Hurt Feelings - Am I wrong

smomof2December 11, 2008

My husband and I each have two sons from previous marriages and one son together. All five live at home, ranging in age from 20 to 7.

His family has never really accepted my two sons. Today, we received a wedding invitation to his nephews wedding. It was addressed

Mr. and Mrs. _______ _________, his oldest son's name, his middle son's name.

Neither of my two sons were included, and neither was our son together, who is actually a blood family member of the groom.

My first two sons are older than hubby's middle son, but younger than his oldest, so it can't be an age issue.

I am refusing to go to the wedding totally. My husband does not want to go either, but his oldest son, age 20, is in the wedding party.

What should we do? I can't help but feel like I have been slapped.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a sad situation!! I think if the oldest son is in the wedding party, then it's up to him to go if he wants to go, but if the whole family wasn't invited, I would simply tell them why you aren't attending. I think it's important to be upfront and let them know the truth. If you're worried about hurting their feelings,don't be, because they sure weren't worried about hurting yours.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 7:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a few choices you can be ______because "your" kids did not get invited or call up someone who might know why they were not invited or if they were just forgotten by accident ... or send it back with your childrens names included.

Either way is this really a deal breaker with your hubby's family?

Does this wedding really mean that much to you?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What would Miss Manners say?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What are ages of all children? Yours and his?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Of course you are hurt. But I think you need to step back. Some people do not regard stepnephews as same as nephews. That doesnt mean necessarily they dont accept them, just that they dont view them as the same.

You can go or not go. The 7YO might have been omitted as age issue (I dont know how much younger he is than the youngest invitee). As to discouraging the younger SS from going, I dont think that is right. It is not up to you to cut him off from his cousins just because they dont treat your sons how you want.

Are your sons hurt? I am not certain if boys that age even want to go to wedding.

I doubt there has ever been a wedding where some people dont feel they were slighted on invitation.

If you hope that as the years go by, DHs family will inlcude you and your boys more and more, not going will not help.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nope, you're within reason to be upset. I'd have something else going on that weekend. Didn't you say that you were going to ___________ just the other day?

Don't ever say anything about it. Just have something else to do. Let the son in the wedding party go. He's old enough to be in a wedding without his parents holding his hand or attending.

I was just invited to my cousin's wedding. The invitation was addressed to me, using my married name from my FIRST husband. Ha ha ha. Had to be an oversight, right?

Remember that often the people addressing the cards are not the bride and groom.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it is understandable that your feelings are hurt.

Choosing not to go will probably put a permanent rift in the relationship with your husbands family.

Young brides are often planning a wedding with an eye to the cost. Extra guests are expensive, and the number of receptions guests in most weddings has to be limited. Since your inlaws dont consider your birth sons to be family, that is most likely why they were left off the list. My feelings would be hurt as well, but in their eyes, its a logical decision. Not everyone has the kind of empathy that would let them experience what its like to be left out, and brides are notorious for being thoughtless.

I would probably do the passive aggressive thing, and take all the kids to the actual wedding, but only the invited guests to the reception. One would hope that would at least twinge the guilt of the inlaws for not inviting your birth sons.

Since it is direct family, if you have a reasonably close relationship with the bride and groom, or their parents, you could mention that your other sons are feeling left out and would it be okay to bring them, if you paid for their meal. That is technically a breach of etiquette, but since its close family, asking cant hurt.

Oh, and Miss Manners says that the guest list is up to the bride and groom, even if they are thoughtless. Its their day, and often the guest list must be restricted. :)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

SS, I never said OP didnt have reason to be upset. The question is - does she not go, does dh not go, and younger SS? If she does go, like any guest, she has to be gracious. If she doesnt go, then decisions re dh and younger SS. If she discorages dh from going, she is eliminatitng him seeing his oldest all dressed up, etc and pictures. I am going to ask my DD tonite what she would think of this. Sometimes kids have different view.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How long have you been married? Do your two sons have a relationship with the bride and groom?

