Open thread

by EPI Staff on March 11, 2011

Welcome to Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi March 11, 2011 at 5:45 am

My husband and I were recently invited to a wedding. An RSVP card was also included. It read:

The favor of a reply is requested by April 7, 2011.
M___________________
Accepts______ Regrets______

What does the ‘M’ mean? And do I just write our names there?
Thank you!

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 5:56 am

M is the prompting start for Mr. and/or Mrs., (or Miss or Ms.), so yes, write your names on this line, i.e., Mr.and Mrs. Thomas Jones.

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Sad in Virginia March 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

My live in partner of 10 years was sent an invitation to his nephew’s wedding my name was not included. My partner moved in with me and I have opened my home and heart to his family. I have found out my partner’s ex-wife and children were invited the children ages 24 and 21 years old will not be attending. To make matters worse my partner and ex-wife sent a wedding gift together. My partner and ex-wife will be traveling together and staying at my partners mother’s house and attending the wedding. I feel this is very inappropriate, and insulting to me and degrading to our relationship. Your advice is much needed.

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

It is time to have a frank discussion with the man who lives with you. He is not your partner because a partner would not treat you this way.

Ladies, unless you value yourself enough, he won’t either, and neither will his family. Don’t move in until he puts a ring on it.

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Elizabeth March 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm

While I’m not taking issue with your sentiment (it’s important to have a real commitment with the person that you live with, whether marriage or a real understanding),

//beginrant

I absolutely detest the phrase “put a ring on it” and the song from which it came. Who is this ‘it’?? Why would a woman refer to herself as an ‘it’?? As an object to have another status-object (a ring) be placed (by a man) without any agency of her own?

Godssakes, value between partners has absolutely nothing to do with the value of the inanimate object that you wear on your finger (just ask any of the high-profile political or celebrity couples splitting up left and right), but on the quality of one’s relationship – the loyalty, the love, the compassion and the very basic care with which one treats the other.

No, thank you. I prefer to have a relationship of equality with my partner, one in which we both decide equally to marry, to make big decisions, etc. NOT one in which I meekly wait for a token of his love and goodwill to be placed upon my body, and then I sigh with relief because now I know he really loves me.

By the way – this guy could still attend a wedding without her and with his ex-wife even if they were married! Marriage does not guarantee acceptance by the in-laws!

//endrant

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

My response was not about a ring at all. As long as women are willing to accept less than full commitment, we cannot expect to have it.

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Sad in Virginia March 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

For the last 10 years the in-laws have always included me in family functions, and have gone out of their way to tell me how much I was loved by them. This was a shock. With more weddings in the future. Should I ask why this has happened? Or just let it go?

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Of course you should speak with your boyfriend and convey your feelings. If he doesn’t acknowledge your hurt, then you have some decisions to make. It is up to you to decide what you are willing to tolerate.

Alicia March 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm

First off if you are not married they are not your in laws. Let it go with his/her extended family. Yes the nephew should have invited you since you live with his uncle. But forgive it. The real issue you should be bringing up is not with the your partners nephew but with your partner who was unwilling to stand up for you and was willing to attend a fuction that was not inviting you as a social unit. This is the far bigger issue. Until your partner treats you as their partner the extended family has no reason to do so.
Questioning the guest list would be a rudeness and an inconsiderate thing to do particularly as this is not your place as this is not your family. Your parner after he/she stands up by declining the invite if he gets asked about his decline can say it is because his partner was excluded and if this occurs he can ask at that time ask why you were excluded. If he is not asked why he is not attending then he should not say anything either.

Alicia March 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

When your partner was invited and you were not included he should have declined the invite. The issue you have is less with your partners nephew and more with your partner. Those living together are a social unit and should be invited together.

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Sad in Virginia March 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

You are correct my issue is not really with the nephew and wife it is not their fault their parents did not educate them in “manners and etiquette”. I felt the correct thing was to decline the invite and send a wedding gift from the 2 of us. In my family when the girl turns 16 and given her first set of pearl’s they were given a copy of “Wedding Etiquette”. Should I send a copy of “Wedding Etiquette” to the other young folks in the family? Or just leave the subject alone?

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Alicia March 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Leave it alone. This is not your family. Correcting the ettiquette of your partners nephew and neice in law is not your place. Your only real issue is your partners response not his nephews blunder.

