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Graduation-Divorced Godparents


blonde9128
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My twin nieces are both graduating from college on the same day.  My brother mentioned on Easter if I wanted to drive with them to one graduation which is about 1-1/2 away and I said I would love to go..In the next breathe he said Dan (My Ex) might be driving with us as well. I just found out the other day that now is not only going to that graduation but my other nieces graduation as well and also the after party.

 

I am upset and hurt that my brother couldn't have asked me if I mind that Dan went to the graduation first before asking him...I am his sister I feel that I was owed more respect than that.  He pulled this when they graduated from high school and I  was pulled aside at the party an hour before he showed up and told me he was coming.

 

I am feeling hurt, disrespected, they didn't consider my feelings..

 

Tell me what you think.. Am I over reacting???

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Is your brother very close with your ex?  Is your ex very close with your brother's children?  Is your ex some sort of childhood friend that knew your family long before you were even dating?  Why is your ex being invited before you are?  I'm very confused.

 

ETA:  just reread and realize you are both Godparents.  That does alter things a bit but seriously you are the blood relative.  Not sure why your brother invited your ex before talking to you.  Again, are they really close or something?  Were they friends before you and ex got together?

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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A few things.  I think inviting the godfather to the graduation is entirely different than expecting you to ride together or inviting him to a graduation party. 

 

But if you have already relayed your feelings to your brother I am not sure what you can do about it except refuse to ride together.  I wouldn't do that. 

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I don't think my brother is close with my ex,  I don't really think he sees them all that often..My brother and sister-inlaw are very different and so are the kids they keep secrets all the time you have to find things out for yourself. My Mom is the one who told me that we my EX was spending the whole day at both graduations not my brother..My Mom told my brother that I will be uncomfortable driving with him for 3 hours or so and he said I guess she will have to deal with it.

 

I really don't have a problem with him being social with my EX. .He should take my feeling into consideration on big family events like this.

 

 

 

 

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I don't think my brother is close with my ex,  I don't really think he sees them all that often..My brother and sister-inlaw are very different and so are the kids they keep secrets all the time you have to find things out for yourself. My Mom is the one who told me that we my EX was spending the whole day at both graduations not my brother..My Mom told my brother that I will be uncomfortable driving with him for 3 hours or so and he said I guess she will have to deal with it.

 

I really don't have a problem with him being social with my EX. .He should take my feeling into consideration on big family events like this.

 

It sounds like you're not very close to any of them. Maybe you have other plans?

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Saying this gently, but this is not about you and your feelings. It's about your nieces. If they want their godfather there, you need to find a way to deal with seeing your ex.

 

Now I do think it is unreasonable to expect you to ride with him to and from the graduation.

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Honestly, am I reading this right??? Not only did he not ask you but you are expected to drive him? The driving him thing is WAY over the top. I would NEVER presume that someone must drive anyone else a single block, and three hours is nuts. If your ex wants to come, WTH can't he drive himself? And for your brother to say you need to get over it???? I might skip the whole event at that point if it were not about the actual girls being your Godchildren. 

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I would like to think I am close to my nieces..We try to get together every couple of months and they always ask if they can join in on my vacations to Florida and of course I say yes.

 

I wrote an e-mail to my brother and told him how I felt. and I also said in closing that I will NOT be attending both the graduations.  I just feel they asked him first and obviously they wanted him to go first off.

and plus my parents are going to be there they are going to feel uncomfortable they are not driving to the first graduation but will be at the second and party.

 

I am not trying to make it about me, however I feel they should have asked how I felt about the situation before they asked him..I am is sister and blood relative he is not.

 

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he said I guess she will have to deal with it.

 

This would make up my mind for me - I would not go to an event with my brother who thinks that I need to deal with a situation that makes me uncomfortable. If I were you, I would drop out of this event, I would take both my nieces out for a celebration at a later date and also give my brother a piece of my mind!

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Is it a nasty divorce situation? I ask because I know a lot of divorced couples who attend family celebrations and are civil for the duration. I would get my own transportation and would plan on keeping my distance but if we met at the buffet table I would make small talk and would then excuse myself.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This is about your nieces, my guess is that if you send this it will cause them hurt.  Try to figure out how to be at family gatherings because there will be more, weddings, holidays, baby showers etc.  My parents were divorced...I get it, it sucks...don't let it ruin the relationship with your nieces.

