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Moms and Maids

Not able to go to Son's wedding

edited October 8 in Moms and Maids
My son is getting married for the second time, to a very nice woman. We are very happy for him & offered to help any way we could. I am suffering from a tramatic brain injury and I cannot handle stress. I also have a lot of other difficulties from this injury that make me VERY uncomfortable in social situations. I explained this to my son.
He is an unforgiving person, who holds grudges for the most unreasonable reasons. So with that being said, the trouble is the ex's family. They were very mean to me after the divorce from his father. Spreading awful rumors, telling my then 8 & 10 yo son to tell me to F off, stealing things from my home, constantly harassing me. I minded my own business, and just lived with it until both boys were grown and then moved out of state, to live my life in peace.

I have been happily married now for almost 25 years to a man who has always helped & loved my sons as his own. 

I was discussing the invitation list with him and he was inviting the ex and their whole family (there are a lot of them) and he was not inviting either of his brothers, my sister & her husband, one of my two brother, or any of his 1st cousins on my side of the family. From my side it would only be one of my brothers, my MIL and me and my husband. 

We went up to visit this summer to visit and meet her family, we never got to meet them after driving over 1,200 miles. 

My mom died two years ago, he was the only family member that did not attend & he only lives an hour away. He said he had to work, I checked, they said he could have using a bereavement day.

I have been there for him since the day he was born, always supporting & helping him through some very rough times (from 1,200 mi away) when his father lives just 20 mins away. When his first wife left him & his son, he needed a sitter to watch him over winter vacation. NONE of the ex's family helped him. I flew up there (with an injured back & broken foot from a car accident) and took care of my grandson.

I am heartbroken that I cannot go & he is so mad he won't talk to me. 

Re: Not able to go to Son's wedding

  • My son is getting married for the second time, to a very nice woman. We are very happy for him & offered to help any way we could. I am suffering from a tramatic brain injury and I cannot handle stress. I also have a lot of other difficulties from this injury that make me VERY uncomfortable in social situations. I explained this to my son.
    He is an unforgiving person, who holds grudges for the most unreasonable reasons. So with that being said, the trouble is the ex's family. They were very mean to me after the divorce from his father. Spreading awful rumors, telling my then 8 & 10 yo son to tell me to F off, stealing things from my home, constantly harassing me. I minded my own business, and just lived with it until both boys were grown and then moved out of state, to live my life in peace.

    I have been happily married now for almost 25 years to a man who has always helped & loved my sons as his own. 

    I was discussing the invitation list with him and he was inviting the ex and their whole family (there are a lot of them) and he was not inviting either of his brothers, my sister & her husband, one of my two brother, or any of his 1st cousins on my side of the family. From my side it would only be one of my brothers, my MIL and me and my husband. 

    We went up to visit this summer to visit and meet her family, we never got to meet them after driving over 1,200 miles. 

    My mom died two years ago, he was the only family member that did not attend & he only lives an hour away. He said he had to work, I checked, they said he could have using a bereavement day.

    I have been there for him since the day he was born, always supporting & helping him through some very rough times (from 1,200 mi away) when his father lives just 20 mins away. When his first wife left him & his son, he needed a sitter to watch him over winter vacation. NONE of the ex's family helped him. I flew up there (with an injured back & broken foot from a car accident) and took care of my grandson.

    I am heartbroken that I cannot go & he is so mad he won't talk to me. 

    This is a lot to unpack in one post.   I think you've given the background for better understanding here and I'll comment on a few things:

    -Am I understanding that you took it upon yourself to call your son's employer after your mother died to see if he could use a bereavement day?  If so, it was inappropriate of you and unprofessional of them to respond. 

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but what is the balance of your relationship with your son like?  A traumatic brain injury is clearly an issue and your son's failure to understand that this isn't something you can turn on and off is a problem.

    Do you attend other family weddings?  Is it possible that he sees your lack of attendance as something that is selective for him? 

    Is it possible to compromise and offer to see him shortly after the wedding? 

    If he cannot understand that your health needs to come before a party that's truly unfortunate.   What I would try to do is be matter of fact with him and not allow such a one sided relationship to continue.   There will be no babysitting or help if things need to bend only in one direction.  