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Sad in Virginia March 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Thank You all! Your input is well taken. I need to do some soul searching on my partners decisions and actions. This maybe the reality check I needed.

Vanna Keiler March 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Hello Sad in Virginia. I’m sorry to read you are faced with this predicament. It can truly feel degrading and humiliating to not be included in your partner’s family event, when you were welcomed all this time before. Furthermore, that your partner is “okay” with this, is attending with his ex, that they will be driving together AND sleeping under the same roof…As if they were still married. That’s a lot to digest, and I bet, a huge shock for you.

This raises many red flags in my mind about the status of your relationship and current understanding between you as a couple. You are obviously not “okay” with this situation, and it sounds like you have expressed this to your partner, but had no satisfying resolution. In my opinion, if you are not getting the emotional support and respect you need, you need to truly re-evaluate this person who has lived in your home for 10 years. Is this situation an indication of a change in your relationship? It sounds like you are as shocked as the rest of us to read this.

I would sit down with your partner one more time, if you have not already, and re-affirm how unacceptable this situation is, and try to talk it over before he attends the event. If you feel this relationship is worth keeping and your partner is as strongly committed to your relationship as before, despite these unfortunate plans, that is your decision to make. On the other hand, like you wrote below, you may need to do some soul-searching (and room-mate searching, if this situation does not work out for you) to determine if he is really worthy of your long-time commitment to him. Best of luck and I hope it all works out for you.

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polite punk March 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

As a political radical who is firmly against most social institutions, such as marriage, I admit that I am a bit of an anomaly when I write that Etiquette Daily is one of my favourite blogs. And I generally appreciate and agree with the advice given.

Which is why I was a bit surprised by the lapse in etiquette to automatically assume that Sad in Virginia was a woman. At no point, did the Original Poster disclose her (I’ll now assume the OP is a woman since she didn’t correct you) gender, but rather only referred to her partner as a man and his former partner as a woman. If we are striving for true etiquette, I believe this also includes not making assumptions about sexuality based on the

Furthermore, I find the statement “Ladies, unless you value yourself enough, he won’t either, and neither will his family. Don’t move in until he puts a ring on it.” offensive and sexist. Regardless, of our sex and gender we should all value ourselves and ask to be valued in our relationships. This is certainly not exclusive to the “Ladies.”

Finally, him “put[ting] a ring on it” certainly doesn’t necessarily equate him valuing you. It doesn’t take Scotland Yard to notice that a lot of married women are devalued by their husbands (and vice versa too).

Emma Goldman is surely rolling over in her grave right now.

Maggie March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I was shocked about the way these comments are making some rash assumptions about the state of “Sad’s” partnership. Why is anyone insisting that these people are not “her family” or her in-laws? Why would anyone excuse the nephew for excluding her because she is not married to her partner. These are rather old fashion views. Today, families are formed in many ways today and each deserves to be valued. If the nephew and niece do no recognize your relationship, they are being rude and judgmental. Furthermore, he was rude to go and leave you behind and you should absolutely speak to him about your feelings. It certainly does not mean he is not your “partner.” He may not have known how to handle the situation and communication is what will prevent this from happening again. Let him know that you felt slighted and did not understand why he would not join in any celebration with people who do not value your relationship.

The bottom line is that a significant other, whether wearing a ring or not, should have been included in a wedding invitation. All other unsolicited advice about the state of your partnership or your relationship to his family should be taken with a grain of salt, as nobody knows your circumstances.

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Alicia March 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

They are not her in laws because an in law is someone who is your family by legal arrangement (ie marriage). She/He calles his/her partner a partner not a spouse and mentions they are not married. That means that they partners family has no legal tie to Sad and thus are not her in laws. I’m not saying they are not part of her social circle. But even if they were married it would be for the spouse tro get on their family about treating the other spouse so horrid. It is bad that nephew of partner did not include uncles partner. However it is also quite possibly an oversite. Had partner RSVPed no saying that he/she was RSVPing no because partner was not included the oversite may have been rectified or noticed. Maybe it was truly not invited in which case partners mistake in allowing his/her family to treat parner as if if he/she was not part of his/her social circle was the worse offense. Partner made the bigger blunder then partners nephew.

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Maggie March 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

It is not necessarily “sad” that she’s not married to her partner. People choose not to get married for many reasons. Indeed, when I read the initial post and Sad’s gender was unclear, it initially seemed that the might be partners who were not legally ABLE to get married in many states.

