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<p>This isn't happening for a while, so I have time to think about it. My mother's ex-husband (not my dad) was violent. I won't go into the gory details, but we'll say that hospitals & surgeries & police were involved for us to leave. We left 16 years ago, when I was 14.</p>
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<p>Someone in my extended family (though close-ish for extended family) will be getting married soon, and this person will be invited (for convoluted reasons that I'd rather not explain). She is much younger than me and would have been 4 or 5 when we left, which I point out to say that she doesn't really know everything that happened.</p>
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<p>I am excited for her and had planned to go. I don't know why, but it just occurred to me today that my mother's ex will be invited, and I'd say there's a good chance he will be there.</p>
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<p>He has "found Jesus" and is supposedly really nice now.</p>
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<p>Would you go to the wedding? If you did, what would you say, if anything, to your children? They'll be 4 and 6 then. I don't want them near him and think I would absolutely lose it if he even spoke to them. DH would definitely blow up over it. We always keep the kids really close by our sides - like Velcro - when we're with my family because they're...well...bad. I still am close with my siblings & cousins, though, so if I'm to be at any important family functions, then it's necessary to be around the older people in my family, too.</p>
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<p>Does your DH and children need to stay at the reception?  Or can they skip it either altogether or skip out really early?</p>
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<p>My initial reaction is to say I'd still go (assuming I don't have to travel a great distance for it or spend money on lodging, etc.) but I would prepare myself to leave immediately if it got awkward or the memories that are dredged up are too hard to handle.</p>
 

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<p>That's tough. I have to be around someone like that once every several years or so, and it's hard, especially now that I have kids. I just send off a massive, "Get the hell away from us" vibe and give him a stone face if he tries to say one word to me, and keep my kids away. So far I don't think they've noticed anything (they've only been with me once when he was around, and he doesn't push conversation on me once it's clear that I'm still not going to speak to him). In the future if they ask I guess I'd just tell them that he's not a nice person and we don't have to be friendly to him. </p>
 

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<p> I would not go and I would let my relative know why. For me the thoughts of this abuser would cloud my entire time at the wedding,and it would be unfortunate if it resulted in any  drama.It is the relatives special day,and I would not want to ruin it.</p>
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<p>If your relative can not understand how you are feeling well then you are not as close as you thought. You don't just forgive and forget what bad things were done to you or loved ones.She may not remember,but she should respect that your experiences with this person were different than hers.She has a right to invite them,but she should understand that you can not be around this person due to your experience with them. You should not be forced into going.</p>
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<p>Best wishes whatever you decide.</p>
 

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<p>I unfortunately have this problem with my biological paternal person.  I have made it very clear that I will not attend any family functions that he is invited to.  I do not attend many functions at all for that side of the family.  I initially made the decision when I was 15, but it has persisted.  Once I was married, my DH and I had a long talk about it and decided that the potential exposure and added stress was not worth it for our family.  One of the best decisions I have ever made.</p>
 

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<p>I would get a baby sitter for my kids if you don't want them around your family.</p>
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<p>But, I would go to support the person getting married.  </p>
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<p>Weather you like it or not those persons relationship is totally different than yours and the relationship you had. And, people do change.  </p>
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<p>My dad was an abusive person.  My mom refuses to believe he has changed.  She cannot/will not imagine any different.  I think in part is because she is abusive herself and refuses to change but that is another issue.  My dad's second wife said "No you will not treat me this way."  She did not put up with the crap and refuse to allow the abuse start.  My dad got help.  He isn't the same guy I grew up with.  My brother shared some stories with my younger half siblings.  They honestly cannot imagine my dad being that way.  My younger sister asked if it was true and was shocked.  But my older brother is now the one with issues because he won't let go.  It isn't a matter of forgiving it is a matter of letting go of the anger ----which is hard to do but healthier.  </p>
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<p>My husband and I are honest with our children about my family.  We tell them age appropriate information.  At one time, it was we are going to be at Great Gma's. Uncle S is there.  Uncle S is not well so don't ask to go to creak and if asked say no.  As they grew we explained more that his in an alcholic and has mental disorder.  Then they saw him drunk and he scared them.  :(   </p>
 

