Amy: Sister's 'separated' spouse poses family dilemma

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Updated: October 29, 2013 - 1:00 AM

Dear Amy: My sister, who is in her 50s, finally separated from her husband of 35-plus years. He was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive to her, both privately and publicly.

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bracystakeOct. 29, 1310:51 AM

A bridal party bus is common, at least in rural areas of MN that I'm familiar with. Outside the cities, it's common to have to have an extended drive between ceremony and reception sites. You'll pass more pubs on the way and what's wrong stopping for a celebratory drink since everyone has to drive to an alternate location. There is also the extended practice of the bridal parties stealing the bride and groom during the reception. Again, that's a dominate rural tradition. If you're not familiar with the practice, I can see the annoyance but it's not unheard of, even internationally. As long as the bridal party is respectful of the time needed for the couple to visit with other guests I don't see the harm in this.

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Kathy_BrandtOct. 29, 1310:16 PM

bracystake, you are correct that this has become common is rural Minnesota, but just because it is common doesn't make it right. I am appalled when a bridal couple invite a hall full of guests and then make their guests wait and wait and WAIT for the party to show up at the reception, only to have them come in at least half smashed. If I want to party with a bunch of drunks, I would save myself the frustration of waiting in an empty hall for an hour and just head for the bar myself. If it is an evening wedding and the reception is a meal, the guests are understandably hungry, and the more hungry they are, the less tolerant they are of having to wait for a drunken bridal party.

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actualreaderOct. 30, 1312:36 PM

"what's wrong stopping for a celebratory drink since everyone has to drive to an alternate location" Well, maybe the fact you have up to 200 family, friends and "guests" held hostage to this bar crawl? A co-worker of mine attended one of these charming rural weddings. Everyone sat in a church basement for 2 1/2 hours between the wedding and the reception waiting for the bridal party to grace them with their tipsy presence. "Rude" doesn't even cover it. Crass is the word.

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army1994Oct. 30, 13 2:01 PM

Most wedding invitations I've seen have a time for the church and a time for the reception. Usually when there is a party bus-type situation, the reception is delayed for a few hours after the wedding ceremony ends. Guests know then to figure out their own thing to entertain themselves until it's time for the reception. Maybe the bride and groom forgot to put it in the invitation, or maybe the guest forgot to read it...

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actualreaderOct. 30, 13 2:47 PM

"Guests know then to figure out their own thing to entertain themselves until it's time for the reception." See, this is where they stop being "guests" and you stop being "hosts." "OK, now go entertain yourselves for a couple hours in a town of 500 because It's Our Special Day and you're basically here to give us gifts and serve as an admiring audience -- when we can spare the time for you."

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gametime68Oct. 31, 13 2:17 PM

You have known for how long that this man is abusive? What has changed other than their living arrangements? Nothing. Now that your sister and her spouse have separated you are under no obligation to invite him to any family function. Simply explain to your sister that you do not like him or want him around anymore and she is wise to break it off with him. Also explain to her that you understand how hard it is for both of them but that her well-being is all you care about. Tell her her family is resource for her while she follows through with her divorce and should be a high priority for her happiness and security. Don't enable her to stay with him by inviting him if you don't like him and he's abusive.

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gametime68Oct. 31, 13 2:19 PM

That bridal bus? Rude. People come to your wedding as your guest not your servants. They come to celebrate the couple's nuptials, not sit around waiting the for celebration to get started while others are driving around drinking or whatever. Guests understand a delay for photos at the church with family and the bridal party. It's just rude to make them wait while others are out having fun.

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gametime68Oct. 31, 13 2:25 PM

I have been to many, many weddings of all kinds in all places; i.e., suburban, urban, rural, etc. That bus thing is new. It's not part of any rural anything or any wedding "tradition." Rudeness transcends social class, geography, and ages. Leaving guests to fend for themselves at your wedding is rude. Want to party with just a few select people? Then don't invite everyone else.

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