We have no idea the reasons these people are not married and she did not ask us for our opinions on the state of her partnership, whether she should have lived with her partner before marrying him, or whether she was properly considering these people to be “family.” All of that advice was unsolicited and struck me as quite rude and judgmental.

She clearly considers these people to be her “in-laws” and her “family.” While she technically has no legal ties to them, she clearly has emotional ones and I think the comments that devalue her relationships. Any assumption that she is “sad” to not be married to her partner are inappropriate. She was “sad” to not be invited to the wedding because certain of her in-laws either overlooked her role as their uncle’s partner or disapproved of their relationship.

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Alicia March 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I hope you are not saying that I mean it was sad that she/he was unmarried. I did not say nor mean that. I think it is fine to be unmarried. I also saw partners as possibly a homosexual relationship. This is why despite Sad saying her/his partner has an ex-wife since Sad did not define their gender or their partners gender I have been extra careful not to use one.

However, if Sad has not married into the family (for whatever reason) then these are not his or her in laws. They are her partners family. Now partners family can be darn close indeed closer then many inlaws but they are not in laws. I am not devaluing the social ties that parners family may be. I’m making a definition and using words specifically and according to formal definitions.

If she/he was talking about spouse being invited and not him/her my advice would be the same. Spouse should have declined due to lack of respect. Spouse should deal with his side of the family. Sad should not correct adult nephew by marriages manners.

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JB March 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I find I must speak up in agreement with Maggie; I don’t feel that the comments regarding the legality of Sad’s relationship and the critique of her choice of wording (in-laws) was needed. How should she refer to them? “The parents of the person I’m shacking up with.” “It’s the wedding of the nephew of the man I’ve been living with for ten years.” Wow, that’s a lot of information to relay to others … I think “in-laws” and “nephew” is not only much classier, but personal and friendlier.

Times HAVE changed and relationships and families are defined in many ways. Would the advice be the same if it was known this couple is not able to legally marry? There are many reasons people choose not to marry and they are valid — the loss of financial benefits one of them (think military, not alimony). Does this make their relationship any less valid? I don’t believe the basis or status of relationships to be the business of ANYONE else except those involved. As is always the case in these postings, much information is left out … it is my recommendation that the less opinion that is offered on non-available information, the better.

The original question was about the matter of one-half of a couple being excluded from a family wedding invitation. Yes, the partner definitely bears responsibility for hurt feelings in this situation but so does the nephew — Sad has been a part of this family for ten years. It is clear from Sad’s second note that she has been closely involved with the family in past functions, so the hurt feelings and feeling left out are very reasonable. I would agree with the advice that a direct conversation with the partner is in order, first and foremost. I think Sad should also have a gentle conversation with the nephew. Whether the parents taught the children etiquette is moot at this point; he is an adult and needs to be made aware of what he has done. Tread lightly but do step forward — you will be doing him a tremendous favor by teaching him this lesson.

S March 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Our son just became engaged. We found out he was dating and subsequently is engaged, after a short time ating (3 mo.) We just met her for the first time last week. She is from out of town and came in for a visit. He is going out of state to see her for her birthday. Is it appropriate for us to send a gift along? not send a gift?? What kind?, if so… How much? Just don’t know what to do….

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Alicia March 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Do you want to send a gift? If so do so! You are under no obligation to send a gift but it is a very nice thing to do that shows how happy you are for her to be joining your family.
As for what type why not ask your son for a suggestion of something in your price range that his fiance might like.

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

You do not have to send your son’s fiancee a gift, though that would certainly be thoughtful. Perhaps something personal, like a pretty pair of earrings.

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Country Girl March 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I am in complete agreement with Alicia on this. Your partner is showing you a HUGE lack of respect in so many aspects. 1) He should not be accepting invitations which neglect your relationship. 2) It is HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE that he is traveling alone with his ex wife. 3) It is HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE that his ex wife will be staying with the family, essentially in your place. 4) It is HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE that they are giving a joint gift as though they are a couple. If they truly loved you, none of his family would be accepting this behavior. But most importantly your partner shouldn’t be doing this. It worries me that he doesn’t already see this situation as the huge problem it is. I would have a very serious conversation with your partner. If he doesn’t see any issues or tries to make you feel as though you are reading too much into things, and most importantly if he follows through with these plans, please take his complete disrespect for you, your feelings, and your relationship as a sign to move on to someone who will treat you with respect, care, and love.

