "affair" (if there is one). There is a surplus of suspicious observations of the couple. I'm declining to list them all, but when I started, I got up to 12 with more to come...I will concede that they have never kissed or touched in front of me (but neither has my sister and her bf - PDA isn't done in our group). I will also say that my sister's BF is B's close friend. When BF questioned him about what was going on with C, B's response was "I don't talk about that" If there was nothing going on, why not deny?


Anyway, putting the affair issue completely aside. I think it is at minimum fair to say that B and C are not an established or announced couple (married, engaged, living together). They are not a social unit. They are not afforded the privilege of assuming that each is included/has the right to be included in invitations to the other to social events.  B responding to invitations where only he is included  with "C and I" is not in any way sanctioned.

We would probably have tripped happily over and moved on from that faux pas if we liked C better. 


Now, I'm wondering the following. Let's say that A does not like C. And he does not appreciate that B invited C, and put C on the "To:" line of the email instead of just asking A privately if he could add C to the guest list. What should A do? Should he email B privately and say "I did not invite C. Please, rescind the invitation. She is not welcome at my event"? And let's say that A suspects that others don't like C and that's why they might RSVP "no", how would A communicate that to everyone else? Should he email everyone privately and say "In the future, if you reply to all, please, ensure that C's name is not on the 'To:' line because she is not invited"? Or should he say nothing publicly and just let most of the people RSVP no and then he just has a tiny little gathering? Or should he cancel it outright, and then issue a new invitation (maybe for a different date to present the illusion that a date conflict is why he canceled the first gathering) to everyone except C? And except B?
Actually, the second scenario happened just a couple of weeks ago. B responded affirmatively as "C and I" and added her to the To: line quite early. And...every subsequent RSVP was no. I am a little more interested in how you all think A should respond.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 30, 2014, 06:02:41 PM
Then I think A should do what Danika suggested: Respond privately to B and say, "I did not invite C, you will need to rescind the invitation, and you may not bring her. You may not invite people to an event I am hosting, you are not the host. If you want to determine the guest list, you will need to host your own event. I will understand if you decide not to attend yourself."

And then reply individually to all the people who said no, and say, "Bummer! I'll miss you. Oh, by the way, C will not be attending after all; I alerted B that since I hadn't invited her directly, he could not bring her along. I don't know if he's coming now either. Let me know if your plans change."

Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Danika on April 30, 2014, 06:47:53 PM
Then I think A should do what Danika suggested: Respond privately to B and say, "I did not invite C, you will need to rescind the invitation, and you may not bring her. You may not invite people to an event I am hosting, you are not the host. If you want to determine the guest list, you will need to host your own event. I will understand if you decide not to attend yourself."

And then reply individually to all the people who said no, and say, "Bummer! I'll miss you. Oh, by the way, C will not be attending after all; I alerted B that since I hadn't invited her directly, he could not bring her along. I don't know if he's coming now either. Let me know if your plans change."

I agree. I like Toots's suggestion.

I was thinking that were I in A's shoes, I would do exactly that. Or I might not invite B again either. I would tell B not to invite people who aren't on my guest list, and also add that since everyone RSVPed no, clearly, the event is off.

Then I might wait a couple of days and create a new event, same guest list minus B, and start again, perhaps on a different date so that it's not too obvious what transpired.

But comparing what I was thinking to what Toots suggested, I think maybe Toots' suggestion is a little less drama-inducing.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: sammycat on April 30, 2014, 07:07:31 PM
Then I think A should do what Danika suggested: Respond privately to B and say, "I did not invite C, you will need to rescind the invitation, and you may not bring her. You may not invite people to an event I am hosting, you are not the host. If you want to determine the guest list, you will need to host your own event. I will understand if you decide not to attend yourself."

And then reply individually to all the people who said no, and say, "Bummer! I'll miss you. Oh, by the way, C will not be attending after all; I alerted B that since I hadn't invited her directly, he could not bring her along. I don't know if he's coming now either. Let me know if your plans change."

I agree. I like Toots's suggestion.

