30 May
Uninvited and it Feels so…Awful!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband received an e-mail from his father, stating that he would like the family to go out for lunch, but indicated “only the four of us,” meaning without me (the wife!) and my brother-in-law’s live-in girlfriend. This “family lunch” planned by my father-in-law is the day of my sister’s college graduation as well as the “joint family” graduation party for my sister and my husband. (Husband is graduating with an MBA.)

After he told me about this, I told him that I was a little disappointed to be left out, since I am now officially family. I also feel that it is slightly inconsiderate to plan a family lunch right in the middle of grad ceremonies and family parties! Husband thinks that this lunch is okay, and that his father would feel obligated to invite the live-in girlfriend if I came. He also thinks that his father isn’t looking at the situation the same way I am and doesn’t intend to leave people out.

An impartial third party, a therapist, believes that my father-in-law is forcing my husband to choose between me and his family, as well as acting manipulative and controlling.(What’s going to happen when we have kids and he wants a “family lunch” without me? Do the kids go or are they not included as well!) However, still would like the opinion of the witty and fair, Mouthy Housewives!


Left-Out Housewife


Dear Left-Out,

Your story reminds me of this friend of mine…let’s call her Jill. She got married to a wonderful man (Jack) but one of her close friends (Meanie Pants) was not a fan for whatever reason. Some of us theorized it was Jack’s comb-over that bugged Meanie Pants, while others pointed at his affinity for corduroy trousers. But, really, it didn’t matter, because this was an issue with Meanie Pants, not Jack.  (Probably because she’s emotionally unstable and incredibly selfish.)

One summer, Meanie Pants had a party and invited Jill, who would be coming from out of town. The invite had a stipulation, however: Jack and his corduroy pants were not welcome at the festivities. Can you imagine? So, Jill did the only thing should could think to do in such an absurd situation: she TPed the wench’s house in corduroy. Then, she called the brat on her behavior, and effectively ended the friendship.

Now, I’m not trying to imply that your father-in-law hates you, or that you need to drop him like he’s hot, but just that he’s an idiot. (Does he, by chance loathe corduroy? Never mind…) Of *course* it is inconsiderate and asinine to plan an exclusive lunch on a day of joint festivities! And your husband’s defense of the behavior isn’t helping matters. Whatever his perspective might be is skewed, and unless this is some father-son bonding luncheon, there’s no reason to exclude you.

Your husband should take a stand against ridiculous family behavior, so I’d say you should just tag along regardless. Maybe even wear your wedding dress in case your FIL needs a reminder of who you are. If tensions run high in your family, then temper this as you see fit. For example, insist you be referred to as Mrs. Husband’s Name.

Good luck!

Kristine, TMH


17 Responses to “Uninvited and it Feels so…Awful!”


Comment by Ester Jean.

Yep, this is pretty bad behavior. Unless he’s on his death bed and needs to go over his latest will & testament with his kids only, it’s really rude for him to require you not come along when (I’m guessing!) you likely planned much of the rest of the day. Definitely wear your wedding dress! Haha!


Comment by MomofTeens.

I agree with Ester. Unless there is some family business/health issues that need tending to, there is no excuse for your FIL to be planning an exclusive lunch without including the whole family.

Your husband is married to you now, and while you may not have kids yet, I am sure they will show up sooner or later. FIL needs to understand that his children are on their own now, with their own lives, and families to tend to.


Comment by Jenee.

Eh – some people are weird and have no tact, what are you gonna do? I can understand the parents wanting to have a lunch with their newly graduated son… even though they are going about it in a very rude way.

But I would seriously have to call BS on the fact that it’s smack dab in the middle of the other festivities.

THAT is what makes me think the FIL is trying to be manipulative. ‘oh, you have plans for this? Well I AM TAKING YOU TO LUNCH’. He’s basically saying ‘screw your plans’.

Nope – DH needs to get that lunch rescheduled ASAP.

Left Out Housewife Reply:

Thanks for the help & comments…to clear it up a little, the lunch was intended for my husband, his parents and his brother. The morning of the lunch, there was a graduation ceremony for my sister, (hence joint graduation party) it lasted until 1:00…the “special lunch” was right after the ceremony, the JOINT grad part was a few hours later, hence “smack dab in the middle of other festivities.”