    Knottie49568695ahoywedding
  • Why can’t you go? I read that whole long summary and see you’ve been happily remarried for 25 years and your husband is invited. Are your injuries so bad you can’t travel at all? Could you plan to go to the ceremony and then leave if you need to? Are you seeing a therapist/could you go see one to try and make a plan to be able to be there?
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • My relationship with him is that, he only calls when he needs something. He never sends mother's day cards or gift or birthday or Christmas. Now that he's with his Fiancee, she started sending them last year, which I appreciate very much! She is wonderful and I am happy for them. I have been in 2 car accidents in the past 5 years, one left me disabled. He never called to see how I was doing.
    I did go to my oldest son's wedding (his stepbrother). He was going to invite his brother, however, he threatened to crash the wedding with my alcoholic ex, so the invitation never went out. 

    Your advise was given to my by my oldest son too. It is heartbreaking for me because my boys are my world. 

    BTW I did not call the employer someone who knew told me that.
    Thank you for your kindness...... I guess I need to learn to let go.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    edited October 8
    I'm a little confused too on exactly why you aren't going. You can't because of your health? You don't want to because you disagree with the guest list?

    If it's the former, you are smart to stay home and I'm sorry that your son doesn't understand that. If it's the latter, maybe you need to figure out which is more important to you and if you're really willing to die on that hill.

    Look, as hard as it is, it sounds like your relationship with your son is unfortunately not a close one. I hope you can learn to let go and to be able to be happy without having the relationship you'd hoped for with him.

    From the very little you've described of your son, he sounds like my brother. Only calls when he needs something and he's very manipulative. I know that it's a very, VERY different perspective for me as the sister of someone like this, but everyone in the family knows not to engage with him. 

    Best of luck to you and I hope you're able to get improvement with both your health and your relationship with your son. 

    Edited because I just stopped in the middle of a thought. LOL 
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    STARMOON44charlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm also confused here. Are you not able to go? Or do you just not want to go? Either one is fine, but you should be honest with yourself. It sounds like you recently were able to travel there without much planning, so it seems like you could go if you wanted to, but I may be misunderstanding the medical/physical challenges you're bringing up.

    If you don't want to go, that's ok. Sharing DNA doesn't automatically obligate you to spend the time and money to go to a wedding. But if this is the case, I urge you to be honest with yourself. Like PP mentioned, are you going to regret it later? Is this going to be the nail in the coffin for an already struggling relationship with your son, and are you ok with that? 

    And ditto PP about some of the other issues. It isn't your son's fault or responsibility that his father and that side of the family was awful to you. None of that should factor into this decision. Choosing not to go tit-fot-tat about the funeral is petty and also shouldn't factor in. Even if he had a bereavement day available, you don't know that he could have come, or maybe he just didn't feel that close to your mother. Not the point.

    It really sounds like you don't have a great relationship with your son. While that's disappointing, sometimes that's just life. You should really think about what you realistically want out of this relationship and what's realistically attainable given your history, and how attending or not attending the wedding with play out in light of that. 
    ShesSoColdSTARMOON44short+sassydowntondiva
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    My relationship with him is that, he only calls when he needs something. He never sends mother's day cards or gift or birthday or Christmas. Now that he's with his Fiancee, she started sending them last year, which I appreciate very much! She is wonderful and I am happy for them. I have been in 2 car accidents in the past 5 years, one left me disabled. He never called to see how I was doing.
    I did go to my oldest son's wedding (his stepbrother). He was going to invite his brother, however, he threatened to crash the wedding with my alcoholic ex, so the invitation never went out. 

    Your advise was given to my by my oldest son too. It is heartbreaking for me because my boys are my world. 

    BTW I did not call the employer someone who knew told me that.
    Thank you for your kindness...... I guess I need to learn to let go.

    You say that the only contact you have with your son is that he only calls when he needs something and never sends cards. Even given your physical limitations, do you ever reach out to him to send cards or for anything other than to make requests for something? Do you ever ask him how he is doing?

    It's not helpful to complain about what he doesn't do for you if you are capable of doing it for him yet don't do so.

