Author Topic: Help...My husband won't go to his brother's wedding if our kids aren't invited!  (Read 25063 times)

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Sharnita

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Tell your DH that his brother's decision not to have kids at his wedding isn't a slur against your sons - it's simply that he and his fiancee are trying to create a certain type of atmosphere for their reception.

Another thought occurred to me - you could point out that perhaps it's the fiancee (and not his brother) who is the driving force behind the "no children" rule. Point out that it's often the Bride who plans the wedding, and that many Grooms just want to keep their future wives happy! That might make him grudgingly agree to attend, if he thinks that his brother wasn't the instigator.

Finally, if your DH still refuses to attend, go by yourself if you want to.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend putting the blame on your future SIL. It doesn't seem fair to deliberately sink a relationship with one person to save another, and I don't care for the stereotype of the demanding bride and henpecked groom.

I agree.

jemma

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But then shouldn't the HC also be able to handle it if people, even family decline the invite?  I actually agree that people should accept not being invited, I just don't get how it wouldn't work the other way as well.  If the family shouldn't read into the invites then why should the HC read into the responses?  I do think the OP has a say.  I mentioned that she could go even if her DH wanted to stay home.

For me, if the brothe would be hurt that dh is missing the wedding since it is such an important day in his life, it makes sense that dh should be aloud to be hurt that his children are not invited to enjoy such a special day in des life.  If the invitation comes addressed to just you two, I think you should sit down and discuss with brother why. His nephews aren't invited.  I suspect if it's because uncle thinks they will be bored your dh will settle down much more than if they would rather invite other people.  Not inviting someone to your wedding sends a message much bolder than not being able to make a wedding, especially if the happy couple isn't just eloping.

O'Dell

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I asked why and he said that we take them everywhere (not true but I let that slide)

Why did you let that slide?

If the kid's don't always go with you, then why does you husband have his knickers in a twist over the assumption that your kids won't be invited? Surely there is more to this than just kids going to a wedding or not.

In this sort of situation, I'd ask my husband why this was so important to him. Either he is willing to open up about the real issue and we can tackle that, or he's not willing to open up and he backs down.

When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes do similar things where she'd take a slight against me and blow it all out of proportion. It was clear to me even at a very young age that she actually felt it as a slight against herself and I was simply a tool or stand-in for her self-esteem. As a result, I don't think much of her or other people doing this sort of thing.

I don't know why your husband is doing this...if he's similar to my mother or not. I tell you this to caution you to keep an eye on what message all this sends to your kids. They'll see this sort of thing and come to their own conclusions.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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AnnaJ

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But then shouldn't the HC also be able to handle it if people, even family decline the invite?  I actually agree that people should accept not being invited, I just don't get how it wouldn't work the other way as well.  If the family shouldn't read into the invites then why should the HC read into the responses?  I do think the OP has a say.  I mentioned that she could go even if her DH wanted to stay home.

For me, if the brothe would be hurt that dh is missing the wedding since it is such an important day in his life, it makes sense that dh should be aloud to be hurt that his children are not invited to enjoy such a special day in des life.  If the invitation comes addressed to just you two, I think you should sit down and discuss with brother why. His nephews aren't invited.  I suspect if it's because uncle thinks they will be bored your dh will settle down much more than if they would rather invite other people.  Not inviting someone to your wedding sends a message much bolder than not being able to make a wedding, especially if the happy couple isn't just eloping.

No.  In no other social situation are people encouraged to ask why someone (friend/child/other relative) is not invited to an event.  The only bulletproof exception is spouses/SOs.

We can invite or not invite people to events.  People can choose or not choose to come.  As someone noted upboard, choosing not to come the wedding of a sibling (assuming it's logistically possible) sends a very loud message - I don't care enough about what you (and/or partner) want for this important day, my preferences outweigh yours. 

To the OP, there have been some excellent suggestions about how to frame this discussion with your husband...hopefully they will be helpful if you need to use them.  :)

jemma

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But then shouldn't the HC also be able to handle it if people, even family decline the invite?  I actually agree that people should accept not being invited, I just don't get how it wouldn't work the other way as well.  If the family shouldn't read into the invites then why should the HC read into the responses?  I do think the OP has a say.  I mentioned that she could go even if her DH wanted to stay home.

