Wedding Woes

Do you really miss her?

Dear Prudence,

I need advice on how to reconnect with my formerly estranged daughter. The two of us fell out badly in 2016, when I could no longer bear watching her disastrous life choices play out and she could no longer stand hearing my views on those choices. I made a lot of bad choices myself when I was younger (resulting in me being a single mother with two jobs and debt), and it was awful watching her throw away opportunities I’d worked like a dog to get for her. (For example, she turned down a scholarship to study computer science to pursue an expensive digital art qualification instead, then racked up debt moving away instead of staying home to study, work, and save.) Our biggest fallout came when she announced her engagement to “Nick,” a man with no job prospects and no ambition, who expressed that he would be content being a househusband and stay-at-home dad while my daughter essentially fully supported him.

When my daughter told me she was marrying this man with no degree but plenty of debt, I flat-out told her I would not pay for the wedding and did not approve. She screamed at me, and we did not talk again until this year, when she made contact over email to tell me she was pregnant and asked about reconnecting. I was excited about the idea and was cautiously happy about her pregnancy news since it seemed planned and she was not in the dire financial straits I had feared. When we met, however, things didn’t go well. I was shocked when I saw her: She had put on weight (far more than pregnancy weight at this stage), got a bizarre and unflattering haircut that I cannot believe her job allows, and was covered in tattoos. I said something about her looking very different, and she immediately snapped at me that if I had nothing nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. I said I didn’t appreciate her speaking to me as if I was a child. She stood up and left the cafe without touching her drink, barely two minutes after we’d sat down.

Now I am left wondering if it is worth taking another shot at reconnecting at all, since apparently, she will disappear at a hair-trigger of tension. I want to send her an email asking about what happened but have no idea what to say. I suspect she will want a groveling apology (she has demanded these in the past), which I have no intention of writing, but I do wish to speak with her and, obviously, meet my grandchild at some point! Do I owe her an apology for the surprised reaction to her appearance? If I send an email, how do I strike the balance of a placating tone, reaching out, and not over-apologizing for something extremely minor? I miss her badly, despite our difficulties.

—Brief Reconnection

Re: Do you really miss her?

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    If you miss her badly don’t start a reunion after years apart by calling her ugly
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    MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot member
    First Comment First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 25
    Oh god. You need to go hang out with the shitty wedding money daughter instead. 
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    How can someone write this whole letter and still be this completely clueless?

    She wants to reconnect with her daughter and meet her grandchild when they are born, but can't even get out of her own way for 5 minutes.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Wow with a mother like this who needs frenemies. 
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    LW feels like someone who's read 'the steps' and is thinking they're 'working' them, but in reality the only step they've done is acknowledging the problem.  And that was half-assed. 

    LW thinks they're on the 'making amends' step, but that's a LOL.  

    I know of mothers and daughters that are like this LW and their daughter.  It's always a train wreck.  Y'all are better off without each other. 
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