    Also, even if you didn't contact your son's employer to find out whether he has time off available, you still had that conversation with someone behind his back who either wasn't authorized to discuss it with you or crossed professional lines to give you that information (assuming it's true).

    Nor, as PPs note, should your relationship or lack thereof with your ex or his family or what happened back then play a role in his wedding plans now.

    And when all is said and done, if you're not hosting or even paying for the wedding, the guest list is not up to you.




  • Some of this really sounds resentful on both sides.   I don't do cards with my side.   We just aren't card people.   It doesn't mean we don't care.

    Also, you need to know that bereavement leave is different everywhere.  I don't get bereavement leave for grandparents.   There's PTO if it's available but it's out of my annual bucket.   
    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875
  • Your story has a lot of holes in it. For example you say you "checked" about the bereavement leave, then backpedal to say some (vague, unspecified) person just told you.

    You say your son holds grudges... why? To be perfectly honest, most people don't cut contact with family members, especially parents, for "unreasonable reasons." What does he say are the reasons?

    I also do not understand why you are not attending your son's wedding. First you say you can't handle social situations at all. Then you mention "the ex" and family are invited. This is his father, yes? You think he shouldn't invite his father to his wedding? I understand you divorced, but that was apparently over two decades ago, and even if he/they are nasty to you, I would expect you and your husband to be able to be the bigger people and behave civilly at your son's wedding.
    image
    banana468downtondivashort+sassy
  • Your story has a lot of holes in it. For example you say you "checked" about the bereavement leave, then backpedal to say some (vague, unspecified) person just told you.

    You say your son holds grudges... why? To be perfectly honest, most people don't cut contact with family members, especially parents, for "unreasonable reasons." What does he say are the reasons?

    I also do not understand why you are not attending your son's wedding. First you say you can't handle social situations at all. Then you mention "the ex" and family are invited. This is his father, yes? You think he shouldn't invite his father to his wedding? I understand you divorced, but that was apparently over two decades ago, and even if he/they are nasty to you, I would expect you and your husband to be able to be the bigger people and behave civilly at your son's wedding.
    The more I think about this story the more I was thinking the same thing.  

    Without knowing more to the story there's a lot of anger in the post and most of it seems to have pent up undertones with an ambiguous direction.  I'm not understanding how you could possibly make a trip at one time but not at another unless there are odd circumstances involving the plans. 
  • 1) Are you paying, if not, then you don't get a say in the guest list.  If you are, you get a say...  OTOH, that doesn't mean you'll "win", but yea, there's a lot of family dynamic happening that only you can sort out.  That said, you have to decide what are relationship "Hills to die on".  

    2) So you drove up and didn't get to meet her family, frustrating, but life happens.  

    3) Anxiety over being in the presence of people who have caused pain and grief in your life is an understandable reason to not want to go.  OTOH, that's also something that isn't productive for you in the long-term because you're giving them all the power instead, that's not a good strategy for your energy.  Something to consider is going to the wedding, having dinner, then politely excusing yourself before the chance for any dramas to begin, you'll get to take part in the event, and be out of there before any issues happen.  Nothing says you need to be there the whole event and it's o.k. to limit your time at the wedding.  I'd also highly recommend a session or two with your team when it comes to the TBI and coping strategies for the wedding and the personalities causing you anxiety.  
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm sorry about your difficult relationship with your son. It's best if you can take ownership of the things that you can control and let go of the rest. Assuming you aren't paying for the wedding, you have no control over the guest list so let it be. Don't try to make excuses to the family members. The only thing you really can control is whether or not you attend the wedding. You've weighed your medical issues and decided it's not in your best interest to attend the wedding. You've explained it to your son. That is the best you can do. If he can't accept that, it's his problem. You are aware that he is mean and unforgiving toward you. If that is his way of life, I'm sure he'll get over your absence in time to be bitter about something else. 


                
    MesmrEwe
  • So honestly if my mom told me she is not going to my wedding I would be heartbroken, but we are very close. I'm guessing he is acting angry, but is more hurt than anything. That being said I understand if you have concerns about your health issues. Maybe reach out at some point and explain to him something along the lines if you could be there you would and maybe offer to take him and his fiancée to a dinner or something to celebrate their marriage to show that you are supporting it and you get to be a part of it in your own way.
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