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Not inviting my family to the wedding?

Oaky, so a little background first... My family and I have never really gotten along. My father was never really around much and my mother was always too busy trying to make sure everyone around her was not only christian, but Baptist. When I was 16 my parents kicked me out of their house because they didn't like the fact that I am atheist and I was questioning a lot of things going on in life. They also weren't too pleased that after 10 years of on and off physical abuse by my father and verbal from my mother that I told them that I had had enough and would report it if it happened again. I moved in with my then boyfriend (now we're happily engaged) a couple months later and we eventually moved from AR to Dallas. I haven't heard much from them and I have received no support whatsoever even though there have been some really big problems that have happened (car accident, loss of job). The rest of my family has been no help and they think I'm in the wrong for the way I've acted. I guess its wrong to not want anything to do with parents that hurt you, kick you out, and make no effort to build a real relationship... I do have two brothers that I would love to invite, but I'm unsure of how to invite them without giving them the opportunity to bring my parents along.

Now that we have begun to plan for the wedding, everyone that has been involved has been trying to tell me I need to suck it up and invite them. People have tried saying that maybe we'll reconcile later and I'll be upset that they weren't there, but I can see no way for us to ever reconcile since my parents refuse to accept that they ever did anything wrong. They refuse to help in any way for anything, but apparently I'm still expected to invite them. I know that if they were invited they would probably come and it would just be way too stressful for me to handle (and the fact that they would try to act like they were great parents and I am a horrible daughter for cutting them out of my life). 

Am I really a horrible person for not wanting my parents and my family to come after everything they've put me through? I don't think so but when people ask about my parents they act like I'm the most awful person in the world for not wanting them at my wedding, a day of celebration of love.
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Re: Not inviting my family to the wedding?

  • You are definitely not wrong for not wanting them to come. I think there is no excuse for the way that they have acted although I am sure you probably were not pleasant to them either :) however they are your parents and they should love and you no matter what your decisions are. It is so wrong that they have abused you and they should be reported for that.(this makes me want to say don't invite them).

    I do however think that you should probably invite them. I think it will benefit you. It will make you stronger to be able to put your issues with them aside and just relax and enjoy your day knowing that you are being the better man in the situation. As bad as they have been, I am sure that they love you and will enjoy the experience whether they express it or not. (and they probably won't or will do the opposite if it is an atheist ceremony).

    As far as the way that they act at the wedding, if they start drama then just ignore it and change the subject. Stay very lighthearted. Also you could talk to your moh or bms and have them help steer the convo in a different direction (or if worse comes to worse politely kick them out).

    As long as you are able to shrug off any comments that they make and keep it about you and your groom, then I do not see you regretting inviting them. I do see you possibly in the future regretting not inviting them for many reasons. What if in the future you are able to handle them without taking it to heart? Then you might feel foolish about not inviting them. Or by some chance they apologize and make amends? Or just the fact that you can show your children that they were there, will teach them to be strong polite individuals.(totally not saying that you are not these things if you do not invite them).

    Whatever you decide to do I will not judge because I cant imagine the hardship you have had to go through. I would invite them though...for you, not them.
  • I have tried to talk about our issues, but it always come down to the fact that it was all my fault. Granted, I wasn't the ideal teenager growing up, but I don't feel like it is in any way my fault for what happened (no parent has the right to verbally and/or physically abuse their child). I have tried to go back recently and apologize for things that have happened and try to start an open discussion about how to fix things, they just seem more interested in making it my fault and convert me. 

    My FI and I are planning on paying for the wedding ourselves and his parents have recently offered to help out. Luckily I do have a great relationship with his family, but I am tired of people asking about my side. It's also a little embarrassing, they probably didn't realize it, when his family would ask about how much my side is able to help out with (these questions don't happen often, but when we all sit down to talk about the wedding and budgets since they did recently volunteer to help out). 

