(Closed) Should I invite a jealous family member? What would you do?

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Wow – *passes you some zit cream*

I don’t even know what to say. If I didn’t know this persons age or realtion to you I would NEVER guess that it was 40 year old male cousin.

Is he normally used to getting a lot of family attention? Are their a lot of cousins? Do you think that maybe because you and he are so close he may feel resentment for not being asked to participate in the wedding in some way.

I would just give him what he wants, and leave him alone. Talking about it with family, calling him – even about future plans, is just giving him what he wants – he’s getting you upset. I don’t know why or for what reason he is doing this but it seems to be his main goal to disrupt your final months of planning and preperation for your big day.  

Don’t send him an invite he sounds distructive enough that he will be malicious at your big day. Just maybe send an e-mail or hand wirtten note, explaining you’re upset, that you no longer feel close to him and can not trust him and will not be sending him an invite per his request to not attend, and that you too feel it’s best for him to not attend. Make sure he knows that this letter is tp be the end of things unless he’s ready to be honest once and for all.

I would have family keep an eye on him, for moods and attitude to change so drastically in a short period of time would leave me wondering if theres not a drug or alcohol abuse issue going on. He sounds like, regardless of the why it’s there – that he needs help.

Good luck, keep us updated! Try not to let it stress you out – that’s just you letting him win when that happens!


Post # 4
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

wow! i agree that you should take a step *further* back from your cousin & this situation.  i completely agree with sweeney2be & if things do not change then do not invite him even tho he’s family- you wouldnt invite a friend who acted this way. really there are million other things to get zits about besides why your 40 yr old cousin is having a crazy jealous fit (unless like sweeney said, they have other issues going on).  and as for ruining christmas, i would get your family to go your aunts anyway. im not sure how big or hectic your family gathering is but if it’s anything like mine it’s somewhat easy enough to ignore someone for 5 hours.

Post # 5
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Okay, first of all, take a deep breath and relax ๐Ÿ™‚  I mostly agree with Amber and Piperbenjamin’s advice.  I think Amber is bang on with her advice to just stop contacting your cousin and let the dust settle on this argument.  I totally understand your attempts to reach out to him, but if he’s continually ignoring your calls and messages then he’s not ready or willing to deal with this.  You have left messages for him since this all occurred, so you’ve put the ball in his court to get back to you about it if and when he’s ready.  Now it’s time to get on with your life and stop contacting him entirely until/unless he contacts you first.  I think you will find that things settle down a lot once you cease contact with him and it will give you some perspective.

Next point – I know this is easier said than done, I have some "crazy" relatives of my own who have made me feel guilty for some pretty wacky reasons – but let go of your guilt over Christmas.  First off, a holiday is what you make of it.  As a result of the events with your cousin, this Christmas may be different for your family than usual, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun or special.  Make it special with the people you are celebrating with and try not to dwell on what you’re missing out on.  And realize that it’s not in any way your fault that your Christmas plans have been altered – that is your cousin’s doing and just because he’s blaming you doesn’t mean he’s right to do so.  Try not to take it personally.  There is a reason behind his behaviour.  Maybe it’s jealousy as you suggested; maybe it’s something else – but either way it’s his issue and it’s not really about you.  And be aware that it will not be helpful to try to deflect blame back onto him and start a blame war in your family.  That will inflame things and make them worse.  I think the best tactic would be to avoid attending the Christmas events at his house as that will probably make things awkward and stressful, and just tell anyone who asks that it’s too bad things have turned out this way but you think it’s for the best.  Don’t place blame on him, but don’t accept any blame yourself either.

As to whether or not to invite him, personally if it were me, I think I probably would send him an invitation.  In the case of family, no matter how heated things get, I personally would try to always leave the door open for a reconciliation unless things got really, really abusive.  I think things have to get extremely, extremely AWFUL for the best alternative to be cutting off the relationship entirely.  To me, this situation sounds like your cousin has acted in a very hurtful way towards you and I’m not sure why, but he thought he wouldn’t get caught, and now that he has been, he is absolutely mortified and lashing out at you even though he only has himself to blame.  I believe that if he’s a reasonable person, he may come around eventually with his tail between his legs and try to fix things once he gets over his ego and his humiliation.  And I would want to offer him the opportunity to do so.  I’m not suggesting that your wedding is the right time for this, but to neglect to invite him would possibly cause further damage to your relationship with him.  I think I would invite him and then if he’s not up for it, he can choose not to come.  But, that’s my subjective opinion and if you choose not to invite him, I can certainly understand that choice also.  It’s your decision to make.

