Post # 1
This dilemma has been sorted but I’d like to know what Miss Manners thinks of this scenario…
A friend of mine, lets call her Lucy, is getting married. My brother is good friends with the groom who we’ll call Gary.
Lucy and Gary told us about 18 months ago that she would be inviting my live in partner and me, both my brothers and my parents.
Since then my parents have, well, not been on great terms. My Dad’s lived overseas for a long time and lead a double life; my Mum keeps umming and ahhing about filing for divorce.
Since Lucy is one of my best friends and Gary is close to my brother they were two of the people we confided in, very few people know about my parents rough patch but we needed someone to talk to.
Invites go out, I recieve mine as expected, both my brothers are invited with a guest (only one has a girlfriend). My Mum’s is only addressed to her.
My Mum is angry, “I’ve already told Dad that he’s invited” – um, but you’d never got the invite! And “Why didn’t they invite us as a unit, we are married after all” – fair point.
So my Mum got my brother to confront the groom (eek!). Gary’s reasoning, they didn’t think my Dad would come (and he’s probably right), they know my parents were going through a rough patch and didn’t want to rub salt in the wound, and they don’t really know my Dad. In fact, pretty sure Gary has never met him.
So Bees… thoughts?
Post # 3
@ladyartichoke: I think it should have been addressed to both. Your mother then could have decided whether to bring him or not. Whether or not Gary has met your father is irrelevant.
Post # 4
They are still married; it should have been addressed to both.
(I completely understand the reasoning… it is LOGICAL to not invite them both, but it is POLITE to look the other way about their marital strife, haha.)
Post # 5
@distracts: I agree. I feel it should have been automatically addressed to both, but my mother asking for clarification was a bit rude too. As it turns out, they have said he can come. But whether he does really depends.
Post # 6
The grammar nazi in me apologises for missing the “n” in the title of this post.
Post # 7
@ladyartichoke: I think the salt rubbing was done when they didn’t invite your father :/
Post # 8
I can see their reasoning, but the “proper” thing to do would have been to invite them both. Perhaps if you or your brother can explain to your mother that their hearts were really in the right place, trying not to upset her or make this awkward, it will help.
Post # 9
Whether or not they know about them, your parents’ marital troubles are NONE of their concern. Married couples are invited together. Period. If your father wishes to decline the invitation, he’s more than welcome to.
Post # 10
They’re married. Legally, if not functionally. The only proper invitation includes both, as it would be extremely rude to split a married couple for an event. She was fine to clarify, but not to argue (from purely an etiquette standpoint). Again, from a purely polite standpoint, they should have had no idea of the marital problems, as dirty laundry shouldn’t be aired in public. How this should have gone down:
Invitation addressed to both Mr & Mrs. If he wasn’t going to attend, either due to distance or personal reasons, she could have just sent back the yes for herself and no for him. It’s never a good idea to make assumptions about another person’s relationship.
Post # 11
yikes…..i think they should have invited both your mom & dad……it seems like they were trying to be nice but instead made it way more awkward.
it is your mom & dad’s decision to make (being seperated or not) and they shouldnt have assumed but its done now…..
from what you are saying about mom.not ready to divorce though she knows if double life sounds like maybe she is just upset over that and using this as an excuse to be upset
Post # 12
@ladyartichoke: Lucy should have invited both of your parents. Regardless, they are a social unit. And social units must always be invited together, no exceptions.
Especially, if no plans for actual divorce are happening. I think they violated your confidence in them. You told them that very private information in confidence and they used it to publicly make a statement about your dad’s activities.
However, your brother should not confront the couple. Your mother should just accept or decline, as she was invited.
Post # 13
I think the intentions were of a good place and the invite was logical to them. However, the proper thing would have been to invite both parents since your mom doesn’t realize that this couple knows any details of her rocky marriage.
Post # 14
They were rude. I feel bad for your mom, who was embarassed by it.
Post # 15
Second all PPs who say both should have been invited. I understand their reasoning, but it still wasn’t the correct way to handle it. I feel bad for them though – they were just trying to do the right thing.
Post # 16
@ladyartichoke: I asked this to a room full of ettiquitte folks when my FI’s cousin was going to be seperating with her husband between when the invites go out and the reception. They all said to mind my own business and address it to both until there has been a public break (legal seperation or divorce). In the same vein we are inviting the husband of another cousin, even though his girlfriend lives in the house (she’s not invited abd this isn’t a case of swinging but Catholics not divorcinf… like adultry is any better)