General Etiquette > Family and Children

Not Inviting Sister

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Background: My sister (we'll call her Liz) and I were close. Recently we had a big falling out. DH and I met because Liz is married to DH's best friends (we'll call him Jake). Since December, she expressed her unhappiness with her marriage. IMO, they were petty because she also added to the issues (e.g. she complained about his poor money management, but she on average spends $250+/month on clothes & makeup). I encouraged her to get counseling because they have communication issues. In May, I found out she was actually cheating on him since December and had already filed for a divorce. Around that time, the other guy decided he didn't want anything to do with her because it was too much drama. In turn, Liz dropped the divorce and agreed to counseling with Jake. A month later, the other guy and her started talking again, so she is back to wanting a divorce. Jake gave her an ultimatumócease contact with the guy and focus on fixing their marriage, or leave meaning they were not going do anything together anymore (because she was still staying over at Jake's house, going to dinner with Jake, etc. as if nothing had changed). She chose the latter. As her sister and her best friend, I felt cheated on as well. She lied to me, and really everyone, for 5 months about what was going on. She missed our going away party because she was out with the other guy! I was, and still am, very hurt. She has reached out to me one time to talk. Instead of apologizing, she attempted to paint herself as the victim. We ended dinner with a public argument. We haven't spoken since. I understand divorce happens. I mean, I've been divorced. Sometimes people just don't work out. I'm upset with sister because of her dishonesty, being the victim, and the fact that she did this before and has learned nothing (she cheated on her previous boyfriend with Jake and now is cheating on Jake with someone else).

Our kids birthdays are coming up and we plan on bringing them back to our hometown to celebrate with family and friends. DS is turning 3 and DD is turning 1! While making the guest list, I realize that I do not want to invite Liz to the party, but I know I will be criticized for it by my family ("Liz is your sister!" "We should support whatever makes Liz happy!" "That's between Liz and Jake!"). We are inviting Jake and the kids though (Liz and Jake have a 4 year old daughter together and Jake has a son from a previous marriage). Am I in the wrong for not wanting to invite Liz? How do I handle comments from family about not wanting her there?

You're not wrong for wanting to skip the invitation (but if you ever want to repair your relationship with Liz, I suggest that this might be the time to make a gentle overture that she's free to reject).

You will probably get questions. You just say, "Isn't it nice that Jake and Niece are here?" or "We're so glad you could make it!" or "Let's make this day all about the kids, not our grown-up drama, please."

"I'm sorry, I'm not ready to talk about that" -- if pressed.

Outdoor Girl:
Who has the kids on the day of the party?  That would influence my decision a bit.  If Jake has both kids, no problem, invite Jake and don't invite sister.  But if sister has their daughter that day, it would be kind of tough not to invite her but get Jake to bring your neice.

'Sister made her choice.  We've accepted it.  Bean dip?'

If you are interested in maintaining the relationship, I might try to meet up with sister another day

Should you decide on not bean dipping during the birthdayparty you can always stress that this has nothing to do with Liz getting a divorce, but with her lying to you. because that is your business.

I think it is a bit odd to invite your soon to be ex-bil to a family party and not your sister.
I would either invite sister or not invite her soon to be ex and kids. It is quite a deliberate snub to invite every other member of her family on bith sides and not her.
You do not need to chat much if invited just
" Oh hi isn't is amazing the kids are 3 and 1 kids grow up so fast!! Well I have to go check on the cake..."


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