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We have been divorced like 17 years..no it wasn't nasty divorce but I haven't seen him since then accept for like 5 years ago when my brother invited him to the high school graduation party which I wasn't aware that he was attending until an hour before he showed up.  The graduation party is at a restaurant with a sit down meal. with just immediate family.

 

I don't understand why my EX can't drive himself show up at the both graduations make a small apprence and then leave..I would think he would feel uncomfortable as well, but then again maybe not.

 

This sucks...But I have to tell you I think my sister-inlaw is behind this whole thing..I was the one who wanted the divorce and I think she keeps that against me and trys to manipalte the girls  into thinking my EX is the greatest thing and I am just the Aunt  The girls are 23 years old and can hardy keep a conversation going and hardly talk.. My brother is the mouse ..

 

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I feel like I am missing a bit of information.

 

Unless the divorce was especially nasty, the marriage abusive and the ex himself toxic, unstable and/or dangerous, I would expect it to be ordinary for aunt and uncle godparents to still be at family events without too much issue.

 

Personally, I would regret sending an email like that.

 

That said, I'm not you and I don't know what transpired in your marriage. If his presence makes yours impossible for some reason, just decline.

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Honestly, if you want to see your nieces graduate, go. If you don't, then don't. Either way, I wouldn't send that email. It really comes off as petty. Especially after 17 years. Different people handle family dynamics differently. Throwing a fit isn't going to change them, so why exert all of that emotional energy only to have your feelings hurt worse.

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We have been divorced like 17 years..no it wasn't nasty divorce but I haven't seen him since then accept for like 5 years ago when my brother invited him to the high school graduation party which I wasn't aware that he was attending until an hour before he showed up.  The graduation party is at a restaurant with a sit down meal. with just immediate family.

 

I don't understand why my EX can't drive himself show up at the both graduations make a small apprence and then leave..I would think he would feel uncomfortable as well, but then again maybe not.

 

This sucks...But I have to tell you I think my sister-inlaw is behind this whole thing..I was the one who wanted the divorce and I think she keeps that against me and trys to manipalte the girls  into thinking my EX is the greatest thing and I am just the Aunt  The girls are 23 years old and can hardy keep a conversation going and hardly talk.. My brother is the mouse ..

 

Sending the letter will cement you as the At Fault Party. If you want to talk to your brother, talk to him in person and not at the celebration. As far as driving your Ex, just say that it doesn't work for you. If you offer a reason or excuse, you are inviting them to comment or rebut your refusal. If you decide not to go to the graduation, just decline. Send a nice card/gift and don't comment on the why.

 

The bolded is another example of why I said you didn't seem close to these people. 

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I can definitely understand why you would not want to ride with ex and are upset at your brother for being insensitive to your feelings, but I would not send that email. If you don't want to attend if ex is there or can't make alternative plans to drive yourself separately, then just bow out and extend congratulations to the graduates.

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I have not sent that e-mail out yet to him..I wish I could post it on here so you all could read it and give me feed back

 

 

I did not open the email because I am at work, but I would not recommend that. 

 

You are probably correct that your SIL thinks you are 'at fault'....so don't add fuel to that. I mean good gravy 17 years is a long time.  Do you have chidren with him?  I would speak directly to my brother and simply say you understand he has the right to invite whom he pleases but you will not be able to attend under those circumstances. (or that you will drive yourself...which ever you choose)

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I can definitely understand why you would not want to ride with ex and are upset at your brother for being insensitive to your feelings, but I would not send that email. If you don't want to attend if ex is there or can't make alternative plans to drive yourself separately, then just bow out and extend congratulations to the graduates.

 

 

I agree.  You don't want to stir up drama on such an important event for your nieces sakes.

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I would like to think I am close to my nieces..We try to get together every couple of months and they always ask if they can join in on my vacations to Florida and of course I say yes.

 

I wrote an e-mail to my brother and told him how I felt. and I also said in closing that I will NOT be attending both the graduations.  I just feel they asked him first and obviously they wanted him to go first off.

and plus my parents are going to be there they are going to feel uncomfortable they are not driving to the first graduation but will be at the second and party.

