The celebration was enjoyed by all. However, on our way back home we received a call from our son that his wife was very upset that she had not been included in the "wedding" party, and she was crying because her feelings were hurt. She had also been drinking quite a bit of Champagne and I think she may be going through menopause, and so may have been more emotional than usual.
We were all quite upset about this, as we love her very much. This really ruined the event and now we wish we hadn't had this celebration since it hurt her feelings. Unfortunately, we didn't think about how it might feel to her to see her husband and children having pictures taken as part of the wedding party without her in them.
She wouldn't answer my call, so I sent a text apology, but she basically said this is something that we can never go back and fix.
I wish we would have thought about how this would feel for her, but now it's too late. Our other son and our daughter are not married so this was a nonissue for them. I ended up writing her a letter of apology and mailing it to her, but she hasn't responded, so I guess we have to live with this for the rest of our lives.
Dear Upset: Yes, being the lone family member left out of this official celebration must have been very upsetting for your daughter-in-law (but please, leave menopause out of it).
However, at this point you are all overreacting. You made a big mistake in overlooking her. You have taken responsibility and offered a heartfelt and sincere written apology.
She is an adult, and she should find a way to accept your apology and forgive you for this mistake. Often, these global family hurts are not only about one thing, but many other things. Your daughter-in-law might have unexpressed regrets or resentments regarding other aspects of your relationship. She might also be expressing resentment or feelings of loss about her own parents.
Continue to reach out generously and expansively. Ask if she wants to discuss this further. You know from your very lengthy marriage that families go through ups and downs. Ultimately, you will all have to move on.
Dear Amy: I live overseas and my mom is having knee replacement surgery this summer.
My family and I will be in the U.S. for a short period, but not anywhere near our families (it's a work and school trip visit).
My mom asked if I could fly in to help after her surgery to give my sister a break.
While I love Mom, the extra flights along with food and lost work wages would be a financial burden.
I know if I say no my sister will never forgive me, but I do not think they realize the burden it would be. Do I just take the hit?
Ungrateful Daughter?: I don’t quite know what you mean by “taking the hit.” But if you are presented with a choice between you taking a hit (financially) and your mother taking a hit in terms of her health and wellness after surgery, then yes, you should take the hit.
You live overseas. As someone who also lived overseas for many years, I understand that the trips home are rare and also tend to be both busy and expensive.
But when your mother expressly asks you for help, you should move mountains to try to help her.
Showing up for family pays dividends that far exceed the expense and inconvenience.
Dear Amy: I was very disappointed in your answer to "Student Loan Woes." This person was out of college and worried about repaying a $30,000 loan.
First of all, that's not a huge amount. But regardless, this adult should not be pestering her mother to hand over the mother's inheritance just to get her out of debt.
Disappointed: I disagree. This is a large amount. I suggested that this student might be able to negotiate a private loan from her mother; that way at least the proceeds would stay in the family.