I haven’t decided whether to attend my sister’s upcoming wedding.
I wasn’t asked to be part of the wedding, though an old friend of hers and her husband will be.
I didn’t receive a wedding invitation until the day after the RSVP final date.
We only got one because my mom kept asking her about it.
Also, she publicly bashed me on Facebook when I commented on why she’d cancelled her “stag and doe” (people thought they may’ve broken up but that wasn't so).
After confronting her about her post, she won't look me in the eye when my husband and I pick up my niece to go swimming.
I’m not fond of her fiancé as he has a drinking problem. He’s driven my niece and nephew around after a few beers.
Do I respond, "No," explaining that I feel she doesn't want us there?
Or, do I reply "Yes" so I don't have to worry about my whole family being angry with me?
You’re an involved aunt despite these squabbles, and for the sake of her children and all the family, you should attend the wedding.
It’s obvious to your sister that you disapprove of her groom. Yet you’ll accomplish nothing by just showing attitude.
She needs a sister who’s seen as a voice of reason.
You’ll then be able to gently discuss concerns about his driving when drinking, which puts her kids, her, and anyone else at risk.
You don’t want the whole family angry at you for not attending, because your opinions can then be ignored or misunderstood, especially if you express them unwisely.
Explaining her actions on Facebook wasn’t your responsibility… that was up to her to do.
Instead, you could’ve advised her that people misunderstood and suggested that she might want to explain.
She’s lucky to have a sister who cares, which I believe you do. Don’t push her away.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young gay man who was unsure about whether to come out to his homophobic parents (Aug. 16):
Reader – “Statements such as “disrespecting their values” and “doing the least harm” are classic ways of thinking that put the problem on being gay.
“It’s not his fault that he’s gay. It’s not his fault that his parents are bigots. Making it out that he’s the problem is a way of thinking that leads so many good LGBT+ people to suicide.
“He’s a scared young man in a difficult situation. He needs to get out of that toxic house as fast as possible. Perhaps living with the boyfriend’s parents is an option?”
Ellie – You make a good point about moving in with his boyfriend if possible, rather than stay in his bigoted parents’ home. But he owes them $15,000 and can pay it off by living there instead of paying rent. That’s the “problem” described, not the fact of his being gay with which he’s comfortable.
He’s certainly not to “blame” for being gay. Like you, I hold no such uninformed concepts and wouldn’t accept that thought from anyone else either.
But I do appreciate your concern for the sensitivity of young people who are afraid to come out to family.
The phrase about “disrespecting their values” was suggested as the kind of opinion he might hear as to why he should just speak up about who he is.
I encouraged his own ability to make that decision because it’s clear that his inner confidence is strong, and that living with his parents has become understandably unbearable.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife whose bipolar husband created a $30,000 debt in their joint account, by his secretly spending on games and hobbies (August 21):
Reader – “This woman needs to learn more about her husband's illness.
“People jokingly talk about “retail therapy” but for those with bipolar disorder it’s no joke.
“If she cannot accept his disorder, then their relationship is doomed.
“This doesn't mean caving into the disorder’s manifestations - behaviour boundaries need to be set and maintained.
“Also, there’s a genetic aspect to the disorder, something she should be aware of before deciding to have children with this man (he wants her to get pregnant by next year).
“She needs mental health counseling to learn what she has in store if she stays and how she can help.
“Medication for his condition is only the starting point.”
Ellie – There are support groups for people with bipolar disorder, including some for family and friends.
Tip of the day:
Attend a sibling’s wedding? If you care about family, YES!