Luckily, husband set his father straight. Father/FIL seemed semi-apologetic until he decided to say that we don’t spend enough time with them when we’re in town…a whole new issue! FIL is just an idiot…


Comment by Brandi.

You don’t have a FIL problem, you have a husband problem. If he isn’t sticking up for you with regards to his family, then he is in the wrong. He needs to clear this up ASAP.

Karin W Reply:

this here


Comment by Karin W.

It’s okay to do “just us” things occasionally but not to celebrate big life events like graduations. In my family, it happens occasionally (less so now that 2/3 of us have kids) and I do enjoy these but we wouldn’t think about doing that except for a casual dinner here and there as it worked out.

My SIL (the queen bee of that family – she makes all the decisions) used to pull this crap all the time before and after hubby and I were married! It’s annoying and I didn’t put up with my husband just shrugging and doing what she wanted – I told him that he could stand up for me (and he didn’t have to be rude about it, just say, “I’m spending the day with my wife”) or stay there and see the kids every other weekend. We’ve been married almost 11 years and together for more than 15 years(wow! where has the time gone?), SIL still never takes me or my schedule into consideration but hubby now sees that it’s manipulative on her part and hurtful to me so I don’t even hear about it anymore until his mom calls me and wonders why we didn’t come to something…


Comment by Bean.

Is this the first time something like this has happened? Does FIL lack social skills in general? Just playing devil’s advocate here – I think it’s a rotten thing to do and the comments here are dead-on – but is there any chance he’s just a clueless bonehead?

Not that this would excuse this – but it might change how it gets addressed.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Why don’t you call up your father in law and tell him it was hurtful and you want to know why he would do something like that? Call him on it and make him aware of how you feel before you decide he’s just being an ass. Good relationships go both ways…


Comment by Emily.

this is NOT a big deal. It sucks, I know. My FIL loves to make comments about doing things with just his son and it used to make me feel so so so terrible. My family, on the other hand, wants to get to know my husband better and include him in our lives. So, it’s a very different dynamic. But, it’s not a big deal. I finally was like ‘fine’. And I do believe that my FIL will/has paid the price for it now that he has a grandchild from us and he didn’t really put effort into his relationship with his DIL. Unless there’s a LOT more going on that you didn’t mention, your therapist sounds like they are inventing problems. Yeah, it’s crummy, but having a parent want to spend time with their children every now and then is not equivalent to manipulation.


Comment by N and Em's mom.

I am confused. Who are the 4 people having lunch and who does the live in girlfriend live with? Are people coming in from out of town? I’m reading this that the sister is unrelated to the FIL, and he wants to have something that is just for his son. Regardless, if there are plans being changed or hijacked (this always drives me over the edge!!!) maybe breakfast the next morning would be better. You can’t expect your FIL to read your mind. If this bothers you, then talk to him and tell him how you feel.


Comment by GrandeMocha.

I LOVE it when I don’t have to go to his family stuff!!! Leave me home alone, PLEASE!


Comment by Big ol' B with a capital B.

I’d just show up if I were you as the original MH said. If they dare make a fuss you can say something like, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d possibly do something so rude as not invite his wife on such a big day! I knew that was an oversight.” And continue on your merry way with lunch.


Comment by Angie Uncovered.

I’m leaning toward Brandi’s response here. The problem is your husband needing to gather the sap to tell your FIL that it’s rude to exclude you and ruder still to intrude upon your already scheduled plans for that day. Graduation is a busy time and as much as your FIL should realize this, the person who needs to put his foot down is your husband.


Comment by Erin@MommyontheSpot.

I have been in some version of this situation lots of times. It’s so frustrating, but it has become less frustrating now that my husband sees the manipulation, too.

In retrospect, I wish I had worn my wedding dress as a “friendly reminder.” But hindsight is always 20/20.


Comment by Lisa.

I don’t get why this is such a big deal. It’s lunch, not a European vacation. Can’t the parents like to have their sons to themselves for an hour?


Comment by My Parents are Ruining My Marriage | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] it is unfair. Because the reasons that you are now living with them are no one’s fault (At least no one in […]

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