    I would still like to ask my brothers, but I'm not sure how to do that.... I'm about 90% sure that the relationship with my parents and extended family is beyond repair.
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  • alexladalexlad member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited March 2010
    If you are certain that you do not want to ever have anything to do with them again then you will probably have no regrets not inviting them. If that is what you think, go for it. If you really want your brothers there then I would say just be straightforward send them each an invite and make it clear NO GUESTS. I don't think you should deprive yourself of having your brothers there because of other family members being jerks.
  • It's up to you whether or not you want to invite them, but I just hope you don't regret your decision not to invite them later on in your life.

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  • I wouldn't invite them.  Sounds like they might cause you some kind of anxiety by being there.  Doesn't sound worth it if you don't have a close relationship.
  • My mom was also physically and emotionally abused by her mother. My mother finally cut her mother out of her life when she was 19 and married my Dad. It was the best move she ever made. Don't do anything out of obligation. The best way to avoid drama and heartache is to not invite it into your life.
  • I woudln't invite them.  It sounds like if you contact them now, it will open up old wounds, which is the last thing you need to worry about during your wedding.  People who tell you that you should invite them anyway probably have never dealt with this type of situation.  I have had issues with my parents over hte years (they did not approve of my interacial relationship).  Now that we are getting married, I am inviting my parents, but mainly because we have repaired our relationship.  If my parents still behaved the way they used to, I woudl not have invited them.

    In your situation: think about what will cause YOU the least harm.  If inviting them will cause you stress, anxiety and you fear they will not behave nicely at your wedding, don't invite them.

    Invite your brother definitely, but make it clear to them that you do not want them to bring your parents.
  • How long has it been since you moved out? You were 16 at the time so if its been a few years and you have had no contact, then I wouldnt bother.  If you still have a civil relationship with them and have no worries about conflict, then why not invite them?
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  • I say don't invite them.  Just because they are related to you does NOT mean you are obligated to invite them.  The last thing you need to deal with on your wedding day (when there will already be stress) is people who once abused you and show no interest in taking responsibility for their actions.  Whether or not it is socially acceptable, I see no reason to put yourself back into a toxic relationship.  

    Go ahead and invite your brothers and don't give them the option of bringing your parents.  

    Also, don't let others pressure you about this.  You know what you would be happy and comfortable with.  
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  • Ditto, Don't invite them.  I am pretty sure they stopped being your parents when you were 16.  So why should they get that honor at your wedding.  As for your brothers, send them an invite and on their rsvp card put "one seat has been reserved for you" This will let them know that they can not bring your parents, or you could maybe call them and tell them that you would like them there but DO NOT want your parents there.  In their eyes you are already the worst daughter ever, so what is one more thing on their list, if you plan on cutting them our of your life.  They can dwell on it while you get married and live happily ever after.  
  • In Response to Re: Not inviting my family to the wedding?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Not inviting my family to the wedding? :  I just wanted to respond by saying I'm not upset that they couldn't help monetarily, but the fact that when I was in a car accident, I called my mom (at this point I was still trying to mend our relationship) and she let it ring once, I left a voicemail and she then sent me a text saying something along the lines of, "This is god's way of trying to help show you the error of your sinful ways." I never did get a call to see if I was okay or anything... And things like that have happened more than once.  
    Posted by Audrey&Austin[/QUOTE]

    After reading that, I just have to wonder... WHY do you put yourself through this kind of torment?  If I were you, I would have already cut ties with them.  They are obviously not supportive and have an abusive past... I don't know, IMO it's like the old saying - "a leopard can't change its spots."
  • NO you aren't wrong. I don't really want my dad at mine but I would feel bad not inviting him. He isn't walking me down the isle or anything though. If you don't want them there then don't invite them. If they don't approve of the marriage they probably wouldn't come anyway...or they might to object. Just a thought.
  • In Response to Not inviting my family to the wedding?:
    [QUOTE] I know that if they were invited they would probably come and it would just be way too stressful for me to handle (and the fact that they would try to act like they were great parents and I am a horrible daughter for cutting them out of my life).  Posted by Audrey&Austin[/QUOTE]

    This, a thousand times this. I'm in a fairly similar situation as you, only with just my father. My FI asked, "If you invited him to the wedding, what would you do if he showed up." I thought about it that way, and not sending the invite. What you just said here answers that question and gets to the truth of your situation.

