Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Future In-Laws Snubbed Me!”

I recently got engaged to a wonderful man. Monday evening something was mentioned to us about his cousin’s baby shower taking place this Sunday. I was not invited and had no idea it was going on. My fiancé mentioned this to his mother, and she mentioned it to her sister (the mother of the expecting woman and the hostess), and asked why I was not invited. The hostess called me yesterday to apologize and explain she did not invite me because she doesn’t know me very well, and didn’t want me to feel obligated to come. She then insisted several times I come to the party, and left me stammering. She hung up the phone without telling me where the party is being held, what time to come, etc. I have not received an invitation in the mail and I do not expect I will.

I am hurt: for one, the assertion that she doesn’t know me is untrue, I have been happily spending time with her and her family for two years (I ate Christmas dinner at their table!). Literally, every other woman in the family, including other fiancés, was invited. No one can think of a single thing I have done to deserve the snub, and I am embarrassed because I know other family members I am close with will ask where I am, only to be told I was not invited, and I am worried it will affect the way they see me. I think maybe her excuse that they don’t know me was an attempt to blame me for the situation instead of owning her mistake in forgetting me, which in itself is also hurtful. But if she has an issue with me, I wish she had approached me like an adult instead of snubbing me in front of my future in-laws. I don’t wish to hold grudges, and would go to the shower, except that I don’t have an invitation and would be very embarrassed to have to call and beg the details of where, when, etc. What do I do? — Showered With Indifference


When it comes to dealing with future in-laws, you need to pick you battles, so ask yourself: is this really worth getting super worked up over? So, you were snubbed. By your fiancé’s cousin. A woman you see, what, once or twice a year? I mean, obviously, it was rude and hurtful that she left you off the guest list for the baby shower. But you also mention that you “recently” got engaged. Perhaps, it’s possible that the guest list was created before your engagement and it was decided that only family and close friends would be invited, which, technically excluded you. And maybe once you got engaged, it was an oversight on the hostess’ part not to add you to the guest list. Whatever the excuse, I’m on your side here that it was indeed rude to invite every other woman in the family except you … and THEN to make matters worse, once the oversight was brought to her attention, the hostess made things worse by giving you a lame excuse for the oversight and then failing to give you details about the party after you verbally invited you.

But, let’s keep things in perspective here, okay? If every woman in the family has been invited to this baby shower, then why on earth can you not contact one of them for details about the shower? In her defense, the hostess, while practicing poor etiquette, probably assumed that’s exactly what you’d do. Don’t go and make this about you. Don’t cause a big stink over this. It’s not worth it. Just ask your future MIL if you can tag along with her, bring a nice gift and be a gracious guest. There’s a baby on the way. I’m sure people have other things on their minds right now besides, well, you. But don’t worry; if attention is what you want, you’ll get plenty of that at your bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding. Just make sure you don’t snub anyone with your guest lists!!

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected].

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Jenny March 25, 2011, 9:26 am

    This seems to be much ado about nothing. Planning events like this can be stressful — its possible you were just overlooked. When it comes to your in laws, its best, in matters like this, to give them the benefit of the doubt. Nothing will come from you getting upset about it. So find out the details of the party from someone else, and go and show them how wonderful you are. Wendy’s right, you need to pick your battles — and this isn’t something worth fighting over. I, too, remember having my feelings hurt when I was in that “in between” stage with my future in laws…again, just go and show them how happy you are to be part of the family, and that will make a big difference.

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    • avatar

      maynard March 25, 2011, 9:43 am

      “Planning events like this can be stressful” Seriously. My, uh, ex-future MIL and my ex-future SIL’s mom (what?) planned a baby shower for my ex’s SIL last summer and they were both fucking batty by the time the day actually came (first grandkid for both) and were running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get the dumb games together and make sure everyone had everything they needed and were happy and taken care of and there were enough seats and everyone could see gifts being opened and… yeah, oversights can happen really easily. Give the future grandma a break, LW.

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 March 25, 2011, 11:28 am

      Could not agree with this comment more. Seriously, I feel like the LW was looking for something to have her feelings hurt about.

