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Author Topic: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)  (Read 3663 times)

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Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« on: November 16, 2012, 12:18:57 PM »

Background: My ex-husband, his relatives, and I are still on good terms but I don't stay in touch with the ex-inlaws.

Recently, my ex-husband, who I will call Yorgle, told me that his brother had invited me to his son's 1st birthday.

I feel YorgleBro and YorgleSIL should have gotten my contact info from Yorgle and invited me separately, correct? I won't point out their error but I know YorgleSIL's email. I was thinking of sending her an email to clear this up. How could I best word it so that I can find out if I am invited without sounding like I'm fishing for one. I'd mildly like to go, but won't be bothered if I don't go.

I think I will have a word with Yorgle about how ex-spouses are not social units so that next time, he'll know to say, "Here's Rhindle's contact info. You'll have to get intouch with her yourself to invite her."

Sorry, my tablet's space bar is wonky.


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Re: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 01:05:28 PM »
Agreed that you should be invited separately, but honestly, it's so nice that you are all still on such good terms! I think a casual email letting them know to contact you directly is in order. They are just used to you two being a social unit, and a gentle reminder that you aren't is fine.

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Re: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 01:17:55 PM »
Oh, don't "have a word" with him about social units, necessarily--I'm assuming you'd do it in a not-particularly-chastising way, but even so...

First, I'd start by asking questions--how did it come up? Did they say, "Oh, she's welcome to come too"? And get some background.

Maybe say that it's not fair to him, or to you, for invitations to be carried that way, because he doesn't have the same calendar as you, and there will be an inevitable delay, etc. And that you'd prefer to feel that you were included more deliberately, and not just as a leftover reflex or "oh, she can come if she'd like." And that the two of you need to train his family to decide what sort of terms to be on. And that you're totally OK with it if they don't want you bad enough to actually invite you directly; that you think any reluctance to do so on their part means that while they like you, it's not a natural relationship.

As for them, just say, "Oh, hey, Yorgle told me. I will/won't attend. It was nice of you to think of me. But I wanted to ask--can you contact me directly on any invitations like this? I try not to ask Yorgle to remember to carry messages for me, especially now that we're divorced and we aren't sharing the same social calendar."


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Re: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 06:24:20 PM »
My BIL & SIL split up a couple of years ago and I must admit for a long time we communicated to SIL via BIL.  Whilst this was not ettiquete approved, and in hindsight we should have respected the new family dynamic, it wasn't too much of a problem until BIL got a new partner.  A couple of embarrassing incidents later we all now make sure each party is invited to family functions individually.

I think that a quiet word to you ex-ILs by your ex-Husband is appropriate and he needs to make sure that they have you contact details.  In my case my ex-SIL, my BIL's new partner & I had a chat at a family function about the communication because the boys weren't!


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Re: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 07:45:49 PM »
I appreciate all your comments. If the topic of social units comes up, I might say something like what Toots said to either YorgleBro or YorgleSIL. For the email itself, how does this sound?

"Dear YorgleSIL,

Yorgle mentioned your son's first birthday is coming up. So soon! They sure do grow up fast, don't they.

Yorgle told me that you and YorgleBro were coming to town to stay with your parents and have the party. According to him, YorgleBro said I was also invited. I am a little puzzled because Yorgle didn't hand me any kind of invitation. I really really don't want to make assumptions, so would you help clear this up? I promise I won't be upset in case Yorgle misunderstood what YorgleBro told him.

Congratulations on [YourSon]'s first birthday! It's such an important milestone.


Sound ok?


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Re: Am I really invited? (ex-spouses are *not* social units!)
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 09:07:11 PM »
Well, after such a nice note, I must confess that I'd invite you even if I hadn't before. Sweet, friendly and not over the top. Great, I think.