    Another thing that helped me was the prospect of having children. I commented one day that if I ever have kids that I probably wouldn't want them around my dad. That speaks volumes and was an indicator of me not inviting him.

    What I'm trying to say is that you know what's best for *you*, no one else. For sure take guidance and strength from your FI, and I hope that he's supporting the decision that you feel is best for yourself. 
  • I say don't invite them.. I'm not inviting my parents but will be inviting my brother and sister.  Unfortunately somethings just can't be helped and as an adult you know what is best for you. I realized three years ago that it just wasnt worth it to have a relationship with them and I am so much happier! I'm 38 now and dont see me having a single regret about it.

    Good luck and keep your head up!!
  • she then sent me a text saying something along the lines of, "This is god's way of trying to help show you the error of your sinful ways." 

    Ouch!  That's horrible.  Financial support is one thing, but not even emotionally supporting you when you're in the hospital?  They're not worth it.  But, talk to your brothers.  No reason they shouldn't be there if they've been good to you.  Good luck.
  • You're not alone.  I'm not inviting any of my immediate family to my wedding.  I won't go into details cuz it's a long story, but in the end it comes down to this for me.  They have been abusive and harmful to me throoughout my life and refuse to change.  We have no real relationship right now, and I don't see a future relationship given our history.  Why would I invite them?  Once I decided not to, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I finally was able to envision being happy at my wedding.  I could see how much fun it would be and how great it would be to celebrate with everyone, his family, our friends.  I separated from them for the very reason that I determed I have a right to happiness and to build happiness in my life.  They have no concern whatsoever for my feelings or well being.

    The other thing I determined was that my wedding day was NOT the time to try and work things out with my family.  Any big life event just gets people more worked up and crazy.  If some time in the future we do reconnect great, but I will not regret not having them at my wedding because they would make me feel like crap and I deserve better. 

    Your family will do and say things that will make you feel bad, and being hurt by it is not an comment on your strength.  Anyone would be hurt by it. 

    I'm guess I'm saying all this to let you know you're not alone.  Others are dealing with these things too.  In the end you have to do what is best for you, but know that there is nothing wrong with deciding not to invite them.

    Good luck and make sure that no matter what, you take care of yourself. 
  • I am so sorry your parents are that way.  I can not truly imagine what that would be like.  I hope that whatever decision you make, you have a wonderful wedding and marriage.
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  • kee80kee80 member
    I am a big believer in the idea that family is by chance, not by choice.  Honestly, your parents sound like toxic people.  As sad as it is, you seem like a lovely girl!  I wouldn't invite them.  Do you think that they'll behave any differently at your wedding than they have in the past? 
  • Unfortunately, they don't deserve an invite.  I'm sorry that you have to deal with this at such a special time in your life.  Good vibes your way lady!
  • Audrey, DO NOT INVITE YOUR PARENTS TO THE WEDDING! I feel so bad for you, no child should ever endure what you did. YOU KNOW THAT-You feel it in your gut so don't doubt your feelings. Don't ever think that you are the bad guy because then they really will have succeeded. I am so happy that you found "real" love, especially after not being surrounded by it growing up. Too many children of abuse continue their life in abuse, and you should feel refreshed that you broke free. LOVE DOESN'T HURT. I am sure that it pains you to feel like you have barely any family, but if all they do is make your heart bleed then they do not love you. Surround yourself with people who are worth your presence...people that respect  you. Your parents do not deserve you, they have already failed you so much and the damage is irrepairable. And that is just awful that the rest of the family has rejected you so. One thing that I need to know is "Do you speak with your brothers over the phone or get together with them?" If so, then speak with them both about your wishes beforehand-better to do it in person if possible. And I would like to know what the hell is wrong with people such as the rest of your family and/or friends and even fellow Knotties telling you that you need to "suck it up and invite them!?!!" Or that maybe you will reconcile later?!?!? Hasn't it been years since you have really spoken with your parents? YOU REALLY NEED TO STOP GIVING YOURSELF THE GUILT TRIP-OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE THEIR VICTIM FOREVER, AND YOU DESERVE MUCH MORE FROM LIFE THAN THAT. Also, do not invite people to your wedding that do not SUPPORT you and rally by your side, and that tolerate abuse. They are cutting you too by EXCUSING abuse and you shouldn't let them be in your life...they are poison. I urge you not to invite them-it won't be good for you emotionally.
  • Audrey,
        I hadn't read all the future posts when I had made my initial comment. I was under the impression that your parents were religious freaks, but your latter comment verified that for me. "This is god's way of trying to help show you the error of your sinful ways." ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! These two people really have DISEASED MINDS!!! No god favors ABUSE-your parents are just sick, mentally unstable people who use the Bible as their weapon against you. THEY are the SINNERS and if anyone is going to Hell it would be them because at least you said that you felt sorry for any wrong-doing as you were growing up, but they have no repentance! Be grateful that your FI's family embraces you and has welcomed you into their family. Blood is not always thicker than water, not in your case. I agree with the person who said that "a leopard can't change it's spots". When you are a child you don't agree with this, but as an adult you have wisdom and realize that people such as this will NEVER change.
    Take HM&KW's advice...SHE IS IN THE SAME BOAT AS YOU. "The other thing I determined was that my wedding day was NOT the time to try and work things out with my family.  Any big life event just gets people more worked up and crazy.  If some time in the future we do reconnect great, but I will not regret not having them at my wedding because they would make me feel like crap and I deserve better." 

