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Ex-Wife Invited to Brother's Wedding INSTEAD of Current Partner???

Mich811's picture

My female friend has lived with her divorced life partner for years. Her partner has children with his ex-wife.

Her partner's brother is getting married and the invite list includes the children, the partner and his ex-wife, but NOT my friend. The brother gets along with my friend, but says that he cares about the ex-wife and doesn't want her to be uncomfortable.

How should my friend react? Her partner is arguing that they can't control the guest list, and that she shouldn't be angry at him for going and not protesting. I'm on the other side, arguing that this is total BS and that her partner should be sticking up for her at all costs.

What do others think? I don't want to lead her down the wrong path!

PinkPixie's picture

There's not much she can do if she's not invited, but personally, I think her partner should tell the brother that if your friend isn't invited, then he isn't going to be there, and he's sorry. If the ex wife can't handle being at the same event with her, then that's the ex wife's problem. Period. I hope your friend's partner sticks up for her.

Mich811's picture

The point isn't really the wedding, but the fact that the brother is making a clear decision to alienate my friend and the fact that the partner is attending is an affirmation of that decision, right?

It's not like my friend is insisting that the ex-wife not attend. Seems so ridiculous to protect the ex-wife at the expense of the current relationship.

stepmom2one's picture

They both should have been invited. If I were her I would not attend in protest, or at the very least have a long conversation with the brother about how wrong this is.

PinkPixie's picture

I understand what you're saying, and I think its awful to treat someone that way. I just hope her partner ends up sticking up for her and letting his brother know its not right.

Mich811's picture

Right, but he isn't sticking up for her -- her partner is arguing that it is his brother's decision, and he doesn't want to miss his brother's wedding at any cost, and so he will go with the kids and the ex-wife and my friend can stay home and feel terrible.

sweetthing's picture

My Dh's family LOVES BM, I mean LOVES her. When DH's little brother got married three montha after we did he wanted to invite BM. My DH & youngest SS were in the wedding. DH asked him not to invite her and his brother said that he just thought it was good ettiquette as he had known BM for 10 years. Again DH begged him not to & alluded that they would not be in the wedding if she was invited. This was his extended families first opportunity to meet me. I think my SIL prevailed & they didn't invite her.

Believe me I have endured so many people being concerned about how BM will feel, no one EVER asks how will Sweetthing feel, will this make her uncomfortable? I have to see this woman everyday, she gets my DH's money & still wants more, she gets them after all the homework is done & she gets to play with them & go to Wal Mart ect... after we have done all the work after school. She gets all the control.

If your friend isn't married to this moron who can't even stand up for her she needs to get out now while the getting is good. This will set a precedent for things to come.

PinkPixie's picture

Seriously I have seen a pattern of behavior where people repeatedly are most concerned (or only concerned) with the feelings of the ex wife and express no sympathy or care for the new wife in those kinds of awkward situations. I dealt with that repeatedly when I first married dh. People were telling me how "difficult" this was for bm and how I had to understand that. Not once did anyone ever say, "I know this is hard on you, too." That would have meant the world to me. What gives?!

sweetthing's picture

Why did he ever divorce St Ex?

Mich811's picture

And, she isn't objecting in ANY way to the ex-wife being there. She just feels that if she isn't included, they should boycott.

I agree, it is a really scary precedent.

bellacita's picture

if she hasnt moved on by now to the point where seeing them together would make her "uncomfortable" well u know what then? TOUGH SHIT. let her deal w it or SHE can decide not to go. as for the guy, that would be the last living day i would let him think its acceptable to go to a wedding and leave me at home bc of the ex-wifes feelings. i would be out the door. DEAL BREAKER

sparky's picture

She needs to kick her partner to the curb. The brother has the right to invite anyone that he wants to his wedding, but all of them should be invited.
That is a terrible way to treat his partner and what goes around comes around.

Georgie Girl's picture

The partner sould be invited as well. The ex doesn't have to talk to her. I don't think I could stay in a relationship if my partner did not stand up for me in a situation like that. He should say something to his brother about that.

Also, is the the brother's first marriage? If it is not, how would he feel if someone treated his soon to be spouse that way?

