Question: Dear Luise: I am very sad. It is the next day after my son’s wedding. We have really grown to love our new daughter-in-law. However, it was truly evident that the wedding and the wedding reception was truly about her and her family. None of her family even talked to us. My own son hardly paid any attention to us. It was all about his “other family”. Our families were clearly divided–they on one side of the room, us on the other. We paid for quite a bit of the wedding. When I paid for the rest of the DJ last night, my son and his bride were there and my son said something to me (the first time all night) and I responded with “Yes, I am only the lady with the checkbook.” How do I respond to everything that has gone on? It was truly hurtful and my husband and I feel that we were only invited along for any of this just for our money. My heart is truly broken and I feel that I have lost a son–not gained a daughter. Please help. B.
Answer: Dear B.: Weddings are about weddings and life is about life. I don’t know what comes over people but the thing sometimes becomes a huge production and no one seems to matter except the bride. Courtesies fall by the wayside and “wedding-fever” takes over.
You have every right to feel deeply hurt but/and that’s not going to help much. What’s going to help is just waiting to see how it all shakes out. You will get a chance to be there for them beyond your checkbook as the days, months and years go by.
When you can, forgive them for their selfish egotism and thoughtless slights and wait for them to grow up. They will. Be an example to them of how adulthood looks, close up. They are going to need role models and they may not be able to find any in the bride’s family.
In the meantime, do something for yourselves. I’m serious. Take a cruise to Alaska and don’t send any postcards or an African photo-shoot safari or a trip down the Amazon. Enjoy each other and turn away from hurt feelings. Seek new adventures that make your hearts sing. Allow a healing to occur. You have each other…revel in that. People, and that includes family members, do what they do. You have no control over that. What you do next, however, comes under your own jurisdiction. Have some fun! You’ve earned it! Blessings, Luise