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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Mar 22, 2013
DEAR AMY: My brother and his wife announced right after Christmas that they were getting a divorce. The split was ... not the greatest (he cheated).

They are able to communicate occasionally now, but they are far from friends. My sister-in-law has become a good friend of mine and was supposed to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. Now she is no longer going to be a bridesmaid.

I have spoken to my brother about my intention to still have her come to the wedding as a guest if she's willing, and he has said he is totally fine with this.

Now my brother has told the family that he has someone new in his life who he thinks is going to be around for a long time.

My fiance and I haven't sent the wedding invitations out yet, but I'm not inclined to invite the new girlfriend. However, if they are going to be serious, I don't want to start off another possible family relationship on the wrong foot.

If I do invite her, I know my sister-in-law would not come, and that would make me sad. I haven't talked about this to any of the family yet, but I wanted to see what you think.-- Anxious

DEAR ANXIOUS: I'm assuming your brother's prospective wedding date is also the woman with whom he cheated on his wife. Your sister-in-law knows that he is your brother and that to some extent you are stuck with some of the choices he makes in his life.

Your brother should create an opportunity for you to meet his date well before your wedding. The basic protocol is to invite people in serious and/or long-term relationships to attend your wedding along with the primary guest.

You should be honest with your sister-in-law and tell her your brother is bringing a date. Encourage her to also bring a date. She may choose not to attend, due to her own discomfort, but make sure she knows that you hope to maintain a friendship with her, regardless of what your brother does.

DEAR AMY: My husband has been diagnosed with cancer. We have children and grandchildren to worry about. We are a family made up of individuals who need to stay strong and fighting for my husband's health, but the added stress of trying to make others feel better is draining.

Please let people know that we need their strength and help instead of depression, pity and anxiety. My advice to others is that when you know people who are not religious are facing something like this, please don't try to pull them into your life in that way.

Pray for us as you must, but please, don't make us feel bad because we don't believe in that. Give your love and support without strings -- because we need it.-- Struggling

DEAR STRUGGLING: I am so sorry your family is going through this. I know exactly what you are talking about in terms of comforting others; this is a familiar experience for any family going through trauma. Sometimes declarations from other people that they will pray for you are confusing; if you are not religious, it can seem intrusive or like an affront.

But you are going to have to learn to let go of this (and many other things). Let it go.

If it's possible, assign a family member (or very close friend) to be the family's ambassador. Let one of your savvy grandkids set up and maintain a web page, email chain or (phone tree) where you can easily update people -- if you want to.

I highly recommend caringbridge.org as a great resource; you can point people toward this website and they will find concrete ways to help.

DEAR AMY: The letter from "Enabling" really hit home with me. This kindly woman was wondering how to help her sister, who was locked into a troubled marriage with an alcoholic.

Amy, I wish you had recommended Al-anon. Both sisters could benefit from meeting other people who feel their pain.-- Been There

DEAR BEEN THERE: I frequently recommend Al-anon and am happy to do so again.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 Mar 22, 2013
1- Why are you creating drama? Invite whoever, they choose not to show up, it's on them, not you. People way over-think things sometimes.

2- Screw you, lady. If you're gonna get all offended because someone says "I'll keep you in my prayers" then you need to pull the dam stick out.

3- I have never seen the point of al-anon and never will.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Mar 22, 2013
1 I dont think the new GF is the woman he cheated with. She probably dumped him when she realized she would be stuck with him. But your SIL an escort for your wedding, problem solved.

2 Are you mad because they say they will pray for you or are you mad because they are trying to get you to pray. Makes a huge diff.

3 Nope, I am a sieve brain, I just cant recall amby ever recommending al-anon or AA or one of their clever little books. So, news to me

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- Why are you creating drama? Invite whoever, they choose not to show up, it's on them, not you. People way over-think things sometimes.
2- Screw you, lady. If you're gonna get all offended because someone says "I'll keep you in my prayers" then you need to pull the dam stick out.
3- I have never seen the point of al-anon and never will.
L1: I agree. Is her relationship with the ex so string and her relationship with the brother so poor that she would consider the ex's feelings over her brother's?

LW2: You're reading it wrong. She's got no problem with people praying for them. She said so. She just does not want to have people try to pull her into their religion. I interpret that to mean people are trying to get HER to join in prayer or come to church with them to pray. Basically, somehow trying to get her to actively participate in their religion.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Mar 22, 2013
RACE wrote:
2 Are you mad because they say they will pray for you
I don't think so.
"Pray for us as you must,"
RACE wrote:
or are you mad because they are trying to get you to pray. Makes a huge diff.
I think THIS.
"but please, don't make us feel bad because we don't believe in that."

Sounds like she's saying go ahead and pray, but I'm not going to join in, so please don't try to make me feel bad for not participating in your religious custom.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Mar 22, 2013
L1. Warn your SIL that your brother is bringing the woman he cheated with, so she can opt to stay home.

L2: Do you think that, just maybe, you could have given an example of what you're complaining about? By the way, the only person who can "fight" for your husband's health is him. What the heck are you expecting everybody else to do, anyway?

