Post # 1
My fiance’s mother remarried when he was a kid. This man has never been a father to him. He refuses to call him a stepfather and calls him “My mother’s douchebag” when refering to him. His mother’s husband was both emotionally and physically very abusive to everyone in the household. It honestly makes me sick thinking about the way he would beat FI Mom, then beat up FI for trying to stop it (child mind you) then spit on him while he was on the ground. It was that bad. Finally when FI was sixteen one time FI’s Mother’s husband was attacking her and FI attacked him but was now old enough to actually hurt him. After that FI was told he had to leave the house. Kicked out with no where to go at 16!! Fiance and I knew each other but not well back then. We started dating a year later. I still feel some resentment toward his mother for choosing her husband over her kids. I think it’s sad and not something I feel like I could do. But I know she was in a bad position and being abused and torn down can not make it easy. Well over the years they have been to therapy, courses, classes. It seems that it is better now. No more abuse and FI Mom acts like that means everything should be great now and FI should treat her husband like family. FI has taken years to forgive his mother for things she put him through and really really loves his mom, but can not get over the emotional trauma of his youth. He still understandably can not bear to be around Mother’s husband. One year he said he didn’t want to go to her house for thanksgiving if he was there and she cried and made him feel guilty and like a terrible son until we agreed to come. FI and Mother’s husband were silent to each other all night and I made sure to sit between them. Honestly, I don’t want to see him either knowing what he has done and I know it just brings up bad memories and stuff for FI who has tried hard to get past all that.
Now we are getting married and FI keeps saying how he is scared she is going to bring her husband. He says he doesn’t want him there and doesn’t want to think of those things on his special day. He wants it to be us and the people we really love. He thinks she should know by now how uncomfortable it makes him to be around her husband and she should get that he doesn’t want him there. Well, knowing his mom she will be or act oblivious to this as she has been pretending we are all one big happy family for years now. I absolutely think she is going to bring her husband and will absolutely freak if asked not to.
I told FI we could talk to photographer to make sure he isn’t included in any family portraits. I didn’t even know if this might be touchy for his Mom as my stepfather is going to be included, get boutonniere and all that even though him and my mom are now divorced. He’s my brother’s father and had a big hand in raising me. FI feels not including his Mom’s husband isn’t good enough, he doesn’t want to see him at all. He wants this day to be perfect and feels he will ruin it. Is there anything we can really do?
Post # 3
I’m sorry, but I agree with your FI. Abusive stepfather? NOT invited.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t want him there either. I think this is your FI’s call and his job to tell his mother.
Post # 5
@BriansBride: If he doesn’t want him there he needs to be clear with his wishes and I would want to have someone available to keep watch in case she says one thing but then brings him anyway.
I would respect his choice and work with friends/family to make it clear this is the plan and you need their support in case he shows up day of to ensure he is not welcome.
It may cause his mother to decide not to go, or leave day of if she won’t stay if her husband is turned away. As long as everyone knows the plan and is ok with what might happen (his mom leaving) you can enjoy your day.
This must be so stressful and I wish you both the best!
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Oh god, how awful. I agree with PP and your fiance, just lay down the law that he is NOT invited. If the mom throws a fit, too bad.
It sounds like your poor FI is still somewhat traumatized by his upbringing and that having the douchebag around brings that all back – which is the last thing you want on your wedding day!
Post # 7
@BriansBride: Nope. He would not be allowed anywhere near my wedding!
My bio father was very abusive and I would never even consider tossing him an invite. Tell your MIL that he is not allowed near the party and if she throws a fit then that is too bad. So sorry your FI had to grow up like that and I am even more sorry that the asshole is still around!
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@BriansBride: Not inviting the stepfather would probably cause the stepfather to beat on his mother as a result; and she would likely not be allowed to attend the wedding. Not inviting both the stepfather and his mother would probably also lead to a beating. Unfortunately, by staying with a man that beats her, his mother has put herself in an awful situation. Your FI needs to decide if it’s more important to have his mother there or risk her not attending should he not invite his stepfather. But if he is included he needs to be treated like your stepdad to avoid unnecessary conflict (or physical altercations) between your FI’s stepfather and your FI’s mother.
A good photographer can pretend to take shots and/or crop unwanted people out of them as necessary without outright telling the person you are trying to cut out of the shot. If you’re wedding is big enough, you won’t have to spend much time with the stepfather and you can always appoint friends/family to spot him talking to you and your FI and instruct them to come save you with a “wedding emergency/issue/family you need to talk to/something you need to do…”
After the wedding, your FI needs to decide whether he wants to continue a relationship with his mother knowing that she is a package deal with the stepfather. Due to the domestic violence, it’s unlikely he can maintain a healthy relationship with his mother while she’s married to the stepfather and maybe your FI limiting/cutting off his relationship with his mother might be a wakeup call to the abuse she is suffering from.