Mich, your friend has every right to be good and pissed. My question would be - where does it stop? Should your friend just expect to be excluded in order to appease the ex?

She should make her feelings known now. If she agrees to go along with this she is giving him permission to do it again in the future.

PinkPixie's picture

The more I've thought about this the more angry it makes me. The brother has SOME NERVE to exclude your friend, and her partner is even worse.

Sasha's picture

The ex-wife should receive her own invitation, and a separate invitation to "Brother and Girlfriend."

They are making him choose between his family and his current girlfriend. If he doesn't stand up to his family for what is right they will continue to treat brother's girlfriend as though she doesn't exist.

No, this isn't right, and if your friend's boyfriend doesn't do right by her then I would suggest she seriously reconsider the relationship.

Mich811's picture

I agree with you all, completely. It is time for her to set a precedent with this guy. It is just tough to be the messenger here...

sparky's picture

Just send her a copy of this and let her see how wrong a lot of people think it is.

sparky's picture


Sita Tara's picture

If BM wants to go, then fine. I have no problem with not telling someone getting married that they can't invite anyone they want. But...I would never allow anyone, especially my own brother to invite my ex and not invite my H. Your friend's SO needs to make a stand on this one or not attend himself. Granted the wedding day isn't about your friend. But it is not about BM either.

My first H was married, for a year and a half when he was around 20. We met when he was 25, and married two years later. His exW and he had a very close mutual friend, who had worked for his brother, as well as was a best friend of my ex's sister. Now this mutual family friend had many Christmas parties and went out of her way to invite all of us and not choose. She always said to me, "I invited (Then H's exW) and her H, but I told her if she was uncomfortable with you two being there, then I would understand if she didn't want to come." And she never did, but made other excuses and would not say it was because I would be there. I learned a lot from this mutual friend of all of ours on how to include everyone and not allow a friend to manipulate you into a corner over this situation. We all attended her wedding and everything seemed ok.

FIVE years later, my H and I had my oldest son. A few months later, my then SIL threw a baby shower for that same family friend who was expecting any week by then. I called my SIL to ask if I could help her with the shower and she said, "Well...that might be awkward, because Teresa's helping (then H's exW.)" I said, "Oh...well if there's anything I can do for it anyway, without making her uncomfortable, please let me know."

A few months later... an old co-worker from my BIL's office called and asked me if I was going to this woman's shower (I had worked for my BIL for four years too, but not at the same time the mutual friend had.) I told my ex-coworker I thought I was, but I hadn't received my invitation. She said, "Well.... it's this weekend..."

My stomach dropped. Could my own SIL be excluding me from a family friend's shower completely in order to please my H's exW????

My ex-coworker, playing devil's advocate went up to my SIL (not the one throwing the party, the one who's office we worked at) and asked, "It says on the invitation that Teresa so and so is co-hosting with (SIL). Who's that????" My SIL said, "That's Z's H's exW." My co-worker said, "Well...that will be interesting with Z there." My SIL said, "Z is NOT invited. She thinks she needs to go and show off 'that' baby of hers to make Teresa uncomfortable and ruin our friend's day."


My then H took a stand. We never came right out and told our IL's why we stopped coming around, or why we didn't bring "THAT" baby of ours around much anymore, even on holidays. But we didn't. It was horrible.

My only saving grace was then H's other sister who knew nothing of this whole drama (didn't want to involve her.) So one day a few weeks after the shower my nicest SIL and I were visiting when she asked, "Why weren't you at P's shower???" I said, "Well....this is awkward but, I wasn't invited because of Teresa." My SIL said, "WHAT???? Your whole H's family was there and not you but his EXWIFE????? THAT's ridiculous. I wish you would have told me so I could have said something. I just thought you didn't come. I walked up to (SIL I worked for in the past) and said, "Where's Zen? How come she didn't come????"

I wish I could have seen all their faces when my SIL did that.

