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in feeling hurt?

(52 Posts)
Lisalou Mon 08-Aug-16 07:34:17

DH's family all live in the UK and we live in Spain. He has three older siblings with children who are now grown up. We have one daughter in common who is nine.
We keep his parents in the loop and try to visit them once a year at least (nobody his side ever visit us)
He doesnt have a close relationship with his parents or siblings. He left the UK when he was in his thirties as he didnt really feel part of the family and couldnt stand the climate.
Last year one of his nieces got married. We heard all about the impending wedding but were not invited (it was a big do with loads of bridesmaids etc)
We were both upset as we thought we had a good relationship with said niece, albeit not a very close one. I asked my MIL what DH had done not to be invited. As I said to her, it would have been nice to have received an invitation or an explanation, as all the rest of the family including extended and distant family were invited. She said that the invitations had been sent out by bride and groom and that the father of the bride had known nothing of it. Oh well, we put it down to not being close to the father of the bride, with whom DH has not always had a good friendship (they clash rather often on a lot of subjects)
Cue around Christmas finding out that another niece, this time by his sister with whom he gets on well, corresponds regularly etc, is getting married in September and we are not invited. My daughter, who adores her older cousin and has spent some time with her when on visits, is making her a wedding present, and at nine has not really cottoned on to the fact that had she been invited she could have gone. I feel upset and angry as my DH is feeling that he is constantly snubbed for no obvious reason.
Yet another niece has just announced her engagement on facebook and I am not expecting an invitation, given history.
We have no idea what we have done and the mother of the bride made a point of spending time with us last time we went to the UK, we had a lovely day together.
I just dont get it. is it now customary not to invite family if they live abroad? i can say that all these weddings will be big and it is not a financial problem.
Sorry for the rant but i needed to get it off my chest and dont want to talk about it with DH as i dont want him further upset.

Mumsy Mon 08-Aug-16 08:00:43

I dont see the problem, your saying that your DH doesnt have a close relationship with his family so why the dissapointment that youve had no wedding invites from his neices!
What makes you think youve done something for not getting an invite? There could be a number of reasons why youve not been invited, cost and numbers for starters, perhaps they just want a small wedding with close family and friends. Neices,cousins etc dont come under this category.

No its not customary to invite all of ones relatives to a wedding, regardless of where they live, perhaps the nieces were thinking of you and the cost of you going to the wedding and decided not to invite you, how do you know these weddings will be big and not a financial problem?

Lisalou Mon 08-Aug-16 08:16:17

I see your point, but there is a relationship with them all. When we got married we invited the whole bunch of them, the only proviso being that we could only pay for accommodation for his parents. This was fine by all of them and both the parents of the two who just got/are getting married came.
It is not a financial issue. The wedding last year was huge and the preparations for this one seem to be just as big. All the family has been invited except us. My DH's family is really well off, so it is not a case of numbers or cost in any of the cases mentioned.
When I say they are not close, I mean that we dont see them all every time we visit, mainly because we go to the inlaws as a rule, and they all have busy lives too, I imagine. With the sister who is now to be mother of the bride and both her children we are closer, which is why it seems so strange to me.
Maybe it is because I have spent so long in Spain and here families are tight knit and you would certainly invite all the family down to first cousins, unless there was a financial constraint.

JackieBee1 Mon 08-Aug-16 08:29:12

I feel your pain. Had a similar experience where I wasn't invited to my niece's son's christening. There's no point speculating, go straight to the horse's mouth as it were. I was told that "...we have only invited people that will be involved in his upbringing..." so you may not like the answer. Unfortunately people do make assumptions, I think they probably assume that you don't want the hassle of travelling back to UK.
Ask if your invite has got lost (again!) and take it from there.
Good luck! xxx

J52 Mon 08-Aug-16 08:54:20

Family and their weddings can be mine fields! We were the only family members invited to my cousins daughter's Wedding, apart from her Granny ( my Aunt ) and the brides Aunt. (My other cousin )

Very embarrassing, as my elderly Aunt had encouraged the rest of our family side to save the date and book hotel rooms in advance!

Afterwards, we realised we had been invited so that we could host Granny and my cousin for the weekend, while the rest of the wedding party lived it up in the wedding venue hotel!

Lillie Mon 08-Aug-16 09:00:52

Nothing to do with living abroad I would say. We inivted family from Australia to our DD's wedding and they all came ..... cousins, uncles, aunties etc. .... even though we only see them very occasionally. We were so chuffed they had made the effort, and we made a big fuss of them at the wedding, so I can really understand your sadness. Did the mother of the bride not mention the wedding to you when you spent time with her on your last visit?

