My husband is turning 50. We love both our children equally. But our daughter has developed some pretty extreme views since marrying a Christian pastor, and she had become a big part of the family Christian values movement. She has given us four grandkids (all under 6), with a fifth on the way. We love the grandkids to bits, her husband not so much, but I don’t think he knows that. Our son is openly gay and dating a boy that we have known forever. My daughter had told us she won’t let her kids be around homosexuality and has not spoken to her brother since he came out. This breaks our hearts and hurts her brother so much, as they used to be so close as kids. He went to her wedding, came out shortly after that, and they have been on icy terms since. We normally do separate family dinners and two Christmases to appease our daughter, as we love our grandchildren dearly and they should not miss out on family love because of their parents’ attitudes. Our daughter and her husband know we don’t agree with then, but we just ignore the elephant in the room for the sake of the kids. I don’t think they know how strongly we disagree with them to try to keep the peace.
Well, until now. My husband and I have money, and we have decided you only live once so we might as well spend some of it. For his 50th, we are taking 50 friends and family members away for the weekend. (Not plane flights, just a two-hour drive from us.) We have booked out an entire place with a pool on a huge farm-style resort. We have 10 grand worth of alcohol ready to go, catering will be booked, and the invites are ready to send. It will be a whole weekend of family, friends, lots of food, and drinking. We love our son and his boyfriend, so they and the boyfriend’s parents are all invited.
But … my husband doesn’t want to invite our daughter. We love her and are close, but he feels she will make a fuss about so many of our LGBTQ friends being there and will try and get us to uninvite her brother for the sake of the children, so the kids can spend the birthday weekend with their grandad. My husband loves his daughter, but feels like he is being guilt tripped and just doesn’t want to deal with it. He thinks she won’t even know about it as she us not on talking terms with anyone we are inviting. I share his attitude in that there is no way I’m kicking out son out of the weekend… but feel like we should at least invite them. They are still family. They still love my husband. They don’t really have many chances for a family weekend away, as being a stay-at-home mother and a pastor of a small church is not a huge income. I think they would like the weekend and I want my daughter to reconnect with her old friends. I feel disappointed that my husband is giving up. He says he doesn’t want to invite them, but is leaving the choice to send invitations up to me. So do I send them an invite? Or just leave it, and if it is ever mentioned by them, just explain we didn’t think they would be interested as her brother, his boyfriend, and his boyfriend’s family are all invited? Is it time we finally stop tip-toeing around this and take sides?
— Mother in the Middle