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      • avatar

        spot March 25, 2011, 11:51 am

        I can’t say I agree that the LW was “looking” for something to have her feelings hurt about. If I were in her shoes I would feel hurt too, especially after the half-hearted phone call. I agree with Wendy and the comments here that it may very well have been a mistake and it is not worth feeling upset about, but I don’t think it’s fair to claim that the LW had no right to feel as she did.

        Go to the baby shower, pretend you had been invited all along, and have a good time.

        As for all of these comments berating the LW for seemingly thinking that the baby shower was all about her, I think those are a bit of an overstatement. It is true that the shower is indeed not about her, but feeling hurt about being excluded from a family gathering can indeed occur without a completely self-centered state of mind.

        So LW, give the in-laws a break, and commenters, give the LW a break.

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      • avatar

        MissDre March 25, 2011, 12:01 pm

        @spot I agree with you… She is probably very eagerly trying to fit in and is looking for acceptance from her soon-to-be new family. She wants to feel like a part of things. And that’s certainly an acceptable way to feel right after you get engaged.

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      • avatar

        kali March 25, 2011, 2:22 pm

        Exactly, BecBoo. The use of the word ‘snub’ (several times!) makes your point.

        Another consideration might be cultural: I married into a large family with very different methods handling invitations to events – if “Mom” (my MIL) was invited – and there were never written invites – everyone was considered invited. My MIL never called to tell us; we were expected to find out the details when we visited. Completely not what I’d been raised with. There was no malice, no snubbing, just a different way of handling things. I still prefer Emily Post’s ways, but I realized I wasn’t going to change the whole clan, so I shrugged it off and learned to go with the flow. In the long run, it made life and marriage so much easier.

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    • EscapeHatches

      EscapeHatch March 25, 2011, 12:08 pm

      Absolutely. I always find it interesting when people assume that others are intentionally sabotaging their lives. The average person isn’t dastardly enough to plot small ways to insult you. We’re lazy and forgetful by nature – Ockham’s razor.

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  • avatar

    maynard March 25, 2011, 9:38 am

    I think the LW is seriously overreacting. Sorry, but the baby shower ain’t about YOU, and you’re twisting every bit of your letter into something negative, such as:

    “she did not invite me because she doesn’t know me **very** well,” and “for one, the assertion that she **doesn’t know me** is untrue,” Not knowing you VERY WELL and not knowing you AT ALL are two different things. If you’ve seen her around holidays, I think she made a fair statement. She didn’t say she had no clue who you were. She didn’t hang up without telling you when/where because, like Wendy said, there are probably a handful of other family members you could get those details from (and I’m sure it was clear to her that you HAVE been talking to other family members about the baby shower) and it’s not like finding and extra invitation to send to you is a top priority and I’m actually surprised that you feel you need one at this point.

    “and I am embarrassed because I know other family members I am close with will ask where I am, only to be told I was not invited, and I am worried it will affect the way they see me. ”
    I don’t even get what this means. Again, the baby shower isn’t about YOU and if you do come up I’m sure it’ll be in passing and will not be a focal point of the day. And why on earth would it affect the way they see you?? Baffled.

    This is all just made up drama. Like Wendy said, got with your future MIL, get a nice gift, and play nice because – one more time – IT ISN’T ABOUT YOU

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    • avatar

      Jenny March 25, 2011, 9:44 am

      I like this times a million. You’re right. This event is not about her, and she needs to stop acting as if it is. Her fiance’s family did not throw this baby shower and then purposefully not invite her in some giant attempt to hurt her feelings.

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    • avatar

      CollegeCat March 25, 2011, 11:43 am

      I completely agree!!!

      This party is for the expecting woman and HER close family and friends. Just because they have met you a couple times does not mean they are OBLIGATED to invite you. The invites were done by the future grandmother and she may be the type who believes you’re not family until you are actually married. Other family members may feel differently and invite you to everything. This is their right. When you have your upcoming showers/events you can invite who you choose as well.

