We’re observers to a family drama within our close friendship circle, asking that you consider the following:
A son had hastily married a girl from another city who he didn’t know that well, ignoring several red flags.
The bride’s family took over the wedding arrangements (extravagant), but then paid for nothing.
The groom’s parents ended up paying for hotel costs and receptions in two cities for out-of-town relatives.
Over 375 wedding guests were invited to a lavish banquet hall.
There was drama regarding inadequate seating, with explanations about the planner’s omission of assigned seats for some guests, causing bad feelings especially among the groom’s mother’s relatives.
They then didn’t participate in any of the festivities during the whole time.
Following the wedding, some red flags about the bride's side proved true (lies were revealed) and the marriage was over after one year.
Several years later, the groom’s mother has had no contact with much of her family. There’s now no connection between her adult children with their mother's side.
We’re surprised and sad for this family we care about. Shouldn’t relatives show solidarity and later discuss the seating-plan issue in private together?
Instead, a public drama played out before everyone present.
The mother now wonders, if there’s any occasion that arises in their family (happy or sad), whether she should just ignore it.
We’re closer to her than her own siblings and would like your opinion.
This scenario occurred during high emotions common to many weddings, especially those that are “over the top” in arrangements, costs, and expectations.
Hopefully, the couple who split up within a year, are able to put the many-layered fiasco behind them.
But your friend, the groom’s mother, has two choices: 1) She can accept that her relatives attended these events only for the high-end partying; or 2) She can reach out saying that there’ll be future happy-and-sad occasions for all, when having supportive family will matter.
It’s still not too late to change a seating-issue debacle to a chance to repair a senseless rift between two generations of relatives.
Dear Readers - A September 19 complaint by a husband that his wife of four years is no longer any “fun,” brought strong responses.
He says she “changed” when their daughter was born three years ago. “She... berates me when I go out with my friends, even though I invite her along.”
“Does he fathom what goes into getting a three-year-old ready to go to Grandma's house? Or anywhere?
“Maybe her changed behaviour reflects that, with a child, you can't just jump and go whenever in a moment.
“Perhaps he should make baby-sitting arrangements with Grandma: He can pack the bag with spare diapers, clothes, sunscreen or coat, hat, mitts and boots, snacks/food, blanket/favourite stuffed toy, pajamas, bottles/sippy cups.
“Then he must tidy up the child, get her in the car seat, drive over and talk with Grandma, come home and then go for a sudden jaunt.
“Then return, get the child, pack everything back up, get child and belongings back home and put everything away. Too tired now?
“He's an adult now with responsibilities and can't pursue instant ideas - or they should include the child and he should be very involved in all the arranging/packing involved.
“Only after all this has been tried should his wife consider seeing a doctor about her changed mood and behaviour, if she still doesn't want to join him on his “fun” activity.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose mother called her a “bad-boy magnet” (Sept. 22):
Reader – “I’m a guy who’s honest, compassionate and was absolutely naïve when younger. I know how hard it is to maintain an appropriate level of self-preservation and verifying what one can within reason.
“Trusting people like us “feel” we’re losing who we are when we do that, but it’s possible to learn how to remain the positive person we want to be without leaving ourselves open for being taken complete advantage.
“It’s challenging. It’s an easy road to be cynical and suspicious, but I think, especially for folks like us, we lose our humanity, and ourselves if we take that road.
“The good news is there’s a way to balance the need to protect ourselves from “bad actors” while maintaining our true selves.
“The advice to that woman was great and reminds me that I’m not alone (although a little older at 47).”
Tip of the day:
Pressures felt during emotion-laden family events can become disruptive. Reach out to find ways to communicate and regroup.