Dilemma: A reader is furious with her daughter for being upset with her for leaving her off the wedding invite list
I’m in my late-fifties and have just got married for the second time. My new husband and I agreed on a low-key wedding with two friends as witnesses.
Most of our family wished us well, but my youngest daughter took umbrage at being ‘excluded’ and hasn’t spoken to me since. I am furious with her for ruining our day, but my other daughter insists I should try to build bridges.
Dawn French's advice
Okay, it’s time to drop the fury (and I appreciate how hard that is!) and bite the contrite bullet. Sometimes being a mum means making sacrifices, and saying you’ve managed something badly. Even if that isn’t perhaps the entire picture.
Remarrying is tricky; it often doesn’t just involve two people. It’s you and your family marrying him and his family. There are others in the equation, and to ignore that is perilous because not everyone will have the same feelings simultaneously.
I think it would be fab if you could persuade your daughter to meet up, just the two of you, perhaps cook her favourite supper as a peace offering, and say something like: ‘I really thought I was doing the right thing, and the last thing I would want to do is upset you. I truly apologise if I’ve done that. Had I realised how much this would hurt, I would never have done it this way, and I hope you know that.
I can only think I got caught up in the moment, and I’m really sorry. How can I make it right for you? How about if we go away for a treat weekend, you, your sister and me, all together? Come on, let’s be happy for each other.’
See what happens after that. I would be very kind and hugely understanding, however tricky it is.
Of course, if that doesn’t work, and her ‘umbrage’ persists, invite her round to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so she can witness for herself that Professor Umbridge is, in fact, a malevolent, uptight villain, as well as an admirer of Voldemort, and then perhaps offer her a mirror…?
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