 

I am not trying to make it about me, however I feel they should have asked how I felt about the situation before they asked him..I am is sister and blood relative he is not.

 

I think they should have informed you that they were planning on inviting your ex, but just as a "heads-up" courtesy. It is not reasonable for you to expect veto power over someone else's guest list.

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I think they should have informed you that they were planning on inviting your ex, but just as a "heads-up" courtesy. It is not reasonable for you to expect veto power over someone else's guest list.

 

 

To a  point I agree with this.  It isn't possible to really have 'power' over someone's guest list.  But if my brother chose my XH over me in such a situation I would be very hurt.  And I don't think it is unreasonable for blood relatives to give priority to the blood relative relationship. 

 

I am very close to a family who has done just that...put an Xwife (who had no children with their brother) ahead of their relationship with their brother.  It has caused years of bad feelings....and the XW thrives on being chosen over her Xhusband. 

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To a point I agree with this. It isn't possible to really have 'power' over someone's guest list. But if my brother chose my XH over me in such a situation I would be very hurt. And I don't think it is unreasonable for blood relatives to give priority to the blood relative relationship.

 

I am very close to a family who has done just that...put an Xwife (who had no children with their brother) ahead of their relationship with their brother. It has caused years of bad feelings....and the XW thrives on being chosen over her Xhusband.

Eh, it's about what's best for the kids. Not who is more closely related by blood.

 

The OP acknowledged that the divorce wasn't nasty and it's been a long time.

 

Her ex is her niece's godfather. Ideally that means something more than "I stood up with your parents one time when you were baptized."

Edited by LucyStoner
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Honestly, with the rude description you make of your nieces, perhaps you should give your regrets:

 

My answer to that is :

 

I am not being rude about the description of my nieces, I don't know how many times that people have come up to me and said what's up with your nieces they don't talk or and don't carry on conversations..Just one word answers and just chuckle. Even my sister-inlaw's sister and her husband have mentioned that it's not normal.  I don't know if mommy keeps them so sheltered and they are afraid to talk. I just don't get it. It's like pulling teeth to get a conversation started.. My answer was to someone asked if they were close to my EX...I highly doubt it based on what I just mentioned.

 

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I usually go down to Florida once a year and spend time with my parents for  a week the last two years both girls asked if they could come with me.

and of course i said yes.  So I guess my point is they want to come with Florida with me but I don't see them going anywhere with my EX..

and we get together every couple of months I take them out to dinner

 

 

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Lots of families have different dynamics, so, I think I'm maybe missing something. Please clarify if I'm way off base.

 

To me, a graduation is a formal event where you invite family and friends -- both 'peers' of the graduates and plenty of people among the adults who have reason to be proud. I can see inviting aunts, cousins, godparents, whatever. It's a "whoever is in the circle" event that requires very little other than sitting in rows followed polite mingling at a party.

 

I get that maybe your ex isn't someone you like to be sociable with, but I can see why he's invited. Unless you clearly can't handle 'sitting in rows followed by polite mingling' -- and unless you have clearly informed your various relations of that case -- I don't see any reason why him being invited has anything to do with you being invited.

 

I don't see why they should inform you, or warn you, or issue their invitations chronologically with you being invited sooner than him... neither for this graduation nor for the prior one. That seems like juvenile nonsense to me. In any case, the prior one should at least 'count as' a warning for this one. (Whoever they invited last time is probably invited this time.)

 

The reason nobody is being sensitive to your feelings is this: people (without abuse) who have been divorced for 10 years or more *are* usually able to peaceably exist in a room together for an extended-family get-together. That's average, so that's what people 'guess' if they don't have other info. They don't reasonably expect to have to tiptoe around divorce difficulty after the 10 year point, because it's not usually relevant. If there is still divorce difficulty, that's ok, sometimes it takes a lot more time. People are different, it takes what it takes -- I'm just saying, I can see why no one would expect you to be troubled unless you were to warn them about it.

 

On the other hand, the other part I just don't get is -- just why is anyone other than you deciding when and how you will make the drive to the event? When did that become collaborative, or even up for discussion? You were invited -- that's normal. You were "told" who you were car pooling with -- that's really weird.

