Post # 1
This is long, so I apologize in advance. About 2 yrs ago my cousin got engaged. She and her fiance planed to hold their wedding at an out of state location, that is about 8 hrs from my familly. My family and I received save the dates as well as invites. However, I’m in the middle of my PhD program and her wedding is during my finals week. I RSVP that me and my Fiance could not attend, and sent them warm wishes for a happy life together.
My aunt recieves my RSVP and goes to my grandmother and FREAKS OUT. This prompst a flury of phone calls, and very heated conversations. My grandmother asks that I call my aunt, and discuss things with her.
When I call my aunt, I get verbally berated. She says some very harsh words about how poorly my parents raised my sisters and I, and that we have no class since we are not attending my cousin’s wedding. She then adds we got Save The Dates, and I should have moved my finals, (which I find to be totally laughable, as my professors who are some of the leading researchers in my field, would have looked at me and been like, um yeah, do you really think we’ll do that). She continues on to tell me how horribly upset I made my cousin, (who I haven’t spoken to in 3 yrs) and that my uncle will never speak to my mother again (they did not really speak to begin with, normally it was only regarding the care of their parents). She continues on with how, our grandparents are old and frail, and this is probably the last time we will all be together for an event and able to get a picture. She then follows up with this. "I hope that when you and your sister are planning your weddings, that our grandparents are <span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”color: #ff0000″><span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-weight: bold”>DEAD, so that we (my sister and I) can experience the disappointment my cousin is feeling."
She follows up with a phone call the following morning where she ‘apologizes’ for her tone. And that shes’ hurt.
At this point, I feel like I can’t forgive her. That her ‘apology’ just isn’t enough. I feel like she finally admitted how she feels about me and my family. And I just can’t let that go. I’m so massivey hurt. And while I understand there will be disappointment that my family (will not be there) she was way out of line. Our families aren’t close, but I know I will see them when my grandparents pass. So I don’t know what to do. I feel that I handled the situation the best I could (not firing back, allowing her to berate me,) but do not plan on having any further contact with them, (which my parents support), I want her to know that her apology just doesn’t cut it but I feel like there is no point. So how would you have handled this situation?
Post # 3
I’m all about preserving the family unit and all, but seriously??!! It sounds like the woman is seriously imbalanced. She was classically abusive. She was verbally and emotionally abusive to you, calmed down, probably felt guilty, and said that she was sorry. The problem is, she’s not sorry for how she made you feel. She’s sorry she looked like an ass. It was still all about her.
Take the high road. Tell her you’re sorry she feels the way that she does and end the conversation. Don’t worry about talking about it further. You handled it like a lady. If at some point in the future the woman comes to you and seems to be sincerely sorry and has demonstrated sane behavior you can reevaluate then. Until then, stay away from her, she’s poisonous.
I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this, just remember, the fact that she’s obviously bent is in no way your fault. You didn’t cause it and you can’t prevent it. If anything you should feel badly for the rest of the family that actually does see her more often.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 4
I had a similar thing happen to me, but it was for a family reunion instead of a wedding. This was over 4 years ago and I chose to ignore the comments and just let those who I am close to know that I really had no choice. To make a long story short, it has been made very clear to me that I am the only one in the family that didn’t attend. So, when I had my wedding in August and some family members chose not to come to my wedding I knew why, and I realized that it didn’t matter. If they are really so petty hold a grudge 4 years later, that is their problem. The family that I love and am close to were all at my wedding; the petty side of the family that bitches about everything wasnt’; it worked out great!
Post # 5
Well done for not going down to her level. If YOU want to, talk to your COUSIN!!! NOT YOUR AUNT afterall it is HER wedding! LOL! Just explain that you’re extremely sorry that you are unable to attend, and that whilst you have had to RSVP unable to come, that you would like to help, be there for her should she so require in so far as your course allows. OR that you could see her after her honeymoon, and have a little welcome home thing with her and her husband. If there is further demoralising behaviour then thats their problem…Your a very intellegent lady by the sounds of it, and it would seem that your Aunt and Cousin still need a little bit of maturing to do. Although to be honest, they could just be ignorant of what it is you do and the limitations it places on your personal freedom.
Post # 6
Interesting that your aunt wants you to care about everyone else’s feelings, yet she’s not the least bit concerned about YOURS!!
It sounds like you definitely took the high road on this one. I agree with andriab, your aunt’s behavior was very abusive and spiteful. I think keeping your distance is definitely the safest bet…unless your aunt decides to SINCERELY apologize at some point in the future. Good luck!
Post # 7
Thanks so much ladies for your insight.
andriab — your point about her being sorry she made an idiot of herself is so 100% right on. Thank you.
Calicoteach, honeypants, & MrsDS– thank you so much for your insight.
I do feel that i handled things in teh best way possible.
Post # 8
I had a similar situation with an aunt. The first time she did that kind of thing to me I let it go- it was brought up by a death in the family (not a wedding). Then at my wedding she make a huge scene and spectacle in the parking lot as all the guests were gathering for brunch by turning her venom on another aunt.
After that I wrote her off. I haven’t contacted her since the wedding (6 months ago) and she hasn’t contacted me.
My family had been close, but her behavior was really the last straw for me. I pretty much have no use for her.
