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Etiquette

Hypothetical SO invite question

levioosalevioosa Southern California member
5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
We often say here that an SO always gets an invite unless they have physically assaulted/harmed or stolen from the Bride and Groom/family member (or pose an outright threat to guests).  Tonight I was contemplating this rule and I wondered why verbal/emotional abuse gets a pass on this.  I don't think anyone here would disagree that verbal/emotional abuse is a real and incredibly harmful thing.  Many of us here have been in verbally/emotionally abusive relationships. Yet somehow, when there are individuals who are verbally abusive, our advice is to invite as a social unit, or not at all.  

I guess my (hypothetical) question is: If your family member or close friend had a SO who verbally/emotionally abused you (or FI), would it be okay not to invite them?  Why or why not?  Go! 


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Re: Hypothetical SO invite question

  • I would not invite them. Not sure if it is the right thing to do. If it is true abuse I would not be around them.
    levioosa
  • Abuse is abuse, regardless of the type. I would not invite an SO in this situation.


    levioosaslothiegalrainbows0215
  • I would not invite them in that situation. If amends have been made, that may be the exception to the rule.  But, abuse is abuse, verbal/emotional/physical are all equivalent to me.

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    levioosarainbows0215
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    mlg78 said:
    Abuse is abuse, regardless of the type. I would not invite an SO in this situation.
    This. Verbal abuse is still abuse. 

    mlg78levioosarainbows0215
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would not invite a person who was abusive to me, verbal or physical, no.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    levioosa
  • Agree with PPs on this one. You probably wouldn't invite someone who was verbally or emotionally abusive to your home on a regular day - why would you invite him/her to your wedding?
    levioosa
  • Agree with PPs on this one. You probably wouldn't invite someone who was verbally or emotionally abusive to your home on a regular day - why would you invite him/her to your wedding?
    This. I've been in an extremely abusive relationship and honestly sometimes the verbal and emotional abuse was much worse than the physical abuse (just in my specific situation, and just sometimes). So I know what kind of impact it can have. I would not let anyone near me who was verbally abusive, let alone give them an invitation to my wedding. If that's breaking etiquette, then fine. This is the situation where I would just break the damn etiquette rule and not invite that person. 
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    levioosa
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I agree wholeheartedly with PhotoKitty. It's like SS here who cry "Bully!" Or "I was attacked!" People who want to do so will blur the lines of abuse vs rude to justify doing what they want to do.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Maggie0829novella1186levioosahuskypuppy14
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @photokitty, yeah, that was one of the things I was thinking about.  We have plenty of SSs come on here and complain that people in their family are being mean to them.  But we've also seen people who have endured real abuse (not just rude words).  You can't change who your Aunt is married to, but if your whole life your Uncle has been verbally abusive (maybe to the point that you only see your Aunt if you know he won't be around), does that Uncle really deserve to be invited, even as part of an established social unit?  I know there can also be a lot of family pressure to invite certain individuals too, regardless of how they have treated others.  I've even known people who have been sexually abused by family members, and then told that they need to get over it and start coming around to family events again (even though the abuser is still there). 

    I'm with PPs.  Abuse is abuse and I don't care if I was breaking etiquette rules, I wouldn't be inviting them.  I think this is one of the times where it doesn't matter if the rule is broken.


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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    levioosa said:
    @photokitty, yeah, that was one of the things I was thinking about.  We have plenty of SSs come on here and complain that people in their family are being mean to them.  But we've also seen people who have endured real abuse (not just rude words).  You can't change who your Aunt is married to, but if your whole life your Uncle has been verbally abusive (maybe to the point that you only see your Aunt if you know he won't be around), does that Uncle really deserve to be invited, even as part of an established social unit?  I know there can also be a lot of family pressure to invite certain individuals too, regardless of how they have treated others.  I've even known people who have been sexually abused by family members, and then told that they need to get over it and start coming around to family events again (even though the abuser is still there). 

    I'm with PPs.  Abuse is abuse and I don't care if I was breaking etiquette rules, I wouldn't be inviting them.  I think this is one of the times where it doesn't matter if the rule is broken.
    If there is a pattern/ cycle/ history of verbal abuse I would fully support not inviting a SO. I believe these situations are typically family members or longtime family friends - aka your parents' friends. You have to have time and proximity to establish verbal and/or mental abuse. 

    Sexual and physically abuse are obvious exclusions - no ifs, ands or buts. Period. 