 

If you want to go, just go. Drive yourself. If someone wants to ask you for a ride, they can ask. That's how car pooling works.

 

When you are there, be smooth and polite. Say very little to your ex other than, "I'm fine, how are you? Yes it was a lovely ceremony." Keep it stiff, formal and distant. If your family needs some lessons in respect, class, and good boundaries... by heaven: give them one!

Edited by bolt.
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If you want to attend, you could do this: Arrange a date now to take both girls out for a celebratory lunch or dinner. Then drive alone to the graduation and sit alone, but be sure to find each girl after the ceremony to congratulate them. 

 

I would not send the email. Your brother is entitled to invite anyone he wants and maybe he has no idea that after 17 years of being divorced that you still have a big problem attending the same event as your ex.  But even if he doesn't know, the way your email is worded is going to make him bristle instead of make him understand how you feel. 

 

It kind of seems like you really don't want to attend anyway, considering you don't have a warm relationship with your nieces. Or their mom, based on your comment about mommy sheltering them.  

 

 

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I do have a warm relationship with the girls...I just see things that go on that i think are odd. it was only my opinion.

 

as far as my sister in-law we get along cordially we do talk but i wouln'd say we are really close.

 

You would have to actually witness the lack of social issues  with the girls to understand what i am talking about and sister-inlaw actions as well.

 

I had every intention of going to both graduations until my brother threw in that my EX and him were driving together and I could join them going to the  graduation and 1-1/2 hour one way sitting in the backseat by myself.

 

I need to re-think about this...Maybe I will drive myself and meet up with them at the graduation. 

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I do have a warm relationship with the girls...I just see things that go on that i think are odd. it was only my opinion.

 

as far as my sister in-law we get along cordially we do talk but i wouln'd say we are really close.

 

You would have to actually witness the lack of social issues with the girls to understand what i am talking about and sister-inlaw actions as well.

 

I had every intention of going to both graduations until my brother threw in that my EX and him were driving together and I could join them going to the graduation and 1-1/2 hour one way sitting in the backseat by myself.

 

I need to re-think about this...Maybe I will drive myself and meet up with them at the graduation.

I hate to say this because I don't know you at all, but it sounds a bit childish to complain about "sitting in the backseat by myself." You'll be in the car with two other people, and the back seat isn't exactly miles away.

 

I think it was nice of your brother to offer you a ride, but if you're uncomfortable being in the car with your ex, you can certainly decline his invitation and drive yourself to the graduation.

 

I'm not sure why you are competing with your ex for your brother's attention. The whole situation doesn't make much sense to me, so I apologize if I'm misinterpreting your posts.

Edited by Catwoman
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If you want to attend, you could do this: Arrange a date now to take both girls out for a celebratory lunch or dinner. Then drive alone to the graduation and sit alone, but be sure to find each girl after the ceremony to congratulate them.

 

I would not send the email. Your brother is entitled to invite anyone he wants and maybe he has no idea that after 17 years of being divorced that you still have a big problem attending the same event as your ex. But even if he doesn't know, the way your email is worded is going to make him bristle instead of make him understand how you feel.

 

It kind of seems like you really don't want to attend anyway, considering you don't have a warm relationship with your nieces. Or their mom, based on your comment about mommy sheltering them.

I agree. The general sentiment toward everyone concerned seems to be somewhat negative -- anger at the brother, anger at the ex, a catty comment about the SIL, and critical comments about the nieces.

 

I'm not sure why she wants to go to the graduation at all. :confused:

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I do sympathize with her.  It is annoying and hurtful to have an XH put ahead of oneself.  

 

She described the girls high school graduation and the ex was invited to that party---which is different than just the ceremony--and she was only told just before it started.  So that is weird to me.  And hurtful.  I would flip my lid if someone did that to me and I have a child with my XH.  And I am civil and even somewhat friendly with him. 

 

So.  OP, just try to be the bigger person and let it roll off your back.  Think of your nieces ahead of yourself.  And maybe even apply a little humor with your brother when you tell him you are driving yourself.  Do you have kids you could take with you?  A husband?

 

 

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I agree. The general sentiment toward everyone concerned seems to be somewhat negative -- anger at the brother, anger at the ex, a catty comment about the SIL, and critical comments about the nieces.