For me, if the brothe would be hurt that dh is missing the wedding since it is such an important day in his life, it makes sense that dh should be aloud to be hurt that his children are not invited to enjoy such a special day in des life.  If the invitation comes addressed to just you two, I think you should sit down and discuss with brother why. His nephews aren't invited.  I suspect if it's because uncle thinks they will be bored your dh will settle down much more than if they would rather invite other people.  Not inviting someone to your wedding sends a message much bolder than not being able to make a wedding, especially if the happy couple isn't just eloping.

No.  In no other social situation are people encouraged to ask why someone (friend/child/other relative) is not invited to an event.  The only bulletproof exception is spouses/SOs.

We can invite or not invite people to events.  People can choose or not choose to come.  As someone noted upboard, choosing not to come the wedding of a sibling (assuming it's logistically possible) sends a very loud message - I don't care enough about what you (and/or partner) want for this important day, my preferences outweigh yours. 

To the OP, there have been some excellent suggestions about how to frame this discussion with your husband...hopefully they will be helpful if you need to use them.  :)

I think etiquette with family can be looser.  Formal etiquette says they can decline and no one should give them any flack either.  It seems clear that in this situation both not inviting the children and skipping the wedding will have long term consequences othe brothers' relationship.  I hope they have an open enough relationship to discuss this issue openly. If I were the op, my concern would be their relationship in general not just the wedding day. 

greencat

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I think that family etiquette is actually a little more strict - you do not refuse invitations to major milestones in your immediate family's life, unless there is a toxic relationship involved (with the host or another invitee) or it is extremely not possible for logistical reasons.

Refusing to attend your own brother's wedding because the kids aren't invited, if babysitting isn't a problem, is a one-way ticket to being considered a Special Snowflake by your family.

White Lotus

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There was something in another thread about a woman who always brings her teenage son, whether or not he is invited, and even when the invitations specify an adult event (cocktail pary) and said specifically adults only --21+.  I wondered at the time why the prospective hostess didn't talk to the son, who is about 15,  and explain that it was an adults-only party, there would be no other teens/young adults present, he would be bored silly, and he wasn't invited not because the hosts don't like him, but because they DO!  The event would not be appropriate for his age and interests, and he wouldn't have any fun.  They look forward to seeing him at other times, of course.  Could he please explain that to his mother and plan something else for that evening that would be fun for HIM?  Don't know the boy, but thought it might work.   
 
Same applies here, more or less.   Maybe OP could ask her kids what THEY would rather do, once the invitations come out and the options are clear.  They could maybe go to service and then blow off the fancy, dress-up restaurant with no other kids and all grown-up behavior, or decline the whole thing and stay home and have a movie fest with friends or something else they might enjoy, and send Uncle and New Aunt a nice card.  Or maybe they will be asked to everything, and they, or either of them, might WANT to go. Then, there are alternatives the children and OP could propose to DH that make sense for all.
Note, too, that church services are generally open to the public.  Invited or not, the kids could go to the wedding service and then cut out for some more age-appropriate activities.

Mikayla

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Have you pointed out to your DH that the reason your kids are not out of control at events is because you run after them constantly?  Even if they are invited, will it be expected that you do the same at the wedding?  Wouldn't you like to have a night off for once?

Have I missed something? - I don't see any reference that the OP needs to "run after" the kids on an outing?  Spend time with them, yes - perhaps that's playing checkers?

<snip>

I agree this was re-stated a bit too strongly, but the OP did make mention that at family events, she's the one responsible for keeping the kids entertained and DH mingles.  And the reason this might matter is that, if it does turn out the kids are not invited, the notion of an "adult family evening" might not be that big a deal to her DH, since his are like that anyway.

Beyond that, I'm with those saying it's rude of him to second guess the invites.  There's not just one family involved here; there are two.  And decisions on invites are made in the best interest of both bride and groom.  He's wrong to assume his kids somehow rule this process.


RingTailedLemur

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Note, too, that church services are generally open to the public.  Invited or not, the kids could go to the wedding service and then cut out for some more age-appropriate activities.

I don't think they are getting married in a church.  Open to the public or not, I would consider this to be crashing a wedding.

OP - leaving the kids out of it, would your DH want to go anyway?  Frankly I think your DH is being rather SS.  He cannot tell the hosts who should or should not be invited, and I think not attending an event because "XXX is not invited" is a bad idea, whether XXX is your children or not.

