Ask Amy: Can I Exclude My Grandmother’s Walrus Husband From a Family Trip?

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Dear Amy: Me, my husband and my children live in a different country than most of my family.

We are planning a trip to my family’s state and would like to invite my parents and grandmothers to rent a cabin for a few nights. I don’t see my grandmothers often because they are not healthy enough to travel long distances.

I want to be able to have a great and relaxing trip with them because I worry about the amount of time left to spend with them.

I want to make happy memories with them, my parents and my children together. My grandmothers get along wonderfully and often spend time together. Both are widowers, but one of them remarried about a year ago.

Amy this guy is rude, arrogant, and makes everyone uncomfortable. We all keep our feelings to ourselves and respect him when we’re around him, but my parents and my other grandmother are not fans of this guy.

I’m afraid spending the weekend with him would be too much for everyone. His presence will likely turn that relaxing time with my family into a weekend revolving around his lectures, narcissistic antics, and drama.

Is it selfish to only want to spend this precious time with those who bring happiness? Is it wrong to invite only my grandmother and not her new, condescending husband?

How can I extend this exclusive invitation? Or is there a polite, secretive way to ask him not to make this trip undesirable?

happyYour grandmother chose to marry, and when you got married, the man you married entered your family. For better and, apparently, for worse: it exists.

It is not selfish of you to want “only happiness”, but no family can guarantee only happy experiences or happy memories. Every family has to deal with the challenges posed by their own reality.

I suggest you issue this invitation to everyone, and then do your best to manage this new family member over the weekend together.

If you establish a basic willingness to stand up to it: (“Excuse me, Steve, but I’d love to hear what my grandmother thinks…”) you might have a better time.

Dear Amy: Our daughter’s wedding abroad was first scheduled two summers ago. Families on both sides (mostly) don’t live there, so with the borders closed, the ceremony has been postponed – twice.

Now the wedding – in the month of July. We are now seeing that a number of the guests who answered the invitation to attend that they were coming the first two times now say they can’t attend. We will miss seeing them.

So here’s the question: Since we already have the sweet spot that has paid for a set number of guests, is it appropriate to invite those who “didn’t make the first guest list” to join us now?

If it’s not cliched, how can we even formulate it?

– I wonder about the wedding

I wonder: When it comes to “tacky,” I take a stand that’s probably more Dolly Parton than Emily Post.

I say, be honest, be polite, be honest – if you get stuck in a corner!

Issue your invitations. You can name this event: the third time is magic.

I don’t think it is necessary to refer to previous plans when inviting people.

If potential guests inquire: “Hello, I think you don’t have a place for me…!” Say, “The pandemic has really messed up our plans and some close family members can’t get outside this summer, so if you’re able to join us on relatively short notice, we’d love to!”

Dear Amy: “concerned sisterShe was trying to get her elderly sister to make some plans for her future.

Thank you for highlighting the need for families to discuss end-of-life issues with each other.

My mother fell into dementia before we could discuss these things. In my years caring for her, I often wish I knew what her wishes were. He would have made everything easier for me and the other family members who were trying to give her the best care.

We were so ignorant, and I still feel sorry for that difficult period.

Contrition: The situation she describes is what journalist Elaine Goodman has been grappling with through her mother’s illness and death, which inspired her to start The Conversation Project, which provides useful incentives to get families talking.

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson Distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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