  • PiruPiru member
    Your parents chose to stop being your parents when they kicked you out when you were 16. You aren't obligated to invite them at all and it sounds like doing so would just be inviting drama and potentially ruin your big day.

    People have all sorts of opinions about everything from when you get married on. They're just going to have to deal with your decision to not have them there and trust that you made that decision for good reason.
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  • Honey, if your mom can't even ask if your ok after a car crash then she doesn't deserve to be in your life. I hope you have a wonderful wedding with the family you do decide to invite :-)
  • I just found this posting ... and I am glad that I did.  I'm going through something similar... they were very abusive as well, physically and emotionally.  My parents kicked me out at 18, only because I couldn't 'conform'  to their image and that I too was becoming athiest. 

    All it has been is on going fights and them siding with my older 'drama queen victim' of a sister...There is no reasoning, they feed off drama... and I can't tolerate it.

    So in a sick way, they love ganging up on me and causing a lot of pain.... on a side note, they never care to ask how my schooling is going or wedding plans... and once I spoke up and especially to my sister about not being supportive - apparently I'm in the wrong - she immediately played the victim and had nothing to go on, even involved my parents to get them on 'her side'.  I invited her over many times for the past 7 months and did not show up once (yet lied and said I never invited her...my fiance is amazed with this crap)..... a little background - last year, I tried to make ammends and try for that perfect family by being there and very involved at my sister's wedding... with reassurance that they would be there for me too..... sadly, that isn't reality.

    I have decided that I have had enough and they are not invited (actually, in the last fight, my sister 'uninvited' herself to the j&j and wedidng on her own).  I am sad, because my family is very small - that is why I tried for years to make things work, but I'm burned out.... so it will just be my fiance's family, his friends and my friends..

    I am 30 yrs old now..and have come a long way despite some major set backs, I'm not going to let them bring me down anymore.  Don't feel bad about not inviting them..the worst thing is to try and make everyone happy and potentially ruin your own day.
  • I don't think you're wrong for not wanting them to come, especially after what hell they've put you through.  For very similar reasons, this is why I'm not inviting my sister.  Apparently she thinks it's ok to hold a grudge against me for not having the financial ability to make it to her wedding on my own dime.  I suggested going halvsies on a plane ticket and paying her back later instead of taking a week off of school and DRIVING to Texas BY MYSELF.   She flipped and told me "f**k you, I don't want you at my wedding."  In her exact words, too.  Moving on.  Ever since then there's been pretty thick tension between us, despite trying to make it right....it seems as though every time things seem to be going "ok", she finds something else to throw in my face, like how "I couldn't 'afford' to come see her and her kids, but I could 'afford' to take trips all over with my FI.  First of all, HE paid for everything.  Not me.  So get over yourself sis, it's not always about you.

    Anyhow.  I know what you're going through, and I don't think you're wrong for not inviting family.
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