(Fort Worth, TX, USA)
My sister's ex-husband is an absolute jerk and has made my sister's life a living hell. He has custody of my 11-year old niece and keeps pushing her to ask us if he's invited to the wedding. There is no way we want him at our wedding. When told no, we're afraid he will retaliate against my sister by the mental games he plays, and then by not letting my niece be in the wedding (probably at the last minute). No one in the family likes the guy, and he has always been rude to my fiance. Just can't believe he'd even think he'd be invited. Thanks for any recommendations.
Jun 25, 2011
Inviting Ex to Wedding or not?
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)
This is an awkward situation, but there are a couple of principles to keep in mind here.
1. This is your wedding. You are not required to invite people that you do not want to attend.
2. Your question revolves around an ex-husband. There is a reason that he is an ex. Once someone is an ex, they technically are no longer a part of the family.
I realize that he has custody of your niece that he will play head games as you stated in your post. But, if you invite him just to keep the peace, aren't you allowing his head games to work on you? And will you enjoy the wedding if he is there?
With that in mind, you have to understand that a little unhappiness now by not inviting him will keep the peace at the wedding and preserve that special occasion.
There are ways to minimize the head games and his anger. It really boils down to how you deliver the news. If you communicate that you do not want him there, then he will probably lash out against you or your sister.
If you state that because he is an ex, his presence at the wedding would be an awkward situation for the family, that is more understandable than stating you don't want him there. He still isn't going to like the news, but at least there is logic behind it rather than just the personal feeling of being rejected.
Bottom line - It isn't going to be news he wants to hear and it probably isn't news you want to deliver. However, a little bit of discomfort now makes the wedding ceremony a lot more comfortable.