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8 Comments

  1. H. Indsims

    Dear Emily Post,

    When visiting my in laws this weekend my father in law gave my husband (and I thought myself) a gift of an old photograph from the town where his family immigrated to the US from. I was delighted by the gift until he told us that after my husband it should be passed to my husband’s brother or his son because we only have daughters.

    My husband is 50 and the thought of having a cherished heirloom in my home and the home of my daughters that I should have to give to a male family member upon my husband’s death is a sad and frustrating idea to me.

    Is the way my father-in-law chose to do this a polite way to go about passing on a family heirloom intended for the men in the family? Do you have any advice for me about being the temporary keepers of an heirloom intended only for the men in the family when we have daughters that I wish were not excluded from inheriting something that will likely live in their home for years to come?

    • Alicia

      It was a gift to your husband. When hopefully far in the future your husband passes he may will it to whomever he wishes be it his daughter or nephew or grandkids or whomever. As it has been given to your husband what he does or doesn’t do with it is no longer any business of your father in law.

        • Elizabeth

          This is the best option. It is something that can be duplicated exactly. If I were your husband, as a recipient of a gift that came with strings like that, I would make a copy and have it nicely framed, then return the original to the parents so they can give it to their intended heirs now.

  2. Ava Marie

    Hi, I’m at a loss and hoping someone can help. My brother is getting married this summer to a woman he has dated for 4 years. I just found out that my SIL2B is having a bachelorette party next month because a family friend asked me if I were going. Um, I didn’t know there was a bachelorette party. I’m really hurt and, frankly, angry that I wasn’t invited. What’s more embarrassing is that I found out from someone who should have never been on the guest list. Even if my SIL2B and I aren’t close, I firmly believe that an invitation was in order as I’m the only female blood relative who is in the “age group” from this side of the family. The party is in Vegas, and there’s no way I could have gone — all the more reason I think a courtesy invite should have been sent.

    I was so upset that I sent my SIL2B a very hurtful email to which she never responded. Instead, she is badmouthing me to my brother and our parents. It may seem like I’m overreacting, but at this point, I don’t even want to go to the wedding. It’s a big mess. I don’t know what to do.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s too bad that you sent the hurtful email before you cooled down. I do sympathize with you, it’s terribly hurtful to be excluded, and you’re right that a courtesy invitation should have been extended. Some people are of the school of thought, though, that you only invite people you know can come, otherwise it seems like rubbing it in someone’s face. It’s possible that your future SIL is one of those people. There could have been a good (or at least decent) reason that you weren’t invited, but you didn’t even give her a chance to explain. I think you should call your brother and start to clear the air with him. Apologize for the email, extend the olive branch, and explain that you were hurt and embarrassed that you didn’t even know about the party, so you lashed out without thinking about it. See what he says. Perhaps he can help smooth things over. You really should go to the wedding, you will be doing irreparable harm to your family relationships if you don’t go.

    • Jody

      Ava Marie — I’ve been in a similar situation and I know how much the non-invite hurts. I do think that Elizabeth’s advice is good; contact your brother and clear the air with him. Your SIL2B may not have realized how much the courtesy invitation would have been appreciated. Grit your teeth and attend the wedding in at least outward good spirits; if you don’t attend you’ll probably regret it years down the road.

      • Alicia

        As bachlorettes are usually the closest friends of the bride and by your admission you are not among them I do not think you should have been invited. I think you massively over reacted. Speak to your sister in law first she is the one you need to apologize to. Then apologize to the bachlorette hostess and your brother. But absolutely you should attend the wedding. Do not let your own bad manners of expectations of invites cause lifelong hurt. Attend the wedding be happy for your brother and sister in law and do not make it about you.
        By way of apology I would consider sending a bottle of champagne to the group at the bachlorette party.

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