      The fact that that you made such a sink about this to your fiancé, F-MIL, the hostess and probably others makes me think that in the future any invites you receive will be from fear of more drama rather than a genuine wish to include you in their special moments. Congratulations on making things reeaaaalllll awkward!

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  • avatar

    callmehobo March 25, 2011, 9:45 am

    LW

    Relaaaaxxxx. I mean, the cousin apologized and invited you. She didn’t flat out say- “I don’t think you should come” she just forgot to give you the details. I think that she was embarrassed and flustered that you assumed that she didn’t like you and that you called her out on not being invited, which may explain the forgotten details.

    Wendy’s right. Suck it up, and tag along with your MIL. Is it really worth starting some big to-do with a future family member over a baby shower invitation? I’m sure you’ll have plenty of times to have real problems with your in-laws once you get married. DEEP BREATHS. It’s gonna be fine.

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    • avatar

      anna728 March 26, 2011, 1:54 am

      Exactly, I bet the cousin felt really uncomfortable having that phone conversation and probably just wanted it to end. It’s not like she was trying to avoid giving the LW the info, I mean why go to the trouble and the awkwardness of doing that when she’s already been called out on it?

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      • avatar

        anna728 March 28, 2011, 11:37 pm

        as in the trouble and awkwardness of avoiding inviting her, not the trouble of giving the details

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  • avatar

    TheOtherMe March 25, 2011, 10:03 am

    Puh-leeese, my BF’s sister still introduces me to people as ” A friend of my brother’s”

    What I mean is, this was not such a big deal, stuff like this is not worth losing sleep over.

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    • avatar

      redessa March 25, 2011, 12:16 pm

      My best friend’s MIL referred to her as “my son’s friend” once. This was after they’d been married about 3 years and my friend was standing there holding their baby! Her MIL is always doing loony things. My friend is thankfully kind enough to overlook it and go on with her life.

      I think the LW needs to also overlook this supposed slight and either go or don’t but stop worrying about it either way.

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    • avatar

      Maracuya March 25, 2011, 4:11 pm

      Agreed, I’m sometimes called a ‘friend’ by my boyfriend’s family and my random aunt’s still ask after him as in, “How is your friend doing?” I just don’t think much of it. 😛

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      • avatar

        Maracuya March 25, 2011, 4:11 pm

        *aunts

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    • avatar

      Red_Lady March 25, 2011, 8:29 pm

      My family tends to introduce my bf as my friend as well.
      But one time, when I was with my bf’s family and a friend of bf’s sister, one of their old family friends came by. First sister’s friend was introduced as “sister’s friend” then they introduced me as “a friend of all of us” I actually liked that a lot more than being introduced as a girlfriend.

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  • avatar

    Blarfengar March 25, 2011, 10:27 am

    Also, considering that Baby Showers have a glaring main event involved – bringing a gift – the hostess might have been sincere in her statement that she doesn’t know you that well. It’s one thing to invite someone you don’t know very well who happens to be the fiance of your nephew to say, a Fourth of July picnic, where the minimum obligation is show up and the maximum obligation is bring some jello gigglers to share. It’s another thing to invite someone you don’t know very well to essentially a gathering of close friends and family where they are expected to “shower” the mother to be with gifts. I can see where it would be a hard toss up.

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    • avatar

      thyme March 25, 2011, 8:10 pm

      Good point! If my boyfriend’s cousin who I had only ever seen at holidays, invited me to her baby shower, I wouldn’t even WANT to go. How wide is she casting her net for invitees, is she fishing for more presents? It would never occur to me to invite my cousin’s fiance to my shower; I wouldn’t even need my cousins to be there.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle March 25, 2011, 10:29 am

    I think Wendy is spot on what she said about the guest list being worked out before she got engaged.

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  • avatar

    Painted_lady March 25, 2011, 10:31 am

    I think maybe you shouldn’t give yourself so much significance in assuming it was an intentional slight. I mean, really, you think they went through all this trouble and drama just to not invite you? Come on. I have a co-worker who assumes everything, from someone forgetting to let him know there are pastries in the break room to being given extra help during the day is a slight on him, and it makes me crazy because it’s so self-centered and paranoid. I don’t think it’s just that you’re not important to them, I think it’s that any one person isn’t that important to any other person. And you’re no exception.