Weddings/receptions are expensive and I can see the conclusion not to invite your sons if they don't really know the wedding party.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do your husbands two older boys have particularly close relationships with the nephew? Are other children that age invited? Is it possible the younger son is recieving special treatment, being invited when other children in general are not, because he is particularly close to the groom?

I don't think you're wrong to be upset, but especially since the youngest (bio-cousin to the groom, yes?) is also not invited, it may not be that the "steps" are being specifically excluded, they may just be invited those who are personally close to the couple and without thinking that inviting some but not all the children in one family may be hurtful to the other kids. Stupid and thoughtless, yes, but not **necessarily** a personal exclusion.

Technically, you really shouldn't question a couple's guest list, but if the 20-year-old is close to the groom, or if your husband is close to his brother/sister (the groom's parent) maybe one of them could ask the reasoning behind it?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

my cousin didn't want any children at the reception. my brother and his wife were upset and brought my niece wihtout asking anyone. they bring my niece everywhere, invited or not. even the events that are clearly not for children. i find it bizzare.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

* Posted by kkny (My Page) on Thu, Dec 11, 08 at 10:04

"SS, I never said OP didnt have reason to be upset."

KKNY, I answered the OP's questions:

1.Hurt Feelings, am I wrong? (nope, she has right to feel that way)
2.What should I do? (not go)

My response had nothing to do with you.

I didn't think of the father missing the opportunity to see his son dressed up. That's a good point. For me it would be difficult to leave my bio kids or step kids when they were not invited to another family function. They should have said "no kids" (other than those in wedding party) if they were worried about money. Otherwise it's awkward and could be seen as dividing the family.

Maybe dad and his bio kids could go and you could do something fun with your kids. There are circumstances where it wouldn't be as much fun if you weren't close to the hosts. Maybe this is one of them. Take it as an opportunity to have some me time with your kids.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I understand your hurt feeling and I am sorry it appears that your sons are not considered family. How sad. I am sorry your are dealing with a thoughtless bride and groom. Does your MIL and FIL know? How do your sons feel about this?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you are right to be hurt and offended - since you are the one who knows all the people involved, what do you think is behind this? Has something similar happened before, or does someone have a bee in their bonnet about something?

The other day I was addressing a Christmas card to my first cousin, his new wife, and their baby son. Suddenly it occured to me that new wife has a young daughter from her first marriage, and the little girl's name escaped me. I think a couple of years ago I would have just written it out to the two of them and their son, and forgot about it. However, this year I picked up the phone, called my mother, asked how to spell the little girl's name, and noted it in my address book. I sent the card, thinking to myself, I know better.

But do these people?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think there is a major difference between a Christmas card and a wedding invitation. OP says her DHs family has "never really accepted my two sons". This I interpret to undertand that DHs family doesnt treat the stepcousins as biocousins. This is their priviledge and does not make the bride thoughtless (and btw, why are we blaming her when groom presumably had some input). OP can not likely force DHs family to regard the steps the same as the bios (I am assuming 7 YO not invited as of age issue). Her choices are essentially go or not go, discouarage dh from going or not.

Every family is different. My sister has a stepson that she gets along with and now a stepgrandchild. No one in the family regards that SGC as a GC. Everyone is nice, etc., but it is not the same.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"No one in the family regards that SGC as a GC. Everyone is nice, etc., but it is not the same."

I think that's sad KKNY. One of the best things about my DH's family is that they accept my daughter as their own. There is no difference. She is a small child in the family, it's not her fault who her parents were, and to treat a child different than the other children based on genetics is wrong, in my opinion. (this does not have anything to do with inheritance, etc. which is a completely different topic)

She gets gifts for holidays and her birthday, she is to call them by the common names "aunt so and so, grampa". She is invited to do special things with the family all on her own.

How blessed are the children who are treated kindly. How fortunate are the people who expand the arms of their family to include all.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like an outright snub to me although it may be a snub made easier by justifying it based on the guest list. Weddings do get big and expensive but when they invited one child out of your brood, they should have invited everyone. Since they didn't, they knew that they were doing something divisive to the family and that they were sending a message to you and your kids that you are not really family. That it is a nephew only underscores the point as to who is family and who is not.

