Our fourth child is due in a few weeks and we plan on baptizing her a few weeks after her birth. About seven years ago my husband’s one brother punched him in the street and has pretty much ignored him since (a year ago he told my husband that he doesn’t like me). Another brother of my husband tries to instigate my husband and now ignores my husband and me. We don’t know what his issue is with us (he’s the type to shut down and not discuss). Well, my husband is tired of the dysfunction and does not want to either of these brothers to the baptism (and frankly neither do I). My husband’s family has a lot of psychological issues and an inability to seek forgiveness and to forgive (my husband apologizes when he acts or talks wrong but is never met with the same from most of his family (only two sisters apologize). How would you not invite family to a baptism (we want it to be as tense free and joyous as possible (at our daughter’s communion one of the two brothers was noticeably sulking the whole time, and the other brother noticeably ignored us at a recent wake and funeral)?
They have no reason to even know about it. If they want to be that way, that’s their issue. You’re not obligated to let them know what’s going on in your life. I’m not saying to shut them out of your life – family unity would be the aim. But if they are simply going to try and crash your child’s baptism, there is no need to inform them about it until afterwards.
Send actual invitations to the people that are invited, rather than spreading the news via word of mouth. Address the envelopes to the actual people who you would like to invite and request an RSVP so you have a head count. Basically, just don’t invite the brothers you don’t want to be there.
Congratulations on your newest one!
Family strife is the pitts. I wouldn’t invite them either if they are likely to become volatile. Just remember to forgive and to keep these offending peoples in your prayers as Jesus instructs. Our Lord is love and all things are possible through Him. I would also submit that this may be a good opportunity for communication and healing either before or after the baptism… just a thought.
Will say a prayer for you all.
You are under no obligation to invite anyone you do not want to invite, simple, period.
Do not mention the event to them.
In fact why would your husband want individuals who resort to violence and other malevolent acts (family or not) near him, his wife, or his children? I would cut off all contact with these family members and any other members who take their side.
This. Just do not tell them it is happening. If there is a family member who is invited that you think might spread the invitation by word of mouth, tell them that you are not asking everyone in the family, just a small group, and not to ask anyone else themselves or to mention the event, as you are also not looking to hurt any feelings by keeping it small.
Are you worried that someone else might tell them and they will show up? Or are you worried they will be offended because they did not receive an invitation? Do you usually have big parties after baptisms? We usually just have the baby baptized at the first possible date after they are born and only have time to invite our immediate family and anyone we want to invite that we are in close contact with (by word of mouth). Are you worried they will show because they heard it from someone else (maybe keeping the invite list small would help here, or you could send out an invite that requires rsvp if you are having a little party afterwards) or are you worried they will be insulted for not getting an invitation (stick to word of mouth then, since it sounds like you won’t even get a chance to invite them that way).
Thank you everyone for your advice. The problem is that they will find out (my in-laws are real good at inviting people to events without permission - one sister-in-law invited two of her friends to our wedding and told us the week of our wedding). Also, my sister-in-law who lives overseas will be in for the summer (and baptism). I have informed her of all that has happened as objectively as possible. But, as LittleScoty stated, this is the pitts. At least when my brother has been jerky in the past he still carried on conversation at a superficial level (which now, my husband is beginning to appreciate in light of his brothers’ behavior). We just decided to no longer sweep everything under the rug as has been the way things work in my husband’s family.
I will keep praying that the line of communication opens up. I wish that my mother-in-law would stay out of it (she told my husband to forgive his brothers but has not said a thing to her other sons because they have blown up at her in the past). My husband has forgiven his brothers but he is still hurt.
I have reached the point where I am trying to get my family (husband and kids) healthy in our eating and in our relationships and trying to avoid toxic people and foods. I know that I cannot change others (and frankly, it would be better for them to do so on their own choosing) but I can change who I associate with, what conversations I will participate in, and to walk away if necessary, even though it hurts initially.
I feel for you. I’m dealing with the exact same things. I almost could have written your post. I have a bil who has snubbed me for years now, and I have no clue why. I won’t bother with the details about the others.