    Rather than get all butt-hurt about it and make a big enough dramatic deal out of it and ensure that next time they don’t invite you it IS intentional, be the most pleasant guest imaginable. Bring a gift for the host as well as the expectant mom, ask what you can do to help out, and stay to help clean up. While it may sound really satisfying to “show” them how badly they messed up, what’s really going to happen is you’re going to look like way too much trouble to mess with. And honestly, I’m guessing you’re not going to enjoy whatever means you employ to “show” them as much as going to the baby shower and spending time with your future family.

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    • avatar

      Lucy March 25, 2011, 10:35 am

      lol @”someone forgetting to let him know there are pastries in the break room” – ppl like that are SO TIRING.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady March 25, 2011, 10:58 am

        My favorite story about him is when we were off-site and had hosts escorting us around to make sure we had everything we needed – they were really overzealous and sort of helpful to the point of being irritating. He grumbled all day about how the higher ups must have told them to watch us really closely.

        Anyone who’s ever planned a party or event knows that there is inevitably going to be an oversight, and you just keep your fingers crossed that it’s not a major one. And also, you know that the planning itself is so crazy that you really don’t have time for intentional snubbing, no matter how much you may want to intentionally persecute a single individual.

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    • MissRemy

      Ally March 25, 2011, 11:04 am

      Very well put! 🙂

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    • avatar

      Red_Lady March 25, 2011, 8:33 pm

      “Bring a gift for the host as well as the expectant mom, ask what you can do to help out, and stay to help clean up”

      And if they decline your help, don’t take that as a snub against you either!

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady March 26, 2011, 3:09 pm

        Ha! God, no kidding! I think this poor girl needs to, as my mother would say, put her big-girl pants on.

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  • avatar

    pinot23 March 25, 2011, 10:35 am

    your fiance’s (then boyfriends?) cousin’s mom forgot to invite you. that’s a lot of degrees of separation and you should probably just be thankful you don’t have to sit through a boring party watching someone open gifts and eating chocolate out of diapers.

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady March 25, 2011, 11:20 am

      Amen! The couple of times I’ve been snubbed for a baby shower, I’ve just been…relieved. They’re usually way too early on Sundays, half the time there’s no booze in honor of the lady that got knocked up, and there’s entirely too much squealing. I mean, yay, you’re preggers, but can I have some earplugs?

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      • avatar

        Laurel March 25, 2011, 2:26 pm

        Ah Painted_lady, a woman of my own heart.

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      • avatar

        callmehobo March 26, 2011, 11:45 pm

        PS- What’s up with the food at baby showers?? Tea sandwiches and cake??

        If I ever have a baby shower, I’m straight up having a nacho bar. No dainty little binky shaped cupcakes. I AM PREGNANT. I WILL EAT.

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  • avatar

    Emjay March 25, 2011, 10:46 am

    When entering into another persons family, it can be very nervewrecking. I don’t think the LW purposely made this letter seem all about her, i think she is just expressing how much this oversight hurt her feelings when she thought she was excepted by all the family members. I DO believe it was just an oversite and she is extremely overreacting here and it really is not as big of a deal as it seems, but at the same time, we dont no how well they know her, and when situations like this come up, so do insecure feelings.
    LW: Just go to the party, enjoy yourself and everyones company, and be grateful that it was an oversite, and not something done outta spite. AND dont start shooting your mouth off to other FILs or other potential people who know this family. U will on;y dig your hole deeper.

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  • avatar

    baby.blanka March 25, 2011, 9:51 am

    I am going to have to agree with everyone and say that although it might hurt your feelings that you weren’t included to begin with – it’s really not a big deal. I would say to MOA and show up and have a good time. Let bygones be bygones and try to be there for her and her future baby.

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    • avatar

      Jenny March 25, 2011, 9:54 am

      Oh how I adore Wendy for introducing “MOA” into all of our vocabularies 🙂

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  • avatar

    LTC039 March 25, 2011, 11:16 am

    What a biatch, seriously…But I agree with Wendy…but still, there’s def a specific reason you weren’t invited & that lady took a very immature route.

