Elizabeth
Dedicated November 2021

Wedding guest (supposedly) getting divorced

Elizabeth, on September 2, 2021 at 1:48 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 14
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Our wedding is less than 3 months away, invites are ordered and I did the pre-addressing through Minted, so I've already submitted all of that.

However, a few months ago one of my aunts mentioned that my dad's cousin and his wife are getting a divorce, and doesn't sound like an amicable one. At that point I had already sent a save the date addressed to the couple. Originally I was going to reach out to my aunts prior to addressing formal invitations and just confirm the latest on this, as I didn't want to hurt my dad's cousin by addressing the formal invite to him and his wife (although I suppose seeing just his name on the invite could be a painful reminder as well). I asked my dad as well, and he said "Has HE told you he's getting divorced? If not, how would you even know? Just address it to both of them." I thought that was a good point, as addressing the invite only to the cousin and not his wife could serve as confirmation that the family has been gossiping about this. I even checked Facebook and though I'm not "friends" with him, I can see that his wife is still in his profile picture, so it doesn't seem like any sweeping announcements have been made, at least not through social media. Then again, how else does word of a divorce spread - I'm not sure most divorcing couples ever really make a formal announcement about it. So, maybe the cousin was hoping the grapevine would take care of it, and then I'm back to feeling bad about pretending to have not received the message!

Two of my aunts were over last night and I told them I'd just gone ahead and addressed the invite to both, and explained my reasoning. They both grimaced and said "well they're definitely getting divorced, she's moving out," etc. - and it has me second guessing myself.

I still think I probably did the right thing and should go ahead and send the invite addressed to both of them as though I don't know anything about the possible impending divorce - but wanted to get some other perspectives. Thoughts?

14 Comments

Latest activity by Katie, on September 4, 2021 at 12:45 PM
  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    Okay, just making sure I have everyone correct, one your aunts is not the cousin's mom. They would be cousins with this person too, correct?

    If it's not coming from the immediate family of the divorced person and it seems as though they're still publicly "together" then I think you did the right thing addressing it to both. We have family friends who have apparently been getting ready to divorce for a while and the wife just made a (very) public announcement which came completely out of nowhere because everyone thought they were great. I can understand wanting to have your ducks in a row before making something like that public. If they are split then he can choose to come without her or with someone else.

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  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated November 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    Yes, sorry good question - my aunts are not the cousin's mom. They are my dad's sisters and sister-in-law, so they are also cousins with this person.

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  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    Then in that case I definitely think you did the right thing. While they're still family, they're removed enough that I agree with your dad on it being more like family gossip. Had your cousin's mom told you, then I'd say change it lol

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  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated November 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    Thank you! Yes I agree, if it came from an immediate family member of his it's probably best considered "official news" (because how else do most people spread word of that sort of thing)... but this way, it does feel more like family gossip.

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  • Jessyca
    Dedicated September 2021
    Jessyca ·
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    You definitely did the right thing!

    I had a similar - but a little worse- situation happen to one of my guests. Literally the week I was sending out the invites my dad's friend found out his wife was having an affair. My invite was already addressed to both of them - I sent it anyway. He was one of the last to RSVP but he is coming alone and I'm glad he will be there. We also see each other at the gym at least 3 times a week and he has let me know how excited he is to attend.

    In the grand scheme of things your dad's cousin may feel a pang of sadness if he truly is getting a divorce, but they WILL NOT hold it against you at all!

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  • E
    Dedicated October 2021
    Elise ·
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    You definitely did the right thing!! Even if the divorce is a sure thing, they definitely don’t want to know everyone is gossiping about it, and since they didn’t tell you themselves then that’s the only way you could know! This is like how you don’t talk about someone being pregnant unless you 1000% know it’s true.
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  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated November 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    Thank you! That is so sad for your dad’s friend. From what I’ve heard, this situation is the same kind of story 😕 so I just didn’t want to do anything that would add more pain.
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  • Jessyca
    Dedicated September 2021
    Jessyca ·
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    I can totally empathize with not wanting to be the straw on the camels' back but unfortunately, no matter how you address the envelope, we are getting married while their marriage (or lack thereof) is falling apart - the pain is inevitable Smiley sad Smiley sad.

    All we can do is be there for these people however they want us to be there. In my case, it has been casual conversation at the gym with no mention of the situation - which I believe is a way for him to live life as normal and provide an escape from thinking about whatever is going on.

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  • Samantha
    Expert December 2021
    Samantha ·
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    Address it to them as a couple. Gossip isn't always reputable, and circumstances can change rapidly. Go through with your original plan and support them as best as you see fit.
    • Reply
  • Jacks
    Master November 2054
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    Yes address as usual. You'd be jumping the gun by assuming there is a separation. If there is a divorce happening, having an extra name on an envelope will be the least of the issues.

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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Yeah team dad here. Unless you have the info from a direct source, everything else is gossip. Actually my MIL did this, gossiping that one of our guest couples was having marital problems and we second guessed the addressing of the invite for a minute but they are very much still
    Together now and it would have been VERY awkward had we not invited her 😳. I did have a cousin who WAS going through a divorce on our guestlist and felt similarly conflicted, but got word directly from my uncle and aunt— her actual parents— that the separation was official and he had moved out, so it was clear that he was not welcome!! But without a direct confirmation like that, it’s best to leave it in their hands. They may be going through some stuff, and maybe the aunts think they SHOULD divorce, but couples all have their own ways of working through things, and it’s best not to guess wrong !
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  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
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    Yep, Team Dad. You did the right thing.

    There are some rules I live by. One is, when a friend breaks up with their romantic partner, I never badmouth them - because if they get back together, you can never take it back, and your friend will always know what you said.

    Same thing here. They could, at any time, say "you know what? Let's work this out." And then you would be the person who didn't invite them together to your wedding, forever.

    Also, the obvious: yes, it would definitely appear to them that everyone is gossiping and you were part of it.

    To your knowledge, they are still together. They haven't told you otherwise, therefore, that is the information you have.

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  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated November 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    Thank you so much for all the helpful replies, I feel more confident in my decision now. I'm going to proceed with sending the invite in a few weeks addressed to both of them. Agree with all points made - and also I'm sure he's still getting mail addressed to his wife every day, so an invite addressed just to him might be more painful anyway (makes it feel more "real" / final - AND confirms everyone has been talking about it). There's pretty much no way we'd hear it from an "official" source i.e. his immediate family - he has no siblings, parents passed away years ago, and I haven't seen or talked to his now-adult children in maybe 15-20 years. If he was going to tell us himself, he probably would've done it at some point after we sent them both a save the date in June, since it sounds like this was already going on by then.

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  • Katie
    Expert August 2021
    Katie ·
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    If neither person in the actual relationship says anything to you then assume that it is just a rumor. I'd still address everything as them as a married couple until they tell me they no longer are. Don't listen to your aunts you did the right thing. Gossip is never good because it could be a lie, or it could be twisted up. The couple could be sleeping in separate beds and going to marriage counseling, then person a tells person b, and person b tells person c and so on and so forth and then the next thing you know people are saying they are getting divorced when they aren't.
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