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Savvy March 2020

Trying not to rock the boat

Jenna, on September 19, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Posted in Family and Relationships 43

Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time posting! My cousin's husband has been nothing but rude since he married her over a decade ago. He always thought he was better than my whole family because he grew up wealthy and all of my extended family did not. When they had their first child six years...

Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time posting!

My cousin's husband has been nothing but rude since he married her over a decade ago. He always thought he was better than my whole family because he grew up wealthy and all of my extended family did not.

When they had their first child six years ago, my immediate family was not allowed to come meet the new baby or even see my cousin for months because he was "afraid {we} would get the baby sick". That is what really soured me toward him. My mom is a nurse who works with newborns, so we all have proper vaccinations, flu shots, and most importantly, are very clean people in general (also, if one of us had been sick, we obviously would have never offered to bring them food and new clothes for their baby, it wasn't like we just invited ourselves over). We were the only ones subjected to that (even my other aunt who smokes two packs a day was "allowed" before us (not judging, just pointing it out!)).

My brother invited them to his wedding 4 years ago and the husband sulked, didn't smile in any of the family pictures, and didn't even attempt to have a good time. It was a beautiful, elegant wedding and my sister-in-law's family even brought up his sore attitude at a dinner the immediate families went to after their wedding.

Two years ago, he started fights with other family members on social media, called my sweet mother names when she tried to keep the peace and said that my family was "trash", even going as far as to say the town where almost all of my immediate and extended family live was "trashy" and only "degenerates" with low standards and I.Q.s live there" (the town could be improved, like any suburb, but it is a wonderful place to live). I just want to say, while we weren't wealthy growing up, my family has worked hard to get to where we are today (myself and my two siblings were the first in our whole family to attend college (including my cousin's husband) and between us have 5 degrees), and we had a great and happy childhood! You don't need wealthy parents to be happy. I, for one, do not think we would be considered "trash" by anyone's standards.

I haven't spoken to either of them in over two years. My cousin has never explicitly condoned his behavior, but she has never even tried to apologize for his behavior. My mom (bless her, really) thinks I should invite them to keep the peace. All of my extended family feel similar to me in not liking him, but no one has gone as far as not inviting the couple to a big family function (wedding, baby shower, etc).

I know etiquette states that if I invite one cousin, I should invite them all. I get along with all of my other cousins and their partners. I just don't know if I want someone who called my family something so awful at my wedding. I don't have a relationship with either of them, so it's not like my life would be any different without them if I chose not to invite them.

If you were me, what would you do?

Thanks for reading my very long post haha! Smiley smile

43 Comments

  • Alejandra
    Super March 2019
    Alejandra ·
    • Flag

    You do not need to invite people who are not supportive of you, I cut my cousin (for strong reasons) and my very close uncle because he used inappropriate language when talking about my husbands race. What will happen when I have children, will he not treat them well because they're half my husbands race?

    My husband and I stood strongly when we decided that only our family and friends who supported us would be invited.

    I say, have your day and don't feel bad about the choices you make.

    Good Luck!

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Super October 2021
    Nicole ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't invite them. Maybe it'll be a wake up call. But they have had plenty of chances and continue to make themselves look bad in the extended family's eyes. You are perfectly fine not inviting them.

    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Nope, nope, nope. Inexcusable behavior. You can tell your mom if she persists that you ARE keeping the peace by NOT inviting them because his rude behavior could really hurt or offend your family or your hubby’s family and that’s not ok with either of you.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Inviting in circles does not mean if you invite one cousin, you have to invite them all. You have such a thing as closeness of relationship to consider. First you invite all of the cousins you see on a very regular basis, as much friends as family. Then, if you have room, you invite cousins and other extended family you usually enjoy seeing at other people's special occasions, and who occasionally visit you in your home, you in theirs, at least every couple of years. And you invite friends in the same degree of reciprocal friendship, seen irregularly every couple of years, but you enjoy each other's company enough to both make overtures of friendship. Next, two kinds of cousins or extended family. People you haven't bothered going to see for 3 or more years, and they have not gone out of their way to visit you. You are friendly when you meet at other people's homes. And last, people you dislike, family or not. People unpleasant to you. No matter how much room you have, you need not invite this third circle. If at best you cannot be bothered to get in touch even every 3 years, at worst you don't like them or they behave badly, you don't invite these people to your wedding. Period. Maybe you will see them at family reunions, or other people's homes, but you take no pleasure in each other's company. If they feel left out, so what? Even if you have plenty of room, plenty of money, and invited all cousins and extended family you have a positive relationship with, this outer circle does not belong at your wedding.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Don't think of it as rocking the boat. Think of it as overdue maintenance, scraping off the barnacles, toxic algae, and other nasty stuff that has been clinging to the boat for too long .
    • Reply
  • Christine
    Dedicated October 2020
    Christine ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't invite him. You can only be so nice to someone like that. Not inviting him will make your wedding less stressful and drama free. Your wedding is suppose to be the happiest day of your life, you don't need someone like him bringing you down. My cousins husband is the same way. He has been banned from any family gatherings/events after everything he has said and done to my family. Just remember, it is YOUR day. No one should be making you feel guilty about not inviting certain people. You want to be able to look at your wedding photos and see everyone happy and having a good time, and not seeing 1 sourpuss.

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    THAT IS EPIC! I love it!! Smiley xd Thank you so much!! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    You are exactly right! I'm glad I'm not the only one with dramatic family members haha! Thank you for the advice!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Exactly!! Thank you so much!!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Devil's advocate is what I came here for! It's nice to get more than one perceptive on things. Some more distant family members (who we already weren't inviting) have treated us the same way your family did with you. It was always jokes with the theme being "you think you're better because you go to college", etc.

    I could definitely try reaching out to my cousin. She is always going to be my cousin even if her husband is a jerk. I mean, I would even be down for inviting just her, not the husband, but I think that may cause an even bigger hubbub.

    Good luck with wedding planning, Kelsey! Show those jealous relatives how elegant a wedding can be with you and your future spouse being the stars of the show!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Thanks, Pam! 22 is a lot of first cousins! I agree, the ones closest should be there on our special day. You're right, his (at the time) 2 year old daughter acted more mature than he did at my brother's wedding!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you for the advice, I'm glad I'm not the only one in this situation! Also, is that your wedding dress in your picture? It is beautiful!!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Your cousin sounds like she could be great friends with my cousin's husband LOL! I'm glad you took control and invited who you want! Thanks for the advice! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you so much!! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    You definitely made the right choice. I agree, weddings (and our lives in general) have no place for people like the uncle. People amaze me with how low they can go. I'm glad your day was everything you wanted it to be surrounded bu people you both love!Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you so much!! My cousin is my mom's first niece (she was the first grandchild for my late grandparents as well). Hopefully this does wake her up.

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you so much! My mom is a better person than I am when it comes to this stuff. She is so forgiving, almost to a fault!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you, Judith! This is really helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to give advice! Smiley smile

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  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    I LOVE THIS! The rocking the boat quote came from a conversation with my mom. I will definitely use this if the discussion comes up again!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy March 2020
    Jenna ·
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    Thank you so much, Christine! Our cousins' husbands need to learn a thing or two about family! And I agree, wedding photos are too expensive to have someone ruin them by sulking!

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