The one thing I’m not sure I agree with is the suggestion above to send him a note explaining why he’s not invited.  If you choose not to invite him, I think he will know why and I don’t think it’s a good idea to further inflame the situation by sending a note placing more blame.  I think the best course of action would be to decide whether or not to invite him.  If you decide to invite him, let the invitation serve as the only contact between you and him.  If you choose not to invite him, then I wouldn’t contact him at all.

Best of luck.  It’s a sticky situation that I’m sorry you’re in ๐Ÿ™

Post # 6
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

Smartl has a good point about sending him an invitation and leaving the door open for reconciliation.  I would also stop contacting him and let the dust settle.  However, there is a part of me that thinks that if he is jealous enough to spread vicious rumors, he may be jealous enough to do something disruptive at your wedding.  Personally, I wouldn’t invite him but by doing so, you are definitely closing the door on the relationship. 

Post # 7
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Holy cow!  I feel so bad for you…and for your family.  I can’t imagine what would have possessed your cousin to do all this.  Why did he start the mean story in the first place?  Any idea?  I ask only b/c if you knew that, maybe it would have some indication whether this rift might be healed at any point in the future.  (Was this something stupid he did that has now gotten waaaaayyy out of hand, and enough time will make things easier to smooth over, or does he truly have some sort of deep-seated dislike for you?)

I agree w/ the others that you probably need to stop trying to contact him.  He’s the one holding the grudge, so he’s the one who needs to "get over it."  You’re understandably very angry, rightfully so, but you’re big enough to put it behind you, as long as he can apologize (truly) and move on — so I say kudos to you.  A friend of mine told me once, "You can’t control anyone else, all you can control is how you feel and react.  If they’re gonna do crazy things, all you can do is say ‘I love you, and I’ll be here for you when you’re done being crazy’ and step back."  I think that’s very true.

I think the suggestion to write him a note regarding your wedding and his attendance/non-attendance might be a good one, but I wouldn’t say "you’re not invited, here’s why," though.  I’d say more along the lines of, "I’m hurt that we are fighting, and hurt by what I understand you said about me.  I don’t understand that, but I still love you b/c you are my family.  I wish that we could move forward, but it sounds like you aren’t ready for that.  I had hoped you would be at my wedding, but I understand that you feel you cannot be there right now."  It acknowledges that you wanted him there, and it’s not really an invitation or an dis-invitation.  If you hear through the family grapevine that he is sorry and he really seems to want to come to the wedding in order to celebrate WITH you, then you could relent and let him come; you wouldn’t have ever issued a "no evil cousin" edict.  If he’s still his same jerky self, then he probably won’t come anyway — he hasn’t really been invited.  Maybe enlist your aunt to help monitor that situation and if he’s being a butt, say, "I don’t think you should go."

I really hate it when people use their presence as a threat or punishment upon someone else.  It’s an incredibly self-centered thing to do — it makes the event about them, and not about anyone else.  Your wedding is about you and your fiance, and the joining of your families.  Beyond your immediate families, your guests’ presence is special and a gift, but it’s not what it’s all about.  We all talk about budgets and items that are "Want"s vs. "Need"s — as a guest, he’s a "want" but not a "need."  Your cousin is trying to make this wedding — and your family’s Christmas celebration — about him, and that’s not what it’s about.  I think you have to let go and celebrate with those who are truly happy for you and want to honor that.  It’s hard, I know, I really sympathize.  Please don’t let your cousin ruin your wedding celebration; if he comes around, it will be a wonderful wedding gift.  If he doesn’t, well, maybe he will someday.

Post # 9
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I agree with those who say you should send him an invitation. This would show him and the rest of your family that you’re being the bigger person. Whether or not he chooses to attend is up to him. Regardless of how awful people behave, you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family.

I’m sorry he’s treating you and the rest of the family so badly, but it seems like they realize that he’s the crazy one and not you.

Families and relationships change, and it’s often painful, but it’s a good outlook to think about creating new traditions with your Fiance.

Best of luck and Merry Christmas!