I was thinking that were I in A's shoes, I would do exactly that. Or I might not invite B again either. I would tell B not to invite people who aren't on my guest list, and also add that since everyone RSVPed no, clearly, the event is off.

Then I might wait a couple of days and create a new event, same guest list minus B, and start again, perhaps on a different date so that it's not too obvious what transpired.

But comparing what I was thinking to what Toots suggested, I think maybe Toots' suggestion is a little less drama-inducing.

I agree with the bolded in both these posts, and think that either option (emailing people or creating a new event) is a good solution.

typo
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: sammycat on April 30, 2014, 07:09:28 PM
I suspect that this advice is not etiquette approved, but here goes.

Perhaps your sister should start asking C for the $$$$ back each and every time that she encounters her at a social event.  She could ask about a lump sum, or a payment plan.  This would be done quietly and out of the hearing of others so as not to disrupt the party and make others uncomfortable.  For example, she could whisper in C's ear when C tries to cozy up to her.

Maybe C would get tired of being nagged, and stop coming to events.

Or at the very least, she'd leave your sister alone.

I don't actually think it needs to be whispered. I'd just start bringing it up at a regular conversational volume. Maybe even initiate the conversation--walk up to her and say, "Oh, hi, C, and Other Person. Sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to ask--you owe me $2,780 from that project where you borrowed it two years ago. I've been waiting, can you give me some of it back now? I can write you out a receipt."

Then everybody will know she owes your sister money for years. That's actually an appropriate piece of info for people to know, and it's completely factual.

Yes, I support mentioning the money each and every time you see her, preferably with other people around. It might just save someone else from being conned as the sister was.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on April 30, 2014, 08:14:13 PM
Actually, I think maybe -yours- is less drama inducing.

I mean if only those 2 people are coming, it's sensible to call it off. And then you pick a different night, and you just don't ever invite B again.

Honestly, that kind of error--inviting someone to someone else's party--is a major etiquette sin, and it's worthy of being eliminated from future guest lists.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Mergatroyd on April 30, 2014, 09:57:59 PM
I've no idea what OP should do, but I am wondering- Would it be ok if after leaving early or declining the RSVP, to say something along the lines of "I would have enjoyed that but C was going and I'm just not comfortable around her" if questioned by the host? (I am envisioning an excuse of leaving early because of not feeling well and then the next day the host inquires as to your health etc?) I do understand not wanting to make waves while the gathering is in session, but surely a longtime member of the groups comfort would be held more important than the plus 1 of a married to another one male)?
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: purple on April 30, 2014, 11:10:59 PM
I've no idea what OP should do, but I am wondering- Would it be ok if after leaving early or declining the RSVP, to say something along the lines of "I would have enjoyed that but C was going and I'm just not comfortable around her" if questioned by the host? (I am envisioning an excuse of leaving early because of not feeling well and then the next day the host inquires as to your health etc?) I do understand not wanting to make waves while the gathering is in session, but surely a longtime member of the groups comfort would be held more important than the plus 1 of a married to another one male)?

I think that might be a know-your-audience thing.  I'm trying to imagine being in that situation and I don't know what I'd do.  Then, someone who I might be close enough to be honest about the day after like that would surely know me well enough to know that C was the reason and probably wouldn't have believed my illness excuse anyway.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on May 01, 2014, 01:02:58 AM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years. 
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: perpetua on May 01, 2014, 01:22:27 AM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years.

I didn't catch that but you're absolutely right. Whole new spin. OP, if you've only met the wife once in four years, how do you know they didn't separate a long time ago?

OP also states how it's 'icky' because he's still married. That's a personal judgement. Many people start seeing other people while separated and long before a divorce is final because these things take a long time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think judgements are being made about peoples' relationship status that shouldn't be being made (terrible English, it's early here!) and I stand by my original statement that it would be terribly rude to big up the wife in front of C, *especially* considering that the OP doesn't even know her.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: wolfie on May 01, 2014, 09:03:43 AM
Now, I'm wondering the following. Let's say that A does not like C. And he does not appreciate that B invited C, and put C on the "To:" line of the email instead of just asking A privately if he could add C to the guest list. What should A do? Should he email B privately and say "I did not invite C. Please, rescind the invitation. She is not welcome at my event"? And let's say that A suspects that others don't like C and that's why they might RSVP "no", how would A communicate that to everyone else? Should he email everyone privately and say "In the future, if you reply to all, please, ensure that C's name is not on the 'To:' line because she is not invited"? Or should he say nothing publicly and just let most of the people RSVP no and then he just has a tiny little gathering? Or should he cancel it outright, and then issue a new invitation (maybe for a different date to present the illusion that a date conflict is why he canceled the first gathering) to everyone except C? And except B?

