Wedding Etiquette Forum

Unique FMIL situation

Our wedding is quite a way off and right now we're more in the brainstorming phases of things than the actually planning stages. However, one thing that comes up repeatedly is the FI does not want his mother to attend the wedding, or know anything about it, including date, time or location. This is because FMIL is a terrible person (and that is the understatement of the century!).  She has been verbally abuse to all three of her children through the years, and when he was in his early teens (12,13,14), she got in this habit of actually kicking him in the face when she was upset about something. She also more recently has done things like threaten to find our apartment and burn it down and break all the windows... because she wasn't invited to FI's birthday dinner. So it seems like a no-brainer to not invite her, correct?

The one thing I'm concerned about is that she is still technically married to FFIL. They "live" together, even though she is cheating on him and spends most of her days and nights with one of her three boyfriends. FFIL knows she is cheating, and doesn't care much, but has also made no move to divorce her or separate. He claims he hates her, but still shares a room with her when she's home.

I am totally aware of the etiquette behind inviting all couples with their SO, but in this case do we need to invite FMIL if we invite FFIL?

Re: Unique FMIL situation

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited October 2013
    Does your FI want to invite his father?

    If so, I think he should talk to his father about not allowing his egg donor any information about the wedding, and send his father an invitation with advance verbal notice that it is just for his father alone.  Safety trumps etiquette.

    Edited to add:  Whatever decision your FI makes about his father, I'd have security on hand to escort his egg donor away just in case she somehow finds out about the wedding and tries to come anyway.
    melbelleupkatieg520TeddiD34
  • Our wedding is quite a way off and right now we're more in the brainstorming phases of things than the actually planning stages. However, one thing that comes up repeatedly is the FI does not want his mother to attend the wedding, or know anything about it, including date, time or location. This is because FMIL is a terrible person (and that is the understatement of the century!).  She has been verbally abuse to all three of her children through the years, and when he was in his early teens (12,13,14), she got in this habit of actually kicking him in the face when she was upset about something. She also more recently has done things like threaten to find our apartment and burn it down and break all the windows... because she wasn't invited to FI's birthday dinner. So it seems like a no-brainer to not invite her, correct?

    The one thing I'm concerned about is that she is still technically married to FFIL. They "live" together, even though she is cheating on him and spends most of her days and nights with one of her three boyfriends. FFIL knows she is cheating, and doesn't care much, but has also made no move to divorce her or separate. He claims he hates her, but still shares a room with her when she's home.

    I am totally aware of the etiquette behind inviting all couples with their SO, but in this case do we need to invite FMIL if we invite FFIL?
    Text book etiquette is that SOs get invited - but you knew that. :) 

    In cases of abuse or threatening behavior, I put that above etiquette 100% of the time. Her verbal abuse and threats of violence toward you and your FI are enough to warrant not inviting her (IMHO). 

    I find it hard to believe, however, that you would be successful in keeping your wedding plans a secret from her considering your FFIL is planning to attend and he still allows this BSC woman into his house. Would he keep your secret? Would other family members? If she finds out where/when do you anticipate her crashing the party? If so, hire security.
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If your FI wants to invite his father I would tell FFIL the date of the wedding. I wouldn't mail an invite to their house...she might find it- have the info and your address. This concerns me based on her threats. I would have FI tell his dad - we'll tell you the location the day before and don't tell mom. Even better I'd work out transportation for him so he never knows any of the details.
    I assume no one else invited would share the wedding plans with her?
    It is acceptable to break a social unit up when violence is involved. She has been violent in the past and threatens to be violent (burn down your apt) in the present. You are within your rights not to invite her and only invite his dad.

