Author Topic: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee  (Read 5898 times)

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MariaE

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2014, 04:15:10 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.
 
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Another Sarah

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2014, 05:58:37 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.

perpetua

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2014, 06:06:06 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2014, 06:34:56 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.


Alias

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2014, 08:37:23 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.

Vall

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2014, 10:59:11 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.

Mergatroyd

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2014, 11:33:40 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.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2014, 11:41:40 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.


TurtleDove

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2014, 12:48:14 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 01:51:28 PM by TurtleDove »

Danika

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2014, 01:46:46 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.

lowspark

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2014, 09:10:27 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: The Unwanted Second-Hand Invitee
« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2014, 09:35:30 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.