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<p>I don't think I would go. I can see myself really questioning it like you are, but then choosing not to go. I think it will be an unhealthy experience if he is there. There is no way to fully relax and be present for the bride and groom and enjoy yourself when you are always looking out of the corner of your eye wondering if he's about to approach you or your kids.</p>
<p>Also, my dh would not let us go. We have an abuser in our family and my dh says no to being around him. Ever. He can't even imagine how we could or would put ourselves or our children in that situation, around an abuser. He feels strongly about this.</p>
 

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<p>It's been 16 years and you still feel very strongly that you don't want to see him regardless of any changes he has made. I'd probably say don't go or don't stay long if you do go.</p>
<p>If you go are people going to try to push you together with him or could you just avoid him?</p>
<p>Does going mean bringing your children? Could you go to the ceremony alone and skip the reception?</p>
<p>If you don't go could you do something special with the couple before of after the wedding date?</p>
 

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<p>I would go with your Dh, I don't know if I'd bring the kids. I wouldn't bother the bride about why you'll be uncomfortable because that would put her in an akward situation that she really has no understanding of (I'm assuming).</p>
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<p>If your excited about going don't let what he did control your life. If it is too much then leave, but I'd say have fun and sick close to Dh and don't talk to the guy. I'm all for growing as a person and whatever, but I'm not forgiving of physical or sexual abuse.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280181/so-would-you-go#post_16058283"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would get a baby sitter for my kids if you don't want them around your family.</p>
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<p>But, I would go to support the person getting married.  </p>
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<p>Weather you like it or not those persons relationship is totally different than yours and the relationship you had. And, people do change.  </p>
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<p>My dad was an abusive person.  My mom refuses to believe he has changed.  She cannot/will not imagine any different.  I think in part is because she is abusive herself and refuses to change but that is another issue.  My dad's second wife said "No you will not treat me this way."  She did not put up with the crap and refuse to allow the abuse start.  My dad got help.  He isn't the same guy I grew up with.  My brother shared some stories with my younger half siblings.  They honestly cannot imagine my dad being that way.  My younger sister asked if it was true and was shocked.  But my older brother is now the one with issues because he won't let go.  It isn't a matter of forgiving it is a matter of letting go of the anger ----which is hard to do but healthier.    </p>
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Yes, letting go of the anger is important, but that doesn't mean that victims of abuse are obligated to spend time with their abuser and act like nothing's wrong. I remember Oprah recounting a time when she was visiting her hometown and making breakfast, and one of her abusers was at the table. She was thinking, "What am I doing? I'm a grown woman with my own talk show and I'm standing here making eggs for my abuser." Crazy! Sure people can change and letting go of anger is a good thing, but that doesn't mean that anyone needs to agree to hang out with their abuser, ever. You can let go of anger and still set boundaries and refuse to be near someone who brutalized you, whether or not they would do such a thing now. </p>
 
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<p>I have been a funerals with the abusive people in my life.  </p>
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<p>I didn't talk to them.  I didn't sit with them or socialize with them.  When they tried to talk to me, "I passed the bean dip".  I politely told them they were not welcome in my life.  I want or need nothing from them.  </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280181/so-would-you-go#post_16054770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Would you go to the wedding? If you did, what would you say, if anything, to your children? They'll be 4 and 6 then. I don't want them near him and think I would absolutely lose it if he even spoke to them. DH would definitely blow up over it. We always keep the kids really close by our sides - like Velcro - when we're with my family because they're...well...bad. I still am close with my siblings & cousins, though, so if I'm to be at any important family functions, then it's necessary to be around the older people in my family, too.</p>
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<br><br><p>This is the part that makes me think maybe you don't want to go.  It's OK not to go.  Big feelings like this are usually there for a reason - why ignore them? Is is worth your discomfort?  Maybe it is, but you need not go out of obligation, or maybe you could just go on your own?</p>
 