    Sorry you're in this situation! GL!
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    melbelleup
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Because she is abusive and threatening you and your FI, I don't think you don't have to invite her.  But, I think your FI should talk to his father, if he does want to invite him, to explain the situation and the reasons behind not wanting FI's mother there.
    image
  • delujm0delujm0 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2013

    You don't have to invite her, but hire security.  I find it very hard to believe that she wouldn't be able to find out when and where the wedding is, especially if FFIL is invited.  Also, keep in mind that most places of worship are public, and therefore if your ceremony is taking place in a church or other place of worship, it will likely be impossible to keep her away from it, assuming she knows the time and date.  Make sure you have a private reception space, and security on hand.  She sounds crazy enough to try to ruin your day.  Good security can make it so that no one would even notice an attempted wedding crashing.

    doeydomelbelleup
  • Thanks everyone. I agree that it will also be difficult to keep the information about the wedding from her. I don't think FFIL would tell her, but we are never really sure about what he is going to do, so I like the suggestion from @photokitty about telling him verbally and arranging transportation. I also don't trust her parents, who are invited, to not tell her the details. Especially since they are always trying to get us to reconsider a relationship with her. I like the suggestion that multiple PP's gave about hiring security. We will definitely have to do this, as well as have FI speak with all family members that have a connection to her.

    I appreciate your wisdom and advice!
    photokittymelbelleupsouthernbelle0915climbingsingle
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Just hire transportation for all the "loose lips", tell them it's a VIP treat ;-)  and still get security.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    aurorajanetteannathy03melbelleupDreamergirl8812
  • Just hire transportation for all the "loose lips", tell them it's a VIP treat ;-)  and still get security.
    I like this idea.

    And to echo PPs, of course you don't need to invite her, she is a physical risk to you and your FIs well being.  Etiquette is based on making your guests comfortable and treating them properly, and when someone is abusive and threatening I stop giving a damn if they're comfortable or treated properly.
    aurorajanetteAprilH81lauralee1723
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would agree with PP's that you do not have to invite FMIL in this instance with FFIL.  1. She has committed violence against your FI in the past and threatens to do more in the present and 2. She is not currently acting as a social unit with your FFIL I would argue, even though they are married still.  I definitely agree with hiring security and I might even go so far as to not invite her parents (if you haven't yet verbally told them they're invited of course) or anyone who would tell her the details.  Or confuse the details of the wedding by putting out a couple different stories of where and when to try to keep your FMIL dizzy so she doesn't get the real time and place.

  • Thanks everyone. I agree that it will also be difficult to keep the information about the wedding from her. I don't think FFIL would tell her, but we are never really sure about what he is going to do, so I like the suggestion from @photokitty about telling him verbally and arranging transportation. I also don't trust her parents, who are invited, to not tell her the details. Especially since they are always trying to get us to reconsider a relationship with her. I like the suggestion that multiple PP's gave about hiring security. We will definitely have to do this, as well as have FI speak with all family members that have a connection to her.

    I appreciate your wisdom and advice!
    You need to nip this in the bud, right now. It's NONE of their business why you do or don't have a relationship with their daughter, but it absolutely IS NOT their place to try to change things.

    DH does not have a relationship with his parents for very similar reasons, and his grandmother (who is BSC in her own right) is forever trying to get him to reconsider having a relationship with his father (her son). 

    She used to go so far as to invite us over for dinner and then -- surprise! -- DH's sperm donor would be there and she and he would be all like, "Why can't we all have a nice family dinner?"

    DH finally sat his grandmother down and said, "Look. I don't have a relationship with my sperm donor because he and the woman who gave birth to me spent my childhood using me as a punching bag. You didn't do anything to stop it, even though you knew about it. I have forgiven them, and you, but I do not now, nor will I ever, want to have a relationship with them. If you keep forcing this on me, that means that you won't see me, HisGirl, or our future children, at all, ever. Do you understand me? If you do this one more time, HisGirl and I will walk out of this house, and out of your life, forever. I am not kidding, and I am not having this conversation with you again. Do.You.Understand.Me?"

    Since then, she hasn't said one word about having a relationship with his parents to DH. 
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    RebeccaB88melbelleupaurorajanetteTeddiD34
  • Thanks everyone. I agree that it will also be difficult to keep the information about the wedding from her. I don't think FFIL would tell her, but we are never really sure about what he is going to do, so I like the suggestion from @photokitty about telling him verbally and arranging transportation. I also don't trust her parents, who are invited, to not tell her the details. Especially since they are always trying to get us to reconsider a relationship with her. I like the suggestion that multiple PP's gave about hiring security. We will definitely have to do this, as well as have FI speak with all family members that have a connection to her.