That is such a hard question. Honestly all of those are fine but some are harder to pull off. For example I could never do the first - tell B that I didn't invite C and to rescind the offer unless I had a concrete reason to do so. So if I was hosting something that could only accommodate say 6 people then I could say "sorry but i only have 5 slots and they are all taken so you can't bring C" if I don't have a reason to point to then I just don't have the spine to say "she can't come". So I would suck it up and deal with it and then not invite B again.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on May 01, 2014, 11:26:38 AM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years.

I didn't catch that but you're absolutely right. Whole new spin. OP, if you've only met the wife once in four years, how do you know they didn't separate a long time ago?

OP also states how it's 'icky' because he's still married. That's a personal judgement. Many people start seeing other people while separated and long before a divorce is final because these things take a long time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think judgements are being made about peoples' relationship status that shouldn't be being made (terrible English, it's early here!) and I stand by my original statement that it would be terribly rude to big up the wife in front of C, *especially* considering that the OP doesn't even know her.

Yes, sorry, I had already discarded any idea of bringing up the wife, or inviting her for exactly the reasons stated.

As to being judgey: If they are separated, they should...separate. Not live in the same house with one another. Not be underhanded and shady with your new relationship. <NEW INFO> Not suddenly start to wear your wedding ring because people were "getting the wrong idea". If they are separated, why not tell your friends who are observing "bad" behavior and clear it all up? Honestly, we don't hold divorce against our friends (Actually, now that I think about it, one of the guys in the group did separate and eventually divorce, and started seeing someone who was welcomed into the group before it was all finalized). If that's what's going on, he should just say, "Wife and I are separated, and I'm seeing C now." As I said before, it's the one foot in, one foot out that I find the most distasteful.

Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: perpetua on May 01, 2014, 11:52:38 AM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years.

I didn't catch that but you're absolutely right. Whole new spin. OP, if you've only met the wife once in four years, how do you know they didn't separate a long time ago?

OP also states how it's 'icky' because he's still married. That's a personal judgement. Many people start seeing other people while separated and long before a divorce is final because these things take a long time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think judgements are being made about peoples' relationship status that shouldn't be being made (terrible English, it's early here!) and I stand by my original statement that it would be terribly rude to big up the wife in front of C, *especially* considering that the OP doesn't even know her.

Yes, sorry, I had already discarded any idea of bringing up the wife, or inviting her for exactly the reasons stated.

As to being judgey: If they are separated, they should...separate. Not live in the same house with one another. Not be underhanded and shady with your new relationship. <NEW INFO> Not suddenly start to wear your wedding ring because people were "getting the wrong idea". If they are separated, why not tell your friends who are observing "bad" behavior and clear it all up? Honestly, we don't hold divorce against our friends (Actually, now that I think about it, one of the guys in the group did separate and eventually divorce, and started seeing someone who was welcomed into the group before it was all finalized). If that's what's going on, he should just say, "Wife and I are separated, and I'm seeing C now." As I said before, it's the one foot in, one foot out that I find the most distasteful.

Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.

Slight sideline, but there are all kinds of reasons why a couple might separate and still continue to live together. You (you general) don't get to make that call or to judge whether it's distasteful or not when you don't know a couple's circumstances. I had to do it with an ex partner because he was to be the one to move out but he a) had to wait until he found somewhere suitable to rent that he could afford and b) had to save up the money to be able to do it. It was six months before he was able to move out.

