Dear Annie: I am planning my wedding, which will take place next year. I have a younger sister who will be a bridesmaid. This sister has been in an on-again, off-again long-distance relationship with a guy for five years now. She lives on one coast, and he lives on the other.
Here's the problem: My sister wants her boyfriend to attend my wedding. I have expressed to her that he isn't my favorite person to begin with, and I'm not crazy that she's in a relationship with him. I do not have the guts to tell her that I do not see a future for them because their careers keep them on separate coasts.
So, Annie, should invite him because she wants him there? Or do I not invite him because my fiance and I don't like him. -- Sister
Dear Sister: Here's the way it generally works -- if someone is in a committed relationship (married, living together, engaged), the partner always gets invited. If someone has been in a long-term relationship (dating exclusively for six months or more), even if there is no commitment in place, the partner gets invited. They are considered a package deal.
We know some folks say it's YOUR day and if you don't like someone, you don't have to invite him. But we think your relationship with your sister is more important that your personal preference in this instance. Even on your big day, family counts, and not inviting this boyfriend could alienate your sister. It's not worth it. You can be polite when you see him, and still manage to avoid him by concentrating on your new husband and your other guests, as all brides should. Think of it as a gift to your sister. (And if you're lucky, they'll be off-again before the invitations go out.)
Dear Annie: Thank you for your response to "Widow Who Knows What Her Husband Would Do," pointing out why her husband's children have no contact with her after being left out of Dad's will.
My wife died by suicide six years ago when our son was 19. Her death was tragic and we continue to deal with it and try to understand. My wife was an identical twin. My son adored his aunt. My mother-in-law's trust divided things equally, but shortly after my wife died, my mother-in-law changed her will, leaving everything to my wife's sister and her children, and nothing whatsoever to my son, her only grandson. We only found this out recently when my mother-in-law passed away.
This has been so hurtful to my son, knowing that his grandmother ignored him, but provided for his cousins. It was my sister-in-law's influence, and she has since dropped all contact with us. These people were our family.
My son loved his grandmother and she adored him. But this is his last memory of her and it changes how he feels, because it tells him exactly how much he was loved. Not enough. -- Hurting for My Son
Dear Hurting: How sad that your son will not be able to think of his grandmother or aunt without remembering this betrayal. Our deepest condolences.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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