That being said, let the one child invited go and participate. Then you are the bigger person. They will know that you got their message but they will see that you are not devastated by it. Therefore you are not interfering in an important "family only" function, they can have their good time and you get to see them as they really are.

My adult stepkids did not come to my wedding to their dad or the reception because they felt it would be disloyal to their mother. It's irrational thinking but very common. Remember that in most matters regarding steps and in-laws there are large doses of emotional, irrational and insensitive thinking going on. Rise above their snub, act like it doesn't matter, do not send a gift and use the gift money for yourself or the univited kids. Let these people and your husband know that you did. It will be a good lesson for all involved.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lamom -- I still dont know here this rule comes if bride and groom invite biocousins they "should" have invited step cousins. Differently people see that differently. I dont understand what the relevance of "nephew" is.

I thought there were two sons invited. I would let them both go. Also, I would not discourage DH from going to see his son. His decision.

As to gifts, I would assume DH would give on behalf of himself and his two sons if he went, or on behalf of whichever of his sons go. If I were bride or her mother, I would not assume people not coming would give gifts.

What lesson do you think this imparts? My guess is bride and groom dont care if OP comes, and will likely be happy as long as she gets RSVP on a timely basis. If OP really really mattered to bride, groom or DHs sibling (parent of groom), they likely would have invited her sons. My guess is they arent that close, and OP not going will not make that any better. If OP doesnt feel comfortable, she shouldnt go. If it were me, I would talk to my child first and see if child is bothered by this.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some families just suck:) I'm sorry. It is just so so so sad to me how some people only consider blood relations to be family. It's really F***ing ironic that the issue here is a wedding. By the "blood is family" only rational the Bride and Groom arn't even "real" family.

I guess it's just really hard for me to understand the closed mindedness of some people as far as the definition of family is concerned. My entire family treats the girls and Jonathan no different than their blood grands and children. The girls are actually CLOSER to my family than J's or (obviously) their mother's family.

It is only "different" to people with a very narrow text book view of what family is.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not to undermine your post but let me share my "sucky" wedding story. When my stepdaughter married she had a large wedding courtesy of her father, my husband. All the mom's were supposed to get corsages...well, her mom got a beautiful wrist corsage and so did the grooms mom and grandmothers...I got a man's boutonnière and At the time the families were being introduced she had the DJ only say the name of her father and her mother...not me her SM or her SF.
When the wedding announcement came out in the read daughter of Mr. so and so of the town we live in and Mrs. So and so (her mother) of the town we live in...which her mother does not live in...indicating that they still lived together. I never said a word because I think it would have given her satisfaction knowing how hurt I was. It boggles my mind how cruel and small some people can be.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Smomof2 - Would your husband's family politics permit a polite and discrete inquiry as to why your sons were excluded?

I'm guessing Hubby's brother is father of the groom? If that's the case, you may well have two layers of cluelessness between your sons and the invitation list maker. If Hubby's sister is mother of the bride, it's reasonable to have higher expectations. Double standard? - yes, but there's some truth in it...

If the snub is confirmed to be intentional, then I don't see anything wrong with having other plans on that day and sending your regrets. Maybe one of your son's has a soccer game or something similarly important that you couldn't bear to miss.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with silversword here.What kind of person invites some kids and not the rest? You dont send an invitaion and only invite half the family...I would also have something else planned.DH can see his oldest dressed up in pictures.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think OP should let DH make up his own mind. I think that is heartless to DH to say he can see his son in pictures. I would suggest that atitude sends a message that her anger at bride is stronger than her love for her husband and she has no feeling for SS in wedding.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"It is just so so so sad to me how some people only consider blood relations to be family. It's really F***ing ironic that the issue here is a wedding. By the "blood is family" only rational the Bride and Groom arn't even "real" family."

Doodle, I get what you are saying...but the same is true for blood as well as step families. Just marrying into the family doesn't make you family, you do have to establish these relationships with people. I think it is quite a jump to say they just don't consider so and so family, but neither side has made an effort. In my book it goes both ways. And most of the time it doesn't become an issue until one side isn't invited somewhere...which is telling to me.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kkny,maybe I'am mistaken,but I thought OP said her husband didnt want to go either.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thats fine if HE doesnt want to go, but I heard a little ambibalence there -- as in son is in wedding party. In any event, I said, it should be up to him.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my opinion you are not wrong for feeling hurt. If I were in your shoes, I would not attend.