All conjecture though, since we don't know.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Arila on May 01, 2014, 12:03:47 PM
Slight sideline, but there are all kinds of reasons why a couple might separate and still continue to live together. You (you general) don't get to make that call or to judge whether it's distasteful or not when you don't know a couple's circumstances. I had to do it with an ex partner because he was to be the one to move out but he a) had to wait until he found somewhere suitable to rent that he could afford and b) had to save up the money to be able to do it. It was six months before he was able to move out.

All conjecture though, since we don't know.

Sure, I have heard of that. I could go back and forth all day, point, counter point. I have thought of this and several other things. I used to like B. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and under the weight of several observations, come to an unfavorable conclusion. It still comes down to the fact that if he's separated, he's pretty much lied to us, and if he's together with his wife, he's treating her abominably. So to me, separated or not he doesn't look good.  Therefore, the issue of whether or not they are separated is moot.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Outdoor Girl on May 01, 2014, 12:08:01 PM
Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.

I completely agree with this part.

I think the social group as a whole should give B one chance to show up alone (or with his wife), after being told that C is not included in the invitation.  But if he brings C, even after being informed she is not invited?  No more invitations for B.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Vall on May 01, 2014, 01:05:25 PM
Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.

I completely agree with this part.

I think the social group as a whole should give B one chance to show up alone (or with his wife), after being told that C is not included in the invitation.  But if he brings C, even after being informed she is not invited?  No more invitations for B.
I agree that B and C are not a social unit but the subject of joint invitations and whether a host allows C to be added on is up to the person hosting.  Personally, I wouldn't invite B anymore but I can only dictate that when I am issuing the invitations.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Outdoor Girl on May 01, 2014, 01:17:11 PM
I was basing my opinion on the fact that after B indicated in a response to the whole group that he would be bring C, the rest of the group declined the invite.  So it sounds like the entire group would prefer that C not be included.  But yes, it would be up to each individual host to either invite B and tell him not to bring C or to not invite B at all.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: lowspark on May 01, 2014, 02:03:09 PM
Now, I'm wondering the following. Let's say that A does not like C. And he does not appreciate that B invited C, and put C on the "To:" line of the email instead of just asking A privately if he could add C to the guest list. What should A do? Should he email B privately and say "I did not invite C. Please, rescind the invitation. She is not welcome at my event"? And let's say that A suspects that others don't like C and that's why they might RSVP "no", how would A communicate that to everyone else? Should he email everyone privately and say "In the future, if you reply to all, please, ensure that C's name is not on the 'To:' line because she is not invited"? Or should he say nothing publicly and just let most of the people RSVP no and then he just has a tiny little gathering? Or should he cancel it outright, and then issue a new invitation (maybe for a different date to present the illusion that a date conflict is why he canceled the first gathering) to everyone except C? And except B?
Actually, the second scenario happened just a couple of weeks ago. B responded affirmatively as "C and I" and added her to the To: line quite early. And...every subsequent RSVP was no. I am a little more interested in how you all think A should respond.

So... two questions. Do you have any way of knowing (or finding out) if the Nos were due to C's potential attendance? And by the same token, does A know or suspect that?

I wouldn't have any problem telling B that it's not ok to invite additional people to my house/event without checking with me first. Especially now that the party has been canceled (presumably) A can just tell B, "for future reference, please don't invite C or anyone else without checking with me first."

However, since apparently B is making a habit of this, it's safe to assume that this won't go over well and that he'll turn it around to somehow insisting that C should be invited in the first place.

If everyone really is declining because of C, chances are that they will eventually stop inviting B as well, which, at this point, may be the only way to deal with the situation.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: MariaE on May 01, 2014, 03:15:10 PM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years.

I didn't catch that but you're absolutely right. Whole new spin. OP, if you've only met the wife once in four years, how do you know they didn't separate a long time ago?

OP also states how it's 'icky' because he's still married. That's a personal judgement. Many people start seeing other people while separated and long before a divorce is final because these things take a long time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think judgements are being made about peoples' relationship status that shouldn't be being made (terrible English, it's early here!) and I stand by my original statement that it would be terribly rude to big up the wife in front of C, *especially* considering that the OP doesn't even know her.

Yes, sorry, I had already discarded any idea of bringing up the wife, or inviting her for exactly the reasons stated.

