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AIBU?

AIBU - same sex marriage, baby

64 replies

fizzypencils · 19/01/2024 22:13

Apologies in advance for the long post.

Myself & my partner are in a same sex relationship. Female. We have baby, both legally and equally their parent, I am biological parent. We are getting married later this year, wedding was booked pre-baby. It is a small wedding with 30 during the day and a further 50 at night.

My partner and her mum have a difficult relationship. It was good until her now husband came on the scene. Partner and stepdad don't see eye to eye AT ALL, both fiery characters, he has never agreed with her sexuality, generally made her teenage years very difficult. The arguments resulted in her having to stay with her grandparents permanently. She has 2 (adult) sisters who love the stepdad very much and call him "dad". She has always felt like an outsider from this perspective, not fitting the conventional family mould, they have a family group chat without her in it, etc. Regularly meet up and don't invite her.

Her relationship with her mum has improved somewhat in recent years. Can go weeks without seeing each other but do text several times a week. Mum has admitted to her that she sees it wasn't "all her" back then and the stepdad was at fault too. Partner felt v much like mum chose stepdad over her at a time when she really needed her mum.

Her mum told her previously that if she had a child with a woman, she wouldn't view them as her grandchild. Since denies saying that.

When we booked our wedding, we extended an invite to both mum & stepdad. Mainly as it'll be the first time her mum sees her biological dad in 20+ years since their divorce and we thought she'd welcome the support. Her mum quickly told us that the stepdad won't be attending as he doesn't agree with same sex marriage.

Since the baby was born, her mum has referred to herself as grandma and buys him gifts, etc. First baby in the family. She also makes a point of saying that stepdad has picked some of the gifts and looks forward to teaching him sports etc. when he's older. She doesn't visit often, they live 50 minutes away. She is always welcome to but doesn't drive (stepdad does). Stepdad has met baby once, when we took baby to their house. They regularly visit partner's sister who lives further away than we do.

Partner queried this with her mum, saying that it doesn't make sense that he has such strong views towards same sex marriage but apparently not babies conceived in the context of a same sex relationship. We feel like they are mutually exclusive. Her mum said it's just the marriage part he doesn't agree with. Asked if it was a knee-jerk reaction saying he wouldn't come to the wedding and was then told he would come after all. She also said - quote - "he would never say anything to the baby, just like with drug users children it's not their fault how they were brought into the world". I can't see how you can compare a much loved, much wanted baby to an accidental conception by a drug user.

She signed off the Christmas card to baby from grandma and granddad.

She has made irritating comments almost every time we see her. On one occasion when she came to our house she said "what's the baby even got to do with partner" due to baby having the same surname as me, partner will be taking my surname when we marry hence the reason behind this. Baby has partner's surname as middle name. Her mum doesn't have this surname either since she re-married to stepdad many years ago.

She regularly makes comments about how she never gets to see the baby and it's so unfair. As I said, she is welcome any time but always expects us to drive to see her, even just after the baby was born. Baby is a matter of months old currently. On my partner's few days off it's difficult to find a time to go to see her - the stepdad has a hobby which she accompanies him to, even though there is no requirement for her to do so. This takes up several days in the week. She regularly makes comments about how I always take baby to see my mum and we always keep my mum informed and not her. My partner tries her best to update her as quickly as possible but works 40+ hours a week (shifts) and frequently sends pictures, etc. I am very close with my mum, as is my partner. Partner feels she needs to make a conscious effort to keep her mum in the loop so she doesn't kick off.

Her mum and stepdad went to partner's sister's house recently to help build a fence, took several days to complete. Her mum took no part in the fence building but just accompanied the stepdad. She could have easily got him to drop her off at our house en route to spend the day with baby but didn't suggest doing so.

After discussing with friends, we felt it wasn't appropriate for stepdad to be at the wedding, given his views and given she doesn't get along with him. She tried to sensitively tell her mum this by saying that the guest list numbers are tight, we have ran over and when we drafted the list he had said he wasn't coming. Her mum kicked off royally, saying we will need to cut other people off the list to allow him to come. My partner said "why would we allow him to come over people we actually see regularly" and her mum then started going on about how she never sees us, how she never gets to see the baby, how we always go to see my mum, etc etc etc. She said when we do go and see her we always cancel on her but wasn't able to name a time this has ever happened. I think she's referring to occasions where we've had a loose time to visit and the baby has been sleeping, she's then said "just leave it then". She then said "when you say a time, 12 becomes 1, etc". We have a young baby who feeds on demand, we're obviously going to make sure they are happy and fed before we set off for 50 minutes in the car and It makes absolutely no difference to her what time we go at. She has 3 kids of her own and should know better about how hard it is to get out the house sometimes. This particular argument resulted in her mum crying, saying she'll make it "easy" for us and won't come to the wedding, then left.

Partner text her mum soon after saying she was sorry that she was crying and her mum apologised for taking everything personally. She text again a few days later saying she will pay for stepdad to come. It doesn't come down to money ultimately although this is the way my partner presented it to her to try to spare her feelings.

My partner feels like she should explain to her mum that she just isn't comfortable with the stepdad coming due to his views and she'd tried to spare her feelings but is worried about her mum falling out with her and ceasing contact as their relationship is better now than it was for many years.

We also don't particularly want baby around the stepdad given his views towards us but feel that our feelings aren't taken into consideration in this and we're being made to feel unreasonable - like he has a divine right to see the baby. He's not a toy, we want to raise our child to be strong and proud to have two mums and not feel like he is disadvantaged. Everyone else in our family and friends are very supportive and our baby is extremely loved.

Again, apologies for the long read. Thoughts and suggestions on how to navigate this would be welcome please.

OP posts:
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BeaRightThere · 20/01/2024 07:50

I am also in a same sex marriage (with two children). There were several people at our wedding that I would have preferred not to be there but they were invited despite their views because to do otherwise would have caused unnecessary upset to people we did care about. On the day itself we barely even noticed these people.

It is a massive deal not to invite your partner's stepdad. I understand why you don't want him there but honestly for the sake of future family harmony I would suck it up. Your partner loves her mother and wants to have her in her life and also in your child's life. Really seriously think about whether you want to put that at risk for the sake of having one person you don't like at your wedding. It is only one day but the ramifications could be severe.

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2mummies1baby · 20/01/2024 07:57

Ellysetta · 19/01/2024 23:15

I don’t think the situation is actually that complicated.

You’re getting married. You initially invited both your partner’s mum and your partner’s stepdad (despite not liking either of them), then due to family tensions you’ve uninvited the stepdad, and now the mum is very upset.

I get why you don’t want him there, but it’s tough. He is married to a bride’s mum. Uninviting him is a HUGE deal.

Let’s imagine that they say oh ok he’ll stay at home. Then your partner’s mum will be trying to do her ‘mother of the bride’ role while feeling miserable and she’ll spend all day feeling awkward and upset surrounded by couples and celebrating a marriage yet not being ‘allowed’ to have her own husband there.

I think you’ve both gone a bit bridezilla. It is not unusual to invite a family member you don’t like to a wedding in order to keep the peace. Let him come, stick him at the bar, and ignore him. Trust me that will be a much easier solution then having a big family upset over it that will never be forgotten.

To sum up: it is not ok to uninvite a bride’s stepdad, and it is not something you can do without causing some huge rows and lifelong grudges. Don’t like him? Get over it. Be the bigger person. Grow up.

There is a huge difference between not inviting someone to your wedding because you don't like then and not inviting them because they don't agree you have a right to get married.

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2mummies1baby · 20/01/2024 08:03

I'm so sorry, OP, this is a horrible situation. Ultimately, though, I think it should be your partner's decision, and you should support her in whatever she decides. I hope for both your sakes she decides to hold firm and not let him attend.

Congratulations on your baby and wedding!

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morbidd · 20/01/2024 08:13

I don't see how your partner can possibly have a relationship with her mum going forward. She needs to break contact and get some therapy.

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WhingeInTheWillows · 20/01/2024 08:17

Your partner has to choose between stepdad at wedding = relationship with mum or univie him = no relationship with mum. If she’s not ready to go nc with her mum then you both need to cope with him, that day and beyond. I know it may not be easy but it sounds like the mum won’t go against him, as usual.

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Milange · 20/01/2024 08:24

Ellysetta · 19/01/2024 23:15

I don’t think the situation is actually that complicated.

You’re getting married. You initially invited both your partner’s mum and your partner’s stepdad (despite not liking either of them), then due to family tensions you’ve uninvited the stepdad, and now the mum is very upset.

I get why you don’t want him there, but it’s tough. He is married to a bride’s mum. Uninviting him is a HUGE deal.

Let’s imagine that they say oh ok he’ll stay at home. Then your partner’s mum will be trying to do her ‘mother of the bride’ role while feeling miserable and she’ll spend all day feeling awkward and upset surrounded by couples and celebrating a marriage yet not being ‘allowed’ to have her own husband there.

I think you’ve both gone a bit bridezilla. It is not unusual to invite a family member you don’t like to a wedding in order to keep the peace. Let him come, stick him at the bar, and ignore him. Trust me that will be a much easier solution then having a big family upset over it that will never be forgotten.

To sum up: it is not ok to uninvite a bride’s stepdad, and it is not something you can do without causing some huge rows and lifelong grudges. Don’t like him? Get over it. Be the bigger person. Grow up.

Utter rubbish. It’s absolutely fine and sensible to not have vocal homophobes at your wedding when you are a lesbian couple. Would you also think it was ‘bridezilla’ not to have a neo nazi at a Jewish wedding? How about an outspoken racist at the marriage of two black people?

Fuck that.

@fizzypencils- honestly you would be better off rid of the lot of them. I’m you in our set up- my in-laws are homophobic.

Didn’t turn up at our wedding, then they were interested in our son (I gave birth) for about 10 minutes, but in exactly the same way as yours- never contact us to hear about him, don’t visit, threw out all the mementos of him that we gave them… then spent their time sending messages to his other grandparents complaining that they don’t get to see him and we are keeping them away from him.

They live 20 minutes away and are both retired young, we have never refused a visit from them or so much as ignored a message. We have taught our son enough of their language to be able to at least say hello, how are you, their names, stuff like that (he has significant sen so it’s not easy- he has a speech disorder), and they can communicate in English fluently.

We stopped doing the running and they can’t be arsed. Which is fair enough, we don’t miss them. Haven’t seen them since a door step visit during the first lockdown.

My advice would be to uninvite him, and if that means she doesn’t turn up, well it’s her loss. Then try and disengage from them as much as possible- your wife deserves better from her mother, and your child needs to be protected from her stepfather.

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CaramelMac · 20/01/2024 08:29

Her mum chose her stepdad over her own daughter to the point she had to live with her grandparents as a teen, she is not a good mum and she wasn’t there for her when it mattered, and now she’s reaping the consequences of her actions.

The mum is right that the step-dad is entitled to his opinion, however in this situation most people would realise that if they have an opinion that would be unwelcome they should keep it to themselves. The stepfather is totally at fault here, if he doesn’t agree with same sex marriage and his stepdaughter is having a same sex marriage he should’ve kept his mouth shut, accepted the invitation to support his wife and gritted his teeth through the free meal.

I would go back to the mum and say if he gives an apology for the hurt his words have caused then the invitation to him is still there purely because you know it’s important to mum, but if he can’t behave like a decent human being then it’s best they both stay away.

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Simonjt · 20/01/2024 08:32

Gay couple here too, we had similar issues, but issues were with mother in law rather than father in law. After similar homophobia my husband told them that neither were welcome to attend the wedding anymore, as if his dad came he would just spend the day trying to justify his wifes homophobia. It meant we got to enjoy our wedding and not worry about their drama.

They didn’t speak to my husband for about a year, which was fine and not too different to their usual contact. His mother had seen photos of but never met the daughter we had after marriage, which is fine by us. His Dad did start calling etc and flew over twice to see us (lived in different countries at the time). His parents are now getting divorced, we now live in the same country and see his dad 1-3 times a month maybe. He’s so much happier, I don’t think he really realised how unhappy he was as he just didn’t see that he was being controlled. Its nice that we see him, but equally if we hadn’t due to him staying in his marriage, that would also have been okay for us.

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LegoDeathTrap · 20/01/2024 08:41

No idea what to do about the wedding; I’d probably invite them but leave the ball in their court and hope they don’t come. But for longer term, I would keep both these toxic arses on low contact. They can visit, but don’t fret if they do. Don’t visit yourself. Send photos but decrease frequency. Grey rock any comments about how they don’t see you often. And keep the baby away from them, they will not add any value to baby’s life.

I can’t believe people can be so homophobic in 2023 and while having a gay daughter. I’m sorry your partner is going through this.

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Loopytiles · 20/01/2024 08:41

Your partner sounds like she is in fear, obligation and guilt (FOG) as regards her mum.

Her mum’s parenting may have been good up to year X, but then she royally fucked up and prioritised her (nasty to one of her DC) partner over her DC, to the DC’s huge detriment. Which has continued ever since. Actually to the detriment of all her DC, since it has ‘scapegoated’ one (DP) as ‘the problem’ and negatively affected relationship between the siblings.

DP’s mum’s reactions to reasonable requests and boundaries, eg health information about your DC, are further evidence that her behaviour is ‘toxic’. Not good reason to appease and have a faux ‘close’ relationship with her that’s actually further ‘swallowing the shit sandwich’ for DP.

Suggest counselling for DP, with someone well qualified, and a look at resources on the ‘stately homes’ threads on MN.

My now DH had a parent who, like your DP’s mum, was good but then massively fucked up when their DC were teens, and beyond, with huge and ongoing negative impact, for decades! Weddings and having DC ‘stirred things up’ for DH. He had a lot of FOG and it caused issues!

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Tooshytoshine · 20/01/2024 08:42

I also had homophobic relatives at my wedding - married for 12 years to partner of 20years with 2 kids.

Not inviting him is a scorched earth act. There is no way back. I would invite him, he will be in the minority and on best behaviour.

Our wedding was full of love and I think seeing us get married legitimised out relationship for those bigoted relatives and perhaps made them realise that their opinion does not really count in our relationship. They all said what a wonderful time they had and nobody was sharing prejudiced views.

Your partner's mother sounds weak and the level of denial she has in her culpability for the poor relationship she has with your partner is tangible. I see your partner's view though that you only get one mum but sometimes family are the people you choose.

Her mum stopped being a mum the moment she chose her bigoted partner over her daughter.

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Loopytiles · 20/01/2024 08:51

That was very generous of you and your partner, tooshytoshine.

I feel angry when on teen and adult DC badly wronged by a parent and then, over many years, pressured to prioritise those who wronged them over their own interests.

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potplantsinparadise · 20/01/2024 08:53

Lots of good advice here OP - so sorry your in-laws are being atrocious dicks. It's great your DP has you and the family you've made together; and massive congrats on the wedding!

Like others say, there are two parts to this: the wedding, and what happens afterwards. There isn't really a winning scenario for the wedding - if you invite her stepdad, he might be a prick or he might behave; if you don't, you might be relieved and/or you might have to deal with the aftermath. I'd be inclined not to because I'm petty and wouldn't want to pay for food and drink for a rampant homophobe.

But the bigger picture is your DP's relationship with her mum. You say that it's in a good place, but it's not, is it? Her mum is still behaving badly, and your DP is still trying to cater to her. Have a think about whether you want to set down some serious boundaries after the wedding and stick to them - others have mentioned grey rock, distancing etc. I'd really recommend the book 'Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents' to help her (and you!) make sense of her mum's behaviour.

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TempleOfBloom · 20/01/2024 08:59

Ellysetta · 19/01/2024 23:15

I don’t think the situation is actually that complicated.