    I appreciate your wisdom and advice!
    You need to nip this in the bud, right now. It's NONE of their business why you do or don't have a relationship with their daughter, but it absolutely IS NOT their place to try to change things.

    DH does not have a relationship with his parents for very similar reasons, and his grandmother (who is BSC in her own right) is forever trying to get him to reconsider having a relationship with his father (her son). 

    She used to go so far as to invite us over for dinner and then -- surprise! -- DH's sperm donor would be there and she and he would be all like, "Why can't we all have a nice family dinner?"

    DH finally sat his grandmother down and said, "Look. I don't have a relationship with my sperm donor because he and the woman who gave birth to me spent my childhood using me as a punching bag. You didn't do anything to stop it, even though you knew about it. I have forgiven them, and you, but I do not now, nor will I ever, want to have a relationship with them. If you keep forcing this on me, that means that you won't see me, HisGirl, or our future children, at all, ever. Do you understand me? If you do this one more time, HisGirl and I will walk out of this house, and out of your life, forever. I am not kidding, and I am not having this conversation with you again. Do.You.Understand.Me?"

    Since then, she hasn't said one word about having a relationship with his parents to DH. 
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm sorry you and your DH have had to go through this. It helpful to hear from someone in a similar situation.  We will still invite his grandparents. We are very close to them and love them dearly. They were unaware of their daughter's behavior until fairly recently as they were not living in the area when FI was younger and didn't witness much of the abuse. I think that because they never witnessed it, they can't believe how bad it really was (and still is). They know that she is mentally unstable, but I think they aren't admitting to themselves just how bad it is. I agree that this conversation needs to happen between FI and his grandparents.
    Aside from his two sisters (who haven't talked to FMIL in years and hate her as much as FI does), and FFIL, the grandparents are the only people from FI's family who will be invited. I think we can definitely arrange for transportation for them as well to avoid letting them know the location of the wedding.


  • Thanks everyone. I agree that it will also be difficult to keep the information about the wedding from her. I don't think FFIL would tell her, but we are never really sure about what he is going to do, so I like the suggestion from @photokitty about telling him verbally and arranging transportation. I also don't trust her parents, who are invited, to not tell her the details. Especially since they are always trying to get us to reconsider a relationship with her. I like the suggestion that multiple PP's gave about hiring security. We will definitely have to do this, as well as have FI speak with all family members that have a connection to her.

    I appreciate your wisdom and advice!

    You need to nip this in the bud, right now. It's NONE of their business why you do or don't have a relationship with their daughter, but it absolutely IS NOT their place to try to change things.

    DH does not have a relationship with his parents for very similar reasons, and his grandmother (who is BSC in her own right) is forever trying to get him to reconsider having a relationship with his father (her son). 

    She used to go so far as to invite us over for dinner and then -- surprise! -- DH's sperm donor would be there and she and he would be all like, "Why can't we all have a nice family dinner?"

    DH finally sat his grandmother down and said, "Look. I don't have a relationship with my sperm donor because he and the woman who gave birth to me spent my childhood using me as a punching bag. You didn't do anything to stop it, even though you knew about it. I have forgiven them, and you, but I do not now, nor will I ever, want to have a relationship with them. If you keep forcing this on me, that means that you won't see me, HisGirl, or our future children, at all, ever. Do you understand me? If you do this one more time, HisGirl and I will walk out of this house, and out of your life, forever. I am not kidding, and I am not having this conversation with you again. Do.You.Understand.Me?"

    Since then, she hasn't said one word about having a relationship with his parents to DH. 


    I just have to say that really feel for you and your FH. You guys have handled the family situation with such class and restraint. Not easy.

    [Deleted User]
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If FMIL is still trying to hurt your FI, maybe he should consider a restraining order.  That would require her to stay away.  And if she comes to the wedding, it would get her arrested, not just escorted off the premesis.  I have no tolerance for people who have abused and continue to abuse their children.  I'm sorry you're in this situation. 
    jendemeyer
  • I think the restraining order is a great idea.  If your FMIL's parents don't know how bad things were/are (and probably don't want to know or believe it) - you can share with them (and any others that might try to talk you into inviting her) that if FMIL comes to the wedding it would result in her arrest.  