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  • avatar

    WatersEdge March 25, 2011, 11:33 am

    As I wrote in the open thread last week, my husband and his mother recently neglected to invite me to his uncle’s memorial service (he had died but they waited for the ground to thaw before having a cremation burial thing). I can appreciate that there are two degrees of seriousness in my situation that differentiate me from the LW: 1) we are married and I am legally family, and 2) funerals are more serious than showers.

    However, I was EXTREMELY hurt that my husband and his mother made plans to travel out of town to the funeral/ceremony, which were planned a few weeks in advance, and did not tell me about them until the last minute. It’s a matter of values. I really value family, and it was a huge slap in the face not to be treated like family by my husband and my mother-in-law when I’ve worked so hard to be nice to her. My husband is kind of a moron when it comes to this stuff, but his mother knows better and intentionally excluded me. How do you not invite your son’s wife to a family funeral? My husband and I were able to talk it out. He didn’t see the point in dragging me to something boring; it didn’t occur to him that I’d want to go; he thought he was doing me a favor, etc. But I’ll never be able to talk it out with my mother-in-law because she’s extremely non-confrontational and it’s seriously eating away at me. She’s coming to visit soon and I feel actual fury about it. The injustice of having to do so much to accommodate her, i.e. treat her like family, when she intentionally didn’t invite me to a family funeral just a few weeks ago is almost more than I can bear. I practically have scars from biting my tongue. It probably seems like an extreme reaction, but seriously, family is very very important to me, and this really felt like a flagrant FUCK YOU.

    Ugh. Anyway. If the LW is feeling half of what I’m feeling, then I completely empathize. But you probably have to do what I have to do, which is shut up, act like it’s not bothering you, and move past it. In-law arguments are just very rarely worth it.

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    • avatar

      ArtsyGirl March 25, 2011, 12:02 pm

      Sorry you are going through the family drama! I hate passive aggressive behavior in people since nothing gets accomplished from it except making someone feel like dog doo.

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady March 25, 2011, 12:06 pm

      Also, it was what, two of them traveling as opposed to three? When it’s small numbers like that, it’s less easy to forget people than when you’ve got a list of 25-50 people and you’re trying not to exclude anyone.

      Also, if she doesn’t like confrontation, it’s all the more reason to call her out on it – politely and respectfully – because she’s eventually going to figure it out that you’re going to force her into an awkward conversation every time she pulls that mess.

      Also, what husband makes travel plans without at least conferring with his wife? Even if you weren’t invited, alerting you to his absence before it was decided would be considerate. Even my roommate and I check in before we make firm vacation plans to make sure the other one will be there to feed the animals. Sounds like he’s inconsiderate on top of being a moron, and he should be insisting to his mother that you are a permanent part of his life now and that she should treat you that way.

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      • avatar

        WatersEdge March 25, 2011, 12:17 pm

        As for your third paragraph… I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!!

        He’s an introverted guy and it often doesn’t occur to him to tell other people what he’s thinking or planning. He’s also just a boneheaded new-to-serious-relationships guy. He told me Friday night that he was leaving Tuesday. Then when he made plans to stay an extra day, he called me at 9:30 PM to tell me, when I thought he was driving and almost home. But no, he’s not an inconsiderate guy in general, he’s actually an exceptionally considerate guy, just not in the “conveying information that I believe to be necessary” way. And it’s one thing when I call my husband a moron, but please don’t you do it. I do agree that he should be insisting to his mother that I’m a permanent fixture, and after the blowout fight we had, I think I got that point across pretty well.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady March 25, 2011, 1:33 pm

        Oh, wow I should have been clear about that – I was quoting you rather than actually calling him a moron as obviously I don’t know him.

        My dad has pulled similar stunts with my mom about that mess, and it was always inconceivable to me. My grandmother and my mom did get along really well, which made things way easier. But my mom did ind a way to work my dad’s total lack of communication skills to her advantage: when there were family events, she would just “expect” my dad to invite family members she didn’t care for. Which meant they just didn’t get invited, and if anything was said she would just say she’d told my dad to tell them.