Luckygirl Mon 08-Aug-16 09:36:47

I guess that living abroad for so long means that ties are loosened and they are probably just inviting those they see more of.

"He left the UK when he was in his thirties as he didnt really feel part of the family" - I think that says it all - maybe they do not now feel your DH is a full part of the family. You have clearly made a good life for yourselves where you are - just enjoy that. Maybe just send a card with good wishes.

To be honest I would let it wash by you - life is too short to let this get under your skin - enjoy the sunshine - and send a bit our way!

Lisalou Mon 08-Aug-16 09:38:07

I mentioned it! I wondered if maybe she would say something enlightening if i did. She seemed to not want to comment. I think i asked how her daughter was doing with all the preparations and she said it was all going well and changed the subject!

JackieBee1 Mon 08-Aug-16 09:53:29

Just ask the question directly to the daughter. You're driving yourself mad by "woulda shoulda coulda".

Lisalou Mon 08-Aug-16 10:17:03

Jackie Bee, I think you might be right! If I am honest, it is not so much that i am hurt myself, but I feel for poor DH as it is his family and he would like to be part of it all! Also, because I would like my daughter to know her paternal family well,

Ziggy62 Mon 08-Aug-16 10:26:23

looking at it from the bride's point of view, can i ask how often you see the family? I am getting married next month and my partner has insisted we invite his nephew. This guy lives just a few miles from us but I have never met him in last 2 years I've lived here. I met his wife at my hen do and she didnt even say Hello. Sorry going a bit off track here but in my opinion weddings should be about those people in ur day to day life not relatives we hardly see.

Sorry probably not what you want to hear

harrysgran Mon 08-Aug-16 10:28:23

I don't think you have done anything as you say your DH doesn't have a close relationship with his family and by the sound of it couldn't wait to move away from his family it just means you have all moved on and distanced yourself from them I personally don't like the idea of inviting people who you dont see from one year to the next just because you feel obliged.

radicalnan Mon 08-Aug-16 10:30:44

Just ask if you can go. Sometimes these things gather a momentum of their own and when a person's name is mentioned someone else will say 'oh they never come to anything they live too far away' of course the evidence for that is there and people assume you don't want to come.

Just ring the bride and say, can we come we would love to see you married and we have been a bit of a stick in the mud family...we want to make more effort. Take the blame f or all the past and let the bride off the hook so she doesn't feel any guilt in asking you.

No point asking us we can't issue the invitation.....but we all want you to go.

Lillie Mon 08-Aug-16 10:37:08

I agree when one is of a certain age it's more important to invite those in your day to day life, but younger (first time round!) couples often owe it to aunties and uncles (who maybe supported their own parents in the early days) to let them know they are valued family members, whatever the geographical distance.

Lisalou it's a shame for your DH and daughter. I'm guessing final numbers will have to be confirmed 4 - 6 weeks before the event, so with September just around the corner there doesn't seem much you can do.

Christinefrance Mon 08-Aug-16 10:38:05

Sounds like your husband distanced himself from the family in the first place so the family dynamic changed. Don't fret about it all, you have your own happy life and think of all the money you have saved.

J52 Mon 08-Aug-16 10:54:55

I know that not everybody will agree with me, but I think if weddings are going to be a biggish family do then it is an opportunity for all the family from both sides to meet.

These days families are often far flung, but often such occasions are the only time clans can gather. Especially important for the more elderly who may have done a lot for the bride or groom when they were little and might not get many opportunities to see their family together.

We have always invited family first to our DSs weddings, as they have to DGCs christenings.
It's strange, we don't send invites to funerals. ( maybe some people do? ) and in my experience all those wishing to pay their respects are welcome. Just a thought!

mutti Mon 08-Aug-16 10:57:08

Our experience was that we couldn't invite all our extended family to either of our two daughters' weddings because of venue constraints on numbers plus the modern fashion for friends of the bride & groom to take precedence over all but immediate family. Also we are quite a large family. My sisters plus their families were invited as a matter of course (that was ten in all and would have been more had my daughters' cousins been married or in long-term relationships, as we would always invite other halves) but not my aunt & uncle and most of my cousins. In each case, we invited one cousin (each cousin is a godparent of each of our children) together with their other half; I also wrote a heartfelt letter of explanation and apology to my aunt & uncle & my other cousins. They accepted these graciously and so no harm was done.
The one occasion on which I felt hurt not to be invited was the wedding of my husband's goddaughter, the daughter of very old friends. Neither my husband nor myself were invited to the wedding or wedding breakfast; my husband was invited to dancing & cake afterwards and I was not invited at all. Because of this decidedly feeble invitation and because the wedding was several hours drive away and would have necessitated an overnight stay in a hotel, where I would have spent the evening on my own, my husband elected not to attend, though we did send a very nice wedding gift. I thought this 'invitation' was pretty rude and it has soured my feelings for the friends a little bit. I did tentatively mention it and I think the friends were a little embarrassed; they explained they had given their daughter and prospective son-in-law daughter a sum of money to spend on the occasion and had no further influence themselves. I would have preferred a prior explanation and no invitation at all, and that probably informed how I dealt later with my daughters' assertions that there was no room at their weddings for extended family nor for certain long-standing family friends.