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Maggie March 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I also am wondering why my comments appear to be being deleted without reason.

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JB March 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Alicia,
I am not interested in arguing with you. However, I would like to point something out for everyone’s consideration:

When voicing comments on blogs, I find it best to add “in my opinion” or “I believe” … in comes across as more open to the opinion of others, more willing to discuss different points of view and, in all honesty, sometimes less offensive.

In your opinion, “in-laws” is inaccurate. By law, it may be so. I would be curious as to how “common law” would be legally defined in the state Sad is living. That is beside the point. My step-mother is known as Grammy to my three children and has been for over 16 years, although she and my father, who happen to live together, have actually been divorced for 20+ years. Their reasons for not re-marrying are valid and no one’s business but their own, including me. I refer to her as my mom, although she clearly is not, especially as she is only 15 years older than I. It is my belief that sometimes familial descriptions don’t fit the “typical” descriptions, and that is ok. Again, it should only concern the parties involved.

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Country Girl March 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

This thread seems to be getting a tad off track.

I am not interested in arguing with anyone either, but it is absolutely not an opinion that Sad’s partner’s parents are not in-laws. It is indeed fact. I live with my boyfriend as well, and though I adore and feel close to his immediate family, they are not my in-laws, nor do I refer to them as such. While I don’t see what this argument brings to the discussion so much, fact is fact.

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JB March 12, 2011 at 12:26 am

Discussing the issue as to whether Sad should refer to them as in-laws is indeed off-track to the issue, which raises the question as to why it was brought up in the responses in the first place. If Sad wants to refer to them as Dumb and Dumber, it would be his/her choice … and again, no one’s business. THAT is my point.

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Sad in Virginia March 12, 2011 at 1:29 am

My partner and I are not of the same sex. We both had very bad long time marriages (20 years each)and divorces with deep scars. So we are not in a rush to make the same mistakes, gun shy I guess. Yes, in-law is the wrong term legally. Our relationship has always been accepted by his immediate and extended family. His parents, aunts and uncles and sister always remember my birthday, holiday invitations, cards and gifts are sent as joint.
I have spoke to him several times and asked him not to attend. As of 6am today he made his decision to drive to the ex-wife’s house and make the 6 hour drive to the wedding.
As for partners nephews soon to be wife she is aware of our relationship. Several months ago we attended the funeral of my partners father. Soon to be wife of partners nephew as well as myself were seated with the family. Partner’s ex-wife was very vocal I was not family, and should not be included as such. She is family even after the divorce because she is the mother of the children. Never mind she divorced partner, took everything, and turned the children against him. And did not speak to partner’s family until the death of partner’s father. So yes , I am hurt and feeling degraded by partner’s family that I was not included. As for partner that is attending with ex-wife I hope they have a good time. He has to come home to me sometime, we own property and have assets together, he is going to be laid off from his job of 29 years on March 25th. Except for unemployment, I am his only means of support, and insurance he is being put on my coverage as “Domestic Partner”. I guess we will see how appropriate the etiquette gets for future invitations.

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JB March 12, 2011 at 2:30 am

Dear Sad,
My sympathies to you in that you have found yourself in such an unhappy, hurtful situation. Personally, I find it abhorrent that one individual — in your case — ex-wife — can cause such an uproar but that is often the case in families, especially where divorce is a part of the history. Yes, there are always two sides to every story, but that is never an excuse nor a reason for inflicting pain on others.

I wish you the best and hope things are sorted out to your liking.
Jodi

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Dianne March 12, 2011 at 1:41 am

A couple is a single entity, whether married or not. It is correct to invite it as a single unit to family events (and friend events, if they are not “single” get-togethers). That the partner does not recognize that he is only one-half of a couple is the problem. That the nephew also does not recognize it may be reflective of the partner’s attitude. Couple-hood is conveyed verbally and by actions (and, often, by public commitment, such as marriage). Sad in Virginia believes her/himself to be part of a couple but that does not seem to be the general consensus. That must be clarified to all one way or the other, or Sad will continue to be sad and that is not a good way to live one’s life.

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Melissa March 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

I am dismayed to read on many occasions now on the site how we tend to pick apart other people’s advice with regards to technicalities and opinions. Please, can we not just stick to the topic of etiquette?

