Author Topic: Inviting an ex to the wedding...  (Read 11739 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Dr_Manners

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 122
Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« on: February 03, 2012, 09:23:14 PM »
Hello all.  I am writing this on behalf of my significant other/partner/DH...not sure which term to use.  He went out of town this weekend, back to his hometown about 3 hours away, to visit some family and friends for a three-day weekend.

While in town today, he and a good friend of his went to lunch.  At lunch, they ran in to DH's ex-boyfriend, who I will call Bill. 

[BG]
DH and Bill dated for about three years, with Bill ending things about a year before DH and I met.  Though DH was devastated at the time, he understands why it happened.  Bill had never dated a man before he dated DH, and ended things when he realized that he could not love a man the same way he loves a woman.  So, the relationship ended, DH and I met and got together (I think Bill lost out, personally), and Bill went on to meet a young lady I will call Amanda.  Bill did contact DH after meeting Amanda to let him know and to patch things up.  Because of that phone call, Bill and DH have maintained a friendly, but not close, relationship.
  [/BG]

Anyway, waiting for a table outside the restaurant at lunch today DH sees Bill out with his mother, who DH knows from having been Bill's significant other for three years.  DH approached Bill, said hello, and spent a few minutes catching up and exchanging pleasantries.

That is when the following conversation (related to me via DH) occurred.

Bill: Did you hear?  Amanda and I got married last month!
DH: No, I didn't know!  Congratulations!
*Bill and DH exchange a friendly hug over the good news.  At which point, Bill's Mother grabs Bill's arm and pulls him off of DH, glaring at the two of them.
Bill: Well, I'll let you go, it was good to see you again.  Congratulations again, and give my best to Amanda.

DH and Friend wander off to the other side of the patio, and begin a conversation.  A couple minutes go by, and Bill's Mother approaches DH.

Mother: You know, you and Bill aren't together anymore.  Leave my son alone!  He's not a part of your lifestyle anymore. 

She then wondered off.

DH was shocked, and more than a little confused.  Mother and DH had always had a friendly relationship when DH and Bill were together, so he couldn't figure out where Mother's anger and attitude was coming from.  But, he didn't say anything to her, and just went back to his conversation with his, now very confused, friend.

About three hours later, DH received a phone call on his cell from Bill.  Bill apologized for Mother's reaction, and DH accepted the apology.  All would have been ended here, but Bill volunteered that he wanted to invite DH to he and Amanda's wedding, but Mother refused to come if DH was invited.  She said it was inappropriate and she would not attend the wedding of her son if he invited his ex-boyfriend.

While DH didn't expect an invitation, nor would he have likely gone if he was invited, he was a bit upset that Mother was so angry about the situation.  She had always been nice to him and treated him like family when he was dating Bill, so this attitude was seemingly out of the blue.  DH is also upset about the invitation.  He isn't upset that he wasn't invited, but he is upset about the way in which his invitation was blocked.  Personally, I can see where he is coming from.

So, eHellions, what are your thoughts?  Is DH overreacting here?  Or, do you think he is okay being upset about what happened with his non-existent wedding invitation?  I think his anger/frustration is justified.  if Amanda, Bill's wife, didn't like DH or was uncomfortable with him, I would understand Mother barring DH from being invited.  However, Amanda (from what DH has told me) knows full well that her now-husband dated a man before her, and she is okay with it.  She has, apparently, met DH before and has a positive opinion of him. 

I'm not sure what to tell him here.  Any advice/reactions would be appreciated.

JennJenn68

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 715
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 09:32:28 PM »

I'm sensing a woman who had to fight really hard to accept the fact that her son preferred someone of the same gender, and is deathly afraid that he will go back to that "undesired" lifestyle if given even a miniscule chance.  To me, this screams "wait".  See what happens with the actual wedding invitations.  Is it really worth it to start worrying about the possible drama?  In the end, the wedding is about Bill and Amanda, not about Bill's mother and your DH.  Chalk it up to a woman who has been doing the best that she can but may be terrified that your DH is a threat to what she perceives as a finally "stable" union.  Yes, perhaps she is in the wrong, but who will it help to make an issue of it?  Not Bill, not Amanda, and probably not your DH.  To my observation, etiquette would demand that you wait and see how this continues to unfold.  Your DH sounds mature enough to be able to deal with this.

Good luck, and take lots of deep breaths.  (Which seems to me the most common part of etiquette!)

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 09:41:30 PM »
I think your Dh is justifiably upset. Regardless of the cause a woman that he thought was fond of him for a period of years now appears to have been faking it all the time, or at the very least to have ditched any nice feelings she had now that there is a 'better' option. That would be hurtful to anyone.

As to what to do, since it seems he rarely sees these people now, I don't think there is anything really to do. The mother would be getting the 'icy treatment' from me at any future interactions however. That is, the merest nod or a cold, cold "Bill's mother" to acknowledge her presence and nothing beyond that.

