Author Topic: Inviting half of a social "unit," when their "other half" is rude/disrespectful  (Read 11593 times)

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WillyNilly

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I think your sister was wrong, and rude, and nasty. I think she should have invited both or neither. And no matter how horrible the girlfriend is, I think if the son plans to remain in a relationship with her, he did the absolute right thing by siding with his partner rather then his mother.

I also, personally, feel fine judging people by the company they keep. Which is to say I don't think your nephew's girl friend is a troublemaker full stop. I think if he remains in a relationship with her, while she does purposely hurtful things over and over, then he is just as responsible for those hurts. Because he is the one bringing her around to the family and apparently condoning the girlfriend's nastiness. So I think its really silly for your sister to want one half of a couple that have both mistreated her at her wedding, thinking that would remove nastiness. Her own son is the one who inflicted the girlfriend upon your sister, so her own son is complacent in the bad behavior. I also think your sister's behavior with this situation is a bit telling in why her son grew up to be so mean.

MineralDiva

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Depending on what specifically your nephew's SO has done to your sister (it'd have to be pretty severe), I think she is within her rights to invite her son only and not his SO.

Your sister, however, has to live with the consequences of making that decision (including losing contact with her son and her grandchild, if that is the consequence her son and SO choose).

Pesonally, I'd stay as far away from this drama as physically possible.  If my sister were acting this way, I'd stay so far away that I'd probably decline the invite altogether.

Well, from what I understand:  My sister and her husband to be, were invited to the baptism - and were rudely treated by the girlfriend, in favor of her eldest son's former step-mother (both my sister and this former step-mother are now divorced from eldest son's father).  Former step-mother and future DIL caused a huge scene at the baptism, embarrassing my sister (the baby's grandmother).  No other family was invited to this.  (All of them, except my brother and I, live in the immediate area.)

No others in my family, including my sister (the baby's grandmother) was invited to the child's first birthday, have been excluded from holiday celebrations, etc.

On one occasion, when my sister and future husband visited to see eldest son, baby's mother and baby, the baby's mother "hid out" at a neighbor's house, while my sister was visiting, leaving eldest son to lie about her being at work.  It was later revealed that baby's mother did not wish to spend any time in the same place as my sister.

Any toys or gifts given to the baby from my sister, have been either dumped back on her doorstep - or she has been told, thrown away.

Toys given from my sister's ex-husband/ex-husband's family (including second ex-wife/stepmother of eldest son) have been accepted with much gushing.

In the early days of their relationship, and even while this girl was pregnant, my sister was very good to her.  She repaid that kindness with the ultimate slap.  And is now insisting that eldest son (and their child) have nothing to do with his mother/baby's grandmother.

This girl has even been snippy with me, through posts on Facebook I've made to my nephew, even though we've never met (the girlfriend and I) in person, nor have I ever had any other interaction with her.  I did not engage her in any discussion of anything.  Nor will I.  I also haven't posted anything further on my nephew's page - on any subject. 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 01:35:40 PM by MineralDiva »

turnip

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Unfortunately this falls under "You can't have your cake and eat it too".  Your sister tried to do both and only ended up alienating her son and ( no doubt ) further alienating his partner.   She needed to decide if she would rather have both there or neither, and stick with that decision, and also make some hard decisions about how much she is willing to interact with her grandchild's mother in order to interact with her grandchild.  It certainly isn't an easy position to be in, but you sister isn't navigating it very well at this point.

( If she were my friend I'd tell her how my parents did their best to grit their teeth and smile at my no-good former BIL.  It paid off - eventually my sister left her husband and my sis, my nephew, and my parents are all one happy family unit now.  )

You, however, should probably stay well out of it.

ClaireC79

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  My sister and her husband to be, were invited to the baptism - and were rudely treated by the girlfriend, in favor of her eldest son's former step-mother (both my sister and this former step-mother are now divorced from eldest son's father).  Former step-mother and future DIL caused a huge scene at the baptism, embarrassing my sister (the baby's grandmother).  No other family was invited to this.  (All of them, except my brother and I, live in the immediate area.)


so you are only having your sisters side on what happened at that christening - it may be that your sister did something too, which would explain the birthday party and avoiding her.  There are always two sides to a story

Yvaine

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Is this the same sister as in this thread?
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=104814.0

(The wedding date is different, so I'm not sure if this is a different sister's second wedding or if the same sister pushed back her wedding date.)