As to being judgey: If they are separated, they should...separate. Not live in the same house with one another. Not be underhanded and shady with your new relationship. <NEW INFO> Not suddenly start to wear your wedding ring because people were "getting the wrong idea". If they are separated, why not tell your friends who are observing "bad" behavior and clear it all up? Honestly, we don't hold divorce against our friends (Actually, now that I think about it, one of the guys in the group did separate and eventually divorce, and started seeing someone who was welcomed into the group before it was all finalized). If that's what's going on, he should just say, "Wife and I are separated, and I'm seeing C now." As I said before, it's the one foot in, one foot out that I find the most distasteful.

Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.

Slight sideline, but there are all kinds of reasons why a couple might separate and still continue to live together. You (you general) don't get to make that call or to judge whether it's distasteful or not when you don't know a couple's circumstances. I had to do it with an ex partner because he was to be the one to move out but he a) had to wait until he found somewhere suitable to rent that he could afford and b) had to save up the money to be able to do it. It was six months before he was able to move out.

All conjecture though, since we don't know.

But presumably during that time people knew that you were separated, but were just living together for practical reasons? My BIL and ex-SIL did that too, but everybody knew that they were no longer an item.

From the OP's latest update it does sound like B "doth protest too hard". I'd find his behaviour 'icky' as well.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Another Sarah on May 02, 2014, 04:58:37 AM
I think A and anyone else who is in this position needs to say to B now - "I didn't invite C to the gathering last week. I didn't invite C for a reason. In future, don't invite C or anyone extra without asking me." I wouldn't wait until he does it again, because he's going to do it again and will keep doing it until someone tells him otherwise.

Depending on how snarky I was feeling, I might add "The only person you get to accept invites for is your wife." because that is the etiquette rule, but under the current circumstances that's taking a side, which will muddy the issue.

If B is someone you're happy to have at your parties, or if he was and the reason he's not is because his behaviour has changed with the inviting of C, I'd give him an opportunity to put it right. If he doesn't take it, that is when I'd stop inviting him.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: perpetua on May 02, 2014, 05:06:06 AM
It would be disingenuous -- if not downright catty -- to inquire about B's wife in front of C, or to start inviting the wife out socially.  O.P. stated that she had only met the wife once in four years.

I didn't catch that but you're absolutely right. Whole new spin. OP, if you've only met the wife once in four years, how do you know they didn't separate a long time ago?

OP also states how it's 'icky' because he's still married. That's a personal judgement. Many people start seeing other people while separated and long before a divorce is final because these things take a long time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think judgements are being made about peoples' relationship status that shouldn't be being made (terrible English, it's early here!) and I stand by my original statement that it would be terribly rude to big up the wife in front of C, *especially* considering that the OP doesn't even know her.

Yes, sorry, I had already discarded any idea of bringing up the wife, or inviting her for exactly the reasons stated.

As to being judgey: If they are separated, they should...separate. Not live in the same house with one another. Not be underhanded and shady with your new relationship. <NEW INFO> Not suddenly start to wear your wedding ring because people were "getting the wrong idea". If they are separated, why not tell your friends who are observing "bad" behavior and clear it all up? Honestly, we don't hold divorce against our friends (Actually, now that I think about it, one of the guys in the group did separate and eventually divorce, and started seeing someone who was welcomed into the group before it was all finalized). If that's what's going on, he should just say, "Wife and I are separated, and I'm seeing C now." As I said before, it's the one foot in, one foot out that I find the most distasteful.

Regardless of their circumstances, real or imagined, without a clear declaration of his attachment, B and C are not a social unit and are not to be afforded the privileges that come with that, such as joint invitations.

Slight sideline, but there are all kinds of reasons why a couple might separate and still continue to live together. You (you general) don't get to make that call or to judge whether it's distasteful or not when you don't know a couple's circumstances. I had to do it with an ex partner because he was to be the one to move out but he a) had to wait until he found somewhere suitable to rent that he could afford and b) had to save up the money to be able to do it. It was six months before he was able to move out.

All conjecture though, since we don't know.