As to whether Bill is happy with his mother's level of 'support' for his life - well, that's a matter between he and his mother, but personally this kind of behaviour would seriously damage my relationship with a parent.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9961
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 10:31:57 PM »
I'd be bothered that someone I'd liked who had apparently liked me was now being very hostile. I think the best thing he can do is write her off- she was either faking her acceptance or now, that Bill is back on the straight and narrow (pun intended) she wants to make darn sure he stays there. If he meets her again, be coolly polite and move away at the first opportunity. She's Bill's problem, not DH's.

 
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

blue2000

  • It is never too late to be what you might have been
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6862
  • Two kitties - No waiting. And no sleeping either.
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 10:59:40 PM »

I'm sensing a woman who had to fight really hard to accept the fact that her son preferred someone of the same gender, and is deathly afraid that he will go back to that "undesired" lifestyle if given even a miniscule chance.

I have to agree with this. Bill's mother may like your DH well enough as a person, but be unable to deal with him as an ex-boyfriend.

I'm not sure I agree with Bill being spineless about this, but if your DH would not have gone to the wedding anyway, Bill may have thought DH wouldn't mind. Either way, your DH is justified in being upset and giving Bill's mother the cut direct from now on.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Jess13

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 524
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 11:24:08 PM »

I'm sensing a woman who had to fight really hard to accept the fact that her son preferred someone of the same gender, and is deathly afraid that he will go back to that "undesired" lifestyle if given even a miniscule chance.  To me, this screams "wait".  See what happens with the actual wedding invitations.  Is it really worth it to start worrying about the possible drama?  In the end, the wedding is about Bill and Amanda, not about Bill's mother and your DH.  Chalk it up to a woman who has been doing the best that she can but may be terrified that your DH is a threat to what she perceives as a finally "stable" union.  Yes, perhaps she is in the wrong, but who will it help to make an issue of it?  Not Bill, not Amanda, and probably not your DH.  To my observation, etiquette would demand that you wait and see how this continues to unfold.  Your DH sounds mature enough to be able to deal with this.

Good luck, and take lots of deep breaths.  (Which seems to me the most common part of etiquette!)

I don't think you read the entirety of the post, the wedding took place in the past as when the OP's DH saw the ex partner, he was announcing that he and Amanda had gotten married last month. So there's no waiting to be done, the decision was made and done and over with.

OP, if your DH and Bill were friends, I too would be upset at not being invited. I do agree with what JennJenn68 said about Mother having a hard time wrapping her brain around her son being with another man, and when he married a woman didn't want to "expose" him to such things, but honestly, it's not like you can catch being gay!
 

still in va

  • used to be gjcva1
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3517
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 11:32:17 PM »
i think the non-tendered wedding invitation, when DH wouldn't have gone if he had received it, is a bit of a red herring.

DH is upset at the actions of Bill's mother.  he has a right to feel upset at that.  but since Bill and DH are now ex's, Bill is married to Amanda, and DH is married to you, and DH rarely sees Bill OR his mother, i think he needs to let it go. 

BellyBionic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 211
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 01:07:16 AM »
The mother is obviously entirely out of line.  It sounds like she was probably faking being okay with the relationship when they were together, probably because she didn't want her son to cut off contact with her.  Now that he's married to a woman, she's desperate to pretend that his past relationship never happened.

It would have been better for Bill to just apologize for his mother and leave it at that.  DH probably made some assumptions about why he wasn't invited to the wedding, and those assumptions were probably far easier for him to deal with than being told that a woman he had been fond of hates him now and refused to attend if he was invited.  It would have been better to leave well enough alone.  Since that ship has sailed, the best option now is probably to let it go, and maintain a relationship with Bill and Amanda only if that's what DH wants to do.

I can sympathise.  When I married my wife, I did invite one of my ex-boyfriends who I was still friendly with.  He'd even volunteered to be our photographer.  A week before the wedding, he told me that he was going to have to back out because his wife had made other plans for them that day for the express purpose of ensuring that they would have to miss our wedding, because she didn't want to "have to deal with gay people."  I really could have done without the specifics.

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 01:32:23 AM »
The mother is obviously entirely out of line.  It sounds like she was probably faking being okay with the relationship when they were together, probably because she didn't want her son to cut off contact with her.  Now that he's married to a woman, she's desperate to pretend that his past relationship never happened.

It would have been better for Bill to just apologize for his mother and leave it at that.  DH probably made some assumptions about why he wasn't invited to the wedding, and those assumptions were probably far easier for him to deal with than being told that a woman he had been fond of hates him now and refused to attend if he was invited.  It would have been better to leave well enough alone.  Since that ship has sailed, the best option now is probably to let it go, and maintain a relationship with Bill and Amanda only if that's what DH wants to do.

I can sympathise.  When I married my wife, I did invite one of my ex-boyfriends who I was still friendly with.  He'd even volunteered to be our photographer. A week before the wedding, he told me that he was going to have to back out because his wife had made other plans for them that day for the express purpose of ensuring that they would have to miss our wedding, because she didn't want to "have to deal with gay people."  I really could have done without the specifics.

