My youngest son is marrying his long-time live-in partner. He’s financially independent and is paying for the entire wedding.
They’ve been on many vacations. His partner doesn’t work due to health issues.
We’ve offered to purchase an all-inclusive honeymoon for them, with a budget of which they’re aware.
I’ve previously taken my two sons and granddaughters on vacation.
Several years ago, I’d purchased a family trip for the entire family at a resort that allowed children.
My son’s future bride refused to go to a resort with children.
I stupidly allowed myself to be manipulated into arranging two trips back to back - one with this son and future daughter-in-law, and one with my other son and his family.
The honeymoon gift was going to be a surprise. However, due to past experience we decided to tell them.
We offered at least seven choices, different islands, etc. She’s once again requesting a different location which isn’t on the “list.”
My son doesn’t say much though I’ve encouraged him to participate as this is also his honeymoon. His response: “I just want her to be happy.”
I regret offering this as a present. I feel a gift should be accepted graciously.
My husband just wants to stop the whole process and give them a wedding present like other guests give – a cheque for a significantly less amount then what the honeymoon would’ve cost.
I feel we can’t renege. Are we overreacting?
A frustrated Mother
More accurately, you’re over-reaching.
This couple, and especially your future daughter-in-law, have already clearly shown their independence on personal choice.
Your generous gift was well-meaning but could’ve been without issue had you not defined the choices yourself.
You could easily have offered the amount which you already decided you could afford, towards their honeymoon.
His bride would then see that you now get it - that they’re self-sufficient adults who do appreciate a thoughtful gift.
Don’t just renege… it’ll look like you’re punishing them (her) for not accepting what you wanted.
There are years of family life ahead, so get on a better footing with this wedding and all that it involves.
Say that you want them to enjoy the honeymoon of their dreams.
Then give them the amount you initially decided, and wish them a happy honeymoon wherever they choose.
My good friend’s female roommate, mid-30s, is actually his best friend.
Years ago, she started a casual drinking habit which turned into functional alcoholism, which he’s not addressing.
He says she starts drinking in the morning and continues all day until her evening restaurant job.
She doesn’t look very healthy and is often inebriated when I visit.
I can see it weighing on my friend.
Yet he keeps saying that she’s just on a "bender" and will eventually slow down.
I have a family history of alcoholism and don't believe this’ll happen.
Is this none of my business? Or, should I be pushing my friend to help his roommate before it’s too late?
Unfortunately, most alcoholics don’t get sober because someone else urged them to do so.
It has to come from an inner awakening about how they’re limiting their life, or hitting rock bottom.
Still, caring people have to try to help.
Take your friend to an Al-Anon meeting. He’ll learn from others involved with alcoholics where his roommate’s drinking can lead, and its effect on him, too.
He can then talk straight to her. It may spark change eventually. Or not. But he’ll have been a true best friend.
FEEDBACK Regarding a woman, raised by a “single” mom who kept her married lover a secret, wanting to contact her half-siblings to learn about her father who’s died (July 24):
Reader – “I want to share something about this issue with you.
“I suddenly found out at middle age that I have a half-sister - actually quite close to my age.
“Our common father is dead and so is her mother and my mother.
“All the "parents" who would be deeply hurt are dead. That changes everything.
“A new relative is an exciting novelty in one's life. Whether or not everybody will be each other's new best friend is up to the parties concerned to decide.
“But your writer might have something to look forward to.”
Ellie – It can be an enlightening time of discovery, or she could be rejected. I suggested she write a letter first to test their interest or lack of it.
Tip of the day:
Wedding gifts to your adult children should reflect their choices.