How to uninvite someone from a large group mini-vacation ...

… when the “someone” is your brother?

This is going to be long, rambly, and stream-of-conciousness, so I pre-apologize for any lack of coherency. Please feel free to ask for clarification if necessary.

Backstory: Many years ago, my husband decided that it would be a great idea to take a long-weekend mini-vacation with our friends after Christmas and the New Year. We looked up a rental cabin company that was available, pitched the idea, and went for it. It was an amazing success, and has carried on for almost ten years now. We’ve had as many as 12 people down to just four of us in cabins. The attendees have changed over the years based on finances and divorces and what-not, but there’s always been the feeling of this weekend as a relief and release from the daily stresses of life with people you like, lots of food, lots of booze, games, TV, movies, music, and the hot tub (we will not rent a cabin without one!).

Last year we found the BEST cabin - it was designed as a B&B so each room had a real bed in it (king or queen - no bunks, twins, or doubles) and there were six FULL bathrooms, which was just heavenly. No waiting for showers! The twelve attendees were:

Me and Hubby
Mike and Tina (Tina’s been on every trip as well)
George and Marie (she’s my BFF)
Pat and Lynn (newer friends, first time cabintrippers)
Aaron and Tracy (my brother and his long-term GF)
Tom and Ann (been on a few trips)

Some of these people had never met before, but we’d never had any issues bringing new people into the mix. But my brother must have been in rare form. To make a long story short, he was an asshole. He pretty much always is, and I’m used to it, so it doesn’t bother me. However he pissed off Pat and Lynn so much they almost left, and Mike and George left him alone because he brought a frikkin’ handgun with him (and when he gets drunk he gets stupid and belligerent - not a good combination).

Now it’s time to plan the next trip. We’ve got a weekend picked and a cabin selected (but not reserved - gotta see if another one has a pool table) and I’ve got a big fat dilemma: Mike & Tina, George & Marie, and Pat & Lynn have told me that they will not go if my brother’s there. Flat-out. I understand completely. Can’t blame 'em one bit. But he’s already pestering me about the final details. (Frankly, he’s trying to tell me what cabin I should pick and second-guessing why I’m not going with this other one and basically trying to take it over and make it HIS cabin trip, which is just like him.) AND he just pink-slipped … on our dead brother’s birthday, no less.

So how would you handle this?? Marie has volunteered to talk to him, but I know if she does, he’s going to call me up 1.9 nanoseconds after he hangs up on her and go off on ME about what a crazy psycho bitch of a friend I have and who is SHE to tell HIM whether or not he can go … So I’m going to have to deal with his attitude one way or another. It’s a no-win situation for me, but there’s no way in hell I’m choosing him and Tracey over every one else. And SHE’S the real loser in all this … everyone loved her, and would have her back without him.


It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a simple solution for this one short of pulling a Tonya Harding and having someone break his leg for him.

Just bite the bullet and let him know that he’s family and you love him, but you won’t be able to invite him because of his actions the previous year alienating everyone else that was present.

I’m sure a Doper with more tact will be along directly to suggest a better way of phrasing it, but that’s about all it can boil down to.

Sorry for you dilemma. Hope he’s able to get over it.

How about “No, you can’t come because if you are there, nobody else is coming.” If he gives you attitude, hang up.


You should do this yourself, not have Marie start it for you.

Of course, you should have confronted his behavior much earlier, now you have this drastic either/or situation.

I would do it, face to face and not over the phone or email.

Since he has just been pink slipped, it’s probably a good idea for him to cut back on expensies.
It sounds to me like he almost needs an intervention type deal.

Since you’ve already said that you will choose the others over your brother, just tell him and prepare for the reaction. Say that no one else wants to go because he was a jerk last time. Was his girlfriend pissed too, or did he show any remorse for his actions? If so, you can use that when he tries to argue with you.

This is you and your husband’s thing, so I think you have the right to invite or uninvite whomever you want. Since he already knows the location for this year, you might want to discuss an alternate spot with the other couples. Or maybe tell bro it’s just you and hubby this year, but make plans for a week or two later with the friends.

Sorry about the situation–dealing with jerks is never fun especially when they’re related.

Another vote for just telling him he can’t come and why. Don’t sugar coat it. It’s his fault everyone else feels that way about him and no one else’s. Just because he is the brother of the planner doesn’t give him a free pass to come no matter what.

Yeah, tact is not going to work in this situation.

“Brother, you are not invited on this outing. The entire group has agreed that we do not want you there. Your behavior last time was unacceptable, and none of us are willing to give you another chance.”

That’s it. Period. Don’t argue with him. Don’t give him reasons. Don’t try to mollify him with offers of “maybe next year.” Just lay it out there and let him deal with it. Once you’ve gotten the information across, have something else you have to go do so you don’t have to stay on the phone with him.

Good luck. I have a similar situation brewing.

