“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Mar 15, 2014
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for many years and have two 20-something daughters.

Daughter No. 1 had been living on her own for several years but moved home a few months ago to make some life changes (new career, new relationship) and save money.

Daughter No. 2 moved out a few months ago but recently quit her job and began a new one that she doesn't like. She does not get along with her roommate and now feels that she would like to go to college.

One option is for her to move home, get a job and attend school. Neither daughter is comfortable discussing their lives with their father, which makes everything that much more difficult, and they have conflicts with each other and each other's boyfriends.

Each daughter comes to me with her issues and wants me to take sides, and then gets annoyed when I try to see the big picture and make it all work for everyone.

These latest developments are going to be a big headache, and I'm not sure how to deal with things. Sometimes I feel like moving out!

Any advice you can send my way? Overwhelmed Mom

Dear Mom: The next time one of these adults comes to you with a life problem, you should ask yourself, "What does this really have to do with me?"

For instance: Daughter No. 1 wants to start a new career and a new relationship and save some money. Daughter No. 2 doesn't like her job or her roommate. Each daughter lays her problems at your feet.

You say, "That sounds like a challenge. You'll have to figure it out." The solution to their problems should not involve you.

I conclude that the reason these adults are (relatively) low-functioning is because you have been functioning for them. The reason they are combative with each other is because you pre-empt, mediate and/or fight their battles for them. They bounce back into their childhood bedrooms because you shoulder some of the consequences for their choices (i.e. support them financially when they want to leave a job and/or don't like their roommate). They don't confide in their father because they know they can't play him.

If you want more of this, then keep doing what you are doing. If you want it to end, see if you are brave enough to watch your daughters flounder for a while without you leaping in to supply all the answers.

Dear Amy: Recently my only sister's mother-in-law died after a long illness.

I immediately asked my sister for details of a service. She told me the funeral would only be for members of the immediate family, and I was not included.

Amy, this is a woman who has been in our family for more than 30 years, a frequent guest at my home. She is someone I enjoyed and laughed with for many years. Am I wrong to feel slighted? I am dumbstruck by my exclusion.

I have since learned that there was a priest at the funeral parlor and a graveside ceremony.

I'm at a loss. I can't imagine that the family (who share holidays with me) would not have wanted me there. Shouldn't my sister have been in my corner?

The woman is gone and I can pay respects on my own, but I still have an unhappy memory mixed in with my wonderful memories of her. Sad Brother

Dear Brother: You might have received a different answer if you had expressed your condolences directly to your brother-in-law and asked him about services. As it stands, you should write to him now (without mentioning your hurt feelings about the service), expressing your positive memories and sadness at his mother's passing. This will help you to feel better.

If you feel slighted by your sister, you should tell her.

Dear Amy: The question from "Puzzled" really got to me. She was holding a grudge because the child of one of her friends hadn't invited her to her wedding.

Oh, I forgot: a wedding is not about a bride and groom, but about the friends of the parents of the bride and groom.

Sheesh! Annoyed

Dear Annoyed: Sheesh is right! Well said.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Mar 15, 2014
L1 The advice is good, but carrying it out will involve a major shift in family roles with all sorts of unexpected consequences and will be tough to pull off.

L2 Here is a clue. This is not all about you. And, including a priest at a graveside service does not mean that any more than the immediate family was present.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#3 Mar 15, 2014
Agree with PEllen on LW1. Also, if LW1's husband will sing the same
tune,("You can handle it, honey"), that could give LW1 some relief.

What is stopping LW2 from posting his own loving tribute to this lady?

Hancock, NY

#4 Mar 15, 2014
1: I agree with Amy and PEllen but would add that the lw should insist that her husband be included in any discussions. I completely agree with Amy's comment: "They don't confide in their father because they know they can't play him." The lw has crippled her daughter's personal growth to maturity by handling all their problems for them. It's time they grew up; she needs to back off and let them do it.

2: I really don't see the problem. I suspect it has more to do with the lw having his feelings hurt by not being included. So what? You don't need to attend a funeral service to pay your respects to the deceased. You do what Amy suggests and send your condolences to your b-i-l and his siblings. I would assume that if you weren't invited, no one else other than close family was either. You are only a family connection, not direct family. That said, I don't fully understand why "regular" folks limit attendance at funerals. I've been to several funerals which were poorly attended and the family would have welcomed total strangers just to have more people in attendance.

3: I see a distinct similarity between lw 2 and the original lw referred to in #3. People just seem they can decide to hold grudges because they aren't invited to events they feel they should have.

Plant City, FL

#5 Mar 15, 2014
2: Weird to limit it (not like a wedding banquet) but hey, it's not the biggest deal.
This lw is taking it as a slight from his sister. His BIL's mom passed. It is not that strong a connection he is claiming, even if the lady came to his house.
Get over it.

Salinas, CA

#6 Mar 15, 2014
LW1: Ask daughter #1 if she has saved up enough money to move out yet, and if not, give her a time frame to do so. Daughter #2 has at least 2 other choices with regard to her new job; 1, she can stick it out for a while and try to find things to like about it, 2, she can find another job and quit this one. She can also take night or online classes to improve her job skills. With regard to her roommate, there are at least 3 alternatives to her moving back home; 1, she can try harder to get along with her current roommate, negotiating compromises, 2, she can ask her current roommate to move out and get another roommate with whom she gets along better, and 3, she can move somewhere else with or without a roommate. But Amy is right about this, you don't need to be in the middle of their disagreements or life problems. In your position, I would strongly encourage both of them to establish their own households.

LW2: Perhaps it was the wishes of the departed to have a very small, simple, private ceremony. I don't think it's wise to hold on to hurt feelings about this. Send your sister and BIL a nice card and write some of your thoughts and memories of her on the card and say that she was loved and will be missed. Then let it go.

LW3: Weddings are expensive and couples either have to trim the guest list to fit their budget or go into debt for a one-day party. Again, why hold on to hurt feelings?


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