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      • avatar

        WatersEdge March 25, 2011, 2:01 pm

        🙂 it’s ok, I did say it first! It just stung when I read “he’s a moron AND inconsiderate”. I was like, yikes… no no no he’s a good egg! Just kinda ditzy!

        But it was good that you called him that because it made me defend him in my head and be less mad at him… haha.

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      • avatar

        lee March 25, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Yeah, maybe you shouldn’t call your husband a moron…

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 March 25, 2011, 1:07 pm

      I know how you feel! For some reason I don’t get invited to me fiance’s family’s birthdays, and I’m not talking about cousins or anything like that, i’m talking about sit at home dinners with cake and presents for her parent’s and her sister’s birthdays, and her parents live about 5-10 mintues away. I know it’s not as bad as a funeral, but it really does make you feel like you aren’t part of the family when the people who are going to be your family don’t consider you enough of a family member to celebrate something like that. I thought things would change once we were engaged but I guess not. I’m just used to my family who ever since we have been dating have been inviting her to every birthday party my family has, and that is including my 25+ cousins, and their spouses. I guess everyones family has a different way of doing things, and I have to remind myself of that so I don’t think about it so much.

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      • avatar

        WatersEdge March 25, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Yeah. Some families are tight-knit and see anyone extra as an “outsider”. Intellectually I know it’s not personal and she’d rather just be alone with him, but it’s hard to want to make the effort when people treat you that way.

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      • avatar

        TheOtherMe March 25, 2011, 1:26 pm

        @bagge72: How does that happen ? ( not trying to be sarcastic at all here )
        I mean when they invite your fiancé, do they specify to her not to bring you ? Couldn’t your fiancé say just say something like ” Great, we’ll be there for 7pm” and just include you in her RSVP’s ?

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      • avatar

        maynard March 25, 2011, 1:33 pm

        Wondering that myself. If they are specifically saying “don’t bring bagge72!!!” then that is messed up. Otherwise could be as simple as an initial miscommunication and then everyone just followed whatever happened the first time, if that makes sense

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 25, 2011, 1:53 pm

        Yeah I have been wondering how it happens myself, because my fiance never seems worried or upset about it. I know if something like that did happen in my family, I would ask my parenst if she could come, but she seems perectly contempt the way its, and even slept over my house after the last birthday party, because I live closer to her parents than she does. I don’t know if it is because they are just used to it being just the 4 of them, and they don’t really think about it? I mean we seem to really get along when we go over to her parents house together to visit so I don’t know what is going on.

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      • avatar

        WatersEdge March 25, 2011, 2:07 pm

        Is she the oldest child? My husband is an only and I am the oldest, so there’s never been any other sibling breaking the barrier and inviting significant others.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 25, 2011, 2:11 pm

        Yeah she is the oldest, and by 7 years so I can see that happening. She did have a long term relationship before we started dating so i’m not sure how that worked out with them.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 25, 2011, 2:13 pm

        I hope the LW reads our stories WatersEdge, and sees that she doesn’t have it so bad haha.

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirl March 25, 2011, 12:01 pm

    LW – the one thing you cannot do at this point is bow out. You are now obligated to go to the shower because you pointed out the lack of invitation, not only to close family members but also to the hostess. If you decide not to attend you are going to look like a high maintenance whiner. So button up the big girl pants, buy a nice present for the mother to be, and tell yourself that mistakes and oversights happen and unless your future aunt has made any comments about not liking you, it was probably an honest mistake.

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    • avatar

      MissDre March 25, 2011, 12:05 pm

      Exactly. And this will be a great opportunity for her to get to know her new family and their friends. If she is genuinely warm and outgoing, people will feel it and will probably accept her as a new member of the family.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay March 25, 2011, 12:58 pm

    I agree with Wendy. I wouldn’t call the hostess’s excuse a lame one, though. Honestly, I think she just probably forgot and was trying to save face in a polite way. I also assume she omitted the details because if the LW knew enough about the shower to ask to be invited, then the hostess probably though she would know when and where it was.