Post # 10
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Maegan, just wanted to say I know it’s easier said than done.  That’s why it’s useful sometimes to get the advice of people who are "outsiders" and totally removed from the situation – they can see it in a different way without the emotions clouding their views.  I also was a little sad to hear you say "I’m saddened that my Fiance will never get to experience the wonderful Christmas celebration that we used to have."  You sound so defeated.  I think you will have fun anyway this year, even though it’s different than in past, and remember that this one fight with your cousin probably has not changed your Christmas celebration forever.  You will probably have that wonderful celebration you talked about in the future again when this has all settled down.

Merry Christmas to you and your Fiance and I hope you have a wonderful time together at the holidays for the first time.  That’s something special ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Maegan – First of all, I am so sorry to hear about this situation.  Sounds like your cousin has a lot of issues to work out. 

I was asked this advice before, regarding a jealous and overly-competitive cousin.  I answered that she should just invite her.  It’s the bigger thing to do.  And they can never use that as ammunition.

In your case, which seems to be much more hostile, I would also givre you the same answer.  Just send him an invitation. Or ask your mom if you should send one or not.  I wouldn’t expect him to attend, nor would you want him to. IN fact, I doubt he would even send a response card.  I think just the act of sending the invite regardless of outcome is sufficient (but does require a bit of swallowing some pride).  All of your small extended family will note that you handled the sticky situation with grace. 


Post # 12
202 posts
Helper bee

i suppose it depends on what exactly was said. if you think it your relationship can ever be repaired, then yes, you can invite him as he’s family (and yes, hopefully, he just won’t go so that you can enjoy your wedding w/o drama). inviting him does show that you are a much bigger person. however, most brides will want a stress-free day; thus, if you don’t want to deal with it, you most definitely can just not invite him b/c he already "declined" in a sense. i’m sure even if you two make up in the future, he won’t be able to hold a grudge against you. it boils down to, do you want him there at all? b/c inviting him, there is a chance he may show up. and if you think you’ll be ok with that, and that he will be a gracious guest, then yes, go for it. but if you think he’ll act immature and possibly ruin your day, perhaps play it safe.  good luck!!

Post # 14
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2006

I would have done the same thing, sendng an invite that is.  I suppose, in my mind, it would be trying to make amends, and also to show my family that I am trying, and not trying to exclude him.


I hope things get better for you. How was your new Christmas Tradition?? 

Post # 15
67 posts
Worker bee

I know some good pyschiatrists for your cousin – sounds like he has a personality disorder or maybe schizoprhenia.  I am being very serious about this and in no way insulting.  His signs and symtoms of making up stories and acting out is not normal for a man his age.  As for your wedding, ask your family/aunt what they think about the "reality" of the situation and in terms of having him there.  Good luck.

Post # 16
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I don’t know why your cousin started this situation, but it sounds like he is determined to keep it going…  addicted to the drama.  Actually the best thing to do is probably to ignore him.  Don’t let yourself get pulled into his drama.  Send an invitation, be unfailingly polite, and absolutely no more.  Just don’t get pulled into it!  He only gets to control your behaviour to the extent that you let him.

Unfortunately, the same is true for the rest of the family.  And that is why he is trying to involve all of them, including your mother.  For those family members that are closer to you (like your mom) just advise her not to play along.  If he calls and gives her an earful, she can just say "I’m sorry you feel that way, but I’m not really interested in talking about it.  Is there something else you wanted to talk about?  If not…  Bye."  It is really best if you just do the same.  Be polite with your cousin but no more, don’t get into anything controversial, and if he tries just cut him off politely.  ("Of course you are entitled to your view of things.  I’m sorry you feel that way.  Let’s talk about something else.  Well then, I have a lot of things that need to be done… Bye.")

Once your cousin figures out that he can’t control your behaviour, what he is doing will be a lot less rewarding.  The fewer people he can control, the less rewarding.  Of course, you can get put into a bad situation if your mom or other relatives play into his drama, but just remember that he is the one behaving badly, and therefore he is the one ruining holidays, NOT YOU!!

Trust me, I know…  My FIs sister is the same way.  Honestly, watching The Dog Whisperer is pretty helpful… don’t reward inappropriate behavior.  Don’t be aggressive, just be dominant (above it all).  It works awfully well.  My FIs whole family is stunned at how well his sister behaves around me – but she is not stupid, far from it.  She was smart enough to control his whole family for years (including his ex-wife).  And now she is apparently smart enough to recognize someone who won’t play along.

The topic ‘Should I invite a jealous family member? What would you do?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors