Hurtful Invitation

Yesterday, we received an invitation to our only child's wedding. The invitation was addressed to both myself and my husband of 40 years, our son's father.

It read:

Mr. & Mrs X invite you to share in the celebration of marriage of their daughter A

to B

son of Mr Y.

I am the mother of B, and married for 40 years to Y and if you are reading this, still alive.

I called our son who had no idea this had happened, and received an e-mail from our future DIL that said it was an honest mistake, no malice intended, and it was our son's fault because he had told her he was too busy to proof read the invitation. I am livid and hurt, as is my husband, Mr Y. We are even more worried that this woman, whose first reflex was to blame our son, will make him miserable for the rest of his life.

Is there anything we can do? They have been living together for 3 years.
anon63 anon63
7 Responses Mar 19, 2011

For the sake of a good relationship, give her the benefit of the doubt. If she did it on purpose, you're headed for trouble anyway, so no use fighting it. If it really was a mistake, you'll ruin your relationship with her and your son.
But please keep in mind there are much larger issues that could have arisen. I mean, is this really worth getting hurt over? You have a right to your feelings, but when your feelings aren't productive, it's time to reconsider them for your own happiness. You could've not received an invitation at all. You could have been cut out of the wedding completely (I mean, not welcome to attend, even).
And what could you do? I mean honestly, there's just nothing. If you didn't pay for the invites, then they ultimately aren't within your right to control or even have input. Even if you did pay, be careful...people get very upset when you attach strings to gifts.
The power balance shifts when children become adults. This is just natural. Parents often want to see their adult children more than the AC (adult child) wants to see their parents. Not because they don't love them, just because they are in an exciting stage of their life right now where they would rather focus on the spouse, their friends, their school/job, and their own children (if they have any). This is totally natural and must simply be accepted by the parents. If you fight it, if you fight for control, or even input/influence, or if you cause stress or put pressure on them, they will never forget it and will take a long time to forgive it. Better to simply accept your new role and move on.

I agree that your name should have been on the invitation. That said, you CANNOT and SHOULD NOT assume that this is part of some "evil plot" on the part of your DIL to hurt your feelings. Weddings are chaotic, there are many demands on a groom and bride's time, and many family members are involved. For all you know, another relative sent things to the printer this way or there was some other misunderstanding and mistake. Furthermore grooms are often not involved enough to make sure things like this don't happen - often men are not taught how to manage their relationships and enter married life as stupid children in this regard. It sounds like your DIL tried to get his help with the wedding invitation and he declined. So If you are going to blame anyone I suggest blaming your son for not having the common sense to make sure you are included - honestly it is his job to handle pleasing his side of the family. If you want any chance of having a good relationship with your DIL and son (because once they marry, they must both like you to want to be around you) you will laugh this off (DON'T turn this into a vendetta) and accept your DIL's explanation. Try for the LIFE OF YOU not to start trash talking your DIL because if you do, you will be the one who suffers the most. Not them. They will still be married, have their kids, and you will be sad and alone. I'm not saying this to be mean. This is TOUGH LOVE from me to you. For your own good.

Regarding your hurtful invitation, I can completely understand your pain. A decent woman who truly loves a man will anything to earn the love and respect of his family. These types of mistakes are not accidental. And they are very well planned and to Mariangelagarcia I would say that it is pretty sad to respond to a mother's pain by implying that she is to blame. My son, a caring loving son, who defended by from everything and whom I gave my entire life and sacrificed the world, became angry with me for divorcing hsi father. A man who for 20 years, bit me, not just with fits, guns and anything he could find. My son would cry and try to defend and I wouldn't let my husband hurt him. The day I finally had enough and divorced him, my son became angry and said "you know how dad is, just shut up and take it." It was the first time my son had ever spoken to me like this. My son went to the top schools - us holding two/three jobs to make this happen. One day he came home and said he wasn't going back to college. I was already worried because when he did come home he would spend a lot of time partying with people he never associated with and didn't really know because he did not go to high school in our town. He enlisted in the army. I raced him to make his own decisions and to weight the options before he did. When he told me about going in the army, I told him I was said, didn't agree with his decision, but that I would support him because he was my son and if that is what he wanted to do and would make him happy then I would be too. After his army graduation he came home for two weeks before going to his home base. He went to a party with his friends, there he met a girl and spent the night with her. He never told me, but I learned from his friends. Months later, I learned that he had been coming every other weekend but would stay with this girl. He never came back home. One day I wasn't feeling well and decided to finally take a break and sit out on the deck for the afternoon. I went inside to make myself some icedtea and get a book. When I returned, I saw a girl in my pool already in bikinis and full of tatoos. Never saw her in my life and she didn't even say hello and acted as though I had walked in on her in her home. My son came in to the pool area and said, Mom this is Amanda. I said hello cordially not knowing her and quite frankly stunned. They came and sat and talked with me and she was very quiet and kept looking at me in a very odd way. months went by and my son would stop by for 5 or 10 minutes once in while with her and she would never leave his site and if I went close to him, she flew to his side. My son was becoming colder and distant and would even speak to me in a very disrespectful manner and I didnt know what to do, but not having enough information about her, their relationship or what was going on, i welcomed her and treated her with care because as a mother I feel that if someone loves my children, he or she would have a special place in my heart, which is exactly what I shared with her one day he stopped by to pick up somethings and was very mean when I asked him if he would have some extra time soon so we could plan a family dinner, and he responded "Why the do you want to keep me trapped?" I cried because my son had never spoken to me like that and there was pure hatred in his eyes. This girl hugged me and cried with me and told me not to worry that she would speak to him. I then didn't hear from him for weeks and then I called and left messages letting him know that I knew he was still upset with me for the divorce and that I didn't blame him and that I missed him and wanted to know if he was ok. no responses, he was not online and it was almost as though he dissapeared off the face of the earth. My daughter (younger than him 15, who adored her brother and they were very close) urged me to go through the old phone records to find her number (i didn't even know her last name). We dialed the number he had been calling the most in previous months and it was her. I introduced myself and asked her if she had a minute.. I apologized for calling her and she could hear me crying and was very nice to me on the phone. I told her we were going crazy because we thought something bad happened to him and we were hoping she knew something, anything. She told me he was in Louisiana training for combat and deployment and he was not allowed to have contact. I thanked her and we talked I invted her to stop by so we can get to know each other. Every interaction was pleasean, but there was something very odd about the whole thing. He brought her to our family's Christmas Eve dinner which is a big event. I was so happy to see my son, that nothing could ruin my spirits. My family welcomed her and it was a beautiful Christmas Eve. I Invited her and her family for a formal dinner in their honor to get to know them and to speak with her family and let me know wha"t day would be good. Never heard from them or my son after that. Our Christmas Day was always special and we had rountine that the kids loved. My son never came or called. Sent a message three days later saying "I hope you had a nice Christmas." that's all the text said. He always signed any message to me "I love you mom." no more of that.
Next time he came home I was so happy to see him and it was cold outside and has snow over a foot and I had been shoveling snow for hours. He told me to take a break that he would finish it and I told him I would have hot cocoa for him. When he came inside and we were talking over hot cocoa, but still, there was something different about him, cold and this lifeless look in his eyes. I asked him how long he had before he had to return because I wanted to do that dinner for Amanda and her family. He asked "What the are you talking about? and his faced changed, full of anger. I said, well Amanda and I talked at Christmas about a special dinner for her and her family i wanted to do and she was going to talk to you and her family to let me know a date. He told me, not to play innocent and sweet because I would never have offered that to her because she was afraid of me because I effing hated her. I was confused, thinking is my son OK -- what are they doing to him in this army, why is he acting like this. I assured him he was wrong and I truly didnt know what he was talking about because Amanda and I had had very nice interactions. and that's it, that's when he told me off, how he was no longer going to entertain the fact that I was his mother after learning what a ***** I was and all the things I had been doing to his Amanda. I was stunned and demanded to know why he was saying these things and talking to me like that. He said that Amanda had told him that the day I called to find out if she had heard from, she actually told him, I called her, insulted her and told her I hated my son and never wanted to him because I hated her. Then he told me that the day she cried with me when he was mean to me and she hugged me, that in fact she ran out of the house and told him, "please take me out of here and never bring me back, your mother is so evil that I can't even repeat to you what she said to me." He then said I never invited her and her family over for dinner and that he knew I had spit on her face and didn't say goodbye on Christmas eve." I could not believe all that I was hearing, it was almost as if someone had knocked me over the head and I was losing consciousness. All of these times around family, next to my daughter and this girl would say all this, why? when all I did was try to get to know her. Since my son was so angry I didn't want to lose him or say anything that would upset him. Months went by and then I learned that he was being deployed to afghanistan. He had invited his father and her family to come say good bye -- I learned that there were special deployment ceremonies for the families, and I could not come because she didn't want me there, but her and her family were. I didn't even know what kind of family. Only had heard the father's name was Bob. Two weeks before his deployment my daughter shared that she learned from her brother that she was adopted -- her family gave her up. Her adoptive mother passed away and she was left with her father. I wanted to give her a chance because I figured someone like her probably had a lot of pain and when my son called to say I could come up to say goodbye I went. It was the most painful day of my life. Most of my family came to say goodbye as well and we were treated like strangers. We stood there while her, her father and the father's girlfriend loaded all of his belongings, packed them in their cars to take them to their home. She didn't even acknowleged me nor did the family. They looked at me as thougjh I was a parasite --- like I didn't belong there and didnt even want to give me the time to say goodbye to my son. I continue to stay in touch while he as in afghanistan becaause he was my son and love him and worried that without anyone to care for him there in a war zone, he would do something crazy. I learned he had come home and the only one that knew was her. Her and her family went there to the ceremonies, I tried to message her to find out when he was coming and I could not find her anywhere -- I didn't find her on facebook, 0 rsults, his profile said in a relationship but no name, and then I noticed that if my daughter was on his facebook page it said in a relationship and her name showed. My daughter explained what that meant. She of couse told my son a bunch of lies while he was deployed. My son has been back for almost a year now, and I have seen him a few times, she told me that I was an ******* and that she loved him unlike me and that i could not be in his life. I decided to wish him well and let him go because the pain was too much. Al the while, this girl has told so many lies that all her friends post horrible things about my family when they don't even know us. Her father and girlfriend never even tried to find out why things are the way they are. At a friends' gathering, I learned that this girl had been going to the range (I was told where you practice and learn how to shoot guns) and taking kickboxing lessons so that if I ever attempted to see my son in their home, she could kick my *** and even shoot me and it would be self defense. All the while, I am thinking to myself, what did I ever do to my son and this girl. All of his friends and family are stunned by his behavior, he won't even call his sister. He has a whole new set of friends, not nice ones. I learned last week (friends that are connected to him on Facebook) that they are engaged to be married and that he is being sent to another state. This weekend he came to town to celebrate with her family and stopped by the house with her. I wished him well but told him to please leave -- it was the third time she came in to my home after I told her she was not welcomed, at this point, based on what I heard I feared for my life. If someone goes out of their way to cut you or someone you love out of your life, then why keep coming? Well to laugh in my face. I repetead to her to leave and that she was not welcome in the same manner she had said to all her friends about me, my son launged at me to punch me for raising my voice to her. When I tried to deflect the punch, she charged at me pushing me and telling me not to touch him. Can you imagine having a low-life bastard woman full of tattoos whose adotptive father cant get rid of her fast enough, tell you, the woman who gave life to this man, he lived inside me for 9 months not to touch him." To come into my home to hit me, my own son to hit me and call me names? Then I learned from from several people, inluding teachers that knew her how sorry they were that I lost my son to that kind of girl. Sexually active since the age of 12, drinking and drug abuse with a hatred for any mother figure. Today, I truly realized what evil there is in the world and a girl in her early twenties with such art of manipulation and sociopathic behaviror - it is not something you learn overnight, you grow up observing it...
She ripped him from everything he has ever known, from his entire family, and what is worse, what kinds of people are these, that witness this behavior and dont do anything about it but condone it? Don't you think that when a son dares to hit his own mother, he will eventually do it to her? And what kind of father gives his daughter away under those circumstances? These are selfish people who don't care what damage they cause and how they destroy families, because they never had one and as long as they can get rid of what they don't want to have around because it is rotten -- don't care. I say this because I have a daughter and I would never let her go under those circumstances....
And so someone advice me, just be cordial and deal with them to keep your son in your life. Yes, sounds like a sound advice -- but why would I want to do that? put myself through a life of pain and hatred just for the chance that my son may wake up someday? If this evil woman made up lies of this magnitude and with what imagination, can you imagine what she will tell her children? I have seen mothers suffer and grandchilren's hatred.... no it is not worth it. If someone doesn't want me in their life, why would I force myself on them. All I can do is pray for my son. I used to hear the term of evil mother-in-laws, but I think I understand why. Evil daughter-in-laws are threatened, specially those that never had one. These are people that have to reduce all those around them to lesser than they are in order to feel good about themselves. One thing to remember is that if you were raced with high moral values, you would respect any mother, even if you differ in opinion, specially the one who is the mother of your future husband. And one thing to note is that all of my sons's exgirlfriends still visit me, and address me with respect. There was one or two that I may not have been crazy about for one reason or another, but it wasn't for me to like them, it was my sons and as long as they were decent human beings, I would not judge them for whatever I didn't like - no one is perfect and if you focus on the good in people, you find that you can get along even with the most difficuilt. But in my situation, i found nothing good, and God knows I tried. So before anyone judges anyone or questions someone, know that you don't know the who history and just because your experience may have been different, it is your experience not theirs... So respect other's feelings, especially those of a mother who loves her child.

