I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I am at my wits' end.
My bridal shower is a little under a month away, and my mother and MOH are hosting. I provided the guest list, the typical need-to-be-invited, should-be-invited, don't-have-to-be-invited-so-play-it-by-ear. My FI's SIL was not included on the guest list.
I battled with myself for weeks about whether to invite her or not. She and I have never been friends, never even been close. I know etiquette dictates that she should be invited, since she's family-ish and everything, but our relationship can barely be described as civil. I've done everything but break my spine bending over backward to accommodate this woman. I have spent the last four years going out of my way to be kind to her, to extend gesture after gesture of friendship, to pretend I don't know she has a problem with me (for whatever reason). Her attitude towards me continues to be just short of hostile. My patience with her has worn very thin, and I refuse to spend the rest of my life letting her treat me like the sh*t she stepped in... and having to do so because it's expected of ME to be the bigger person.
It's exhausting, mentally and physically, and I've reached my breaking point. I hate the person I've become--bitter and resentful--because of her attitude towards me, and I hate that I've been put in a position where I no longer seem to have the right to stand up for myself. I never disliked her as a person, but now I am starting to solely because of the position I've been put in. I can't even talk to my FI about it because he refuses to listen and tells me it's between her and me and we need to work it out ourselves and be friends.
I don't think he appreciates how hard I've tried to "work it out" and be "friends", and how impossibly tired, anxious, and sad I am about all of this.
I finally made the decision not to include her on the guest list, knowing full well that it would eventually get back to her, since most of the rest of the family is invited (including a couple of aunts I don't think I put on the guest list). The decision tore me apart because I don't want to burn bridges before I'm family, but neither do I want to be around that kind of hostility in the weeks leading up to my wedding.
It's been a nightmare.
My FMIL texted me yesterday that her DIL "needs to be sent an invitation." I almost lost my head. I don't believe that anyone "needs" an invitation to a bridal shower. "Should be invited," yes, okay, I agree with that, but she does not "need" an invitation to anything, except maybe the wedding.
I flat out do not want this woman anywhere near me before I am married. I'm not trying to be rude or unfriendly, but I have flat out had enough, and I am sick and tired of feeling forced to bend to her will at the sacrifice of my own health and well-being. I know if she's invited, I will spend the whole day struggling to be civil to her, to the point where I won't enjoy my own party with my nearest and dearest. But I know if she's NOT invited, tensions between us will only worsen... not to mention how my FI's family will react.
I can't do this any more. This is a lose-lose situation for me. If she's there, I will forfeit the chance to stand up for myself once and for all, and my bitterness towards her will only get worse. If she's not there, god only knows what will happen.
Does anyone have any advice at all on how I should handle this? I know I have to have a talk with my FMIL, but I'm not in a place emotionally where I can have that yet.