Post # 9
Wow. When I read the headline I automatically thought ‘of course spouses are invited’. No way! I wouldn’t want this guy at my wedding either.
What worries me though is his mom. I find it hard to think that a battered woman is completely at fault for her sons miserable youth – she is a victim in this too, and although she obviously made one huge sucky choice in marrying this asshole, I don’t hear that his mom has been neither emotionally or physically abusive of your FI. I’m just saying, because these scenarios sound absolutely terrifying. I’m also saying it because I assume your FI still loves her and finds it horrible that she is held hostage in this marriage. I’m just trying to imagine what would happen if she came home to her abusive husband and told him that he was not invited. How do you think he would react? Do you think he’d ignore it and show up or do you think she wouldn’t even tell him that he wasn’t welcome?
If someone had abused me like that as a child I’d probably do anything to avoid them showing up at my wedding.
Post # 10
Well of course she’s going to bring him. If he feels that she should not, he should be honest and straight forward with her and deal with the consequences of how she reacts. It’s not a good idea to just cross your fingers and hope someone will do something that you KNOW they won’t do. If he doesn’t want to say something, he needs to accept and prepare himself for the fact that his stepfather WILL be there
Post # 11
Not in the pictures?? How about not at the wedding!? If your mom doesn’t like it, tough shit. It’s your FI’s call. She doesn’t have to go either. If he feels this strongly about that asshole not being there, then he needs to speak up ASAP.
Post # 12
My mom died when I was 10, but not before I saw my stepfather beat the crap out of her a few times. My only caution to you is that really can’t ask FMIL to choose son or husband. If she chooses son, she is probably going to get beat. If she chooses husband, your FI will be crushed. Is she supposed to take a beating to keep the peace here?
Believe me, I GET IT. I truly, honestly do, but don’t put her in the position of being abused because her DH isn’t allowed near the wedding. Someone WILL pay for that decision and it will probably be her.
You and FI need to discuss this from that aspect and he needs to decide what is best. To think that your FMIL will be allowed to attend and pay no consequences for basically kicking her husband to the curb is naive.
This is a bad position for everyone (except the stepdad) to be in. It isn’t so black and white. Think long and hard before he makes his decision on how to handle this.
I wish you the best of luck.
Post # 13
@beachbride1216: Although I hate to think of his mom getting abused because of his wedding choice, I disagree with you that the right answer is inviting him. Who knows what he will do to ruin the wedding day? Even his presense there will be a reminder of terrible things. Besides, his mother will doubtless get abused for many more things if she stays with the abuser. The issue is NOT a wedding invite but the relationship itself. She needs to leave this man. Unfortunately, unless that’s a decision SHE makes, her son and his wife can’t do much except encourage her along the right path with love.
Post # 14
Like I had said they have been through a lot of therapy, rehab, etc. He was very abusive, she was neglectful to her children, would blame them for her husband’s behavior and chose him over her kids. Which irks me, but it’s not my mom. FI still loves his mom very much and I know they have in more recent years worked on their relationship and become closer. I feel like she guilt trips him a lot though with the whole wanting a happy family situation that never really was. I wish FI had another family member that would support him in this, but his whole family seems to be against him. I mean both his mom and sister insists he should forget about the past and move on as they have. His mom and her husband seem to be doing much better now and as far as I am aware he has not physically abused her since FI was a teenager. So I do not think that he will attack her if he is not invited to the wedding. I doubt he even cares about the wedding as he doesn’t care about us. I think it’s more his Mom wanting to pretend that we all get along when we clearly don’t.
I guess I’m scared that Fiance’s mom IS going to guilt trip him and he’s probably going to be miserable if he gives in, but if he doesn’t she is going to cry, scream, freak out and not only her but his sister too and I’m the only one who will support him but as far as FI family is concerned I’ll just look like the bad guy coming in and breaking apart their family or something.
Post # 15
Nope, nope. Your husband will never be able to relax and enjoy the day if HIS ABUSER is right there. If mom refuses to go, that’s her decision. He isn’t a little boy anymore. You can support him in making decisions that empower him. I hope you both stay strong when talking to his mom.
Post # 16
@BriansBride: I just read your latest update. Mom seems like she is deep in denial. Like I said before, stay strong and be his support. If he looks like he’s going to cave in to mom’s demands you should ask him to visualize his step dad there. Maybe that will help. This while situation sucks, especially for him. I wish you both a very PEACEFUL wedding!