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Wife doesn't see 'husband' for 3 years, then his sister invites her to wedding. UPDATED

Wife doesn't see 'husband' for 3 years, then his sister invites her to wedding. UPDATED


"I [26/F] haven't seen my ‘husband’ [28/M] in 3 years. His sister [27/F] invited me to her wedding. How can I emotionally prepare for an inevitable confrontation?"


My husband and I are separated but I’m still very close to his sister. In April she called to inform me she was going to get married in September and that she wanted me and my son (5M) there.

She asked me to be a bridesmaid, but I declined as I didn’t want to risk being around the rest of my in-laws longer than I had to. I tried to tell her I would send my son alone/with his dad, but she said as her best friend I had to come. I don’t want to go, but I’m willing to suck it up for her.

My husband and I separated due to him always working and me feeling abandoned after I had our son. His family (excluding his sister who I knew before we even dated) were also a big factor in our separation and made the whole thing more painful.

We share custody of our son, but I haven’t seen him at all in 3 years. He has a nanny pick up and drop off our son. If we need to discuss something about him, it’s done through someone else who works for him. He continues to financially support us, though. I know seeing him at the wedding is going to be an overwhelming experience and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to deal with it?

ETA: When I say he worked a lot it wasn’t to ‘support the family’ it was because he was married to his job. I think in a year I would see him for 10-20 days and the rest he would either be working late or on a business trip he forgot to mention (his secretary would tell me after he was already gone).

He works for his family’s company and he could’ve easily reduced his hours without hurting financially but he chose not to. It felt like our relationship was just convenient so he could have intimacy with me whenever he felt like coming home.

After our son, I had a miscarriage and I begged him not to go on another trip because I knew something was wrong. He went anyway and then I couldn’t reach him the whole time he was away. To be honest, there’s just a lot of hurt and resentment that hasn't been resolved for 3 years.

The not communicating with my husband about my son was not my decision, it was his. I was more than willing to co-parent with him directly. He’s the one who insisted we communicate through a third party to ‘keep things neutral’. After thinking on it, I've contacted my ex to see if we can meet before the wedding. I don’t think he’ll respond but at least I tried.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the initial post:


Maybe go to the ceremony and skip the reception!


3 years is a long time and you still have problems facing the man you have a child with. Have you considered therapy? As for the wedding, do you have any other friends that are going?


Do you have a friend that you could bring with you our support? If you talked to his sister about it she may understand why and be ok with you bringing a guest.

The OP responded:


A few of our mutual friends will be there, so I won't be completely alone.


I can´t believe this. You are having a son together and you don´t talk together at all ? How do you think your son feels about being transferred like this ? That his mum and dad can´t have a civilized contact ? This poor kid is going to have a hell of a childhood. You have to end this immediately and get in contact with his father - wedding or no wedding.

3 days later, the OP returned with an update.



Thank you to everyone who replied to my original post. Your comments were very helpful and forced me to acknowledge I had a much bigger problem than just the wedding. I tried to contact my husband the day after I posted the original. Like always, his assistant intercepted and told me my husband was away and if I had a message for him, I should send it through him.

I ended up giving him an ultimatum of either meeting with me before the wedding or neither my son nor I would attend. I expected him to ignore it, but he reached out to me a few hours later and we arranged to meet a week later.

The meeting went fine. It was very awkward at first, but I got out most of what I wanted to say. He agreed we couldn’t keep doing things the way we were doing them but claimed he had no use for a divorce so, if I wanted one, I should file. This annoyed me because he said he would file when we split, so we argued over it for a while.

He ended up reluctantly agreeing to going to therapy so we could have a healthier co-parenting relationship, but we haven’t started yet because of his schedule. He also agreed to handle all matters about our son personally instead of through his assistant from now on (He’s managed to stick to this so far.)

He also spent a few hours with our son at my place which would normally never happen. My son was happy so even if it was a little awkward for us, it was worth it for him.

The wedding was last week, and it was a beautiful event. I’m glad I went. My son was ecstatic the whole day. Even a week later he keeps saying it was his absolute favorite day. We did end up sitting next to each other and it was surprisingly nice.

His family were on their best behavior and my MIL/FIL apologized for how they treated me during the early days of our separation, which was unexpected, but welcome. Things are obviously far from being fixed but I think we can work towards a better co-parenting relationship for our son’s sake.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the latest update:


Hey that's great to hear!! Glad it worked out, and hope it continues to be better. Best thing is that your son is happy, so that makes it all worth it. Have a great life!


So nice to hear! What’s wrong with you filing for divorce? I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I genuinely don’t know.


This. I mean, it's great that they are working towards coparenting, but the husband is trying to keep her out of his life completely and yet doesn't want a divorce and continues to "support" them (not sure what that means.) I'm guessing he possibly does not want a divorce because the level of income he has would create alimony and child support that surpasses the amount of money he provides to her.

He'd rather acquiesce to her demands that he coparent directly vs using his nanny / assistant, and any other desires she has vs. going through a lengthy, costly divorce battle where he ends up having to pay even more. If neither of them are seeking outside relationships and Op is fine with the money she gets and the arrangement, then whatever works for them I suppose!

Personally, for the sake of the kid and my iwn life, I'd want more clear cut boundaries and costs that are written on paper - in which case the husband gets a gf who wants to cut Op off, she'll be up a creek without a paddle not having any legal guidelines in place.


Wow no wonder OP separated from her husband. I couldn’t imagine only seeing my SO for 10-20 days out of a year.


I hope things are going well for OP and her son. And I hope this guy gets his head on straight. His kid deserves better.

So, OP's 'husband' sounds like he exhibits a lot of avoidance behavior. But, so far, it sounds like they might be on the right path to bettering their relationship, of only for their son's benefit.

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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