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Limited number of graduation tickets and I'm left out.

I'm fairly upset and some what confused about this situation, and perhaps you ladies can help me make sense of this whole issue.

My lovely FI and I have been together for 6 years. He is finishing his "victory lap"  (5th year) and finally getting his bachelors degree. I am incredibly proud of him as he has rocked his program and will be applying to medical school this summer. He is very close with his family, and I love them to death too. He comes from a very conservative Mexican-American family and he's a real mamas boy. Family is his number one, and at times it seems I'll never be quite up on that list. None of this is generally an issue as of late. We've discussed family, how we define it, that we'll be starting our own family, etc... and all seemed fine for months now. We were on the same page, and I was starting to feel like family.

So, here is my predicament. I've gone out of my way to clear my weekend for his graduation. He's going to be my husband and I am SO proud of him--how could I not be SO excited to celebrate his graduation? However, his college apparently changed the number of tickets issued to each student from 5 to 4 because of excesssive RSVPs. He didn't RSVP early and now has 4 tickets. That means he's planning on taking his mom, dad, brother, and sister. That leaves me essentially uninvited. He seems to not get why this is so upsetting to me. On top of it, his family planned a huge graduation trip that I can't attend due to grad classes and this was the one thing I could participate in. His brother didn't attend his sister's high school graduation last year and is super uninvolved in family life. He's very about himself and partying, and while I don't mean to be rude or disrepsectful and would never say this to FI's family, the guy isn't active in his relationship with my FI. And yet, it is automatic that I'm the one left out. I don't want anyone left out, but I'm really sad that once again it is me. I've supported him SO much. I bend over backwards to help him with school and work. I'm always here. And honestly, I'm far more dependable than his family is a lot of the time

This is a pretty big life event and leaving me out of it seems so wrong. I dropped the conversation tonight. I was just too upset to discuss it. I know this is quite the vent, but how would you feel or react? I don't think I'm wrong to feel upset, but this is pretty confusing/overwhelming. I can't express how excited I was to support him. I've been planning for this weekend for nearly a year. I even talked to him about tickets months and month ago. This really sucks.

Re: Limited number of graduation tickets and I'm left out.

  • Honestly, I think this is something you should consider premarital counseling about.  Not the graduation specifically, but the fact that the two of you seem to have very different attitudes towards who comes first, old family (parents and siblings) or new family (wife-to-be).  Personally, my expectations would be pretty aligned with yours- that once a couple has agreed to get married, the new family you're creating together should take precedence over the old.  Some people think that switchover shouldn't happen until the marriage actually occurs.  And some people, unfortunately, always prioritize their old family over their new, which is among the most destructive attitudes towards marriage there is.  If there are even hints that he's likely to think about things that way, it's incredibly important to get counseling, which will give you the opportunity to figure out why your attitudes towards this don't align.

    Please don't marry a guy who puts his parents before you.  It's a recipe for a miserable marriage.  I'm half Hispanic and I understand the cultural pressures, but somehow my dad never had a problem saying no to my grandmother when necessary for my mom's happiness.  It's not really about culture, it's about the guy being afraid to stick up for you.

    Regarding the graduation itself, he should be working his [rear end] off to find a friend or acquaintance with an extra ticket that he can buy or borrow for you.  If he's NOT doing that, I kind of don't even understand why you're with this guy, as he would have to be completely oblivious to anything that's important to you.
  • I think calliopeia2013 pretty much hit the nail on the head with everything she said.

    I remember when my eldest brother was graduating and getting his accountant certificate he made sure his then long time fiance could attend along with my parents, myself, and sister: he got lucky because they have him enough for immediate family and my other brother was out of town, but he was already asking the other grads about spare tickets. 
    Basically: I'm all for caring about "old" family but there definitely needs to be a better balance between them and you that, as is proven by this situation, just isn't there even after the length of time you guys have been together... You need to have a serious discussion with him about this, and if that doesn't start to work things out, coucniling may be the solution.
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  • I remember when my fiance graduated with his Master's degree.  We weren't even engaged then (had been dating 2 years) but he made sure I attended (it was just me and his parents, his siblings did not attend).  I agree that you are more important that his siblings, and I would be hurt if he had not invited you.  He should call the school and see if there is anyway he can get an extra ticket (worked for me when I graduated so my grandma could come). 

    However, I agree with pp that you and your fiance do need to talk as you may have different priorities.  If he is putting his family first now with something as simple as graduation what else will he put his family first in?
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  • calliopeia2013 is absolutely correct.

    My FI is also graduating this June and has a number of tickets (6). He made damn sure that I had a ticket because he wanted me there more than anything. He is also the first of his family to graduate college. So it will be his mom, dad, sister, me AND he invited my parents.

    While dating, there were always fights between his parents and sister not liking me. He was willing to walk out the door on them for me. That is how I knew he really wanted to be with me and only me. (BTW- His family loves me now. One of my FI's friends was telling his mom lies about me...they aren't friends anymore).

    Best of luck to you and I hope everything works out.
  • I agree with all the PPs. Great advice.

    I'm in another state but generally grads in my area have been successful in finding grad tickets on craigslist or stubhub.

    I contacted the school's organization for international students and left my phone number and a cash offer for any international students that wouldn't need all of their tickets. I received a phone call and met a very sweet girl that refused the cash. In return I took a lot of pictures of her in her cap and gown with her cell phone so she could send them home to her family.

    Hope it all works out for you, maybe he could try some of his school's student organizations.
  • I completely agree with calliopeia2013. He should be searching 24/7 for a ticket for you. I will have the exact same dilemma at my graduation as I have 5 to invite and only get 4 tickets, but I will either find an extra ticket or ask one of my siblings to just meet us for dinner after. Honestly, my brother would probably be THRILLED with skipping all those speeches and just getting good food...

    I think you need to have a serious conversation with him about why he is placing you last in this situation. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this and YES, you are completely justified in being upset. Good luck to you, my dear!
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