Post # 1
I am writing this post in seek of your advice. Please give me your honest opinions about what you would do in this situation.
There is an insane amount of drama in my family. My parents probably had the worst divorce in history and my wedding will be the first time in about eight years that everyone will be seeing each other.
A brief look at the family- I am the only child between my parents. I have two brothers on my moms side and a brother and sister on my dads side. I am much younger than my siblings and I am the last to get married. Basically everyone hates everyone else from the other side because of the divorce. There is a ton of drama but I will get to the most pressing issue.
I invited my dad’s ex-wife to my wedding. She is the mother of my brother and sister. I already sent her an STD and everything (we haven’t sent invites yet but I consider sending her a STD inviting her). I get along with her. I see her all the time at family holidays and birthday parties. I know that she and my mom don’t get along but I didn’t realize the extent of everything until today and I guess I just figured that since everything took place about 20 years ago it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Honestly, I didn’t want to invite her. I’m not close with her but I don’t dislike her. I had a long conversation with my dad on whether or not I should invite her for my brother and sister. My brother and sister are the type of people to completely cut you out of their life if you do something they don’t like and I was worried that not inviting her would be one of those things. My dad agreed that not inviting her would probably upset them. I talked to my mother about this and she told me to not worry about her and it is my day and that it would be fine. So, I sent her a STD.
Well, today my mom says that she does not want me to invite her. She says that she would be really uncomfortable with her there. I told my mom that I already sent her a STD and that I thought we agreed it wouldn’t be a big deal. she apologized and said she wished she had just been honest about how she was feeling from the beginning. I understand where she is coming from and I’m not mad at her for it.
This is where it gets hairy…I already sent her a STD. She is already planning on coming. I have also sent a STD to her brother and her daughter. I get along really well with her brother and I would really love for him to come. Obviously, this is going to cause some major drama and none of these people will come and they probably won’t speak to me ever again. I am also worried that this will cause my brother and sister to not speak to me or come also. Yes, my family is this immature. My dad says that he will call the ex and just let her know the situation. I feel like this is going to get really bad. I am so upset because I am suffering because of other people’s drama.
………another important thing to add is that I believe my mom is paranoid. Sometimes I worry that she has some major issues. This has been something that has worried me for a while now. A lot of the stuff she says that the ex did seems really out there and my dad says that none of it happened. I believe that my dad wouldn’t lie to me. She really thinks that people do things to her on purpose when it is clearly not the case and I think that is the case here. I feel like she is completely blowing what happened out of proportion. Nevertheless, she is my mom and if she doesn’t want her there then I will not invite her.
So, what the heck do I do? How do I go about doing this? Do I still invite the ex’s brother and daughter?
Post # 3
How large is your wedding? (Did I read correctly that you’ve sent a STD to your Dad’s ex’s brother and her daughter (who is not your step/half-sister?)
It sounds like a bit of a sticky situation. But not uncommon. The important thing is to do what YOU want to do on your day and be ready to deal with any consequences (because it sounds like there may be consequences.)
IMHO, your relationship with your Mother is more important than your relationship with your Dad’s ex and her progeny. Not that you shouldn’t consider their feelings. It may be awkward, but if you decide to not send them a formal invitation (and check the ettiquette here…) a phone call to explain (with perhaps a little white lie that you just over-estimated the head-count).
On the other hand, your Mom may be more forgiving (especially if she was ready to suppress her feelings on the subject in the first place.) If it’s a very large wedding, her prominence as Mother of the Bride may be a busy enough role that she would not know if the ex (et al) are in attendance or not… ya know?
If it were me, I would probably respect my Mother’s feelings first and foremost. And hope the others are adult enough to understand and… uhm… just get over it.
Post # 4
Just re-read… “My dad says that he will call the ex and just let her know the situation.”
Perfect. Sounds like you have support. Accept his help with the situation and don’t worry about it anymore.
If it causes issues in relationships, those folks just aren’t being very realistic. But they (God forbid) would understand completely if they’re ever in your (or your Mother’s) shoes sometime in the future.
