There have been some tensions between our two families; we're not close but we are cordial. My husband and his brother are in business together.
My husband asked his brother if our children (plus one spouse) would be invited to the wedding. His brother said that they had to draw the line on guests and eliminate cousins.
The bride only has two first cousins — my children! In fact, we are the only relatives on his side of the family.
We are expected to pay for our own travel and lodging, so my brother-in-law's "draw the line" excuse makes no sense. It would only cost him three additional meals.
He said that we will all be invited to a local after-the-wedding reception.
My husband and I will not attend the wedding because our children were excluded.
Should we tell them why we are choosing not to attend? Even if they changed their minds regarding inviting my children, I wouldn't attend!
The damage has been done. My children have told me that they feel excluded.
Are we wrong to not attend the local reception, also? If my children are not important enough to invite to the actual wedding, but important enough to invite to the local reception, what kind of a message is that sending us? I feel like it's just a gift grab.
Furious: I can certainly see why there is tension between your two families.
Congratulations! Your behavior now guarantees to keep that going, probably through to another generation.
It is not your job to make a head count of this other couple’s wedding party in order to declare who should be included.
Nor is it necessary for you to advocate for your adult children. As adults, they can express themselves to their cousin.
If you don’t want to go to this wedding (you declare that you won’t go under any circumstances), then cordially decline the invitation without conditions.
I can’t imagine why you would also turn down the opportunity to congratulate the couple at a local reception (at no cost or inconvenience to you) — other than to continue to punish these relatives. They are likely hosting a local reception in order to include people they weren’t able to include (for example, first cousins) in their destination wedding.
I can’t comment on your relative’s behavior, but yours seems particularly petty. It is definitely not “cordial.”
Dear Amy: Several months ago, I had a conversation with my husband about a girlfriend of ours. We go out as couples on occasion.
He referred to her as "a little hottie."
I was instantly crushed. I said something like, "What about me?"
He replied: "We aren't talking about you."
I embarrassed myself by trying to pull a compliment from him, but I was not successful. My self-confidence is now shattered.
We have been married for 40 years and have always enjoyed a good romantic relationship, but it is hard for me to be truly open anymore. How can I put this behind me?
Crushed: I don’t think of “a little hottie” as necessarily high praise, but you were there, you caught the context, and I can’t tell you how to feel about it.
However, your husband does not deserve to be the holder and preserver of your self-confidence. Take it back!
You don’t say whether you’ve discussed this with him, but you should — say, the next time he wants to be “romantic” with you. You can say, “Pal, I love you but you’ve really got to up your game. If you want to romance me, then you’re going to have to find the words to let me know that you still find me attractive.”
Dear Amy: I have a friend with a high-level job.
When we would be out for lunch on a weekend, she was constantly checking her work emails and text messages.
One day I said, "You must have some really important work to take care of today, why don't we cut our lunch short and get together again when you're not so busy."
She put her phone away and the issue never occurred again.
Pam: Problem solved. I wish this sort of discreet and polite admonition worked on everyone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.