But presumably during that time people knew that you were separated, but were just living together for practical reasons? My BIL and ex-SIL did that too, but everybody knew that they were no longer an item.

From the OP's latest update it does sound like B "doth protest too hard". I'd find his behaviour 'icky' as well.

Sure, although it was a long time ago now and I can't remember the details of who was told what. I was countering the OP's blanket assertion that "If they are separated, they should...separate. Not live in the same house with one another." That's not a judgement call anyone else but the people involved get to make; there are all kinds of reasons a couple may choose to do that - from financial reasons to co-parenting reasons to perhaps that they enjoy each other's company as housemates -  and none of them are anyone else's business, and nobody else has the right to say that it's wrong.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TootsNYC on May 02, 2014, 05:34:56 AM
I'm not sure that's totally fair to the OP, to take her words that literally.

She was using the short form.

So, "they should...separate," I took to mean, they should indicate this to the outside world.
And "...not live in the same house," I took to mean, they should not leave all the standard markers of married couples completely untouched. And the idea is that they would declare their separation somehow.
    Given that the wife didn't attend these things even when C was not in the picture, that's not really enough of an indicator to the outside world.

Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Alias on May 02, 2014, 07:37:23 AM
Now, I'm wondering the following. Let's say that A does not like C. And he does not appreciate that B invited C, and put C on the "To:" line of the email instead of just asking A privately if he could add C to the guest list. What should A do? Should he email B privately and say "I did not invite C. Please, rescind the invitation. She is not welcome at my event"? And let's say that A suspects that others don't like C and that's why they might RSVP "no", how would A communicate that to everyone else? Should he email everyone privately and say "In the future, if you reply to all, please, ensure that C's name is not on the 'To:' line because she is not invited"? Or should he say nothing publicly and just let most of the people RSVP no and then he just has a tiny little gathering? Or should he cancel it outright, and then issue a new invitation (maybe for a different date to present the illusion that a date conflict is why he canceled the first gathering) to everyone except C? And except B?
Actually, the second scenario happened just a couple of weeks ago. B responded affirmatively as "C and I" and added her to the To: line quite early. And...every subsequent RSVP was no. I am a little more interested in how you all think A should respond.

If I were A in this situation, I'd 'reschedule'. 'It seems like that date doesn't suit very well, so how about <date a week later>.  Also I'd appreciate if people would check with me before inviting anyone else to the gathering as I'm not sure if I have enough space' or any other convenient excuse that gives the hint that inviting C without asking is not polite.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Vall on May 02, 2014, 09:59:11 AM
The problem that I see with using the reason of not having enough space is that a person like B wouldn't think that it applied to him.  He'd probably reason, "Well, I'm not adding anyone.  I'm substituting one person for another".

Although I'd hate to have to do it, I would need to be direct with him.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Mergatroyd on May 02, 2014, 10:33:40 AM
The problem that I see with using the reason of not having enough space is that a person like B wouldn't think that it applied to him.  He'd probably reason, "Well, I'm not adding anyone.  I'm substituting one person for another".

Although I'd hate to have to do it, I would need to be direct with him.

Actually, because his wife does not, and never (or rarely) has attended these gatherings, he would be some kind of special to not understand that.  He's never brought a +1 previous to this, so now bringing one IS taking up an extra spot. This group knows his wife is not partial to the reason for the gathering, so they would not expect her (or anyone to replace her) to show up. If she (the wife) did in fact show up, obviously they would find another chair and make best efforts to fit her in or engage her on the sidelines, because she IS his wife, but just dragging in Josephine Blow without her being expressly invited (and by now if she was wanted, she would be on the original email list) is bad form.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on May 02, 2014, 10:41:40 AM
This is reminding me of the posts a few months back about Ask Culture and Guess Culture. I'm most decidedly an Ask so by now I would probably have said to B 'Was there some reason you added C to my guest list? I hadn't invited her.'