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Michelle March 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

A friend of mine recently had her make-up done by a professional in a store. The artist worked for a make-up company and was there for the day. My friend did buy some of that company’s products but after we left, she asked me if she should have tipped the woman… would that have been appropriate?

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Graceandhonor March 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

While it might have been nice to offer a tip, I bet it would have been declined. The artist is compensated in a commission or salary structure to assist in these types of “trunk shows.”

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jon March 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Out to dinner with my girlfriend, she decided to toss the salad and dish me out a portion. I wanted a little more and after she finished serving I helped myself and brought some more to my plate. She told me that was rude and insulting. That I should finish what she put on my plate and then take more, if desired.
Is there rudeness in this act? What should I have done? Is this an issue to get upset about?

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Elizabeth March 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Jon,
I’m assuming you were eating a casual meal in a restaurant like Olive Garden. (Who else has such tasty salads that must be tossed?) In such a context, I don’t believe that what you did was rude because your girlfriend isn’t the official hostess but was just volunteering to dish out the food. However, at a formal dinner party where you are being served by your host, I do think it would be unseemly to take more food, especially as you hadn’t yet eaten what was on your plate.
But either way, your girlfriend seems quite sensitive to your actions, and I can’t imagine that this behavior doesn’t manifest itself in other areas or that it wasn’t prompted by some underlying tension between you two.

If my husband did this, I would absolutely not give it a thought. I’m not sure I would actually notice. If I did, I might push the bowl closer so that he might help himself more easily. The only time I might object is if he helped himself again before others had gotten a change to take a first helping (which was not the case with you), but he wouldn’t do something like that on purpose.

Is your girlfriend controlling around food? Do you have a history of taking too much and leaving a lot to go to waste? I have no idea why your girlfriend became annoyed by your action, that’s something for you to work out with her.

Best of Luck.

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Graceandhonor March 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

While your girlfriend is correct that you should have eaten the portion you were served first and then either asked her to serve you more or helped yourself, the larger faux pas occurred when she corrected another adult as she did, and was much more unattractive than the perceived greediness you displayed.

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Alicia March 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

JB – As I have now stated more then once my advice would be the same if they were married or not , legally able to marry or not. It is not Sads place to speak to his/her parners nephew. If anyone says anything to nephew it should come from the partner. Sad needs to speak to his or her partner.
In laws is inacurate. Partners parents is accurate.
Nephew is inaccurate partners nephew is accurate.
In this confusing dynamic of family ties accurate is useful in defining who is whom at least for me.

Yes Partners nephew should have included her. We however do not know that this was not an accident however as partner did not stick up for Sad. Had Partner declined the RSVP verbally to nephew, nephew would have asked why is uncle was not coming, and it would have cleared things up. As it is I can see a possibility that nephew or nephews bride made a mistake.
Am I the only one who can see a conversation of guest lists and typing them out
Partners nephews bride to be saying “hey is uncle married?”
Partners nephew “No”
Nephews bride”types only Uncles name on invite”
I can see how it could have been a mistake not a purposeful breach of ettiquette or insult.

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Sad in Virginia March 12, 2011 at 2:26 am

Alicia
You are so very correct. It is not my job to correct the “Etiquette” of non family members, it is my job to make sure my children and nephew’s have proper etiquette so as not to offend others. “Partner has never heard the term ” Wedding Etiquette” he had not a clue of what I was saying. So getting him to speak to “his” nephew is out of the question.
As far, as “Partner’s, Nephews bride if we had not just attended “Partners fathers funeral” at the time bride and I neither one were family by “Legal ” terms. As future brides engagement time with Partners nephew is one of only 18 months tenure. My relationship with “Partner” is 10 years and argument could be made “Common Law Marriage”. So yes, I do feel it was not a “Mistake” but a purposeful breach of etiquette and insult, at the encouragement of the ex-wife!! Perhaps with your need to use “legal” terms to define these matters could tell me is “ex-wife” family after the divorce because she is the mother of “Partners” children? So I may have correct “Etiquette” for future engagements.