It was probably your sons fault. Be happy for your son, you are already wishing that his marriage fails. Shame on you. Go to the wedding and be happy for both of them, otherwise you are going to be pushed away. Are you sure you didn't do anything? It seems that you are bitter.

What's done is done. Making a big issue out of it will only make things worse. If you were about to get married would you want your mother to get everyone all worked up about a mistake on the invitation? It will look like you are trying to draw attention to yourself and your hurt feelings rather than letting the couple have their big day. Remember that this day is about them (actually it's more about the bride).<br />
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Also, you should keep in mind that the bride is probably really stressed out with all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, so I would try to cut her a little bit of slack. She probably wants her perfect day to go perfectly, so a little defensiveness is not out of the ordinary. <br />
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To answer your question, there is nothing you can or should do. You either want the wedding to happen or not. If you don't want it to happen, then you better have a better reason than just a mistake on the invitation. If you want it to happen, then try to make it as happy an occasion as possible for them by not bringing criticisms and negativity to the event.

If they have been living together for three years and have decided to marry, they know who they are. He knows and loves her as is. So, I guess you must have met her and are able to make a decision. Is she truly evil? Or just in the middle of planning a wedding. And also, did she or her parents have the invitations made up? When questioning the wording, were you terribly upset? It may have put her on the defensive, blaming your son may well have been just a knee jerk response. Perhaps she felt attacked and shifting the blame may have simply been a defensive move. Have you liked her at all during the time since he began seeing her and while they have been living together? Has she been accepted by you? Have her parents ever been given a reason to think you don't like their daughter? There are really many more questions here thatn answers. Do a little soul searching. If you haven ever given them reason to feel you don't like her, then I may even have been an error made by the printers. I had a friend who had to get brand new invitations made because the printers got the grooms name wrong. They called him Richard when his name was Robert. Mistakes happen. Investigate. Ask, (nicely) if it is possible that this was in fact an error. <br />
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Whatever, this woman is going to be a part of your son's life. If you want him to be a part of yours, I think you need to swallow your hurt and be happy for him. Otherwise, you will be getting to see him a lot less than you'd like. They will be spending time with people who love them both.

Wear black to the wedding.