If it is the same sister, from your earlier thread it sounds like she can be quite difficult, so is it possible that there's another side to the story with the son's GF?

At any rate, I believe the etiquette is that either she should be invited or neither she or the son invited, which of course would have relationship consequences. As a third party I'm not sure there's much you can do unless she asks you for advice, though.

gollymolly2

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I think it's understandable to choose not to invite someone to your wedding if they treat you horribly.

It's not polite to exclude part of a social unit. So if your sister doesn't invite her DIL she's breaking an etiquette rule. But that's okay. Etiquette is just one consideration of many when making decisions. And you can have perfect etiquette and be a nasty person, or vice versa.

 So if your question is "can she politely exclude part of a social unit?" My answer would probably be no. But if your question is "should she invite her DIL?" My answer would probably be no, assuming she's willing to deal with the inevitable effect on her relationship with her son.



Also, I think she's in the clear on not inviting your daughter. Sounds like she knew that it would be difficult logistically for your daughter and was trying to be thoughtful.

MineralDiva

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  My sister and her husband to be, were invited to the baptism - and were rudely treated by the girlfriend, in favor of her eldest son's former step-mother (both my sister and this former step-mother are now divorced from eldest son's father).  Former step-mother and future DIL caused a huge scene at the baptism, embarrassing my sister (the baby's grandmother).  No other family was invited to this.  (All of them, except my brother and I, live in the immediate area.)


so you are only having your sisters side on what happened at that christening - it may be that your sister did something too, which would explain the birthday party and avoiding her.  There are always two sides to a story

That's true.  There are.  But even if my sister did something, that is no reason to deliberately exclude the rest of the family from any and all future events as well. None of the rest have ever been anything but gracious, in a genuine attempt to be inclusive of my nephew's relationship and continue one with his child and her mother.  Nor does it excuse the pointed rudeness I myself experienced long-distance, from someone I've never met.  The post I made on my nephew's page was congratulatory, not inflammatory.  It addressed him and had nothing whatsoever to do with her.  Not even by inference.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 02:33:10 PM by MineralDiva »

MineralDiva

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Is this the same sister as in this thread?
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=104814.0

(The wedding date is different, so I'm not sure if this is a different sister's second wedding or if the same sister pushed back her wedding date.)

If it is the same sister, from your earlier thread it sounds like she can be quite difficult, so is it possible that there's another side to the story with the son's GF?

At any rate, I believe the etiquette is that either she should be invited or neither she or the son invited, which of course would have relationship consequences. As a third party I'm not sure there's much you can do unless she asks you for advice, though.


Yep!  Same one!  lol  Obviously, the wedding didn't happen when it was originally scheduled.  And I have no issue with attending now.  Though the current "backstage drama" reminds me of why I wouldn't move heaven and earth to be there on the original date.  Yes, I had a nice 50th.  It was...peaceful.  lol

MineralDiva

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I think it's understandable to choose not to invite someone to your wedding if they treat you horribly.

It's not polite to exclude part of a social unit. So if your sister doesn't invite her DIL she's breaking an etiquette rule. But that's okay. Etiquette is just one consideration of many when making decisions. And you can have perfect etiquette and be a nasty person, or vice versa.

 So if your question is "can she politely exclude part of a social unit?" My answer would probably be no. But if your question is "should she invite her DIL?" My answer would probably be no, assuming she's willing to deal with the inevitable effect on her relationship with her son.



Also, I think she's in the clear on not inviting your daughter. Sounds like she knew that it would be difficult logistically for your daughter and was trying to be thoughtful.

Yes, that's kind of where I'm coming down on this as well.  It's just unfortunate. 

sparksals

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I have to think there are two sides to every story.  Has the FDIL just been nasty out of the blue to your sister? Or has your sister also caused problems for FDIL to which she is reacting?  I can't believe that FDIL would treat your sister so horribly for no reason.