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JB March 12, 2011 at 3:10 am

Sad,
I have been thinking about the issue of should you or should you not say anything to the nephew about your feelings. While I typically do agree with “he says something to his parents — she talks to hers” when there are issues, I am going to stay with my original thought and suggest that you do say something to the nephew, for the following reasons:

1. You have been a part of this family for 10 years. You have watched this person go from little boy to manhood. Sharing your hurt feelings in an appropriate way is another lesson in life. Better he learn it from a caring aunt than a stranger.

2. Sometimes the partner is not the best person to speak up when it comes to dealing with certain matters. I have a loving, supportive, absolutely wonderful husband, but he wouldn’t handle this as well as I would.

3. You are not talking about a parental relationship here, you are talking about a nephew, a relationship that is somewhat further removed and probably not as sensitive. After 10 years of close involvement with this family, you have earned the right to stand up and speak for yourself.

I would suggest leaving ex-wife and partner’s actions completely out of the discussion. Focus on your relationship with him, your best wishes for a happy life together with his new bride, and your sorrow that you were not invited to join in the festivities.

Best of luck!

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Eddie March 13, 2011 at 5:11 am

I agree, while it is not your place to guide in matters of etiquette, you should most certainly voice your feelings. I can’t imagine why you’d need to point out you’d be upset about this little “arrangement” but if everyone else is just so casual about this then clearly they’re missing something.

Frankly, I’d be outraged were I in your position, I’d be very vocal over it, and anyone who had a thing to say about it would CRINGE at the very sound of my name for the remainder of their days.

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Graceandhonor March 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

Being of a certain age with a certain amount of life experience, I knew in my gut Sad was female, which she confirmed. I’ve also seen a number of women settle for male companions who don’t provide a whole lot in the way of substantive relationships, the most basic requirement of a healthy one, simple respect, often missing, as in Sad’s case. And, a lot of women tend to dwell on surface issues, as Sad was, being left off an invitation. I’ll meet you on this, though…both genders should treat each other with respect. And, men and women, don’t move in until you’ve got rings on them. You know why? Because its a whole lot easier to call it quits when all you have to do is grab that toothbrush and walk, rather than work toward saving your legal and sacramental marriage. This is what the little people do so others can feel superior while they dabble in anarchy.

As for Emma Goldman, a murder conspirator, we’ll hope Sad looks to better moral authorities.
,

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polite punk March 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I appreciate the level of condescension that you bring to your response. As I too am of a certain age with a certain amount of life experiences, but thank you for assuming that I was younger than I am. I look young, I know. I also believed Sad to be a woman, but yet I wasn’t going to make that assumption as I know that to assume makes a something out of you and me. And really, the advice to be valued, as we agreed, should be the same regardless of Sad’s gender.

I spent 3 years trying to save a beautiful, but failing relationship and a legal document wouldn’t have made me try any harder. Why? Because I was truly in love and I knew this is what I wanted. My ex-boyfriend tried equally as hard. Working for something that you feel so strongly in your heart (regardless of its status as marriage or not), this is what the little people do so others can feel superior while they dabble in the particulars of their institutions.

Anyways, I’m willing to bet that Eleanor Roosevelt is rolling over in her grave as well.

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Graceandhonor March 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Neither the gender of Sad, nor what Sad’s legal relationship is to that of her live-in’s family is important at all and have only served to obfuscate the important issue of her query, that of how to deal with the lack of respect demonstrated by her boyfriend. In the end, the sad experience she had has now given her pause to take stock of her relationship. We all hope good will come from that. And, as for inspiration, I hope she surrounds herself with strong men and women who provide her moral spiritual guidance and respect for emotional and intellectual honesty.

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Elizabeth March 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I think the question or the assumption that underlies this whole conversation about marriage/in-laws is that the only reason the bride and groom were able to not invite Sad was because they were not married. That, if they were married, they would have been forced to invite her.

I’m not sure this is the case. If they were intentionally being rude and wanted to cater only to the ex-wife’s comfort, they may just as easily only invited her husband (partner) and not her. While marriage should ensure an invitation for both members of the relationship, according to etiquette, the hosts (bride and groom) may not care that they are being rude to her.

It’s sad to say, but marriage guarantees neither loyalty nor longevity, not the ‘proper’ treatment by others and nor by one’s spouse.

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Graceandhonor March 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm

And that is a very sad state of affairs isn’t it, Elizabeth? That is why I believe it of critical importance to our society that those of us who understand its profound value do everything we can to insure its survival. This is an institution on which the survival of world civilization rests.

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