You’re getting married. You initially invited both your partner’s mum and your partner’s stepdad (despite not liking either of them), then due to family tensions you’ve uninvited the stepdad, and now the mum is very upset.

I get why you don’t want him there, but it’s tough. He is married to a bride’s mum. Uninviting him is a HUGE deal.

Let’s imagine that they say oh ok he’ll stay at home. Then your partner’s mum will be trying to do her ‘mother of the bride’ role while feeling miserable and she’ll spend all day feeling awkward and upset surrounded by couples and celebrating a marriage yet not being ‘allowed’ to have her own husband there.

I think you’ve both gone a bit bridezilla. It is not unusual to invite a family member you don’t like to a wedding in order to keep the peace. Let him come, stick him at the bar, and ignore him. Trust me that will be a much easier solution then having a big family upset over it that will never be forgotten.

To sum up: it is not ok to uninvite a bride’s stepdad, and it is not something you can do without causing some huge rows and lifelong grudges. Don’t like him? Get over it. Be the bigger person. Grow up.

They did invite him.

He refused because he ‘doesn’t agree with same sex marriage’.

And then changed his mind about attending but has not changed his views on same sex marriage , apparently. Just says it isn’t the ‘fault’ of the baby that his parents are akin to drug addicts.

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lottiegarbanzo · 20/01/2024 09:02

I think you have to take the high ground, set firm boundaries and stick to them. Then stop worrying about what other people think.

I do think 'uninviting' the step-dad was a mistake. The noble thing to do would have been to leave their invitation, as a couple, open. Trying to re-negotiate invitations doesn't really work. He's her plus one, it's up to her if she brings him.

The rest is I think her displacing her frustration with him, with the limitations she voluntarily imposes on herself by being his partner, onto her daughter. She's sad and angry about the limited relationship- but she cannot admit her own mistake / implications of her choice, in choosing her partner. She's made her bed and fells trapped - but not enough to get out. Like most frustration, hers is fundamentally with herself - but directed, irrationally, elsewhere. You can't make the irrational rational - stop trying.

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duckpancakes · 20/01/2024 09:09

fizzypencils · 19/01/2024 22:30

@Loopytiles thank you. The trouble is, the less contact partner tries to have with her mum, the more her mum makes comments about how she never sees baby, it's so unfair, she never gets told about anything, she bets I've told my own mum X Y Z, yada yada yada! As an example, partner had told her sisters, who she was texting at the time, that baby had been referred by the gp to a specialist for a relatively minor issue needing to be checked out. Within half an hour, her mum had been ranting at her that she hadn't been told yet. She was just home from an 11 hour shift and was going to call her mum that evening, but she hadn't got round to it quite yet.

She needs to wind her neck in. It's not a competition

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TempleOfBloom · 20/01/2024 09:13

OP, your DP is putting a lot more effort into her relationship with her Mum than her Mum ever did in protecting her relationship with her Dd. Over my dead body would a boyfriend of mine have driven my daughter out of the house with his views on her sexuality. Never would I have chosen a partner over a not-yet adult child.

I think your DP (and you) might get on better by being honest and direct with her Mum. Why be ‘sensitive’ in trying to say why he wasn’t wanted at the wedding? Her Mum was quite prepared to say her DH didn’t want to come because of his views on same sex marriage. That was hardly ‘sensitive’.

Your Mum is happy to pass on his vile views about being like drug addicts - not a ‘irritating’ comment, a truly vile comment to pass on about your own daughter . Just calmly and politely say ‘Mum, he was invited. Given the fact that he declined because he doesn’t want to be present at a same sex wedding and doesn’t approve of our relationship as a whole we would rather not have him there. We feel sad that you are with a man who does not accept our relationship but that is your choice’

When she kicks off about not visiting say ‘it must be very difficult for you that your husband is not willing to give you a lift’.

Be direct and honest. Don’t enter this labyrinth of half truths, trying to facilitate dysfunction.

Has your DP had any counselling about her mother’s treatment of her as a teen and subsequently?