rosesarered Mon 08-Aug-16 10:59:17

can't add to this really, except to say that family weddings/funerals/christenings are minefields, and I have given up trying to make any sense of other peoples reasonings!

ajanela Mon 08-Aug-16 11:04:27

LisaLou you live in Spain and have become use to a very different culture. As you say there everyone gets invited to a Spanish wedding including business associates. They are also enormous affairs with enough food to feed an army.

I have just been to a English/German/Portuguese wedding in Portugal and the father of the bridgegroom (Portuguese) wanted to invite all and sundry and was happy to pay for them but his son said No. It was his wedding and he didn't want people he didn't know and he wanted a family with the couples friends affair. This put the father in a difficult position as he had been to many of the weddings in Spain of business associates so he sneeked in a few.

Personally I think you have said enough if you have asked how preparations are going and the mother of the bride changed the subject, anymore and it will look as if you are asking for an invitation.

I think you are feeling hurt for your daughter as well as your husband, Good she is making her cousin a present, at least they will know she cares for her cousin and you are thinking of them. Maybe ask for a photo of the happy couple.

Then as everyone says, move on there is nothing else you can do.


J52 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:07:21

mutti I agree that finances do not always allow for extended family, especially if the families are large. You letter of explanation was gracious and I'm sure was appreciated and understood.

I would have felt as you did over your husband's goddaughter's wedding. It's unthinkable not to invite you both!

Yes roses you are quite right. The last wedding we went to DH's nephew was a big church, sit down meal and free bar affair. The only thing that spoilt it was that no one introduced us to the bride! After the meal we went to introduce ourselves! She didn't seem very interested. We wished we hadn't gone!

J52 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:09:15

Was in a big church. Visions of nephew being a big church! grin

DotMH1901 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:10:15

Book to do something special instead with your DH and daughter on the day(s). Families are funny things! When my gt-nephew was getting married my sister in law -who is in her seventies - told me quite clearly not to expect to be invited (we knew about it 18 months in advance) as we hadn't visited (apart from funerals and my gt gt niece's baptism) in the last few years (due to problems with my now ex-son in law). I wasn't too perturbed as I saw her point and said once we knew the date we would send a card and a gift. A few months later my daughter and I knew we were moving to the same area to live after my daughter got a promotion at work and, in conversation with my niece about where to look for a nice house, she asked if we had had our invitation to the wedding yet. When she found out we hadn't she was most annoyed. We had had all three of my niece's children to stay with us for holidays over the years when they were growing up and she told my gt-nephew to make sure we had an invitation when they sent them out. Within a few days it arrived (although I had told my niece it was okay that we hadn't been asked). My sister in law was the one who was 'funny' about us being asked but she went to the Church bit and reception and we did the evening bit so didn't actually meet on the day anyway!

Legs55 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:43:53

remember you can choose your friends not your family - don't know who first said that but it's true. not worth falling out about as your DD may miss out later - sad for her not to attend but it's not your decision who to invite. hope your DD is not too disappointed but lovely for her to send a gift (might even make the happy couple feel guilty for no inviting you). in your position I wouldn't make any fuss in front of DD, a little white lie may be required so she isn't hurt. flowers

Diddy1 Mon 08-Aug-16 11:49:45

Tricky one, I dont think distance should be the problem. We live in Sweden, and rarely see our relatives, but have been invited to our nephew ans neices Weddings also my Cousin Daughters wedding, it has been lovely meeting everyone at these Wedding venues.

Retrolady Mon 08-Aug-16 11:51:34

Understandably this is really getting to you, but, short of making the situation even more stressful by asking directly, there's little you can IMO. Families can be strange entities and weddings can be a minefield, as others have pointed out. We've experienced what could be termed 'issues' with our family, as lots of people do. My (very wise) brother said once that we (as in he and me) should do what we think is the correct thing to do, irrespective of others. In this case, I'd suggest that you send a present, a card with a kind, but non-committal and certainly not raising any issues, comment, then move on and enjoy your life in the sunshine. Difficult I know from experience, but I think my (very wise) brother is correct. We can only let ourselves be upset - others haven't got the power to do that. Good luck.