To not tell friend why she hasn't been invited to my party?(120 Posts)
Earlier this year, in April, I went to a friend's band's gig with some friends. Friends were two couples - I know the first couple pretty well and the other was a friend I've known from school but not been particularly close to and her husband who I have only met on a handful of occasions. (Let's call this second couple Sarah and Dave.) My then eighteen year old daughter and her boyfriend also came.
A couple of days after the event, my daughter rang me to tell me that she thought that Dave had been acting in a sleazy way towards her. The dancefloor had been completely jampacked but dd thought that Dave had been trying to manoeuvre his way so that he was dancing way too close to her in a way she wasn't comfortable with. And that his whole attitude had been kind of sleazy. She had mentioned it to her boyfriend the next day but then had put it out of her head because there was nothing definite she could put her finger on and she had been quite drunk so thought she might have misinterpreted.
However, after the event she received several friend requests from Dave via social media. That's when she rang me to say "Is this weird?" and told me about Dave's behaviour on the gig night. I agreed that it was totally bloody weird and inappropriate and wrong. She decided she would just ignore/block the friend requests and would let me know if he tried to contact her again which he hasn't.
I haven't seen Sarah and Dave since then. (I didn't go to a gig a few months ago when I realised that Sarah and Dave would be the only people I knew there.)
I have spoken to a couple of mutual friends about it. The first was outraged on dd's behalf, the second (part of the other couple from the gig) kind of tried to minimise it. I don't know if it is relevant but Dave is quite a bit younger than his wife - still closer in age to me than my daughter but probably not that much in it.
I did wonder if I should contact Sarah to let her know but have taken the coward's way out and not done anything.
The thing is, I have a party this weekend which I hold every year. Sarah and Dave have come for the last 4 years or so. I haven't invited them this year. I have no problem with Sarah but I definitely do not want to invite Dave into my house.
I totally believe my dd when she thought that Dave was acting inappropriately. Women know when they're being sleazed over. He was probably drunk too, but the whole thing kind of horrifies me. Not only was his wife and dd's boyfriend (and mother!) there, I think my friends and their partners should be like aunties and uncles to my daughter. She has plenty of people on hitting on her in pubs and clubs. When she's out with her mum's friends she should be safe from that sort of thing.
Should I have let Sarah know about this? Should I email her to let her know why she's not been invited? Other people at the party might well ask whether they're coming or mention it to her (they've shared lifts with other friends in previous years). Pictures will probably go up on FB after the event. If other people ask, I don't want to be all "because I don't like Dave" and start gossiping about them, particularly if Sarah has no idea. Maybe she knows her husband in sleazy when drunk, maybe it was a one-off. I assume, without any other kind of evidence, most wives would dismiss this.
Am I being a terrible coward about this whole thing, basically? I'm basically ignoring it. AIBU to do so?
I think the right thing to do is to say, in person, 'I'm really sorry Sarah but I can't invite you both to the party because I didn't like the way Dave behaved towards DD. He was inappropriate and she felt threatened by his behaviour, and I want to protect her and support her by calling this out.'
But I know if you do this there will be a shit storm beyond all imagining within your friendship group. So I am utterly no help, but you have all my sympathies and I think it's great you are backing your DD up.
Have you had a chat with your DD about this - how does she want you to handle it? Personally I would want to grab him by the balls and kick him to kingdom come, but your DD might have thoughts on how she would like to deal with this.
If Sarah or Dave asks why you haven't invited them then explain why. Otherwise I think you're fine the way you are.
However did your DD tell you because she wanted to you to talk to Sarah/Dave about it? If she did then you really should as you need to show your daughter that you're supporting her etc. But if it was more just a, 'mum this happened am I right in thinking this is off?' then I'd stick with how you are ifswim.
Yanbu to ignore for now but you know you'll eventually either have to explain to her (your friend) or cut contact...
This is a really tricky situation. Iove that you're totally supporting your DD and not minimizing what Dave did. You're quite right not to invite him to your house ever again but not sure if telling his wife is a good idea. Be prepared for some of your friends not being quite so supportive and taking sides. Good luck op.
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Dd and I have discussed it quite a bit. Both at the time and since. As far as she is concerned, she is happy with my assurance that I'll do my utmost to ensure that she and Dave won't ever have to cross paths again and that obviously he is not welcome in our house.
(FWIW dd isn't planning to be at my party. She is at university and has much cooler places to be at Halloween. But obviously, if all her plans fell through and she wanted to come home that weekend, she would be entirely welcome to join in. This is her home.)
Is there any way your friend will have seen her h sleazing over your dd?
Can't bring self to use either of your names.. <shudder>. Know far too many dodgy Daves
But I'd not want him in my home dd or no dd, he's a sleaze, and I'm crap at poker...
Is there a possibility she'll (they'll) come anyway? If so, then you have to deal with this head on.
Perhaps contact Dave direct and tell him that you heard about his behaviour and for that reason he's not invited to your home etc, let HIM explain it to his wife?
Hissy, thanks for your response. Feel free to call him Acquaintance's Creepy Husband (ACH) rather than 'Dave', if you like. I originally gave them silly names in my post, but thought if I called them Gertrude and Engelbert or something, it would sound like I wasn't taking the situation seriously. So I wracked my brains to come up with 'vanilla' names that none of my friends/family/etc have.
I assume that Sarah didn't see the sleazing. I didn't. Nor did dd's boyfriend. But ACH's behaviour made dd uncomfortable. She said frequently when she was dancing, he made sure he was behind her so that her arse was next to his crotch. He didn't rub against her but he put himself in a position that on the very crowded dance floor, they were likely to touch. There were at least a hundred people in a space that should have probably only contained 50. I was colliding with everyone on all sides. I didn't notice anything untoward at the time.
