My cousin’s girlfriend is always stirring the pot. She makes things up about me and my sister, and tells my cousin, who believes her. We have no idea of what she’s said until our cousin says something so out of character that we then ask what’s going on. Then we’re told some incredulous lie with absolutely no basis in reality.
We then have to convince our cousin of our innocence, which ultimately throws his girlfriend under the bus. He likes her a lot and this throws him into a tailspin of confusion.
What is going on and how do we stop this vicious cycle? It’s happened three times now.
The girlfriend sounds like she is trying to come between you, your sister, and your cousin. But only she knows why. It’s juvenile and will end badly.
You and your sister need to talk to your cousin, alone. Lay it out for him, describing all three instances of lying and the outcome. Let him figure it out for himself.
However, if he really likes her, then tell him that you and your sister will always be there for him as family, but you’ll both be distancing from him and his girlfriend. Don’t get involved in her stories. Just walk away.
On Easter weekend, I’m planning on having all my grandchildren over for a family brunch. I’m a part-time working widow, but I make my own schedule so I took a few days off to cook, clean and prepare the house. I bought lots of chocolate, baked cakes and cookies, and I’ve bought a roast beef.
I was feeling very pleased with myself and looking so forward to the afternoon. And then…. my daughter just called and told me they won’t be coming over. She has two children. Her husband has a cousin visiting from overseas and they want to take him into the country. I extended the invitation to include the cousin, tried to ask if they could go after our lunch, but to no avail.
And then my son called and told me he and his husband wouldn’t be joining us either. They have one child. Something to do with a concert. I didn’t get the details.
Now my other daughter is upset because her kids won’t have any of their cousins, and it’ll just be her family and me. She wants to cancel. This is so upsetting to me!
I’m sorry this is coming out after the holiday (Note: I spoke with this letter writer privately and we found a solution.) but hopefully this will help in the future. There’s a saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” We can only do our best. We can’t control other people.
It’s a shame that your son-in-law couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate his cousin into your family gathering and show him the countryside. As for your son, assuming he knew about your brunch plans, choosing instead to go to a concert wasn’t a nice thing to do.
Since you already have loads of food and chocolate, why not ask your daughter to invite another family, or each child brings a friend? I’m a “more the merrier” kind of person so that’s what I would suggest.
Next year, make it very clear to your family what your plan is, what you’re hoping to accomplish, and invite them. But also, be clear that an RSVP is a commitment and you will be cooking accordingly.
FEEDBACK Regarding the family constantly late for carpool (March 15):
Reader – “As someone diagnosed with ADHD later in life, I was shocked to learn that it could be the reason I was always 10 minutes late for everything.
“So, it’s possible she or her child has this and struggles to get through the steps involved in getting out the door, or staying focused.
“Approach the situation gently. Some people try extremely hard and no matter what they do, they just can't. Giving her suggestions on how to be better at being on time will only make things more frustrating for her.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the older women hitting on younger men (March 16):
Reader – “I’m absolutely appalled at your response to the letter from the young men.
“Tell me, would your response be the same if the letter was written by young women with older men hitting on them?”
Lisi – Absolutely, yes.