Etiquette

Dysfunctional Family Member

My mother's family lives in CA and we live in OH.  She has a sister who is is currently upset because my mother has possession of my grandparents wedding picture (not even the original).  In fact, she is so upset she showed up at my mother's house unannounced to feud about it.  In response my mother made her a copy.  However, the story is never ending.  Now she wants more copies and the frame.   In my opinion my aunt is not just upset about the picture, but unhappy with life in general.  My aunt does not have a close relationship with any of her siblings.  She swears like a sailor, is a bully and constantly belittling.
Yesterday I received a phone call from my mother.  My Aunt is telling my family in CA she is not coming to my wedding because someone on her husband's side is getting married the week prior in CLE.  You would think this would be a no brainer.  I should be thinking--without her, there won't be any drama.  I have a deep suspicion she won't become because "of the picture," although it goes deeper than that.  I think she is trying to hurt my mom through me.
Initially, I wanted to call my aunt and ask why she's re-acting this way.  If you can't come to my wedding, why not reach out to me?  I already know the answer:  she wants a reaction.  Does anyone have a similar story?  Advice to handle this situation, if say/do anything at all?
Being the bigger person means only responding from a place of love in kindness.  But honestly, I'm tired of being the bigger person.

Re: Dysfunctional Family Member

  • Don't borrow trouble. If you would like her to come send her an invite and be done with it.
    adk19mollybarker11
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    If you want to invite her, send her an invitation and let her decline if she feels like it.  If you don't want to invite her, don't send her an invitation and consider yourself as off the hook regarding her (and even having dodged a bullet).  You are not required to be "the bigger person" by sending someone an invitation whom you don't want to attend and who is not the SO, coworker or group member, or a minor sibling of someone else you are inviting.
    SP29
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    I don't understand how cursing like a sailor equates to her being unhappy. Years ago, I did have a similar situation involving my favorite aunt, a cousin, and my grandfather's (aunt's father's) American flag from his military service and funeral. It was ugly, and I was glad I was only a bystander. Send the invitation if you would want her there, don't if you don't.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    MyNameIsNotOliveOilsMommollybarker11
  • Just stay out of it. I mean the woman sounds a little high maintenance but not dysfunctional. Leave it be. Not your fight.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    Stay out of your aunt and mother's dispute. Everything you hear is one sided, and it's really not your place to get involved at all.

    Send her an invitation and let her RSVP. If she tells you personally that she won't be attending, you only say "I'm sorry to hear that; you'll be missed." End of story. 
    Liatris2010
  • My mother's family lives in CA and we live in OH.  She has a sister who is is currently upset because my mother has possession of my grandparents wedding picture (not even the original).  In fact, she is so upset she showed up at my mother's house unannounced to feud about it.  In response my mother made her a copy.  However, the story is never ending.  Now she wants more copies and the frame.   In my opinion my aunt is not just upset about the picture, but unhappy with life in general.  My aunt does not have a close relationship with any of her siblings.  She swears like a sailor, is a bully and constantly belittling.
    Yesterday I received a phone call from my mother.  My Aunt is telling my family in CA she is not coming to my wedding because someone on her husband's side is getting married the week prior in CLE.  You would think this would be a no brainer.  I should be thinking--without her, there won't be any drama.  I have a deep suspicion she won't become because "of the picture," although it goes deeper than that.  I think she is trying to hurt my mom through me.
    Initially, I wanted to call my aunt and ask why she's re-acting this way.  If you can't come to my wedding, why not reach out to me?  I already know the answer:  she wants a reaction.  Does anyone have a similar story?  Advice to handle this situation, if say/do anything at all?
    Being the bigger person means only responding from a place of love in kindness.  But honestly, I'm tired of being the bigger person.
    Sure, I'll play.  I have an aunt we don't don't like.  She pulled herself out of our lives 20 plus years ago and we're fine with it.  Dad still requested she be invited to my sister's wedding, so she was sent an invite.  She didn't bother to RSVP.  Sister asked dad to give her a call and ask if she'd be attending.  She said no.  Fine.  Nobody cares.  Thanks for the info.  But then at grandpa's funeral, she starts railing about something to my dad and starts a sentence, "And your damn daughter's wedding..." and changes her mind about completing the sentence.  All conversation participants walk away to cool off.  I WILL NOT be inviting this woman to my wedding.  She can suck a dick if she thinks she's going to create drama about not being invited too.  Mostly because I just don't give a shit.  And my dad has written her off as well.  So really, the only person I care about who will be hurt by this non-invitation is Grandma, and her short term memory is shot, so she won't even remember that I'm getting married let alone who is invited.