I hope you told him that he was a jerk when he was being a jerk. Because if you come out now and tell him, he’s going to feel blind-sided.

I’d seriously go with this one. It’s short, sweet, and gets to the point. This one isn’t going to be clean no matter what you do.

He knows he’s an asshole and says he doesn’t care what other people think. :rolleyes: I’m used to it - I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. The people who aren’t used to him are the ones that had a problem with him. And I completely understand. He’s been on previous cabin trips with some of these same people and wasn’t such a prick that people refused to come back. I don’t know what was different.


The hardest part is going to be refusing to give any explanation beyond “if you go, nobody else will”. Unfortunately, he’s exactly like our dad in this light - he always asks questions that he really doesn’t want the answer to.

ARGH! This is totally going to suck. Thanks for the confirmation on what I was already thinking.

Good. Then he won’t care when you tell him he is being disinvited because he was an enormous asshole last year :).

Tell him you are no longer organizing the trips.

Tell him it is because he is a jerk, but your brother, so you can not organize trips without him, but no-one else will come if he does.

Skip one year, and help Tina organize all the others.

I’d just dodge the whole bullet, and tell him you’ve made other plans for the holiday, then make other plans. Tell him you want to be alone with your husband, family, or just say that the fun is lacking, and you want a change.
He already knows he’s a jerk, you know it, and he’s family, so no need to rub it in. Don’t give yourself discomfort, esp. with a family member.


My wife says the following: (The lettered bullet points are my creation)
A) You already know the answer… you just don’t like it :slight_smile:
B) You have to tell him he’s not invited.
C) Tell him to plan his own weekend and invite whomever he wants. (I actually thought this was a great idea)

I vote for this one. Take yourself out of the equation. If it’s not your party, you don’t control the guest list. This will preserve the relationship you have with him, and the others certainly don’t give a shit at this point whether he likes them or not. Win/win.

Have you already invited him? If you did invite him, I would feel a little differently – that you would have to suck it up and include him, and the other people will decline if they wish, whatever. But even if your other friends don’t go, if your brother goes I think you should be firm about what is appropriate behavior. You shouldn’t have to put up with him either, even if you are “used to it.” You deserve a vacation free of jerkish behavior too!

But from your post, it sounds like maybe he just ASSUMED he was included, in which case you don’t have to UNinvite him at all … he’s just plain not invited. Then you can decide to what extent you wish to be blunt with him … using many of the good suggestions here. Either come right out and say it’s about his behavior, or skirt it with more of a “it just didn’t work out this year” approach (although keep in mind with that, you might get a repeat of this next year, and the year after).

Regardless of anything else, if I was planning a cabin trip I would make certain that everyone knew it was a gun-free trip. <-- Reading that in preview, that sounds a little harsh. I personally would not have guns on a trip that I was organizing. However, I’m sure many responsible gun owners go camping and bring guns. From your OP, I got the sense that a gun was somewhat of a surprise, so I assumed that it wasn’t the norm in your group.

And that’s his prerogative.

But there are consequences of unmitigated assholish behavior, and one of them is not being welcome on group vacations.

I wonder if this this fact might be useful in “explaining” the situation to him.

Above all, be firm, and remember–you can hang up the phone.

Avarie: I’m sorry to have to tell you this, bro, but we can’t include you in the cabin weekend this year.
Bro: Why not?
Avarie: Well, as you know, you really pissed some people off last year.
Bro: You know I don’t care if people think I’m an asshole.
Avarie: I know that. but having people think you’re an asshole has consequences.
Bro: <random angry spluttering>
Avarie: Again, I’m sorry, but the decision is final.
Bro: <more angry spluttering>
Avarie: Goodbye. <hangs up>

You might consider avoiding the “They said that if you come, they won’t come” thing unless absolutely necessary. It will cause him to have extra animosity towards your friends, and it sounds like it’s not good to be on his bad side. Avoid putting the blame anywhere but on his own actions and attitudes. If you have to put blame on someone, put it on yourself.

Above all: DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THIS!!! You spend a lot of the OP justifying why you don’t want him there. That’s not a criticism of you at all. I mention it because it shows me that you’re still trying to justify it to yourself. Don’t. It’s a group vacation, and it’s fine to not include anybody who majorly screws up the group dynamic for any reason.

This is what I was going to say after reading the other posts. The situation sucks, but given that you are going to approach him you have to be behind the decision 100%. It sounds like he can be pretty manipulative and if this even just appears to come from your friends and not from you then that could be an “in”. A very simple “you are not invited because you behaved like an asshole”, with no additional explanations provided, will make this a lot easier (not that it will be easy).

How about doing a weekend with him and his so and another one with your friends without the bro. Let him pick the cabin and make all the plans for the “family” weekend since he seems to want to do that anyway. If he asks why the change in plans tell him the truth; that “your” cabin weekend was going to end up just being the four of you anyway because he was such an asshole to your friends last year no one else will show. Win-win.