I can see both sides of the argument regarding B's wife and who might be living where and with whom and why, and to be honest, if they were separated but not yet divorced and B was entering into a relation.ship with C, how I felt about it would probably depend on whether or not I knew Mrs B. I do think, though, that if B and C want to be treated as a couple, they have to ensure that it is known that they are a couple. It isn't my responsibility to ask. If I know that B is single, I may invite him 'and guest' but I'm not obliged to. If I know that he is in a relation.ship with C, then my choices are to invite them both or neither, which I'll do depending on whether my liking for him outweighs my dislike of her. If I don't know and he doesn't tell me. I'm not inviting her and he doesn't get to bring her.

Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TurtleDove on May 02, 2014, 11:48:14 AM
If C is disliked only for the money issue, I would be clear with B about that. If it is also because B is married to A and not C, I find B to be more despicable than C - B is the one who is 1) breaking vows (if that is what is happening), and 2) inviting someone who is not invited.

To me, this is about B and not C, unless the sole reason is the money. Either way, I wouldn't invite either of them.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: Danika on May 02, 2014, 12:46:46 PM
Certainly, I wouldn't want to condone adultery, if that's what's going on here, so I would not be ok supporting that and inviting C places as if B and C were a social unit.

But in this specific case, the marriage and social unit issue is a red herring. If B invited anyone who was not in his social unit, let's say he invited his brother, without asking the host, then it's rude. And it's especially uncomfortable if B has invited someone whose company no one else enjoys.

That's why, as A, I would focus on that. I like having fun friends. But if those fun friends start inviting others to my parties without my permission, I'm going to have an issue with it and tell them that it's not acceptable. Or at the very least, I won't invite them again.

At my DS's last birthday party, which was catered, and we paid per head, I had invited my friend, her DH and their two sons. She also brought her mother with her and said "I hope it's ok. She's going to help me keep an eye on my sons during the party." On the spot, in front of others, in the middle of the restaurant, I said "ok." I like her mother. I enjoyed talking to her. But she had not been on the invitation list. Other adults didn't need to bring additional guests to keep an eye on their small children. This is the second time this friend has taken liberties like this (last time, she didn't invite any extra guests, but she tried to dictate what events would take place at the party) and so while I really enjoy her company, I don't think I'll be inviting her to birthday parties in the future. We might just meet up with her and her DH at a restaurant and hang out with them, but I don't want to host them anymore when there are other guests because other guests don't behave this way and I feel imposed upon and uncomfortable.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: lowspark on May 05, 2014, 08:10:27 AM
The problem that I see with using the reason of not having enough space is that a person like B wouldn't think that it applied to him.  He'd probably reason, "Well, I'm not adding anyone.  I'm substituting one person for another".

Although I'd hate to have to do it, I would need to be direct with him.

I'm not one to make up excuses and has been discussed here many times, those excuses do tend to backfire as the one to whom they are being made finds ways to argue against them so I agree with you, Vail.

What I've found works best for me is to be direct. Say what you mean. It's not always easy and the other person doesn't always take it well, but it is still the best route because it's done. No need to change your story later or come up with additional excuses because the first one didn't work. And if the other person doesn't react well, it's unfortunate, but at least everyone knows where everyone else stands.
Title: Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
Post by: TurtleDove on May 05, 2014, 08:35:30 AM
The problem that I see with using the reason of not having enough space is that a person like B wouldn't think that it applied to him.  He'd probably reason, "Well, I'm not adding anyone.  I'm substituting one person for another".

Although I'd hate to have to do it, I would need to be direct with him.

I'm not one to make up excuses and has been discussed here many times, those excuses do tend to backfire as the one to whom they are being made finds ways to argue against them so I agree with you, Vail.

What I've found works best for me is to be direct. Say what you mean. It's not always easy and the other person doesn't always take it well, but it is still the best route because it's done. No need to change your story later or come up with additional excuses because the first one didn't work. And if the other person doesn't react well, it's unfortunate, but at least everyone knows where everyone else stands.

I agree with this.  Circumstances matter, but I have found that some people I can be direct with that I disagree with aspect A, B or C in their life but we can remain friends, with the caveat that I don't want to be a part of A, B or C.  Others become offended that I disagree/disapprove of A, B or C and then we learn that we are better off not being close.  In either case, I think being direct is a win.  I can be friends with people I don't have 100% agreement with.