As for them turning up on Saturday anyway, I honestly hadn't thought of that. I'd assumed not. I send out proper invitations in the post. It's a smallish party - usually 20 to 30 people. It's not like it's a big ol' 100+ person free-for-all. Thing is, I guess in previous years, if an uninvited FOAF turned up, I would invite them in and give them food and wine.
Fuck knows what I'd do if S&D turned up with other guests. I can't imagine having a confrontation. I am so not given to Eastenders-style confrontations. If dd wasn't there, I'd probably let them in, avoid talking to Dave all night and then phone dd the next morning to tell her how weak and pathetic I was.
In which case I would be honest with your friend, given your DDs feelings on the matter. She's going to find out about the party and will probably ask you what is going on. Would your DD be able to give you examples of his sleaziness so that you can tell your friend exactly what he got up to?
It sounds like the friendship with Sarah and Dave is a fairly superficial one, and the loss of their friendship would not be that big a deal. I'd go with not inviting them, and being honest if either of them calls you on it. The tricky bit will be handling other friends who ask why they are not there. Even if you say the minimum, it is bound to get back to Sarah and Dave, so perhaps you do need to say something to them too.
"Dave, I'm sure you didn't mean it, but I"m afraid your behaviour made DD feel quite uncomfortable, so for her sake, I'm afraid we can't invite you to our party" - something along those lines? You could use the same line with your other friends - no mention of alcohol or anything judgemental, and let them work it out for themselves. Don't get drawn into any discussion about it.
I think that you need to talk to your DD about it. She is an adult and may feel confident that she can handle the sleaze particularly if her boyfriend is there. If she doesn't want him there then obviously you shouldn't invite them though.
I feel sorry for you friend as not only is she probably married to an unfaithful sleaze but he is also making her lose friends. I probably wouldn't say anything your friend but her DH does do anything else, I would be tempted have word with him.
I think you've had a HUGE over reaction. Your DD is 18 and girls of this age are extremely emotional and dramatic. She's not even sure if he was being sleezy. On the basis of her non-experienced and unsure analysis, you've ditched your friend and are thinking of throwing a hand grenade in to her marriage. Personally, I would have had them all at the party and watched the guy around your DD, to really gauge if he is behaving inappropriately or not, by viewing the situation through your much older experienced eyes!
<ahem> one of those names isn't silly #justsaying
Jjust hope that this creep is self aware enough to notice that there may be a reason, I doubt it though. If she hasn't contacted you directly and mentioned it, surely she would have thought to ask if invitation was lost?
If they see pics on Facebook etc, they are going to know they weren't invited and that will ruin the friendship.
If you tell Sarah or Dave what you've told us that will ruin the friendship.
So the friendship is over either way really.
So the question is, it is worth being honest about why they are not invited? Will it just cause a shit storm? However if you don't tell them, will they be slagging you off to anyone who will listen?
I think I'd just do the party and not invite them, and then say oh sorry, it must have got lost in the post. But I'm a wimp. They are not particularly close friends by the sounds of it.
Invite Dave and Sarah. First sign that Dave's perving on your daughter, chuck him out. Obviously daughter would have to agree with this plan.
Hold on! This is an 18 yo girl who has been rubbed up against on purpose by a man who is in the parent/relative level of age, not a peer.
He knew what he was doing in the same way as those creeps that grope and rub on the tube trains! This man KNEW the dd, her parent, the boys, her wife and the boy's mother was there and still pressed his groin against her arse.
She is 18, a very young adult, and should absolutely NOT just suck this up. Not from a stranger, nor a family acquaintance.
She was made to feel uncomfortable AND not content with rubbing himself up against her, he insisted on carrying on he unwanted attention by sending social media invites. The hand grenade being lobbed here has HIS name all over it. Stop the fucking victim blaming, eh?
I think the thing is that there isn't very much evidence. Everything that dd has said could be easily dismissed as her 'misinterpretation' of things that weren't 'that big a deal really'. So I can't confront him. Believe me, if I thought there had been actual sexual assault happening, I would have been far more pro-active. I imagine it would be very easy to minimise.
But I totally trust my daughter's instincts. She's one of the most straightforward people I know. Am happy not to see these acquaintances again.
It just seems harsh on Sarah. I can just imagine a forum thread "Thought we were friends but she's blanking me and didn't invite me to her party and I don't know why."
I agree with Iliveathebeach. It's a big leap to take when it was a jampacked dance floor where your 18 yo was drunk, to thinking he was sleazing around her. He asked to be a friend on FB, once. That's all your evidence. I would invite him and keep an eye on him. If your daughter is wrong you have saved a friendship and if she is right, at least you will have some clear evidence rather than the drunken hazy memory of a teen from months ago.
Ok, no pressing or rubbing, but he knew exactly what he was doing, and clearly it's not the first time.
This is an 18 yo girl who has been rubbed up against on purpose by a man we don't know that. OP said that the dance floor was jampacked and her drunk daughter didn't know if she was misinterpreting or not.
Your dd won't be at the party, the easiest thing to do would just be to invite them. Otherwise you WILL end up having to explain to them why they weren't invited.
Not inviting them without any explanation would be a nasty thing to do. You are effectively excluding the wife when she hasn't done anything wrong, and now she's going to find out about the party and be all hurt about it. How many threads like these do we read on here.
The kind thing to do would be to let Sarah know what has happened. And let her decide if she would prefer to come on her own.
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