Post # 1
Ok, bear with me… this might get a little long…
My cousin was married for several years, has a couple kids, then about 7 years ago he came out and (of course) got divorced from his wife.
Now I didn’t think I needed to invite his ex-wife, since we weren’t inviting their kids (another cousin did invite her to her wedding, but she came with the kids, which, In My Humble Opinion, would be much less awkward).
Well I sent out the Save-The-Date Cards last month, and when I went to my aunt’s house for Christmas, she was all upset that her ex DIL wasn’t invited. In fact, she said to me "xxxx didn’t get her magnet". Well gee… maybe because I didn’t send her one??
I feel like my family sees their divorce as less real because he’s gay, and that it would be different if he was dating another woman or something, which to me is completely ridiculous.
What would you do, hive? Invite her, or not? We’re already inching closer to our venue’s max capacity as it is.
And to quote my dear friend Mugatu, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
Post # 3
Do you still have a relationship with her?
Post # 4
Personally, I wouldn’t invite her unless you–not your cousin or your aunt–have a relationship with her. Are you inviting your cousin and a date?
Post # 5
I think if you have a relationship with her then invite her. If not then don’t. It is your wedding invite the people you feel the most comfortable with, and surround yourself with love not drama!
Post # 6
Wow, I’m not sure if you’ll like my answer, but even though I understand your reluctance to invite your former cousin-in-law, if I were in your shoes, I would invite her and include her in my wedding, if your relationship with her was generally cordial and friendly. After all, it’s not like your cousin’s divorce was any of her fault or that she was a "witch." In fact, I’m more sympathetic towards your cousin’s wife, who probably viewed and considered your family as a part of her own family and will probably be hurt if excluded simpy because her husband turned out to be gay. She did make an effort to attend your other cousin’s wedding, despite any lingering discomfort or embarrassment she might have had regarding her own personal situaton. Just my two-cents. By the way, how old are her children? If you are concern about whether or not she’ll bring the kids, simply specify that your wedding will be an adults-only wedding. Most guests will usually understand and honor the bride & groom’s request to have a adults-only reception.
Post # 7
I’m the kind of person who believes that a divorce means out of the family. However, the kids are still in the family. In this case, I would extend the invite to your cousin and his kids. If the ex wants the kids to attend, they can go with their dad. There’s no reason for you to feel awkward on your wedding day to cater to an ex-family member.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
If you didn’t want to invite her in the first place, you must not be very close with her or she would have been invited as a friend. To me an ex-cousin-in-law seems far out enough in the family tree that you shouldn’t have to feel obligated to invite her. And if you have a limited guest list, just explain that if you had been close with her of course she would have been invited but you don’t feel right cutting out others you are close with just to have her there as a nice gesture.
Post # 9
I would invite your cousin plus one. He can bring her if he wants to. I don’t think you need to invite the whole family just because they are family. If you dont speak with or are close to the exwife, and even though they still consider her family, it doesn’t mean you have to invite her.
Post # 10
How important to you is your relationship with your aunt? If it’s really important to you, then maybe I’d invite her ex-DIL as a courtesy to her.
Post # 11
The "gay" question is a red herring–situations like these can happen in any divorce situation, particularly if the split was relatively uncontentious. The question is, although she is no longer related to your family by marriage, and regardless of how close you are to her personally, to what degree is your ex-cousin-in-law with the children still regarded as part of the family?
As an illustrative example, my aunt has been married/committed to three men over a course of nearly 30 years: the father of her children/my cousins (who was out of the picture from nearly the get go), the man who basically raised my cousins (with them from age 5 through high school), and her current beau of about 6 years. At Christmas, all of the exes and the current flame come over and socialize with one another and the family. Weird, maybe, but despite the fact that she’s no longer with these guys (the second of whom she never even married) they’re still part of the family. That could be the case too with your ex-cousin-in-law.
I am guessing that since the cousin’s kids are your aunt’s grandchildren, she has a closer relationship with the ex-DIL than anyone else in the family might. In that case you would not need to invite her. However, if she’s still treated as part of the family (for example, still present at family gatherings like at the holidays) despite her lack of official documentation, then you should invite her and the kids. Even if the kids are the only link to the family, she comes as a package with them. Personally if there’s any ambiguity I would err on the side of generosity and invite her and the kids. Remember, you are not going to get a 100% rsvp rate, especially in this economy. Good luck!
Post # 12
I would say that if you are inviting the rest of your cousins to bring their kids, you should invite your cousin to attend with his children. If you’re cutting it off at first cousins (we did, or it would have meant another 50 people) then you don’t need to invite the kids. Either way, you don’t need to invite your ex-cousin-in-law. Your aunt really has no say in the matter, unless she’s chipping in to help pay for the reception. You don’t really owe her an explanation either – unless you want to get into it. A simple "We weren’t planning to invite her" is sufficient.
Post # 13
We’ve only ever had one divorce in our extended family. My ex-aunt was part of my life the whole time I was growing up and is the mother of my favorite cousin. It might be awkward for that family, but I really want to have my aunt there. She was no less a part of my life just because she is no longer married to my uncle.
If this ex-cousin in law was a significant part of your life, I would err on the side of including here. The second thing to consider is that obviously she cares about you and is hurt by the lack of invite. I think it is quite sweet that someone who is no longer technically in the family, still thinks of you as important in her life!
Post # 14
Wow, thank you so much for all the great advice! I knew I could count on the hive
As for my relationship with her, my other cousin’s wedding was the first time I had seen her in probably 2 or 3 years. She doesn’t come to Christmas (how awkward would that have been if my aunt asked about it in front of her??) or most family functions, except sometimes ones thrown by my aunt (her kids’ grandmother), to whom she is still pretty close.
We’re having an adults-only reception, so his kids, and all the other cousins’ kids, aren’t invited.
I think this bolstered my original opinion, that if I personally was not close to her, and her kids wouldn’t be invited regardless of the situation, then she was far enough out that I didn’t have to invite her. Thanks again!
Post # 15
I still think an invite would be necessary. Even if you aren’t incredibly close to her and even if you aren’t inviting their kids. She will probably choose not to come anyway. I speak through experience. My fiance’s family has actually gone through this (as in it was HIS dad who ended up coming out when he was 12 and his parents got divorced.) While his mom doesn’t usually attend events on his father’s side of the family without him and his sister in tow, she still appreciates the invitation. As someone else said, it’s not like they divorced because she was a "witch". Not inviting her, and it getting around to her could prove to be more of an issue than just inviting her, and her not coming.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t invite her unless you still have a relationship with her. You may want to explain that to your aunt, or any one else that brings that up.