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How to decline a wedding invite from toxic family?

(24 Posts)
Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 13:21:34

Have MIL from hell (alcoholic narc). I have been NC since end of 2014 when our marriage was in deep trouble (DH had affair) and the last straw was that MIL was very overtly critical of me at this time. DH and I are now back together trying v hard to get thru this. It is v touch and go and I feel v vulnerable emotionally. She knew about the affair before I did and I expect her to continue to sneer at me - so keeping out of her way with NC.

DH still in contact doing the running around for her. SIL getting married v small intimate event (30 people) and I just cant face the thought of the tension, sneers and no doubt deluded dramas that I will endure on the day. I dont want this atmosphere created for my SIL on her wedding day either.

Do I just phone/write to SIL and explain honestly (she is well aware of MIL issues - but is actually a flying monkey) - or just decline saying I have a diary clash -- or just make up an excuse on the day (illness)? - DH and DCs will go.

AuntieStella Tue 16-Jun-15 13:24:52

Decline, say you have a diary clash, and arrange a lovely treat for yourself.

ALittleFaith Tue 16-Jun-15 13:25:15

I would just send a note saying Very sorry but we're unable to attend. No lies, no excuses. If she does query it, you can explain about MIL but it's easiest to leave it unsaid. Ultimately you can't attend and have contact with her, it would be a nightmare!

PeppermintPasty Tue 16-Jun-15 13:26:49

Give notice. Diary clash is your best bet IMO. Stay firm, and don't feel the pressure to explain as it might unravel from there into something toxic and give them ammunition against you.

I presume your dh is ok and hopefully supportive about you not going?

DrMorbius Tue 16-Jun-15 13:35:08

If it was some acqaintance and you wanted to spare their feelings, a little white lie is OK (clash of dates etc).

This is a major part of your life (your relationship with your in-laws), therefore control the situation and set the pattern for the future. As above post, no lies, no excuses, just politely decline the invitation. No excuse or reason is required, just decline.

BobbyGentry Tue 16-Jun-15 13:42:19

Let your husband go with a whopping, great big present & your sincerest apologies as you have sudden Vomit & Diaorhea bug...

Joysmum Tue 16-Jun-15 13:45:36

Ditto, no excuse is required. You just need to politely decline and wish them every success for their big day.

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 13:52:46

Thanks all - good advice.

Phew - glad no one has said put on a brave face for the sake of DCs and DH and just endure it and suck it up. Not told DH yet - though he will be expecting it - not sure how I will tell the DCs?

I dont really want to drop it on SIL on her wedding day and would also like to give her the opportunity to invite someone else rather than waste her decline now is the way.

I am tempted to say why - but as suggested no doubt this will be ammunition to be twisted against me and will also create tension/distress for SIL - but it is so very tempting....I will let the ILs continue with their head in the sand approach to MIL - they dont want me to point it out.

FrancesNiadova Tue 16-Jun-15 13:59:26

I think that you're doing the right thing, DEAD.
Just graciously decline...they'll all know why you're not going, so don't give them any ammunition.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 16-Jun-15 14:06:06

Say this 'hi hope you're doing well. Sorry I won't be able to make your day but I hope it goes great. Hopefully I can hear all about it the next time we catch up'

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 16-Jun-15 14:12:58

Would politely decline this invitation saying am unable to attend. These people will use anything to lob as ammo against you anyway so a bland decline note is the best way to go.

How does DH feel about you not attending?.

It is not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist.

Do your children have to attend; they would be better off staying at home. Your DHs mother in particular is not someone I would want to at all be in the same room as. Your children need not be subjected to her either, presumably she either under values or over values them accordingly.

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 14:14:50

Problem is that if I give no excuse - it just invites the Q "Why?" either of me or DH or DC on the day (and no doubt MIL will pester DH and DC ahead anyway) - so either I close it down with an excuse or have one ready for the inevitable Q .... what do you think?

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 14:19:38

DH does not know yet - but is expecting it and I expect he will be supportive of my decision.

DC v rarely see MIL now that I am NC - recognised that I was the one doing all the relationship running trying to please and include her for decades to no avail - DH doesnt include DC in his visits because they dont want to go to MILs house.

I think that they will survive the wedding with MIL - but it is a good point that she will be in her element that I am out of the picture and she will have control for the day....need to think about appropriate boundaries there...

addictedtosugar Tue 16-Jun-15 14:28:22

Dear SIL,

DH and DC would be delighted to help you celebrate your wedding on 31 Feb.


All of us

If you want to explain to SIL, I'd do it in a phone call.
If anyone asks on the day, you couldn't make it!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 16-Jun-15 14:30:27

If she is too toxic for you to deal with, she is far too toxic for your children.
Am not at all surprised they do not want to visit her house.

What are the odds of his mother also actually getting drunk on the day; you say she is an alcoholic and I doubt this wedding will be at all an alcohol free occasion.

Lottapianos Tue 16-Jun-15 14:34:00

Sounds like you're doing the right thing by declining the invitation. I would decline early so its not hanging over you right up until the day. A diary clash would be absolutely fine.

Pippa12 Tue 16-Jun-15 14:38:42

I definitely wouldn't ruin all the hard work you've put in to your marriage. Chances are you in laws are expecting your decline.

Excuse wise- I'd book a night away with a friend (spa, show, meal?) and if asked, outing was already planned and paid for prior to invite for special occasion. No more will be asked. Win win wink

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 14:41:26

Good point Attila - Yes she will get drunk and be hideous as she has been on every other ocassion to date -- that is my first boundary then -- DCs will leave immediately after the meal.

To your earlier Q Atilla - she over values them - she will be swanning around in some ridiculous OTT outfit parading her wonderful DGC to the guests...

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 14:46:11

How/when do I tell the kids ? They are 9-17....

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 16-Jun-15 14:53:07

I asked that re over valuing or under valuing of the grandchildren because that is typical narcissist type behaviour. Its likely a given as well that MIL will actively look for alcohol during the day and be OTT in her mannerisms around your children.

I would tell them asap and give them age appropriate truths.

If they are to leave after the meal will DH indeed take them home at this time?.

Dead Tue 16-Jun-15 16:01:47

Yes I will expect DH to take them home then. But no doubt there will have been the expectation to be ferrying the drunk MIL to and fro as well and she will not want to leave....I will insist that he ensures she makes her own travel arrangements ... maybe book a hotel room as it is 2hrs away.

Meerka Tue 16-Jun-15 16:43:07

if SIL asks why: "ah, you know the situation, dead really wanted to be here for you but was afraid things might end up spoiled for you if there was friction, after all it's happened on many other occasions"

if it's MIL your husband can say "you'll have to speak to dead about that". I have the feeling you're well able to stand up for yoruself now, against her. I think if he's going and you're not, it'll smooth the way for him if he can pass the buck (on this occasion as it's so special) and she's not going to tackle you on the day itself is it? worst case if she rings you, you can put the phone down on her.

Dead Wed 17-Jun-15 13:14:59

Meerka - yes I would be confident to respond with those words verbally to SIL - but have worked out that I should not write anything wrt the reasons, no matter how subtle, in my invite decline -- as this would be physical material that would go "viral" around the family and my subtle words could be read in anyway -- dont want to agitate.

Meerka Wed 17-Jun-15 16:31:16

yes, very wise. It'd get beautifully distorted until you no longer recognised the letter you wrote with the one they say you wrote!

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