I disagree with Amy's comment about what caringbridge.org is about. It's more of a way for a family with a sick or dying loved one to share information all at once with everybody, rather than have to call/email/talk with numerous people in various situations.

L3: WHo hasn't heard of Al-Anon after all these years?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Mar 22, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
L1: I agree. Is her relationship with the ex so string and her relationship with the brother so poor that she would consider the ex's feelings over her brother's?
LW2: You're reading it wrong. She's got no problem with people praying for them. She said so. She just does not want to have people try to pull her into their religion. I interpret that to mean people are trying to get HER to join in prayer or come to church with them to pray. Basically, somehow trying to get her to actively participate in their religion.
I was thinking it was likely that religious friends were trying to get them to all pray together, "let's do a prayer circle around bob," etc.

No way would I do that.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Mar 22, 2013
LW1: Just stay the f’ out of it. Let your brother bring a date. If his ex gets pis$ed and doesn’t show up, that’s on her. And don’t say anything to the ex-wife about who he is taking … it’s none of her business.
Also Amy, that’s the basic protocol if you are cheap. We invited people and said and guest if we didn’t know whether they had a SO. Unlike you, it’s important to some people that their guests also have a good time at their wedding.

LW2: Why are you asking Amy to let people know this? Why don’t you tell them yourself?

LW3: Of course! We all know talking about shyte to 3rd parties who have nothing to do with the underlying problem makes the underlying problem go away or better….

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#9 Mar 22, 2013
LW1 - You send invitations marked +guest to both of them and then let them be adults all by themselves. You are stirring a pot that should be left alone.
LW2 - If someone offers a prayer circle for him (whatever it is called), just say thank you. It is no skin off your nose if someone prays for your relative.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#10 Mar 22, 2013
L1: Do you even realize that you're going to be so busy that day that you'd be lucky to get 5 minutes to talk to your SIL? I'd say invite her, but if she doesn't go, that's cool, and invite her out to coffee after the wedding and continue to be her friend.

L2: Um, what? Why is this even a stressor? Somebody says "I'm praying for Bob.", you say "Thank you." and move along.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#11 Mar 22, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW2: You're reading it wrong. She's got no problem with people praying for them. She said so.
I don't think so. Again, she never gave an actual example of what exactly her problem is, but a common thread among atheists is they are highly offended by the slightest hint of religion. I can't understand why.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#12 Mar 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
No way would I do that.
And what is the dam harm?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Mar 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
And what is the dam harm?
No harm. But would you be comfortable if your Muslim co-worker came to visit your mom in the hospital and brought a few friends, and they set their prayer mats down on the floor, then knelt facing mecca while they prayed to Allah for her?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 Mar 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I was thinking it was likely that religious friends were trying to get them to all pray together, "let's do a prayer circle around bob," etc.
No way would I do that.
I had a good friend who developed brain cancer a couple years ago. I had never asked about his religious back ground but it turned out her was brought up Christian Scientist. The last time I saw him alive he had a rosary . Clearly he was able to accept any help that was offered but not everyone can.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#15 Mar 22, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>No harm. But would you be comfortable if your Muslim co-worker came to visit your mom in the hospital and brought a few friends, and they set their prayer mats down on the floor, then knelt facing mecca while they prayed to Allah for her?
If my mom didn't object, I would just keep out of it. But if teh group tried to get her or me to come to teh mosque on Friday, the answer is, no , but thanks for the the prayers.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#16 Mar 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
And what is the dam harm?
The goal of praying for someone is to ease their suffering or give some comfort. If the person being prayed for (or their family to some extent) is made uncomforable or even anxious by these prayers, then harm is being done and the prayers are having the opposite of the desired effect.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#17 Mar 22, 2013
LW1: Wedding drama, don't care.

LW2: I would try not to get worked up about the passive praying; you know their hearts are in the right place. But give a firm no to the folks that are trying to get you to actively participate.

LW3: I wonder if Amy gets kick-back's from AA...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#18 Mar 22, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>No harm. But would you be comfortable if your Muslim co-worker came to visit your mom in the hospital and brought a few friends, and they set their prayer mats down on the floor, then knelt facing mecca while they prayed to Allah for her?
Wouldn't bother me in the least.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#19 Mar 22, 2013
squishymama wrote:
If the person being prayed for (or their family to some extent) is made uncomforable or even anxious by these prayers...
And therin is my question. Why the hell is someone praying causing YOU anxiety and uncomfortableness?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#20 Mar 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I was thinking it was likely that religious friends were trying to get them to all pray together, "let's do a prayer circle around bob," etc.
No way would I do that.
Yanno, I felt the same way. Then I was in the hospital room with my MIL when her father died.(I was actually holding his hand - very weird) And of course the Episcopals have some prayer for that occasion and she asked if we (me, Dickie and a couple of nurses) would read it with her.

I did my best to fully participate because I knew it mattered to *her* and it was the least I could do. I mumbled through the parts about jesus like I usually do, but I got fully behind the stuff about the spirit.

But I only did it to support her; if it had been anyone else, I probably would have said no.

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