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to ignore my estranged sister's wedding invitation?

(26 Posts)
notanumber Thu 05-Aug-10 15:48:34

I've just received an invitation to my sister's wedding. We have not spoken in three years after our always difficult relationship spectaculary broke down and I broke off all contact.

Incidentally, the estrangement is a decison that has been very positive for me, though of course it is difficult for our parents - which I regret - and it's a shame that our children can't have a relationship. I also wish that she wasn't such a poisonous bitch both of us were able to behave better and get along, but that seems to be impossible, so the current situation is the best scenario for a happy life for me.

So, the invitation. What I received was the invitation alone, no note enclosed or anything.

Why? Why the fuck has she sent this? I can't believe she actually wants me there - your wedding day is not the time or place for a tense meeting with your estranged sibling.

My personal opinion is that she knows full well that there is no way I will attend, so if she invites me she will be able to make a big drama out of the fact that her nasty selfish sister has marred her big day by not coming or even acknowledging her generous invitation. (For the record, I realise I sound like a paranoid loon, but this is based on years of dealing with her).

I doubt it, but I concede it could be an olive branch. It's a bloody dumb ass one if it is, though. Surely an olive branch that had half a chance of being accepted would involve a letter or a note acknowledging that we've not spoken in years but saying that it's important to her that I attend her wedding etc etc. Not just an inviation telling me to turn up at some bloody hotel and a here's-what-I-want-you-to-buy-me-from-John-Lewis-as-a-gift card.

I don't want anything to do with her. I have stated this clearly and unequivocally (though politely) in writing. I find her refusal to respect this actually an enormous act of aggression.

So what do you think? Is just binning it and ignoring the whole thing the way forward (I think so)? Or should I RSVP declining the invitation? Or should I double-bluff her and accept and turn up like the bad fairy (only joking)?

AddictedtoCrunchies Thu 05-Aug-10 15:51:30

If you really feel that you can't or don't want to go, I would send an equally impersonal RSVP declining the invite.

DrivenToDistraction Thu 05-Aug-10 15:51:30

RSVP declining the invitation with a brief and polite explanation.

Hassled Thu 05-Aug-10 15:54:35

RSVP in a very polite manner saying unfortunately you will not be able to attend, and that you hope the day goes well. That way all bases are covered - if it is an olive branch, you've responded appropriately; if it is a drama-seeking ploy, you've stopped at least some of the opportunity to bitch.

Mollydoggerson Thu 05-Aug-10 15:56:21

Why not write back declining, saying you will be unable to come but you wish them both a very happy day and a wonderful life together and send a gift.

Then you are not a bitch, you have done your bit and reciprocated the olive branch, but you also have not been dragged into anything.

zingzillachinchilla Thu 05-Aug-10 15:56:30

So sorry that you don't have a great relationship with your sister. It's clearly vexing you just receiving the invitation, so I suspect actually attending the wedding would be much more traumatic.

I agree that with suggestion that you RSVP - tis a shame, but for your own sanity preservation it seems like the right thing to do

zingzillachinchilla Thu 05-Aug-10 15:58:42

Sorry - RSVP to decline, in case that wasn't obvious!

gagamama Thu 05-Aug-10 15:59:59

Don't ignore it. Send a pre-worded regret card. I might the tempted to include the original invitation in the envelope too.

gagamama Thu 05-Aug-10 16:00:23

BE tempted, even.

KnitterNotTwitter Thu 05-Aug-10 16:01:48

what molly said. don't give her any grounds for slagging you off - be nicer than nice but stick your ground.

Meow75 Thu 05-Aug-10 16:02:35

I realise it's HER day, and that there would be an impact on you IF you DID go, but have you discussed this with your parents? Maybe she wasn't going to send an invite, but your parents talked her into it - there have been plenty of threads starting with "Person X is trying to get me to invite Person Y to my wedding yet I hate Person Y!" or similar.

I also realise that your parents might well try to convince you to attend if you discuss it with them, but it's worth considering.

whoopstheregoesmymerkin Thu 05-Aug-10 16:05:20

Send a standard RSVP that you would send to someone in DH's office that you had never met .
She sounds like she wants the drama. Don't give her the satisfaction!

ivykaty44 Thu 05-Aug-10 16:13:05

I would reply and explian that a wedding is not the time to have a strained relationship exposed to all and sundry and with this in mind you feel that for both of you it is better that you wish her a happy married life and all the best from afar and don't come and mar the day as your presence surely will for both of you.

this way neither of you gain anything, point score neither

Vallhala Thu 05-Aug-10 16:15:33

I have had a similar relationship breakdown with my S/Sister, also about 3 years ago and feel as you do towards your own (both that I don't want any more to do with her and that she's a poisonous bitch!).

If I were in your shoes I wouldn't even dignify the invitation with a reply. I'd bin it and carry on as normal with my life. For me, the past is dead and gone and there is no turning back. Maybe it's easy for me to say as I have no problem in cutting out someone like my sister without feeling a shred of regret. I wouldn't want to respond and thus give any indication that she was acknowledged.

DrSpechemin Thu 05-Aug-10 16:20:41

Is it possible that the invite could have been sent by your parents?

Slambang Thu 05-Aug-10 16:30:21

You can choose how you take her approach.
You can choose to see it as an act of aggression and respond with hostility (e.g. by binning the invite) or you can choose to see it as an olive branch and respond with polite dignity (e.g. a polite no thank you I will be away that weekend.)