I will continue to be civil and take part in family gatherings and such, but I’m not making any effort to reconcile with her. If it weren’t my love for my uncle and cousins (her husband and children) I would probably have it out with her. But for the sake of my relationship with them, I’m holding my tongue.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and I agree that your aunt was totally out of line.
Post # 9
I’m so sorry. What is it about Weddings that seems to bring out the very best… and the very worst in people? It sounds like your Aunt definitely overreacted. And while her words may seem unforgiveable, it is fair to realize that most of the things people say when they are upset like that are aimed to HURT and these things are not usually a genuine reflection of how people really feel.
That said, it sounds like this overreaction was a long time coming. Based on other things you say, it seems a fair observation to say that she has been looking for an excuse to do just that. You clearly handled the outburst with class and dignity, and I hope you can soon put this behind you.
Post # 10
Wow, just wow! If someone wished my grandparents dead for my wedding, not sure if I could ever forgive them. I think the best is to not let this crazy person, who your family obviously hasn’t been very close to for a while (apparently with good reason) not weigh on your mind too much. There is a point after which there is very little you can do.
That said, it might be worth reaching out to your cousin. You have no idea whether she’s actually upset or even aware of her mother’s behavior, so if that relationship is important to you it might be worthwhile.
And, FWIW, the issue of your grandparents seeing everyone together may have some merit. You might also consider making that happen however you can if you think it will matter to them (and it matters to you). But seriously, w.r.t. your aunt, it’s really not clear to me that much good will come of further trying to reach out to her.
Post # 11
I completly agree with you. I would not be able to forgive her. She showed her true colors in that phone call to you. That behavior is unforgivable.
You should reach out to your cousin though. She may have nothing to do with how her mother is acting and may be horrified. You should reach out to her and she is she acts a little more classy than her mother
Geez! I am sorry. Family can give us suck pain sometimes
Post # 12
All I can say is WOW! You were def the bigger person here, I would of hung up on her once she started with the insulting statments. It’s always shocking to hear stories like this, I mean, yes my wedding is important TO ME. But I don’t expect it to be everyone in my extended families number one priority, esp cousins!
Hopefully your cousin isn’t like her mother, and if you think she is, I would just suggest writing your cousin a quick note to avoid any more confrontations, vs. calling her.
Stick to your guns, school (esp your finals) is more important then your extended families wedding. Good Luck to you!
Post # 13
Rosy chicklet – sorry to hear about how your aunt acted at your wedding. Sometimes I think holding your tounge is the toughest thing.
Missrain — I couldn’t agree more. Weddings bring out the worst in people. I totally agree that this outburst was a long time coming.
FizicsGirl– I think the thing that I’m struggling the most with is that there isn’t really anything else I can do. I feel badly about my grandparents not seeing us all together.
Spraguebride — thanks for the support.
AnnieAAA- I have no idea what the deal would be with my cousin since I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 yrs.
Here is an update — My grandmother called me asking me to move my finals, (since my uncle called her and stressed that my younger cousin who is the sister of the bride- had hers moved). I tried explaining that I am unable to get my finals moved for my extended family’s wedding. My grandmother wants me to call my uncle and ‘speak nicely to him’ about this situation. I reminded her when I attempted that, I got verbally attacked by my aunt. And that after the words she said to me, I have no intention of going to this wedding, able to go or not, and that what my aunt said was beyond hurtful and her ‘attempted’ apology just doesn’t cut it.
So, now my grandmother is mad at me, because I refuse to tell her what my aunt said (bc it will only hurt her) and I just want this whole thing to be over with. As my sister put it, why is this still going on if they want nothing to do with us.
I love my family (parents, sisters, grandparents) dearly, but for the love of all things holy, lets just let things go. I’m not going, and if I was I’m not welcome. Argh why is it with family there is always so much drama!!
thank you all for your insight. it really means alot.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2009 - Red Fish Grill
I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. I don’t know what it is about weddings that brings out the crazy in some people, but they do.
I’ve been experiencing similar pain due to the crumbling of part of my own extended family, which I never imagined could happen. I know that absolutely no good can come from communicating with my aunt, so I’ve decided simply not to.
As hard as it must have been to not expose your aunt’s vile words, you did the right thing in protecting your grandmother’s feelings. She is blessed to have you as her granddaughter! I hope that you will soon be able to put this situation behind you.
Post # 15
Geez, I am so sorry all this is going on. I think you are right not to tell your grandmother what your aunt said (is she your grandmother’s daughter? wishing her dead?? oh dear!).
Could you, would you feel comfortable, or have you — told them that you tried to move your finals and it’s impossible? Do they see merit in your studies? I ask because some of my extended family & older family put more worth on marriage than education; they never expected me to support myself. To this day, I only have 1 other female cousin who is not a stay-at-home mom. They didn’t support my choice to work.
Have you been able to ask your cousin to intervene yet?
Even if your grandmother wants to see all your family together, you can visit her yourself or else suggest another time people get together. We used to always meet, almost like a family reunion, at my grandmother’s birthday. Now that she has died, I have rarely seen some of my extended family.
I know I wrote a lot about me, but I feel for you — really — although my situation is nowhere near as tense. I’m getting it from both sides, attending a cousin’s wedding and an aunt threatening not to come to my own. ((hugs))