Sibling's girlfriend as guest? (She's married to someone else)

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
1056 posts
Bumble bee

Hmm. If this were me; it would depend on if her husband knows about the affair and pending divorce.

If the husband doesn’t know:

If her husband doesn’t know she’s planning to divorce him, I would not be comfortable having this woman attend my wedding behind his back. I would tell my brother that. It’s gauche of your brother to bring his secret mistress as his Plus One to a wedding. The purpose of a wedding is joining two people in marriage, celebrating their committment and fidelity. It’s distasteful to show up with your married lover while her husband is at home in the dark.


If the husband knows:

If she has told her husband she is leaving, I would not make this a “hill to die on” with my brother.

Seperation and divorce are not immediate.

Not everybody is able to say “I’m leaving you!” and move out that evening.

While some people feel that a person planning to divorce should wait until the ink is dry on the divorce decree before even considering dating, that’s pretty judgey. It’s not for any of us to say how soon is “too soon” before a person can move on and seek a new relationship.

While you might never be comfortable that the relationship began as an affair, if they stay together as a longterm couple, this woman may become your sister in law one day. Treating her with hostility and contempt will likely damage your relationship with your brother.


I think you’re out of line to want to see “proof” via her Facebook status that she’s separating. People have many reasons to update or delay updating their relationship status and that is not your business.

I also don’t see how this will affect your conservative in-laws. If “Sally” attends she’s not going to have a scarlet H on her forehead. The origin of the relationship between her and your brother is not any of their business.

Post # 32
11617 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

A lot of bees are agreeing with you because you’ve presented this as an affair, but you don’t actually know that. You know they share an address, as many people who get a divorce do because of finances, children, a long list of reasons. 

I’m having a tough time understanding how her husband doesn’t know if she’s out socializing with your brother. So, you think she would come to this wedding, be in your photos which will be all over Facebook, and her husband doesn’t know. 

Idk, this just seems way too thought police for my taste but if it makes you feel better to exclude her (and not your brother, who is the other man according to you?), it’s your right to do so. 

please don’t ask her to change her Facebook status to get an invite, though. That’s way too invasive. 

Post # 33
1487 posts
Bumble bee

I tried to put myself in your shoes. If it was my brother and this woman made him happy I would want her there. My concern would be with my brother and his happiness. Not this womans previous relationship. 

Excluding her from an event doesn’t change her relationship status. But it would be a poor strategy on your part if you wanted to build a solid relationship with her one day. What if her and your brother got married? Maybe she would exclude you from things? It’s good to think about the future not just this one event. 

Post # 34
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017 - Maui, Hawaii

Agree with the bees who say none of this is your business. Brother gets a plus one. As far as pictures of her with your brother, not your problem. This is their business and their problem. 

Im curious how you think your fiancés family will find out she’s married? Do you expect they will cross reference everyone’s dates on Facebook to check their status? Are you concerned she will be wearing a scarlet A on her dress? Even if they do somehow find out, again, not your problem. Do yourself a favor and let go of worrying about this. 


Post # 35
211 posts
Helper bee

Her former relationship isn’t your business, divorces take time. Assuming you generally believe she’s a decent person, you have to believe her and your brother when they say they are serious. It’s up to you whether you allow your brother to bring a plus one, and it’s up to you whether you include her in photos. But that’s all really… being a bride doesn’t give you a free pass to judge others love lives.

Post # 36
2843 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Now this is why you have evening guests……

But it sounds like they are pretty open with their relationship so I assume the husband knows. She is your brother’s girlfriend so invite her. I might not include her in the family wedding pictures though as it is still early days of their relationship.

Post # 37
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

frustratedsis :  As many others have said if she were separated from her husband and they were out as a legitimate couple I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I would be uncomfortable if they were still sneaking around and she attended.

Post # 38
5696 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

You keep implying the husband doesn’t know but it seems like this woman and your brother are being pretty open about their relationship so I would assume that they are starting the process of separating and that the husband probably knows. Why would she even want to attend your wedding with your brother if she was having a secret affair? 

I think demanding she change her Facebook status is really weird and really none of your business. My Facebook doesn’t list my status as engaged, does that mean I can’t get married?

Post # 39
2284 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I fall on the side of brother should be invited with a plus one- unless you’ve already established that NO ONE is getting a plus one if they are unmarried and not engaged. Who your brother chooses as his date- and consequences he faces from doing that- is his own business.

Post # 40
6740 posts
Bee Keeper

n00bee :  “Verbal” literally means spoken or conveyed orally, you are describing a written notice…

Post # 41
416 posts
Helper bee

Give your brother a plus-one. Tell him that candid photos may be posted on social media and you’re not going to participate in hiding their relationship (if her husband does indeed not know, this might make her change her mind about going).

Then don’t say any more about it. It’s not your fiance’s conservative family’s business to know anything but this is your brother’s girlfriend, and I doubt they will care to dive into the origins of brother and girlfriend’s relationship when they are celebrating your wedding. 

I totally get why this is uncomfortable and it does really sound like a mess, but not YOUR mess.

Post # 42
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Why does your fiance’s family even need to know the situation of your brother’s plus-one? Like, how would that come up? Hopefully the couple will be tactful enough not to announce during reception chitchat that she’s getting separated/divorced but is still married to some other guy.

I wouldn’t focus on her – do you want your brother to be able to bring a guest? Then you don’t get to put limits on who he invites, unless it was someone with like a drug problem or a narcissist who would disrupt the event.

Post # 43
627 posts
Busy bee

I would give him a plus one, but it doesn’t mean that he automatically gets to bring her as the plus one. Definitely discuss your concers with him beforehand. I disagree with people saying that it’s none of your business. With him bringing her around your entire family and acting like she’s a single woman with no other responsibilities or ties in her life via marriage vows to another is ridiculous. They made that the business of your family, especially when they put you on the spot about the wedding invite, which is incredibly manipulative and would have made me extremely angry.

Post # 44
627 posts
Busy bee

Additionally, I believe you said that you’ve known this woman for years, and likely her husband as well. Therefore, it’s not some random woman whose life you know nothing about, which many commenters here seem to be saying or implying. It’s definitely a sticky situation, and brushing it off as he has a “right” to a plus one doesn’t look at all of the facts and individual circumstances, in my opinion.

Post # 45
671 posts
Busy bee

I guess people can do what they want with their own relationships, but the only thing I’d be worried about is the scenario of if the husband doesn’t know that he’s “verbally separated” (lol).  In coming months when your bro and this woman actually do “go public” there can be crazy drama.  I wouldn’t want that Jerry Springer action at my reception for sure.

In the absense of drama, there may be lots of silent judging.  Having had an ex-husband that “socialized” with a coworker while I was still married to him, I guess I am seeing it through that lens. 

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