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Wedding Party

Bridesmaid's abusive partner?

The situation here is a little sticky, so I'd love for you to weigh in.

One of my bridesmaids is with a physically and emotionally abusive man, and I'm really not sure how to handle the delicate matter of his non-invitation. She's one of my oldest friends, and I love her SO much. She's my bridesmaid, but we don't want to invite him to the wedding. What's the best way to proceed here?

I've read other threads about this, but our situation is a little different. If it was only her that he had been abusive to, I think we would step back, sigh, and say, "It's her choice to be with him. If she wants to bring him, we'll grin and bear it". It becomes trickier because he has also been abusive to me and my fiancé; when staying with us from out of town, he had a meltdown and attacked us when we tried to move the evening's festivities toward an activity that didn't involve drinking. He got so vicious that we had to forbid him from re-entering our home. While my friend is entitled to decide for herself whether or not she is willing to endure his abuse, I feel that we have the right to make the same decision for ourselves - especially on our wedding day.

Since then, we have pretty much refused to have any contact with him. When I come to town to visit, she and I go out together for coffee or meet at a mutual friend's house. For the record, it's not just us. Pretty much none of her friends or family will associate with him anymore, and this is something that she has come to terms with. She wishes it was different, but she knows that we won't accept him anymore.

So here's the tricky part - we don't want to hurt her, but we also don't want to invite him to the wedding or any of the activities. Even if I did want to invite him (which I don't!), my fiancé would never be on board. Without a doubt, it would cause a huge fight between us, and he would be unhappy and uncomfortable on our wedding day. I'd rather chew broken glass than invite this guy, and the added reward of my fiancé's unhappiness makes that choice all the more unappealing.

When she asked me if her invitation to our engagement party was 'just for her', I didn't know what to say. I'm close with her parents (who are divorced), so I told her that I wasn't sure which of her parents to invite or if it was okay to invite both, so I was leaving it to her discretion regarding how to invite her parents.

What should I say if she asks me directly if her partner is invited?

Re: Bridesmaid's abusive partner?

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Like SheSoCold said, this is one exception to the "invite all SO's" rule.  I think you just need to be honest with your friend.  With the history, as seeing as you've already broken all contact that includes him, it shouldn't be a surprise to her.  The fact that she already has been asking if invites were "just for her" shows that she is aware of the issue and suspects that he may not be welcome at events. Just tell her that you are uncomfortable having him there, due to the aggressive actions he's taken toward you and FI in the past, but you really hope that she will be able to attend still.  But, be prepared that she may decide to not attend or be a BM if he isn't invited.   

    image 

    kimmiinthemittenOliveOilsMom
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2015

    I agree with the other PPs he shouldn't be invited because of his propensity for violence, but I would tell her he is not invited because of concern for your/FI/guest safety.  Don't wait for her to ask you.

    When she asked you if the invitation for your all's engagement party was "just for her", I suspect she was really asking if she could bring him.  Since it sounds like you are open to this, I would also invite both her parents to the wedding.  That might soften the blow of not having her b/f there.

    I hate to even mention it because it is such an ugly thought, but will her b/f allow her to go to your wedding if he isn't invited?  Obviously not that she needs his permission, but in an abusive relationship, he might forbid her and then she may not go. 

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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2015
    Address her invitation(s) to her only.

    If she asks if bf is invited, reinforce that the invitation is for her only. Don't mince words or detract from the question by bringing up her parents. 

    If she presses for a reason, tell her you are uncomforatble around her fi because of his past violent behavior.

    If that's not enough for her, remind her that you care for her and will always be there for her, but you have decided that you don't want her bf in your life. I doubt that the discussion will get that far because you've already made a point of meeting with her only. She knows why you don't like her bf. 

    Even if bf forces her to drop out of your wedding, stand your ground. 

                
    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMom
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    I agree with the other PPs he shouldn't be invited because of his propensity for violence, but I would tell her he is not invited because of concern for your/FI/guest safety.  Don't wait for her to ask you.

    When she asked you if the invitation for your all's engagement party was "just for her", I suspect she was really asking if she could bring him.  Since it sounds like you are open to this, I would also invite both her parents to the wedding.  That might soften the blow of not having her b/f there.

    I hate to even mention it because it is such an ugly thought, but will her b/f allow her to go to your wedding if he isn't invited?  Obviously not that she needs his permission, but in an abusive relationship, he might forbid her and then she may not go. 

    This. Abuse is about control. If he is at all upset at being excluded, he will make her life a living hell if she tries to go to your wedding without him. She may be asking about it in advance because she's trying to figure out whether she'll be able to get him to "let" her go. 

    I'm not suggesting that you need to invite someone who has been physically violent with you in the past, but you do have to accept that excluding him may also mean excluding her. 
    VicTim328kimmiinthemittenInLoveInQueensMesmrEwe
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited November 2015

    I agree with the other PPs he shouldn't be invited because of his propensity for violence, but I would tell her he is not invited because of concern for your/FI/guest safety.  Don't wait for her to ask you.