I would really consider the intentions. It bothered me for a year that my FIL did not give my son a Birthday gift, but did for my daughter (because her birthday is 3 days before Step Sons). I was only able to let it go when I accepted it wasn't intentional. He's a man and my MIL had been in charge of cards and such just like I am.

Don't feel obligated to go without your children, it's simply an invitation and it's perfectly okay to decline with or without reason :)

Life is too short to go places you don't wanna go!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would feel as offended as you do. The way the invitation was written obviously leaves little doubt that the slight was intentional--especially given your impression that DH's family has never considered your DSs "family." I certainly would not go, and if your DH doesn't want to go, I don't know why he would. DS who is in the wedding is age 20, such that he readily can go on his own.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exactly Molly. The son is way old enough to go to a wedding, and his dad surely doesn't need to see him dressed in a suit. If my dad followed me around with a camera every time I got dressed up after 20 years old.... yeash!! He'd be one busy guy!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

since your husband is agreeable i wouldn't go. i think it will set a president for all future gatherings. i also think you are lucky to have a husband who stands up for you and your children.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ohh.... I don't know if this is too over the top or not... but you could either call or write and say, very nicely and calmly, that you are so sorry to miss the event but unfortunately you and your two children _______ + ________ already had plans that day. Thankfully oldest son will be able to attend and be in the wedding party, because you can't wait to see the pictures. And, you and your husband and your FOUR children look forward to seeing the bride and groom at the next event.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I certainly don't blame you for feeling hurt and offended.

I could MAYBE see not inviting only some kids in a family if, say, it weren't a close relative; say, former next door neighbors, whose two older kids grew up with the groom, but the steps came along after the families moved apart -- something like that. Or a family where the parents are invited as a couple, and only the child who is friends with the bride. In that case, I would sort of look at it like the parents being invited as a couple, and the kids who are invited being sort of invited on their own. Whole families don't always have to be invited to everything.

But here we are talking about a very close relative. Unless this is a VERY small wedding -- like, if the ONLY first cousins invited are your stepsons -- I really think they should have invited all your kids (at least, all those over any age cutoff they have). So first I would ask: is that the case? Are all the other "blood" first cousins invited? Is there any other wild card factor, like the bride's family having made some "rule" about inviting steps, perhaps due to some weirdness in HER family?

But let's say it's not -- it's just an exclusion of your kids. I'm back to my first statement: I can sure understand how you'd feel hurt, rejected, and offended, and they were wrong not to invite them.

Still ...

I think it would be a mistake to boycott the wedding. Yep, they were wrong. But ask yourself if you wouldn't feel better about yourselves if you take the high road and attend anyway. If you don't go, it will put a cloud over the wedding. Think of your gracious attendance as an additional gift to the bride and groom (who may have WANTED to invite all the boys, by the way) and also a gift to your husband -- helping him not to create a rift between him and his family (if his parents and other siblings are alive, think how upset and torn they will be if this becomes a drama). It doesn't make you a chump or disloyal to your boys. It makes you the bigger person, a lady who acts with grace and dignity even when others do not.

Try not to ask about their decision or to communicate your feelings about it, to them or to anyone that might repeat it to them. As right as you are, their wedding means more to them than to anyone else, including you, and even though they behaved badly, you will seem petty and self-centered.

I know this isn't easy to do. But I think you will never regret it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 6:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
grown adult stepchildren
I married my husband 2 years ago, his wife had died...
New- Really need help..
Hi I am new here but hoping as people in the same...
Post Partum Depression Because of Step-Grandmother?
I have a 5 year old boy and a 4 month old girl. I was...
Too much?? advice please
Hi. I am a Mum of 2- one being a step child, I am 27...
7 year old step son troubles please help
Hello everyone, I need some advise please. I have been...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™