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<p>I would go, with my husband.  If I couldn't find anyone to watch the children while we went, I'd go without my husband.  There's also the possibility that he won't go, and you can go with your family and enjoy celebrating the marriage together, but you might not necessarily be able to find that out ahead of time.  Whatever you do, know that there is no wrong answer, the best answer is whatever you are the most comfortable with, and are able to have peace with-even if it ends up being that you don't go at all.</p>
 

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<p>Yes, letting go of the anger is important, but that doesn't mean that victims of abuse are obligated to spend time with their abuser and act like nothing's wrong. I remember Oprah recounting a time when she was visiting her hometown and making breakfast, and one of her abusers was at the table. She was thinking, "What am I doing? I'm a grown woman with my own talk show and I'm standing here making eggs for my abuser." Crazy! Sure people can change and letting go of anger is a good thing, but that doesn't mean that anyone needs to agree to hang out with their abuser, ever. You can let go of anger and still set boundaries and refuse to be near someone who brutalized you, whether or not they would do such a thing now. </p>
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<br><br><p>Yes, this is where I am. This is not someone who has ever, ever expressed any remorse to me for what he did. He looked me up when I was in college and showed up randomly a couple of times. This is someone who threatened to kill me while waving a gun around. He stalked my mother and tried to run us off the road several times. He hid in our house after my mom had left him. We eventually moved to get away, and even then, he would find us. When he showed up in college, even though it was years later, it was still jarring and upsetting.</p>
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<p>I don't think I'd be as upset now. I have gotten over being angry, and I'm far more self-confident. I just wouldn't put it past him to try to spend time with my kids, and I am fiercely protective of them after everything I've been through.</p>
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<p>It's too far to get a sitter for my kids. It's 700 miles from my house. I could just fly down and go to the wedding without DH or the kids, and that might be what I do. My cousin really has no idea of everything that happened, and I'm not going to tell her at this point. There's no need putting this on her. </p>
 

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<p>Knowing all of this, I'm going to venture a guess that he hasn't changed that much.  When abusers change, they appologize for their actions.  It is very common for others in the family to have good relationships with them, since they don't live with them.  Abusers choose their victims - and its usually the people they live with - ie their children and significant others. </p>
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<p>I would not go.  If you do go, I would not take your children.  Since its so far away, could you maybe post in finding your tribe to find an MDC mama to babysit?  I would want someone there with me for support (your DH, or another good friend who DOES know all the backstory), and if I couldn't find that I would politely decline the invitation.  It's not like you need an excuse - its 700miles away!</p>
 

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<p>That is a deeply tough spot to be in mama!</p>
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<p>If a sitter is not an option, don't go.  Really, just don't.  It is impossible to protect your kiddos in that situation.</p>
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<p>My mother came from an abusive family situation.  And I still remember a visit we made to those family members when I was 5.  I didn't have the full picture back then, but 25 years later I still feel a bit sick about it.  I knew something was wrong with *that* person when I met him at age 5.  But if I knew then what I know as an adult...  My dad still says he regrets ever even letting me meet the person.  Being a changed person is great for those in the present and future, but if you were a part of the past... the past will never change.  And your kids are probably old enough to remember any interactions.</p>
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<p>I wouldn't risk it for the sake of support.  Just me tho...</p>
 

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<p>I wouldn't go with out Dh...Is there someone else you could bring that could stand up for you/ make you safe?</p>
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<p>Otherwise, I wouldn't....but maybe you are stronger than I am. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>i think that you and your husband could go, leaving the kids at home, or just you go, and just do not have contact with this person while there. </p>
 

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<p><br><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280181/so-would-you-go#post_16062885"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block"> I could just fly down and go to the wedding without DH or the kids, and that might be what I do. My cousin really has no idea of everything that happened, and I'm not going to tell her at this point. There's no need putting this on her. </div>
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i like your plan. right on!!!!<br>
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