    When she asked you if the invitation for your all's engagement party was "just for her", I suspect she was really asking if she could bring him.  Since it sounds like you are open to this, I would also invite both her parents to the wedding.  That might soften the blow of not having her b/f there.

    I hate to even mention it because it is such an ugly thought, but will her b/f allow her to go to your wedding if he isn't invited?  Obviously not that she needs his permission, but in an abusive relationship, he might forbid her and then she may not go. 

    The bolded should not be used as an argument in favor of inviting him.  There is every reason not to invite a person who has physically threatened not only his SO but yourself and your FI. 

    If it seems like it's possible that not inviting him will open up the bridesmaid to more abuse, I would discreetly encourage her to take appropriate action, legal and/or otherwise, to get him out of her life permanently.  But if she doesn't come for whatever reason, it's just something you need to accept.

    VicTim328
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    You should probably hand deliver her invitation, if at all possible.
                
    lc07kimmiinthemittenOliveOilsMomMesmrEwe
  • You are in a tough situation. If you invite her w/o BF, when he finds out, my guess that it won't be good for her. I think all you can do is tell her break the rule that she was invited to engagement party but tell her that you and FI don't feel comfortable with having her BF being at your wedding. While you love her you don't feel right either just inviting her and not him because of what that could mean for her when he finds out. And due to this, you won't be sending her an invitation. Maybe this will give her a wake up call that people are going to stop inviting her to things because of him. If you insist on inviting her, then you have to invite him and then I would have the reception hall on high alert of the situation and have security there too. Warn her that if he gets out of control that the police will be called on him and charges will be filed.
  • One last thing, if you do manage to invite her without him, I wouldn't give her an invite for her to have at her home, because else he could find it & see the details and just show up.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    You are in a tough situation. If you invite her w/o BF, when he finds out, my guess that it won't be good for her. I think all you can do is tell her break the rule that she was invited to engagement party but tell her that you and FI don't feel comfortable with having her BF being at your wedding. While you love her you don't feel right either just inviting her and not him because of what that could mean for her when he finds out. And due to this, you won't be sending her an invitation. Maybe this will give her a wake up call that people are going to stop inviting her to things because of him. If you insist on inviting her, then you have to invite him and then I would have the reception hall on high alert of the situation and have security there too. Warn her that if he gets out of control that the police will be called on him and charges will be filed.
    I'm sorry, but I think this is terrible advice. One of the hallmarks of an abuser is that (s)he tries to socially isolate their partner from friends and family. Asking someone to no longer be in a bridal party, and not to come to a wedding after inviting them, simply because of their abusive SO is not only rude, but it will probably not be a wake up call. She will be hurt, and he will probably prey on that hurt & use this as a tool to further isolate his partner, and continue the cycle of abuse. I like what PPs said: give her the invitation alone, away from her bf, and make sure she understands that you love her and want her there, but also why you're not inviting her SO.
    I agree, Jedi. I also think it's somewhat ridiculous to think that not receiving an invitation to a friend's wedding will be a "wake up call" to someone who is being abused. That's like saying that telling an alcoholic to "stop" will help. It's so much bigger and deeper than that.
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    JediElizabethJen4948[Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers



    Erikan73 said:

    You are in a tough situation. If you invite her w/o BF, when he finds out, my guess that it won't be good for her. I think all you can do is tell her break the rule that she was invited to engagement party but tell her that you and FI don't feel comfortable with having her BF being at your wedding. While you love her you don't feel right either just inviting her and not him because of what that could mean for her when he finds out. And due to this, you won't be sending her an invitation. Maybe this will give her a wake up call that people are going to stop inviting her to things because of him. If you insist on inviting her, then you have to invite him and then I would have the reception hall on high alert of the situation and have security there too. Warn her that if he gets out of control that the police will be called on him and charges will be filed.

    I'm sorry, but I think this is terrible advice. One of the hallmarks of an abuser is that (s)he tries to socially isolate their partner from friends and family. Asking someone to no longer be in a bridal party, and not to come to a wedding after inviting them, simply because of their abusive SO is not only rude, but it will probably not be a wake up call. She will be hurt, and he will probably prey on that hurt & use this as a tool to further isolate his partner, and continue the cycle of abuse.

    I like what PPs said: give her the invitation alone, away from her bf, and make sure she understands that you love her and want her there, but also why you're not inviting her SO.

    I agree, Jedi. I also think it's somewhat ridiculous to think that not receiving an invitation to a friend's wedding will be a "wake up call" to someone who is being abused. That's like saying that telling an alcoholic to "stop" will help. It's so much bigger and deeper than that.


    I agree too. Safety of everyone at the wedding needs to take priority over inviting SOs together when one of them has been abusive. But not inviting the abused SO is not a "wake-up call" to the abused SO. It merely makes them feel more isolated and abandoned at the worst possible time and can even be used by the abuser as "justification" for not "allowing" the abused partner to have contact with others who could be helpful and supportive.
    ShesSoColdJediElizabethMairePoppy
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