The biggest obstacle to your peace of mind and sanity is to try to please everyone else.
Post # 5
Thank you so much for your responses. I know it is a bit long. I totally agree that my mother is more important and I am willing to suffer the consequences so she isn’t uncomfortable. My dad seems to think he can just call the ex and tell her and it won’t be a problem. I disagree. I do think it may be a good idea to just say we overestimated the head count. That way we are the ones that take the fault and no ones feelings are hurt? I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just really see this blowing up and I’m scared to lose family members over it.
Now I just wish we would have eloped. I knew it was just a matter of time before something like this happended.
@fauxtoegraft: The wedding will be about 100 people. And yes, you read that correctly. My family is kind of a mess.
Post # 6
I know this phrase is over-used, but… It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
You don’t have to get defensive or too apologetic over a bit of confusion in the guest list. A sincere “I’m so sorry, but I felt so overwhelmed before the wedding and had to make some quick decisions. No offense was intended and I know you were there in spirit.” might suffice.
Families (especially such extended families like yours) have to have some kind of glue that keep them together despite (and especially because) of their convolutedness! I’m impressed that you’re connected to these relations.
There may be some clean-up afterward. But let your Dad handle it now. If anyone questions you, see the above phrase I’ve suggested. Practice saying it in the mirror with the sweetest of smiles.
Post # 7
NO family, friends only? Think about it, if none of them talk to you again, your life is just a little easier, really.
Seriously, I thought it would come to that, but I just decided to not invite my dad’s side of the family at all since really I only just met them and they seem to always have their hand out, asking for something from me when I can’t even afford myself. Now the drama will be getting my grandmother to realize she is not inviting HER friends, like she tried to do at my cousin’s wedding.
Post # 8
What if your dad says something like the wedding got way too big for your comfort level and you had to cut down the guest list.
Post # 9
IMO just have them come and talk to them before they get to your party reminding them to be cordial (SP?) to everyone My mother-in -law is paranoid too and its super annoying because this sounds like the type of thing she would do. odds are she wont even talk to the ex and will be giving her the silent treatment/ignoring her the whole time which i think is ruder because the ex is coming out of her way to be with you on your special day and will be also put in the awkward situation. However if either of them lean toward confrontational violent drama just have the ex not come and save yourself some anguish, apologize and hope for the best.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone. This situation has really got me stressed out. Today I am a little angry at my mother for telling me it was okay and then taking it back after I already sent them. It’s really putting me in a tough spot. My mom is really acting like this is her day. She is now telling me that she wants to sit up at the table with the bridal party. I told her no and that there are three other parents’ feelings to consider and she responded with, “yes, but I’m the most important”. She means it too. She is so dang sensitive but I am now feeling like it’s just too late and I need to invite this lady. I had a feeling she was going to pull this crap at some point. I’m so sick of her guilt tripping me ALL THE TIME! I’m not even enjoying this now because I can sense more drama to come. I get along with everyone and i want to keep it that way.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
My FI’s dad expressed some discomfort over us inviting his long-term ex and Justin’s mom, when we are extremely close to all of them and it would be unfathomable for us not to invite them. We realized he was just venting because it was an emotional milestone for him and our marriage was bringing up some memories. We took the time to tell him that we understand his feelings and his discomfort and why he would feel that way. We then very carefully told him that while we appreciate that he is open with us, that he will have to set aside his issues for this day. We explained that our wedding day is a celebration of our union and that we are inviting those who are important to us, and that we are sure that of all the people who will be there, he can find someone with whom to occupy himself if he feels awkward (his current partner was our officiant for chrissakes).
We did bitch about it behind his back (how dare he foist his drama on us!) but to his face we tried to be both understanding but firm. It worked, and of course there were no issues on the day-of. If you REALLY don’t want to invite your dad’s ex and it would be very bad, then take back your invitation. What I would do, however, is to tell your mom you understand… and be sympathetic but firm with your decision to extend an invitation to your bro/sis’s mom. She is family too, in a way, after all.