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Wedding Woes

I feel for this LW, but they're being entirely unfair to their family.

Dear Prudence,

My father died of a heart attack four years ago when I was 16. I miss him every day; he was my champion, my cheerleader, and my best friend. My mom and younger brothers have moved on. My brothers were only 6 and 8 when he died. My mom’s new guy is fine—he makes my mom laugh, and he is good with my brothers. I hate him, and I know this is not rational or right. I am trying to deal with it with the limited counseling at my school. I haven’t been home since I started college. I see my family when we visit my maternal grandparents in another state. I can deal with the boyfriend in that element. I can make small talk and smile over the kitchen table. Not my home. He is already “remodeling” and has gotten rid of my father’s garden to put in a new pool. Everyone else loves it.

Over Christmas, I laid low and ignored my phone. My mom left me a horrible voicemail where she announced her engagement and told me how I was making everyone miserable and that I needed to decide if I want to be part of this family. She told me Dad would hate me for the way I am acting. Maybe she can forget him, but I can’t, and I don’t know what to do. I spent the entire day crying. I don’t know how to respond to this. Help me, please.

—Still Heartbroken

Re: I feel for this LW, but they're being entirely unfair to their family.

  • This LW sounds somewhat like my H and all I will say is get thee to counseling and work on your feelings, talk to your mom, etc. Otherwise the anger/bitterness/whatever you are feeling with continue to eat at you and affect your relationships further down the line. 
    VarunaTTeileenrobcharlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    My father died of a heart attack four years ago when I was 16. I miss him every day; he was my champion, my cheerleader, and my best friend. My mom and younger brothers have moved on. My brothers were only 6 and 8 when he died. My mom’s new guy is fine—he makes my mom laugh, and he is good with my brothers. I hate him, and I know this is not rational or right. I am trying to deal with it with the limited counseling at my school. I haven’t been home since I started college. I see my family when we visit my maternal grandparents in another state. I can deal with the boyfriend in that element. I can make small talk and smile over the kitchen table. Not my home. He is already “remodeling” and has gotten rid of my father’s garden to put in a new pool. Everyone else loves it.

    Over Christmas, I laid low and ignored my phone. My mom left me a horrible voicemail where she announced her engagement and told me how I was making everyone miserable and that I needed to decide if I want to be part of this family. She told me Dad would hate me for the way I am acting. Maybe she can forget him, but I can’t, and I don’t know what to do. I spent the entire day crying. I don’t know how to respond to this. Help me, please.

    —Still Heartbroken
    The bolded was out of line of Mom, IMHO, but otherwise this is all on LW. Like you said, mrs.conn, they are being unfair to the entire family. The new SD has done nothing wrong and neither has the rest of the family. 

    S/he needs grief counseling. They need to understand that not keeping the home as a dad shrine =/= forgetting or disrespecting him. 
    I agree that the mom was out of line for saying the quiet part out loud to her hurting child, but I also understand exasperation and people using grief as a weapon.  Mom sound like she's trying to make the best of a bad situation.  

    LW was so young to have suffered such a sudden and tragic loss of a parent and they're still very young at 20 and in a transitional time in life.  I understand their feelings, but they need to learn of how to deal with it and not lash out/blame mom for the desire to move on and have a partner in life again.   It's good that LW is recognizing this about themselves and looking to get help.  I wonder if LW has reached out to their mom?  Or if they've rejected any help that their mom tried to offer?  

    The timing of all of it is tough, but it's no one's fault.  LW is treading a dangerous path by continuing to lash out at or ice out their family. 
    VarunaTTeileenrobcharlotte989875
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LW is conflating her mom's processing their grief and having a life with forgetting her dad. He was a huge and formative part of her mom's life, but he's also not here now and can't come back, so at some point you have to choose what you do next.

    So, therapy.

    Anniversary

    eileenrobOurWildKingdom
  • LW needs REAL grief counseling not the "limited" stuff from the school (some schools that equates to interns getting their required supervised hours for the profession/licensure when they haven't gotten any real education in how to BE a therapist yet)...  

    The big one that LW needs is also in understanding how relationships work.  As Robert Anton Wilson once said "All great love stories end in tragedy, that's what makes them love stories in the first place"..  LW is still in the youthful belief of death of both parties is the end of a marriage, not "death of an individual" nor "death of the marriage" (as happens in a divorce).  A great grief counselor will discuss those things.  

    It's not that her Mom "Moved on" it's that her Mom found new love again!  Maybe LW is a tad jealous...  And, not for a second is she considering that the garden was her Dad's thing and not remotely hers so the thought of a pool in that space is incredibly appealing to the LW's Mom as it's something for the family to do together never once crossed LW's mind...  LW has a lot of just in general "growing up" to do!  She sounds like the type that if she got engaged would be on here asking how NOT to invite the SD to her wedding because he's "not her real Dad"...
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    short+sassy
  • Was LW offering to maintain a garden? 

    FFS in some of this LW seems to be lamenting change for the sake of it.   Gardens can rule but they're a fuckload of work.  They're not for me - although I don't want a pool either I have the benefit of owning my own home: something LW does not.


    charlotte989875MesmrEweeileenrob
  • Ro041 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised if mom said, "Your dad would hate that you can't get over his death and he would hate that you are acting like this when I am trying to be happy" and she heard "dad would hate you for the way you are acting."  Considering how LW is responding to everything going on, I tend to think she heard something more than what mom said.
    This is exactly what I thought when I saw that.

    I agree that LW is being way too hard on their family here. I get that after losing a parent, it could be really tough to see the surviving parent move on to a new relationship. But it also isn't fair to expect their mother to be lonely and unhappy for the rest of her life, or to think that their brothers shouldn't appreciate the new father figure in their lives if he treats them well and gets along with them. 

    If LW is still struggling with dad's death this much, they need grief counseling way beyond whatever their college can offer. If nothing else, they've already lost one parent - do they really want to destroy their relationship with the one that's still here?


    image
    short+sassyRo041
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