    Sharing an ancestor does not entitle anyone to an invitation to your wedding.  Nor does it entitle your aunt to items that belong to your mother.  This works best if you just really don't care what this woman thinks of you.
    SP29OliveOilsMom
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    If you want to invite her, send her an invitation and wait for her RSVP as per any other invited guest. I wouldn't go by word of mouth, passed from one person to the next in the heat of the moment.

    If she does not respond by the RSVP date, then you can call her up and ask if she is attending or not. If she happens to be ignoring you, you can leave her a message, "I need to know if you are coming or not by X date. If I haven't heard by then, I will assume the answer is no". You are then done with it.

    Do not ask her why she isn't coming. She isn't required to come to your wedding, she can decline for any reason she wants. Even if it is over the picture, leave it- not your barrel of monkeys!

    If you haven't sent invitations yet- do YOU want her there? If so, send her one (regardless if she has already said she isn't coming- again, heat of the moment stuff). If not, don't invite her.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    If there is anything to do, it is to tell your mom that if aunt has any questions about the wedding, she could direct aunt to you.  That way your mom doesn't have to deal with her.  I'd also offer mom some suggestions on how to handle aunt.

    Aunt wants picture frame:  "I'm sorry Silvia, but the picture frame is mine and I will not be giving it up.  I know you don't like that answer, but it is a final answer.  So no need to keep bringing it up.  Now, how is the weather where you are today?  It's raining here."

    Aunt can't attend your wedding: "Oh, Silvia, I'm sorry you won't be able to attend DD's wedding.  I hope you have fun at BIL's family wedding the week before."

    If Aunt wants the reaction, your mom should stop giving her an opportunity to make the reaction.  Hopefully after a while, aunt will stop trying for the reaction because she knows it won't work. 

    JediElizabethadk19
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2015
    My mother's family lives in CA and we live in OH.  She has a sister who is is currently upset because my mother has possession of my grandparents wedding picture (not even the original).  In fact, she is so upset she showed up at my mother's house unannounced to feud about it.  In response my mother made her a copy.  However, the story is never ending.  Now she wants more copies and the frame.   In my opinion my aunt is not just upset about the picture, but unhappy with life in general.  My aunt does not have a close relationship with any of her siblings.  She swears like a sailor, is a bully and constantly belittling.
    Yesterday I received a phone call from my mother.  My Aunt is telling my family in CA she is not coming to my wedding because someone on her husband's side is getting married the week prior in CLE.  You would think this would be a no brainer.  I should be thinking--without her, there won't be any drama.  I have a deep suspicion she won't become because "of the picture," although it goes deeper than that.  I think she is trying to hurt my mom through me.
    Initially, I wanted to call my aunt and ask why she's re-acting this way.  If you can't come to my wedding, why not reach out to me?  I already know the answer:  she wants a reaction.  Does anyone have a similar story?  Advice to handle this situation, if say/do anything at all?
    Being the bigger person means only responding from a place of love in kindness.  But honestly, I'm tired of being the bigger person.
    1.  You invited your aunt to your wedding.  (You did send her one?)
    2.  Your aunt has not formally responded to your invitation yet.
    3.  Your mother has received a possibly third hand rumor that your aunt will not be coming.  This is a rumor only.
    4.  Your aunt does not need to give a reason if she declines to attend your wedding.  Your wedding invitation is not a court summons.  She does not have to explain why she won't be attending, and it would be rude of you to ask.
    5.  If your invitations have not gone out yet, then this should not even be a problem.
    6.  Your Mom is a big girl, and she can take care of herself.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    adk19
  • 1.  Wedding invitations haven't even been sent.  She is just telling other family members she doesn't plan on attending.
    2.  I plan on inviting her no matter the circumstance.
    3.  If she declines, I do not plan on asking her why.  I know the reason

    I originally posted this as an avenue to to express my frustrations.  Thanks for listening.
    adk19
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