Should I invite my dad and brother to my wedding, if they don’t like my fiance?

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Lanterns, swords, and romance at this royal winter wedding
Photo used for illustration purposes only, but if you’re into dudes with swords, you really must check out this royal winter wedding. Photo by Artography

I was unhappily married for 8 years and had 3 kids. About 6 months post-split, I started dating my ex-boyfriend from high school… the guy I had always loved and wanted to marry since I was 15. We’ve now lived together for over a year and a half, and have decided to get married (yay!)… But my dad and my older brother still don’t like him.

They don’t really have a reason, as my now fiance has tried over and over again to be friendly with them, he treats me wonderfully, and treats my kids as if they are his own. He has never been married and he doesn’t have kids.

When I called my dad to tell him about the engagement, he said “well, I’m not going to say anything because it doesn’t matter anyway.” My brother just replied with a text that said “OK”…

Do I ask them to come to the wedding, or no?

Whenever you’re confronted with a decision like this, it’s less about what you should do, and more about who you want to be. I hear you saying you value people who treat others wonderfully, who are friendly, who love generously… these are the qualities in your fiance that you’re recognizing as good, which means those are the qualities you value.

When face with challenging decisions, let your values guide you: if you wish your father and your brother would treat others wonderfully, be friendly, and love generously, then model that behavior. Invite them to the wedding. Let them know your relationships with them matter, and that you’d love to have them there. Be open to hearing their thoughts.

You might be frustrated with them, and wish they were treating you and your new relationship wonderfully, being more friendly, loving your fiance generously… but you can’t control them. You only have the agency to make choices that embody YOUR values, stuff like kindness, friendliness, and generosity.

So be kind, friendly, and generous with your family members… they may be having trouble catching up to where you’re at right now (it can take folks a while after a divorce, and that’s ok!) but if you want more kindness and generosity in your life, you have an opportunity to be that right now.

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