I’ve invited them to things that are important to my children for 5 years now, and they completely ignore me, don’t make anything of the olive branch, such as it is, that I extend. After the recent incident with my nephew, no more family will be invited to our graduations, etc. It will upset my kids, but I think the kids finally need to understand that people cannot behave this way forever and expect me to just keep sucking it up, not even for love of my children.
Don’t give your MIL much advanced notice about the baptism date. When you do invite her and SIL, (maybe about a week before the event,) ask your dh to inform that you intend to keep the celebration very small with foods that meet your special dietary restrictions and won’t be able to accommodate anyone else at your home after the baptism.
OR…give everyone a warm hug at the Church ceremony, take photos with everyone in the whole family smiling, thank everyone for coming… then following the Church service head to a restaurant with those you invited. If your non-invited family members want to show up at public places like Churches and restaurants, (where they make their own reservations and pay their own bills;)) then you can’t stop them, but if you don’t have to host them all at a big party in your home.
This is a gem that your husband might use on his mother:
It only takes one to forgive, but it takes two to reconcile.
Still, if you don’t invite them, the chances are good that they won’t feel inclined to show up. If they do, treat them as if they had been invited. If they pointedly ask why they weren’t invited, you can pointedly say you didn’t think they were having anything to do with you, but if they are, be welcome and come on in.
If they act in an unacceptable way, though, resolve that you will not accept it. Ask them to leave. I don’t know what else you can do. :shrug:
Invite and pray for them before your Child’s Baptism, offering all of you and your Husband’s Crosses to Jesus (leaving the whole situation in Jesus’ Hands) through The Holy Rosary.
Otherwise, guilt and hurt felt by your Husband (deep down) and resulting in scars and forgiveness issues later down the track in all Families’ lives.
God gave your Brother his Family members for reasons including the ability to Love and Forgive one another. Your Husband has done this and his two Brothers are yet to reach this point. Why? The answer being that they need to get together, bring up some happy childhood memories and get to the point of genuine remorse over hurts. How is this done? Through opening up one’s Heart to God asking for Healing and Unity with his Brothers and all Siblings now and for Eternity. Your Husband needs to pray for his Brothers Hearts, Healing and for them both to open up their Hearts to Jesus. This is able to be done now before your Child is Baptised in The Holy Spirit.
I have found the best way for me in asking Jesus to heal family rifts is the following;
I picture Jesus and Mother Mary vividly, asking Jesus in conversation during The Holy Rosary for Healing in certain Family Members now and for Eternity. Jesus answers on every occasion!
Love and best wishes during this Special time in your Family Lives.
Hire security to keep out uninvited guests.
I’m only half-joking. You need a bouncer.
Honestly, I was just going to enter the same exact suggestion!
Then I read your post. I’m half joking as well.
In family terms, this is called enlisting the aid of friendly in-laws in advance, should anyone need to be escorted to their cars.
I like the image of a large, unsmiling non-relative with a badge and a gun, myself.
Things certainly get complicated as families grow and change… we’ve had similar experiences of wanting to avoid invites, so I sympathize.
We’ve learned to scale back on celebrations. For the baptism of our 4th we just sent word-of-mouth (or txt messages) invites - “She’ll be baptized at the 8am Mass on Sunday - just FYI - you’re more than welcome to come!”… that’s it.
No “we’ll be having lunch after” or anything like that. Sure, we had a quiet lunch with the Godparents and Grandparents after, but that didn’t need to be an open invitation.
Only share what you want to share.
Hey, on my mom’s side of the family I have plenty of relatives who are police officers and firemen (and retired police officers, judges, etc. - then there are the extended relatives who won’t be invited who I know, but won’t say, are tied or in the mob - one being partners with Mr. Hoffa Jr.) I definitely enjoyed the suggestion
My husband and I talked about doing it this and I think we have settled on scaling back and doing it this way (the only exception is my dad, I will have to tell him as soon as I schedule the baptism since he lives out of state).
I’m thinking of four or five calm guys who quietly take the offending party aside on behalf of the hosts and say, “Hey, not here. Cool it or else go blow up somewhere else. This is not the time or the place. We’re not going to let you ruin Dave and Melissa’s party.”