    Like PPs, I'm really sorry that you're in this situation.  It sounds like you're doing the best you can to support your FI and that's what matters most.  I hope that besides this complicated situation, the rest of your planning is really fun and not stressful/difficult.
    jendemeyer
  • If FMIL is still trying to hurt your FI, maybe he should consider a restraining order.  That would require her to stay away.  And if she comes to the wedding, it would get her arrested, not just escorted off the premesis.  I have no tolerance for people who have abused and continue to abuse their children.  I'm sorry you're in this situation. 

    +1
    Anniversary
    jendemeyer
  • What kind of father let's his wife kick his children in the face?
    Doing nothing about abuse Is just as bad as abusing . Tell your husband to not invite them both.
    Dreamergirl8812
  • Thanks everyone. I agree that it will also be difficult to keep the information about the wedding from her. I don't think FFIL would tell her, but we are never really sure about what he is going to do, so I like the suggestion from @photokitty about telling him verbally and arranging transportation. I also don't trust her parents, who are invited, to not tell her the details. Especially since they are always trying to get us to reconsider a relationship with her. I like the suggestion that multiple PP's gave about hiring security. We will definitely have to do this, as well as have FI speak with all family members that have a connection to her.

    I appreciate your wisdom and advice!
    You need to nip this in the bud, right now. It's NONE of their business why you do or don't have a relationship with their daughter, but it absolutely IS NOT their place to try to change things.

    DH does not have a relationship with his parents for very similar reasons, and his grandmother (who is BSC in her own right) is forever trying to get him to reconsider having a relationship with his father (her son). 

    She used to go so far as to invite us over for dinner and then -- surprise! -- DH's sperm donor would be there and she and he would be all like, "Why can't we all have a nice family dinner?"

    DH finally sat his grandmother down and said, "Look. I don't have a relationship with my sperm donor because he and the woman who gave birth to me spent my childhood using me as a punching bag. You didn't do anything to stop it, even though you knew about it. I have forgiven them, and you, but I do not now, nor will I ever, want to have a relationship with them. If you keep forcing this on me, that means that you won't see me, HisGirl, or our future children, at all, ever. Do you understand me? If you do this one more time, HisGirl and I will walk out of this house, and out of your life, forever. I am not kidding, and I am not having this conversation with you again. Do.You.Understand.Me?"

    Since then, she hasn't said one word about having a relationship with his parents to DH. 
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm sorry you and your DH have had to go through this. It helpful to hear from someone in a similar situation.  We will still invite his grandparents. We are very close to them and love them dearly. They were unaware of their daughter's behavior until fairly recently as they were not living in the area when FI was younger and didn't witness much of the abuse. I think that because they never witnessed it, they can't believe how bad it really was (and still is). They know that she is mentally unstable, but I think they aren't admitting to themselves just how bad it is. I agree that this conversation needs to happen between FI and his grandparents.
    Aside from his two sisters (who haven't talked to FMIL in years and hate her as much as FI does), and FFIL, the grandparents are the only people from FI's family who will be invited. I think we can definitely arrange for transportation for them as well to avoid letting them know the location of the wedding.
    You're welcome! It's not an easy situation, by any means, and mostly I just follow DH's lead and back whatever plays he makes in regards to his family, because, well, they're his family. And I'm not gonna lie -- it's hard for me to fully understand. My parents and I have an AWESOME relationship, and always have, so it's hard for me to imagine what it's like to have parents who aren't awesome. But luckily, my parents LOVE DH, and have welcomed him wholeheartedly into our family, and are really like a set of parents to him, so that's nice. But it's still hard.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    aurorajanette
  • If FMIL is still trying to hurt your FI, maybe he should consider a restraining order.  That would require her to stay away.  And if she comes to the wedding, it would get her arrested, not just escorted off the premesis.  I have no tolerance for people who have abused and continue to abuse their children.  I'm sorry you're in this situation. 
    I was going to say the same thing. Hopefully you have her threats documented. She will be arrested if she comes within X distance of you or your fiance.
    And if it isn't obvious, do NOT do a wedding website or allow any vendors to post any data about your wedding she could find via google (like a photographer that might blog engagement photos, for example).

    Best of luck.
    aurorajanette
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