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tishtishboom · 20/01/2024 09:15

We invited a gobby, homophobic bully of a family member to our wedding because we really wanted his lovely wife to be there. All the love, support and celebration shut him right down.

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Nicole1111 · 20/01/2024 09:16

Definitely uninvite him. Tell her mum you’ve made a conscious decision that you don’t want anyone to attend who doesn’t support your marriage or believe in same sex marriage. Say you’re sure he won’t mind as he didn’t want to come originally.
In terms of the contact you need a stock phrase to repeat to her mum when she’s complaining about contact. Something like “you’re welcome to see him any time. It’ll just need to be at ours given he’s so young and his routine is still unpredictable. When would you like to come?”. This doesn’t give her room to complain but puts the personal responsibility back on her to make the effort.

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fizzypencils · 20/01/2024 09:28

Again thanks all for your comments.

No my partner hasn’t had any therapy re her mum. I think a he really would benefit from it but she’s v much the “I don’t need therapy!” exclaims type. I don’t think she realises one bit how god awful her mother is as her mum has a way of dressing it up and justifying everything she says/does. I am definitely going to order the book that was mentioned and will encourage her to read it.

They will 100% say “he’s not homophobic, he doesn’t mind the relationship part, or the baby part, it’s just the marriage part he doesn’t agree with”. I think her mum truly believes she doesnt do anything wrong, she comes across as extremely deluded. If we were to say about her being welcome to visit, she’d say “well I bet fizzypencils visited her mum, or I bet you visited fizzypencils mum”. It’s like she doesn’t see how wildly different her relationship to my partner is with her relationship with her other two daughters (with whom she is v close) or my relationship with my mum. You can act all nicey nicey and interested but shes absolutely not the same as my mum (who I’m very grateful to have)

OP posts:
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Valeriekat · 20/01/2024 09:36

You can't make people accept things they don't want to accept. Move on. Their loss. Sorry

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JosieGrossie · 20/01/2024 09:40

No useful advice but just wanted to say that I'm sorry you're going through this awful experience and the stress it's causing you both. You sound like a great team, supporting each other, and I really hope MIL comes to her senses and realises what she is doing to her daughter. 💐for you

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Illbefinejustbloodyfine · 20/01/2024 09:41

I think you've really muddied the waters with the inviting, him refusing, you reinviting, him accepting, and now you want to uninvite him.

You offered an olive branch, he accepted, and now you want to remove it.

It a very difficult situation, given the history. Absolutely NOT apologising for him or excusing his behaviour, but it's easy for some to have a prejudice at a distance, it can be harder for them to maintain that when confronted by it in close proximity. I dont knowif I'm explaining myself well here.

Personally, I would be the bigger person and allow him to come.

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Bathtimebarbara · 20/01/2024 09:55

Your poor DP. What a sadstate of affairs. And you must be beyond frustrated supporting her to try and have some form of relationship with her family when they sound so difficult and exhausting.

What do the sisters say about it all? Have they bought into the narrative that DP was just an awkward teenager and that’s why she is on the periphery of the family circle? She may have been very difficult as a teen to be fair but as you say teens need forgiveness and she sounds to be trying very hard as an adult.

I think at the immediate time I would encourage DP not to discuss the whole wedding with her mum for a bit and let things settle. It may be that mum kicks off and says stuff that makes the decision clear or the space may allow you both to just breathe and decide what will make you both happy.

it’s easy to say of disinvite both of them as they are homophobic but if your DP will feel really miserable not having her mum there on the day then it’s counterproductive.

Just have some space.

When you do talk to her mum I would have to be very very clear that stepdad is homophobic and you will never tolerate that around your child so if that means they don’t see him then that is what will happen.

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MsKate · 20/01/2024 09:59

Your partners mum is worried how this will "look".
This man has been horrible to your wife to be for years, causing her to have to move out. He's still bold enough to reiterate his homophobic views which his wife is still accommodating.
Your partner has every reason to be firm in that he is not invited. He'll only have accepted because he knows all of the friends and family will take a dim view of him if he declines due to his views.
Ignore him and look forward to your beautiful wedding day.

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