My niece is getting married. She has invited my brother, who’s her dad, but has not invited his wife. She hasn’t spoken to his wife or stepped foot in that house for 10 years.
My brother’s wife had yelled and lambasted the daughter for her behaviour, and then called his ex-wife and did the same. She has since apologized many times to no avail.
My brother’s finally putting his foot down with his daughter and choosing not to go to her wedding. I wish the daughter would forgive his wife, but she won’t.
My brother will never see his daughter or grandchildren again if he doesn’t attend.
I think he should go, or else he’ll regret it. He can make his stand about the breach between his daughter and wife another time. What do you think?
Stay Out of the Middle?
The minute you voice an opinion, you’re in the middle. How that may or may not work for you depends on how you present your viewpoint.
There are gaps in your story. I understand that you may’ve tried to keep the involved people unrecognizable, but certain key factors are missing.
You don’t connect your brother’s wife with the title or her day-to-day behaviour in the role of “step-mother.” It’s unstated when the brother brought this woman into his daughter’s life, her age at that time, or how their “step-relationship” played out during and before the yelling/blaming outbursts of a decade ago.
There’s no mention at all of the couple’s handling of the daughter’s adjustment, nor of any family counselling for any specific or overall issues.
It was apparently beyond the possibility of resolving what was abusive damage, with apologies.
Now, the bride’s father is picking up the mantle of outrage by saying he won’t attend the wedding. Sure, he has to live with his wife ever after, but is her past behaviour worth cutting all ties with his own offspring and future grandchildren?
The answer lies in whatever he said or did following bringing a step-mom into his child’s life and then after her damaging uncontrolled yelling bout with her and her mother.
I suggest that you back right out of this complex, unpleasant and all-around blameworthy situation.
Instead, wish your niece happiness in her marriage, give her a gift of your caring and support for her big day. If she doesn’t invite you or other family members on that side, understand why and let it pass.
FEEDBACK Regarding the behaviour of a widow’s two adult sons (January 21):
Reader – “These are cold-hearted adults using their Mother’s good graces. I suggest that the Widow:
- Find a place that will suit her present and future care needs and;
- Put the house up for sale. These spoiled adults will know once they see the sign up on the front yard. Screaming and anger may ensue but the Mother must stand firm. Either the Mother gives them a few weeks to leave or she insists that they will have to leave before or on the closing date of sale.
“In the meantime, the Mother should stop taking care of her children’s' dirty laundry and not make food for them.
“She should concentrate on her own health and welfare only.”
Ellie - I like the repeated use of a capital “M” for the Mother, emphasizing the importance of this woman’s need to put herself and well-being ahead of her adult sons’ demands.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the “Dutiful Daughter” caring for her aging mother with Alzheimer’s (January 22):
“You wisely told her to get her husband on board with planning ahead.
“She needs to prepare now for the inevitable fact that Alzheimer’s only destroys. Her mother will need more care than her daughter has to offer.
“She’s bought into the myth that nursing homes are a bad option. She needs that myth addressed.
“I know because my mother has both Alzheimer’s and dementia. She was moved into a nursing home in the thick of Covid last year and her care home is wonderful.
“They have the rigid and safe protocols for Covid and the staff are amazing. My mother now gets proper care and our visits are peaceful. I get to have a nice, calm relationship with my mom and sleep well at night.
“Finding a good care home for a loved one, when they need it, is an act of love.”
Tip of the day:
When there’s an ugly breach in a family, a wedding is often the event that reveals it.