    At this point, the LW probably should go to the event. Because otherwise, it’s going to look as though she was just wanting to complain about being invited. The future in-laws don’t sound like mean people, so I’m sure over the years of your marriage, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know them better and become a member of the family.

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  • avatar

    snubbed March 25, 2011, 2:09 pm

    Hi guys! I’m the LW, and I was going to wait to respond and write an update but as the event is this weekend, I’d really some insight.

    First of all, I did NOT mean to make this letter sound like I wanted it all about “me, me, me” Apparently it did, my bad. Perhaps a better way to ask my question would have been “How do I handle this gracefully?” instead of “What do I do?”

    We were engaged in January, the invitations went out mid February 2 days after we asked the hostesses son to be our best man, so that’s why I was so surpised to not have gotten one, or even heard about the party. It made me start to wonder if she has an issue with me. I asked my fiance about it very gently, and he asked his mom who asked his aunt completely without my knowledge. I know it is in bad taste to ask for an invitation to a party you are not invited to and would never have instigated going through the grapevine to ask. I also have no desire to spread drama throughout the family by asking everyone “does so and so have an issue with me?” I thought it was just a casual conversation between myself and my fiance to double check I hadn’t done something wrong. And when the aunt called me the next day she apologized, explained, and then basically said “Oh but please come to the party please please” followed by an immediate hang up, which sort of intensified my worry she has an issue.

    I have not, and will not, mention this to any other family members, and either way I have no intention of starting a fight or causing a scene, or bringing this up ever again. I guess my concern was more about the fact that she may not want me there, and I don’t want to go to a party the hostess would rather I not attend. And it would make me sad to think she would explain to others at the party why I was not invited, when I myself don’t know. Do I treat it like a simple mistake I wasn’t invited (which is totally understandable) and go along with my mother in law? Do I call her back and ask her if there’s anything I’ve done? Do I thank her, tell her with the short notice I have other plans, and then give them a small gift after the baby is born? Do I not say anything and just go? Do I not say anything and just stay home? I understand this is not some emergency situation, and that discussing it further with his family will only cause drama, so I came to Wendy and you guys for some sound advice

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      Red_Lady March 25, 2011, 8:55 pm

      I like this comment much better than the original letter.
      I’d say that since the aunt did call you, you should go to the baby shower w/ your future MIL. Especially since it sounds like there will be a lot of people there anyways? If you knew that it was a really small gathering, that might be the reason you weren’t invited, simply b/c you’re relatively new to the family, and they only wanted so many people there. But you mentioned that “literally every woman in the family” was invited, so if there’s that many people, one more definitely wouldn’t matter. So go, have fun, and don’t even worry about the aunt possibly not liking you. Focus on the people that you know enjoy your company.

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      fallonthecity March 25, 2011, 10:30 pm

      I think you’re probably reading way too much into it. If you want to handle it gracefully, at this point just take a gift and go, and be all smiles and show interest. Don’t try to ask around whether she has a problem with you… odds are she doesn’t, and pushing the issue will create problems where there are none!

      I’ve thrown a lot of baby/wedding showers as I have a giant family and they refuse to stop getting hitched and procreating… 🙂 It is so easy to overlook someone when you don’t mean to, and it’s also very hard to know who to invite to keep everyone happy. For every cousin’s fiancée (is that right? I can never get the whole fiancé/fiancée thing straight) that will think we’re snubbing her if she’s not invited, there will be a cousin’s fiancée that will cuss us when she gets the invitation. So, I say give the aunt the benefit of the doubt, go, and just try to get to know your future in-laws better.

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      anna728 March 26, 2011, 2:09 am

      That phone call sounds like she assumed that if you already knew of the party you probably knew the details. Or she just didn’t think of it as she was too worried about making sure you didn’t feel badly (which I guess backfired). It really doesn’t sound like there are any special motives or reasons for not inviting you.