"Well, that's great, because I don't like to deal with bigots or spineless wimps who back out of an obligation to a friend to pander to bigots"

No?
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

MerryCat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1850
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 01:32:39 AM »
I'd be upset too, if I were your DH. To find out that someone you once thought you were close to has actually been harboring secret animosity towards you - it's two-faced and painful. I think that the ex was out of line too. It was fine to call and apologize. But there was no reason to mention why your DH wasn't invited - there's nothing that can be done about it, and will only make your DH feel bad. Too bad he's not a member of eHell, or he'd stop to ask himself "It it both necessary and helpful?"

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7041
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 02:36:26 AM »
I'd be upset too, if I were your DH. To find out that someone you once thought you were close to has actually been harboring secret animosity towards you - it's two-faced and painful. I think that the ex was out of line too. It was fine to call and apologize. But there was no reason to mention why your DH wasn't invited - there's nothing that can be done about it, and will only make your DH feel bad. Too bad he's not a member of eHell, or he'd stop to ask himself "It it both necessary and helpful?"

I agree , but I'd give Bill a break on this.  This was his mother , who basically said " I was hoping everyday you were not gay. Even though I was pretending to accept you I really didn't"  IT hurt  OP's DH to hear that form a woman he knew for 3 years , I imagine it hurt her son a great deal more.  Your DH card about Bill for three year , if Bill called to say " I just found out my mother was pretending to accept me as a bisexual and she is really homophobic and quiet vicious about it" I'm guessing your DH would have consoled him.  I would treat this the same under duress he blurted out something stupid, forgive and think of it as an act of kindness.

CakeEater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2816
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2012, 04:30:17 AM »
I don't think any of this is about your DH at all. It's about Bill and his mother and their relationship. The fact that she and your DH had a good relationship at the time, shows, I think, that she was trying hard to accept an aspect of her son's life that she obviously didn't like.

I suspect that she did genuinely like your DH, and would still, if not for the situation. As a poster said above, she's apparently thrilled with his new lifestyle, and terrified that he'll 'relapse'.

That doesn't excuse her behaviour, but I don't think your DH should feel like this is a personal slight against him.


Cosmasia

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 297
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 04:50:19 AM »
Wow I'm sorry she's being like that. If I was your DH I'd be extremely hurt and angered that someone who once (pretended to?) liked me really just disliked me and was homophobic on top of that.

Her horrible attitude is the problem of your DH's ex. I think DH should refrain from ever having any contact with ex's mother again. If he meets her then be icy but polite and excuse himself as quickly he can. Possibly find some way to ignore whatever she says without being too rude, but then again I have to admit I don't really care if I personally am rude to someone who is being homophobic :-\ but I know that's against etiquette probably. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 04:51:56 AM by Cosmasia »
Da hun kom tilbage, havde hun hundrede ting at fortælle.

DuBois

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2012, 06:00:33 AM »

I have to wonder if Bill's mother pressured him out of his homosexuality. The whole scenario just seems odd to me. Bill certainly seems a bit spineless, but I can't blame him for not inviting your DH. I just hope that he doesn't wake up after a few years married to Amanda, and say 'I'm gay after all'. That would cause heartache all around.

Dr_Manners

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 122
Re: Inviting an ex to the wedding...
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 11:02:53 AM »
The mother is obviously entirely out of line.  It sounds like she was probably faking being okay with the relationship when they were together, probably because she didn't want her son to cut off contact with her.  Now that he's married to a woman, she's desperate to pretend that his past relationship never happened.
That's my assumption too.  It sounded to me like Mother's reaction to Bill and DH being together was "Well, if I have to deal with it, I will."  Now that Bill is married to a woman, she feels like she is out of a situation she thought was a bad one.

It would have been better for Bill to just apologize for his mother and leave it at that.  DH probably made some assumptions about why he wasn't invited to the wedding, and those assumptions were probably far easier for him to deal with than being told that a woman he had been fond of hates him now and refused to attend if he was invited.  It would have been better to leave well enough alone.  Since that ship has sailed, the best option now is probably to let it go, and maintain a relationship with Bill and Amanda only if that's what DH wants to do.
Exactly.  I was a bit surprised when DH told me that Bill volunteered the reason for not sending an invitation.  Perhaps Bill thought it would clear the air, but all it did was make DH upset about, what he feels, was a fake friendship Mother had forged with him years ago.

I can sympathise.  When I married my wife, I did invite one of my ex-boyfriends who I was still friendly with.  He'd even volunteered to be our photographer.  A week before the wedding, he told me that he was going to have to back out because his wife had made other plans for them that day for the express purpose of ensuring that they would have to miss our wedding, because she didn't want to "have to deal with gay people."  I really could have done without the specifics.
That's horrible.  Though it is nice to find someone else who can understand, from first-hand experience, I am sorry you had to go through that.