Jones

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I had to cut off my mother for about 12-18 months a few years ago. I could handle her disrespecting me, but when she spread a story about my husband I was done. She didn't get to see her granddaughter. The family pressured me. I said, no thanks we need some cool down time. I was not invited to my sister's wedding, I crashed the reception with a gift anyway. Turns out I had been invited, and Mom had the responsibility of mailing the invites.

That all being said, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt here and imagining how I will feel when my son is grown...I think your sister is the rudest in this situation.

shhh its me

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  I think if you have reason to believe someone will cause "Harm" to you or you guests you can invite 1/2 a social unit without being rude. you need to be very careful how you define harm, "they wont smile big enough " is not harm, they will avoid me at my own event is not harm,  they will say " the chicken is too dry " to everyone at their table is not harm. 

Even though its not rude( assuming they are likely to cause harm) it can still be a relationship ender.

Your sister is either protecting herself from an abusive person or making a bad relationship worse.  and based on what has happen so far,  I think it may be a little more on your sister.  That her son and his gf are closer with his former step mom and his dad is not rude ( it may cause some seriuos pain but its not rude) that the GF left the house with a "white lie" to let your sister visit and not have to interact with her wasn't rude (assuming she wasn't blatantly obvious)

MineralDiva

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I have to think there are two sides to every story.  Has the FDIL just been nasty out of the blue to your sister? Or has your sister also caused problems for FDIL to which she is reacting?  I can't believe that FDIL would treat your sister so horribly for no reason.

She has gotten progressively nastier, the more she interacts with elder son's father/my sister's ex-husband, and former step-mother (ex-husband's ex-wife who married him after my sister - and an affair that ruined my sister's first marriage). 

My sister had a decent relationship with both of her sons - even though her former husband tried desperately to ruin it, installing the step-mother (now also an ex-wife) as their "new mom," and continues to do whatever he can to come between she and her children, as well as any happiness she has found in the MANY years since they divorced.  It's quite sad. 

Has my sister always taken the high road?  No.  I'm not sure even a saint could manage such a feat in this situation.  But she's moved on with her life, has finally found happiness again...and was trying to have a good relationship with her sons - particularly the eldest one, since he now has a child of his own.

It grieves her, but she is determined not to allow her ex to control her happiness (or lack of it) any more.  Unfortunately, that also means that she must (for now) let go completely - and hope things eventually come around - even if it means that her eldest son is lost to her in the interim.  Son will either wake up eventually and understand one day...or he won't.  He can have both his mother and father in his life.  But he won't be permitted to bring the father's (ex-husband's) baggage to her world from now on.  Ex husband will have to find another source of entertainment.


Edited to clarify all the "he's, she's and they's," because they're starting to confuse even me - and I've lived it!  lol
 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 03:44:22 PM by MineralDiva »

MineralDiva

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Should she still have invited both of them to the wedding?  Probably.  There would be enough of us there, to squelch any disturbance that might arise.  But...why should we have to be placed in that position either?  We want to enjoy a family gathering and celebration, without having to worry about someone being there with the sole intention of spoiling the day - and for what?  Just because they can?

I'm not sure how I would handle this one myself, actually - which is why I posted here.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 03:56:53 PM by MineralDiva »

bah12

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Your nephew and his girlfriend are a social unit and need to be treated as one.  So, yes, I think that if your sister really wants her son at her wedding, then she also needs to include his girlfriend. 

At the same time, I agree that she doesn't have to invite someone to her wedding that is rude, mean and abusive towards her.  And that social unit rule goes both ways I think.  Where her son is perfectly within his rights to say "we are a couple and we are either both included or not", your sister is within her rights to say "You are a couple and what one half of you does has repurcussions for both of you." And then really, it would be up to the couple in question about whether or not they would be willing for the son to attend family events without her if the rift between mother/girlfriend can't be mended.

I get that it's difficult to stand a hard ground when in your sister's shoes.  Because the unfortunate consequence is that if she chooses to insist on excluding the girlfriend and her son, then by default, she's excluding her grandchild.  And that broken relationship is nothing that can be fixed by etiquette rules alone.  It's one of those sad things where life isn't fair and the one that was rude to her has the power when it comes to a relationship she really does want to have.  So she either chooses to stand her ground and let the cards fall where they may in regards to her son and grandchild, or she put forth the effort to make nice with someone that may not make nice back.  I'm sending her hugs because I feel for her.