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      Painted_lady March 26, 2011, 3:27 pm

      That makes more sense. It sounds like the means by which it got to be a bigger deal may have also contributed to your blowing it up bigger than it needed to be. I think absolutely the most gracious way to handle it is to not just go, but to go and have the best time you can, and be the most fun you can. Obviously it’s an awkward situation for everyone, but you can totally be the class act that will let them all know that they’d be crazy to overlook you again.

      Also, it’s such a weird thing to join a new family – I’m working on doing the same thing, and figuring out what the loyalties are and how they manifest is like trying to learn a new language. My future MIL is the sweetest, and my future BILs are already treating me like a little sister (one spiked my hot chocolate over Christmas and didn’t tell me), but every once in awhile I stumble onto a giant faux pas that I never would have thought of. You’ll get there eventually!

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    Amy March 25, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Geeze – I think you are lucky that your future mother in law went out of her way to find out what happened and to include you. Good grief – that’s where most people have in-law troubles. I sure wouldn’t get in a snit over a future cousin-in-law. You’re likely to have much bigger problems down the road, save your energy for those fights.

    However – I do know that it’s hurtful when you really want to get along well with your in-laws and things don’t always go just right. I’m sorry your feelings were hurt, but I hope you’ll be able to let that go in a healthy way and move on. Congratulations on your recent engagement.

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    anna728 March 26, 2011, 2:22 am

    I have to say, I know some families are tighter with extended family, but I can’t imagine inviting a cousin’s fiance or girlfriend to a baby shower. I have a cousin I haven’t seen in like 8 years. I have another cousin who invited some members of his mom’s side of the family, and of course his parents and brother, to his wedding, but no one else on our side (his dad’s). Not even our grandmother. She wasn’t able to go without my aunt coming to help her and drive her and he said no to that. He was the first grandchild to get married, and my grandma died within the year, never getting to see any of her grandchildren’s weddings. I am mad about this, but this is a conversation that will never be had. I guess I got off-topic, but my point is sometimes things like this happen in families and at least a baby shower isn’t too important, and just don’t let it become a point of conflict or awkwardness.

    Also, you probably usually see the fiance’s family when you’re with him, especially if they are extended family, who I assume you also see much less frequently. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to think that you might be uncomfortable going to a family event without your fiance held in honor of a relative I am guessing you’ve only met a few times at large events like holidays. Or as others said, they just forgot. Don’t take it personally.

    Anyway, now you should go to it. Just ask the MIL-to-be if you can go with her, as suggested. If you don’t go now, when it has already been acknowledged that you were bothered by not being invited, it will just like you are snubbing them back out of spite. I know that’s not what your reasons for possibly not going actually are, I just mean that it could look like that.

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    Fairhaired Child March 26, 2011, 3:55 am

    I’m not tight with most of my cousins, and while I have one Uncle/Aunt set on each side of my family that I am close to, I dont dream of being invited to many of my cousins functions. I figure Holidays, Big weddings, and Funerals are really the only time I’ll see them unless they visit to go to the beach or something. Though I was invited to one cousin’s babyshower recently who while we are not close now we used to be ‘close’ aka forced to spend summers together when she was sent to go to camp with me) and I was considering going to her babyshower but then I heard that they were inviting 70 people – most of which are not family – and its being catered – so I decided not to go but to send a gift (i’m knitting a hat and i’ll get something small off her list).

    I wouldnt even dream of sending my SO to a party without me that was hosted by extended family. I think it would be weird for him to go to an “mostly male” (such as a bachelor party or something ) for a cousin of mine, and only have my Brother and a few other male cousins that he’s closer to that he could talk to.

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    jen March 27, 2011, 8:35 pm

    I was snubbed by my MIL on Facebook. She “un-friended” me and re-friended my husband’s (we’d been married 1 year at the time) ex girlfriend (they had been in a 10 year relationship before we met). She said she was just “cleaning up up her friend list” and that I shouldn’t be offended. It caused a HUGE rift in our family and my husband no longer speaks to his mom. Very sad turn. My advice would be to not let something like that happen. His mom remains Facebook friends with his ex and never understood why that would be a problem.

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