You sound perfectly clear that you don't want to attend the wedding so you only really need to decide what residual feelings you will harbour about the invitation - what will be easiest for you to live with.

LucyLouLou Thu 05-Aug-10 16:44:33

I'd go with the majority on this one. Don't ignore it, that gives her grounds to bitch about your immaturity (not that you're immature, but YGWIM!) but equally don't be passive aggressive with it by sending something horrible or silly back. Honestly, I would send a nice card, apologise that you can't attend (don't explain why, that way you won't have to lie or look petty) but wish her all the best on her big day. Depending on how you are feeling, perhaps buy a gift off the list. You really are going to have to take the moral highground with this one or you're just going to make yourself look like a child. If your sister is as bad as you say she is, she's going to go round telling the story of how her own sister couldn't be happy for her on her wedding day, and what a heinous bitch she is for it (none of it would be true, but how would you defend yourself??). Simply do not give her grounds to say it. I would even go so far as to show your parents the card you send or at least read the contents of it to them. And if you decide to buy a gift, make sure they know about it too. At least that way if your sister starts bitching to them, they won't think badly of you because they will already know the truth.

Of course, like you say, there is a small chance this is an olive branch, and whether or not you choose to take it (if this does turn out to be that), the above scenario covers that base too.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I have some relatives like this (though not quite as bad!) so I feel your pain!

proudnsad Thu 05-Aug-10 16:58:06

I would RSVP, decline and send a note attached simply saying 'Have a great wedding and I wish you lucky and happiness in your married life'. Absolutely nothing more. Then there is nothing to misinterpret, you haven't opened it up for discussion, you have been kind. Job done.

But yeah maybe speak to your parents about it, this will be an occassion marred with sadness (and embarassment) for them.

notanumber Thu 05-Aug-10 21:28:59

Now look, if I'd wanted you to give me good sensible advice about mature behaviour then I'd have asked with the intention of following it, wouldn't I?

Oh bloody hell. I know you're right. I know I need to be the bigger person on the moral high ground blah blah blah. But but but....

Grrrr! It sticks in my craw. I've said to her - really clearly - that I don't want anything to do with her. This means that, errrr, I don't want anything to do with her, and I certainly don't want her putting me in the position having to be the bigger person on the moral high ground. The whole point of breaking off contact with her was so I didn't have to engage with her anymore.

Anyway. I am a proper grown-up woman who will Do The Right Thing as decreed by the MN jury.

Thanks all.

Ilythia Thu 05-Aug-10 21:52:30

as someone else said, it could be her way of apologising.

My sister is getting married and has invited my other sister, who has broken all contact with everyone except for my brother, because we miss her, we want to see her and her dc and ALL would genuinely like her to be there.

Don't go if you don't want to but don't treat it as a mind game from her. It's just an invite.

LittleMissHissyFit Thu 05-Aug-10 21:54:41

Look, weddings are monumental events in ones life, as I'm sure you appreciate.

Even if you never intended to go, and even if she didn't want you to, the act of NOT sending you an invitation is enough reason in itself for you to sever all contact forthwith.

NOT sending an invitation would efffectively rule out any chance EVER of you EVER talking again, let alone gettng back to any shade of normality.

I fell out with a best friend during the course of my wedding planning, she just couldn't take the competition for attention and went utterly do-lally on me in increasingly bizarre attention grabbing attempts. In the end I just had to call time on the 4 year friendship.

I didn't want her at my wedding, as I knew she would do something to marr the day. ALL my friends said, you may or may not get back on speaking terms, but if you don't invite your BF to your wedding, she will hold it against you forever.

Depersonalise it all, send the card, wish her sincere best of luck, send a thoughtful gift and decline. You will have behaved impeccably, and will be utterly beyond any form of criticism by anyone.

BTW, if you start to get any familial pressure to attend, say that you have plans (MAKE SOME if need be) and hold your ground. Say that the last thing your sister would want is drama at her wedding and that if in time there is any reconciliation, doing it in front of tens or hundreds of people may not assist matters.

Good luck!

CarGirl Thu 05-Aug-10 21:58:35

I was estranged from my brother and was/am fairly estranged from my parents.

For my 2nd wedding I hadn't seen him/heard from him etc for 7 years. I invited my parents to said wedding I got a phone call asking if my brother could come hmm

I then emailed my brother asking why on earth he wanted to come etc! Ultimately I got an apology, him accepting responsibility for his actions and he wanted to come to see me happy.

We're not close but it's resolved everything between us. Sadly he's getting married in November and we can't go it's far too far and difficult and I'd have to spend 6 hours minimum in the company of my parents shock, not up to it!

So it could be an olive branch, it could be to keep your parents happy etc.

LaundryLyne Thu 05-Aug-10 22:11:26

How about contacting her to say that you would love to come to the wedding, but you would only be comfortable doing so if you could meet up for a chat well beforehand. This way you can go and meet her with an open mind on a one-to-one basis, and see what her perspective on things is now.

SaggyHairyArse Thu 05-Aug-10 22:55:44

IvyKatys grown up response is the way to go.

splashy Thu 05-Aug-10 22:55:52

i am going to go against the majority here and say it's worth considering going.

if she is offering you an olive branch it would be a pity not to accept, she is still your sister after all. What would you lose by going?

Like laundrylyne said, why not contact her saying you would like a chat before you come to the big day in order to clear the air between you?

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