My only child is getting married this year.
My divorce eight years ago was not acrimonious. However, I was cut off from my ex’s family immediately.
Only a couple of years ago, I learned that my former in-laws alluded to mutual friends that I caused the failed marriage due to infidelity with multiple partners.
I was shocked and deeply hurt as my daughter heard and spoke to me about it.
Equally hurtful is that my ex did nothing to dissuade these rumours, fully knowing that they weren’t true and hurt our daughter.
I’ve since tried to extend the olive branch to my ex for my daughter’s sake and her wedding.
Now I’ve learned that those who bad-mouthed me have been invited, and that my ex is hosting a large Jack and Jill party but I’ve been deliberately excluded.
I'm trying to hold my head up.
My daughter’s more concerned with appeasing her father as his health isn’t great.
The continuous snubbing is making me dread my only child's wedding. How do I handle this?
What a sad backdrop to what should be one of the happiest events in your life!
Continue to hold your head high. You and your daughter both know that the gossip is false and mean-spirited, saying more about those who spread it and about those who won’t deny it.
Meanwhile, celebrate and enjoy the coming nuptials in your own style.
Consider hosting a small lunch or other affordable gathering for your own relatives and close friends as a pre-wedding event. If you can, include your son-in-law’s parents and siblings, too.
If there’s a bridal shower, hopefully you’re included. If not, create one with the bride’s girlfriends.
At the wedding itself, mingle with people you like, enjoy, and hopefully, dance!
Reader’s Commentary “Many older parents write complaining that they’re left out of their adult children/grandchildren's lives.
“Most don’t acknowledge they could’ve contributed to the rift.
“My mother’s in denial that we limit contact with her because she’s cold, disinterested in our lives, volatile, and can't stand being disagreed with, making my childhood very difficult.
“She’s told a family member that she doesn't like my husband, calling him “controlling” (he’s not).
“His parents are kind, warm, and supportive. They've been there when we needed help with our children or financially.
“They show love for our kids and call asking how we're doing if they haven't seen them in a while.
“It's also hard to shake off feelings from years of living with my parents.
“My sibling and I got zero affection, encouragement, or guidance about important things like relationships or money.
“We made several painful mistakes in life and got little sympathy. Their neglect has left scars.
“My mother’s subtly mean, e.g. waiting a week to inform me that a relative has died. I've received a couple of birthday cards that say "from" instead of "love.”
“Also, my parents totally disdain people who “got help,” so they give us nothing, despite doing very well financially and having ample free time.
“When I returned to work after my second child and called for a shoulder to cry on about how hard life was right then, I got only vague and disinterested responses.
“I don't feel like trying to salvage things anymore, despite feeling some guilt. I don't know how to love someone who’s gone so far to be unlovable.”
Ellie – A cautionary tale for grandparents: If you want a relationship, make the effort.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 25, whose boyfriend’s addicted to cannabis and hasn’t been able to quit (May 2):
Reader – “Marijuana Anonymous is based on the same 12 steps as Alcoholics Anonymous.
“The young man has to want to stop, but perhaps doesn't know about this great fellowship.
“It helped me. If there are no meetings where they live, there are online meetings.”
Ellie – Here’s the information from one typical group:
“Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.
“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. MA is not affiliated with any religious or secular institution or organization and has no opinion on any outside controversies or causes.”
Tip of the day:
Rise above nasty gossip to enjoy your child’s wedding and secure your relationship with the new couple.