 

I'm not sure why she wants to go to the graduation at all. :confused:

 

 

You can love your nieces and feel warm to them and still think they are odd. And yes their mother could be making things difficult.

 

I don't know much about being a godparent....but it seems from my observations that sometimes it is a serious religious commitment and sometimes it is a polite social thing.  And an XH from 17 years would not necessarily be involved in these children's lives.

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You can love your nieces and feel warm to them and still think they are odd. And yes their mother could be making things difficult.

 

I don't know much about being a godparent....but it seems from my observations that sometimes it is a serious religious commitment and sometimes it is a polite social thing. And an XH from 17 years would not necessarily be involved in these children's lives.

Apparently he's involved enough that he was invited. I would assume that there's some relationship there to merit an invite at all.

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You can love your nieces and feel warm to them and still think they are odd. And yes their mother could be making things difficult.

 

I don't know much about being a godparent....but it seems from my observations that sometimes it is a serious religious commitment and sometimes it is a polite social thing. And an XH from 17 years would not necessarily be involved in these children's lives.

But apparently he is. He and the brother must be at least relatively close friends if they're planning to drive to the graduation together.

 

Also, the "odd" behavior of the nieces and the comment about the SIL weren't particularly pertinent to the original question, so I'm not even sure why the OP mentioned them.

 

(Scarlett -- sorry if I sounded snippy. I'm posting from my phone now and was trying to keep it short!)

Edited by Catwoman
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My FIL wouldn't come to family events with my MIL after their divorce. He always took us inviting them both to mean we were "choosing her over" him. It was petty and vindictive and landed him bitter and alone. Choosing to put the kids first never hurts. I get these are godchildren and not his children but still, the high road is rarely the wrong choice.

Edited by LucyStoner
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My FIL wouldn't come to family events with my MIL after their divorce. He always took us inviting them both to be both to mean we were "choosing her over" him. It was petty and vindictive and landed him bitter and alone. Choosing to put the kids first never hurts. I get these are godchildren and not his children but still, the high road is rarely the wrong choice.

 

 

Well I agree that the high road is rarely the wrong choice.  I am just saying I feel her pain.

 

But I had a particularly nasty divorce.  

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Well I agree that the high road is rarely the wrong choice. I am just saying I feel her pain.

 

But I had a particularly nasty divorce.

That's a good point. We don't know how much bitterness remains.

 

The problem is that the ex might be a very involved godfather and the girls want him at their graduations. Even if he is just a close friend of the brother, I'm not sure the OP has the right to demand that he not be invited. I think she is well within her rights to decline the invitation if she feels very uncomfortable, though.

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That's a good point. We don't know how much bitterness remains.

 

The problem is that the ex might be a very involved godfather and the girls want him at their graduations. Even if he is just a close friend of the brother, I'm not sure the OP has the right to demand that he not be invited. I think she is well within her rights to decline the invitation if she feels very uncomfortable, though.

 

 

I don't think she has the right to demand he not be invited.  I do think it is not unreasonable that she is upset by him being invited.  But I also think she has to take the high road.  

 

See?  I have feelings all over the map.

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I don't think she has the right to demand he not be invited. I do think it is not unreasonable that she is upset by him being invited. But I also think she has to take the high road.

 

See? I have feelings all over the map.

I understand! It's especially hard because she's new here and we don't know her history at all, so we're all just guessing about the situation.

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I am not demanding that he be not invited, just thought out of courtesy that my brother would have run it by me first. I know that is what I would have done.

 

I will say this when i was in Florida with one of my nieces I had asked her if she has heard from my ex and her response was he is getting better at it.

 

I know when I wrote that e-mail I was upset. My parents thinks its awful that they didn't let me know before hand, but then again they are old school

 

Yes we have been divorced for 17 years have no children..I never re-married or had any kids of my own.

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I will also say that me talking against my nieces and sister-law was not my intent of making them look bad and really has nothing to do with this subject. II was trying to give some insite on what they are like. But you are not with them to see what i am talking about.  I was just trying to say they are no different with me then they are with him or other people i would assume. So I can't see them being more close to him them then myself or anyone else for that matter

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