It is absolutely ridiculous that your friend was not invited and the ex SIL was. As a matter of fact, my DH's ex SIL and BIL caved under pressure to not invite us to their oldest daughter's wedding last year or to her baby shower(from BM and some other family members.) BM never rsvp'd for the wedding, expected US to pay for SD's dress for it, then did show up at the last minute to attend, but left the reception way early, right after eating. Then the baby shower BM never responded, then sent a regret at the last minute too, so SD didn't get to go. BM never sent a gift to either event, DH and I sent one to each, and have dinner occasionally with them. I think by the time their youngest gets married they are going to give up on BM and invite us.

BUT... we don't make them feel bad for caving since it's their sister, you know?

“I never gave away anything without wishing I had kept it; nor kept it without wishing I had given it away.” ~Louise Brooks

LIFEGOESON's picture

Amazing to me is that these ex's can not move onto living the new life they choose. They still use the old family as a crutch.
They never give up making the ex's life hard to manage, still wanting to keep a toe in the middle of the circle. Controversy makes them the center of attention, which is what they are trying to achieve.
There could be 200 people at the wedding the x still wants to feel it is about her.
It will amuse you if you look at her with pity.
Your day will come to throw a party and not invite the brother because he may not like the ex being excluded.

Angel's picture

Wedding invites many times are reserved for "family" members. If this man has not respected his "partner" enough to make her family, the people getting married are not respecting this union either. If he is offended, he should not attend. Until the new partner is officially "family" (ring & ceremony), they are looking at the mother of the kids more like family.
Personally, I would invite her---but not everyone thinks alike.How does the bride feel about the "partner"?

LizzieA's picture

But this is legalistic claptrap. Who knows why they are not married? She is still his partner. Gawd I can't believe this. You never lived with someone? And by the way, EX means EX, she is not FAMILY.

Sita Tara's picture

Angel, you argue that "Wedding invites many times are reserved for "family" members." And if the brother hadn't married his significant other than she's not part of the family, I would say they better not be allowing any friends to bring their dates either.

But if that is your argument than LizzieP's right and the ex should not be invited as she is not legally family either.
I agree you can't tell someone who they have to invite, but inviting your brother's exwife, and NOT inviting his significant other is a definite slight. If I were him, I would talk to my family and be honest about it. If they have some specific reason that they don't like his SO, then fine. I wouldn't want to attend myself if I were in that position (and I have been under slightly different circumstances.) If it were my family's event and they insisted I not bring my SO, but my exspouse was welcome? Then I would attend the ceremony and leave.

"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." ~Geoffrey F. Abert

sarah1971's picture

not to be a downer but she may want to reconsider her situation. MY inlaws are the same way in regards to inviting the ex to family functions. Their logic is BM IS SS's mother so we should do it for SS(bull crap) regardless of how it makes DH and I feel. They will tell us(DH and I) to "get over it", well its hard to "get over it" when BM is making our life hell. Its unlikely your friends family will change their ways so she needs to ask herself can she live like this.

Vickie's picture

I agree with Angel. If the "life-partner" of your friend doesn't want to do what Beyonce calls "put a ring on it," the friend is just a long-term room-mate. Families aren't obligated to invite a family member's roommate to a wedding.
And in any case, a brother does not have the right to dictate who the brother and his wife-to-be invite. In addition, the brother and his family probably already have an enjoyable relationship with the "life-partner's" ex-wife. Just because the "life-partner" didn't want to stay married to her doesn't mean his family doesn't want to stay connected to her. (And sometimes, families can see what someone involved in a relationship can not. They may not believe this woman is a good mate for the guy.)
Best bet: if the roommate isn't happy with the way things are, she should move on.

LizzieA's picture

a man should leave his family and cleave to his WIFE--family, siblings, etc., do not come first. This woman lives with him and is there for him as his LIFE PARTNER--and he would diss her like that? No way.
One great thing about my DH is he has been very clear with everyone--you disrespect Lizzie, you disrespect ME.
They finally got the message.
I'd tell him to bite me if I were her.
These sick power-tripping families "blood comes first" yeah, right, it's about control. Doesn't the guy get it, they are judging HIM too.
Let us know what happens. And send your friend here!

Angel's picture

Not his wife. & THAT is the point. The Bible does not say this about live'in girlfriends. IMHO You can't claim biblical prophesy, if it doesn't apply.