Wedding Woes
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This isn't about you, so there's nothing you can do.

Dear Prudence,

My daughter was recently married to her long-term partner and the wedding went very well—she was the first wedding in the family and we got along well with our new son-in-law. However, in the run up to her wedding, some friction started between my daughter and my son’s girlfriend (which to my knowledge had not previously existed). For example, my daughter didn’t invite his girlfriend to her hen do—and my son contacted her to say that his girlfriend was very angry about this. My daughter’s reasoning was that she wanted to keep her hen do to her very close friends (some of whom live abroad and who she hadn’t been able to see in years), and that this wasn’t meant to be a snub of his girlfriend. she even reached out to his girlfriend to explain the point delicately, but this just resulted in tears (or so I’m told).

The big issue arose on my daughter’s wedding day. According to reports from family and friends (and my daughter and son-in-law), my son’s girlfriend was rude about the couple on the day to anyone who would listen and behaved quite boorishly. She was also dressed quite provocatively (to the extent that even my own friends pointed this out on the day, as well as the groom’s parents), though I admit it is tough for me to judge what is considered appropriate for their generation. This has all resulted in my daughter and son-in-law distancing themselves from my son’s girlfriend. Apparently, no apology has been offered by my son or his girlfriend.

What would you suggest I do? Until my daughter’s wedding, everyone got along—my daughter and son were very close growing up and were up until this wedding. I just want them to be friends again and don’t want a rift to be created, but my daughter is remaining stubborn and refusing to speak to my son (or his girlfriend, who she blames primarily for the behavior). I also don’t want to say anything to my son about his girlfriend, as what if he ends up marrying her, and then I’ve tainted the relationship with my future daughter-and-law? How do we go back to how things were before?

—Caught in a Rift

Re: This isn't about you, so there's nothing you can do.

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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I’d just try to balance being a listening ear while also not taking sides (you don’t want to alienate your son). The wedding is in the past so pre wedding parties, behavior at a wedding (does “boorishly” mean racist and abusive? Or like obnoxious?) and clothing choices (which yeah don’t judge that) are in the past too.  Trying to fast forward myself twenty years to my own kids being adults, I hope they’re close to each other but there’s not much LW can really actively do here. 
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    This is between your daughter and son, so stay out of the middle the best you can. Encourage them to talk it out but don’t take sides. Be polite when the girlfriend is around but this is for your adult children to figure out. 
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    No one said being Switzerland was easy, but at this point if *you*, LW, want to maintain a decent, on speaking terms, relationship with your daughter and son, don't enter this fray.   If they bring you problems, you have to be all, "I can see how that made you feel..." without casting someone as 'right' or 'wrong'.  

    I do think if the inappropriate comments are brought up, you can take a stand.  That is rude and an awful thing to do at someone's event where they're hosting you.  And you don't even have to be bitchy or cast blame...Just, "I've heard from others what Mindy said during Kate and Josh's wedding and it wasn't kind. I can see how it is upsetting to Kate and Josh.  If she was saying all of those things, then it wasn't very nice of her do so during their wedding."  That's objectively true. If she couldn't keep her thoughts/feelings to herself, then she shouldn't have attended. 

    Maybe they will break-up and then you don't have to worry about it any longer? 
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    short+sassyshort+sassy member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited June 20
    I suspect the daughter and son will come around, in time.  Things are still fresh right now.  It's understandable the daughter and her new husband don't want to be in contact with someone that was bad-mouthing them at their own wedding!  And the brother who let his g/f do that.

    I know it's tempting for the LW to want to meddle because it's two of the people they love most in the world, but they need to stay out of it and let their children handle their own sibling relationship.
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