    Any SOs of friends or younger family members - the SOs that haven't been around forever probably don't fall into the category for being allowed to exclude due to verbal abuse. They are probably just rude jerks SS don't like and I won't give them a free pass to be rude bc some asshole called them a bitch once or twice.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    levioosa
  • AddieCake said:
    I agree wholeheartedly with PhotoKitty. It's like SS here who cry "Bully!" Or "I was attacked!" People who want to do so will blur the lines of abuse vs rude to justify doing what they want to do.
    I agree with this too. People can definitely blur the lines. Like if the bride has been rude to someone's SO, and the SO reacts in turn by being rude, the bride could easily then say "Oh look at how verbally abusive that was!" There's a difference between not liking what someone says and actually facing verbal abuse. Legit verbal abuse is grounds for not inviting the person. But as another poster mentioned, if I was being genuinely verbally abused by a friend's SO, I probably would not be friends with that person. Where family is concerned, it just gets even messier. 
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  • I think there's a big difference between saying that someone was abusive to you and is no longer welcome in your home - therefore there is no invitation to the wedding.

    The thing that would concern me is if someone is in an abusive relationship.   Sure you cay say, "I'm not inviting your dickwad husband," but the end result is that the dickwad will still be one and may be further abusive if the friend/family member has to choose between attending your wedding and being with the jerk.   KWIM? 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @banana468 Yeah, it's just a super shitty (hypothetical) situation all around.  It saddens me that there are people who really have to deal with this at all. 


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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    banana468 said:

    I think there's a big difference between saying that someone was abusive to you and is no longer welcome in your home - therefore there is no invitation to the wedding.


    The thing that would concern me is if someone is in an abusive relationship.   Sure you cay say, "I'm not inviting your dickwad husband," but the end result is that the dickwad will still be one and may be further abusive if the friend/family member has to choose between attending your wedding and being with the jerk.   KWIM? 
    But inviting him won't prevent future abuse to either the friend or anyone else either.

    I'd consider it as: "Is this person safe to be around, regardless of his relationship status?" His SO should certainly be encouraged to remove herself, her children, and anyone or anything that could be hurt or damaged from this person, but he should not be invited with the idea that not doing so will expose her to more abuse. All inviting him will do is expose more people and property to danger. I'd definitely have security on hand who can deal with him though.
  • Jen4948 said:
    I think there's a big difference between saying that someone was abusive to you and is no longer welcome in your home - therefore there is no invitation to the wedding.

    The thing that would concern me is if someone is in an abusive relationship.   Sure you cay say, "I'm not inviting your dickwad husband," but the end result is that the dickwad will still be one and may be further abusive if the friend/family member has to choose between attending your wedding and being with the jerk.   KWIM? 
    But inviting him won't prevent future abuse to either the friend or anyone else either. I'd consider it as: "Is this person safe to be around, regardless of his relationship status?" His SO should certainly be encouraged to remove herself, her children, and anyone or anything that could be hurt or damaged from this person, but he should not be invited with the idea that not doing so will expose her to more abuse. All inviting him will do is expose more people and property to danger. I'd definitely have security on hand who can deal with him though.
    I think it all depends on the situation.   Plenty of assholes are just assholes in private and wouldn't cause a scene in public.   That's the problem with abuse.   It's not a situation of someone who can't be contained. An abuser is all about control and doing what he can to control his partner and those around him.   I was in a semi-abusive relationship and my then BF was all about making me feel like I needed his intelligence or I wouldn't survive.   
  • Something else to consider is how the "half" of the couple you do want to invite would take it.  For example, if your SIL is always verbally abusive to you...yeah, under this theory you could just invite your brother.  But I think most of the time the other half will either still be offended or their SO wouldn't let them go anyway.

    I think it is almost always better to just invite neither party.  For a really, REALLY close friend/family member...like in my scenario above...I might discuss it and give them a heads up like, "Hey Bro, I really want you to be at my wedding but I can't handle your wife's verbal abuse and she is not welcome.  If you can come alone, please do, but if it would just cause more drama for you, I understand."

    But then, we do get back to the slippery slope of where is the line between damaging verbal abuse and someone we just have a difficult and negative relationship with.  It's kind of like the famous line about porn vs. art..."I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree that there's a big difference between repeated verbal abuse and calling someone a bitch. Getting in a fight with someone and having that person call you a bitch is not verbal abuse. 

    novella1186levioosa
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