Post # 1
These are family members I’m not very close to, for good reason, but am on at least cordial terms with. One I haven’t spoken to in over two years, and it was usually over email before that (not local), and hasn’t met FH. Another is more local and has met him but we don’t see each other or call much, sometimes email. When I do talk to or email these people, it’s generally awkward and somewhat on the formal, distant side.
How can I strike the right note that doesn’t say “OMG we’re super close and I just had to tell you my great news!” (Just no, they haven’t really been there for me, I have pain there, and we both know it) but that doesn’t leave them offended that they found out through the grapevine or facebook or something? (that’s more aloof than I want to be with them. Because they’re family – not because of anything they’ve really done to be close to me, but just because they’re family – I feel they deserve to find out in a better way than some random aquaintance would.)
Post # 3
Are you planning to invite them to the wedding?
I don’t think you particular have to go out of your way to let them know… especially if they haven’t been very supportive. But, since you normally communicate via email… I’d send an email saying: just wanted to share some happy news! I’m engaged! and then tell a short story of the proposal or detail some of the plans (we hope for a Fall wedding, etc…)
If you aren’t planning to invite them, I wouldn’t say anything. You can fill them in the next time either of you contact the other.
Post # 4
@joya_aspera: I really don’t see what the point of contacting them is unless you want to continue contact. I guess if you’re really fussed about it, you could send them a ‘hey how’s it going’ email and update them that you’re engaged… but then they might expect a wedding invite.
I think you’re overthinking this a bit. If you’re not close, why would they be upset if they found out you’re engaged via a wedding announcement in the paper, mutual friends, etc.?
Post # 5
I actually have no idea what we’re doing for the wedding. A lot of it is going to come down to how big FH wants it. It’s also going to probably be a longish engagement.
In one (the more distant) case, I’m almost sure this family member would not come, because they hate another family member I’m closer to and years and years ago they told me they won’t come to my wedding if that person comes. (Yeah, I wasn’t getting married, they just found it necessarily to let me know).
In the other case, the family member is closer and the problem more recent. This person might even apologize and heal wounds before the wedding, and be welcome at a smaller, intimate wedding, but I’m not holding my breath for that at all. If they didn’t, they might still get an invite if the the wedding is large enough, and I’d guess that they would come if invited, and be unhappy if not invited (even if the wedding was tiny). This person thinks they should be very important to me, but they haven’t acted in a way where that would make any sense, especially recently.
Post # 6
@canarydiamond: We’re not fully estranged, we’re in this weird partial-estrangement dance. I guess I always want to give family members the opportunity to heal old wounds and get closer, if they ever get to that point, but at the same time, not allow myself to be abused by people who’ve abused me in the past and don’t show any signs of growth.
These are immediate, but very disappointing family members.
Post # 7
@joya_aspera: if they’ve abused you and shown no signs of remorse, I don’t see why you’d want to continue to put yourself out there for more hurt. It’s one thing if they’ve made ammends for their actions, but – from what I’m pieces together – you are just opening yourself for more hurt. My advise is to not share with them the news until you are on better terms. Can relationships be reconciled and past hurts forgiven? Yes, absoutely. But offering up info like this to people you aren’t on good terms with doesn’t make sense to me.