Venus193

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I've seen it here before; there are people who take enormous offense at the idea of a child-free wedding.  I don't think we can tell from the lead post whether this is where the husband is coming from or whether he is just clueless at the degree to which the OP has to monitor the children at such an occasion.  Or whether the children have previously misbehaved (perhaps when they were much younger).

At any rate, I think the OP should wait for the invitation and clarify the situation before WWIII breaks out over this.

MariaE

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Sharnita, my "Chances are they'd be bored anyway" was meant as an aside, based on my own experiences. My opinion stands regardless of whether they'd be bored stiff or be there with bells on. That part of it is actually irrevant. I still think that not coming to your brother's wedding sends a message that not inviting your nieces and nephews just simply doesn't.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

CakeEater

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Have you pointed out to your DH that the reason your kids are not out of control at events is because you run after them constantly?  Even if they are invited, will it be expected that you do the same at the wedding?  Wouldn't you like to have a night off for once?

Have I missed something? - I don't see any reference that the OP needs to "run after" the kids on an outing?  Spend time with them, yes - perhaps that's playing checkers?

<snip>

I agree this was re-stated a bit too strongly, but the OP did make mention that at family events, she's the one responsible for keeping the kids entertained and DH mingles.  And the reason this might matter is that, if it does turn out the kids are not invited, the notion of an "adult family evening" might not be that big a deal to her DH, since his are like that anyway.

Beyond that, I'm with those saying it's rude of him to second guess the invites.  There's not just one family involved here; there are two.  And decisions on invites are made in the best interest of both bride and groom.  He's wrong to assume his kids somehow rule this process.

I must agree with this. There's also the bride's family to consider. Maybe she has 72 nieces (slight exaggeration) who they would not be able to accommodate, and must be fair about not inviting all children.

In my child-free wedding, there were four main reasons we chose to do it that way.

1. We would have had about 17 children under 12, and we couldn't really fit that many more people into our venue.
2. We wanted our adult guests (particularly my mother) to be celebrating with us, not chasing after their kids/grandkids.
3. It was New Year's Eve - we planned on a late night, and wanted as many as possible to stay with us until midnight, when the festivities were planned to finish.
4. We had concerns about approximately 4 of the 17 children's behaviour. We could hardly invite the rest and leave those four out, and we didn't want this event, for which we had paid a heck of a lot of money, to be spoiled by a few kids running riot, and possibly encouraging the others to join in.

The style of the event is the main deciding factor for me. If I had a fancy cocktail party for my 40th birthday, I wouldn't invite the children of the family either. Or a hens night, or a night out clubbing. Formal dinner dances fall into that category, for me.

turnip

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I think that family etiquette is actually a little more strict - you do not refuse invitations to major milestones in your immediate family's life, unless there is a toxic relationship involved (with the host or another invitee) or it is extremely not possible for logistical reasons.

Refusing to attend your own brother's wedding because the kids aren't invited, if babysitting isn't a problem, is a one-way ticket to being considered a Special Snowflake by your family.

I think this is an interesting discussion.   I'll suggest that the OP's Husband's POV is that you do not refuse to invite immediate family to your major milestones unless there is a toxic relationship - and HOOP (husband-of-OP) feels that his children are immediate family. 

We may disagree with him on what 'immediate family' means, but I think most of us do tacitly acknowledge that there are people the B&G 'owe' an invite to unless there is an elopement or a bad relationship.    My values say that the necessary invites are parents and siblings ( with spouses ), but if the HOOP's values say differently than maybe he should be allowed to stand by them.

Sharnita

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My argument would be that an obligation can't exist one way.  If you day it exists it should exist both ways. If you say it doesn't exist on one side then it is unreasonable to hold the other side to it.

Brisvegasgal

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OP here.  Thank you very much for your comments.  It has really given me some terrific ideas and phrases to use.  Without knowing me some of you really hit the mark! 

I should have mentioned in my post that the engagement was about 3 weeks ago and the wedding in Nov this year & we have been to the venue - this is why it came up.  I was really surprised at my husband's reaction to my suggesting that the boys stay overnight at my Mum's so we can have a good night...prompting my pre-emotive post.  I always thought that hubby and his baby brother got on well and my future SIL is lovely so I think I need to find out the real reason.

Also, he doesn't even notice how much I mind the kids (partially to stop his 5 yo nephew hitting my kids & his little sister) at his family events...but as per the question from one of you, this is something I really need to address with him.

Thank you all again.