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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 14, 2013
DEAR AMY: My husband "Steve" has worked with "Ted" for the past 25 years, and we have socialized with him and his wife, "Joan," (just us two couples) a few times a year.

I have always considered them to be friends, and I thought the feeling was mutual. They are educated, polite and "very nice" people. My husband and I are introverts. We have no family and no other "close" friends, and mainly we are very content with our quiet life.

Our 22-year-old son died three months ago. We phoned these friends and said we would have a small and intimate memorial service at our son's favorite hiking spot two hours away. In reply, they sent us an email of condolence.

When we decided on the date for the service, I told Joan about it and said we could give them a ride if they wanted to go. A couple of days before the service my husband mentioned it to Ted, who said that they would be going camping that weekend (by themselves).

And that was all. One short email of condolence. Period. Our son's friends and colleagues attended the service, but my husband and I had no personal support.

I am unwilling to socialize with Ted and Joan any longer. Since the service, they have asked us twice to join them for drinks and dinner, but we made polite excuses, and I feel that we should continue to politely say no and end our social relationship with them.

Steve says he understands my viewpoint, agrees and will support it, but do you think I am overreacting?-- Hurting

DEAR HURTING: When it comes to a loss like you've experienced, there is no right (or wrong) way for a parent to behave.

However, at times like this, it is also common for friends and family to blunder (sometimes badly). Sometimes people are so freaked out by the enormity of this loss that they actually abandon grieving parents rather than confront their own confusion and anxiety. Your friends ran away when they should have run toward you.

Now they are reaching out and would like to resume and revive your friendship. Because you and your husband are natural introverts, you may lack the experience to realize that friendships can survive after massive disappointment, but only if both parties are honest with one another.

Even if you never want to see them again, you should explain why: "When our son died, we needed your friendship and it wasn't there. I feel very let down, and that's why I haven't wanted to spend time with you."

DEAR AMY: My sister (57 years old) has had a new boyfriend for five years. He is verbally abusive to her, and she puts up with it. He is rude, arrogant and sarcastic to all of us. And, of course, he thinks it's a joke.

It has become so uncomfortable that all of us (including her adult children) won't visit.

Both my brother and husband threaten to pop him for his behavior, so we don't go over to her house. I love my sister and I hate that we stay away, but I can't stand him. I think she stays with him because she's afraid of being alone.-- Unsigned

DEAR UNSIGNED: If a relationship has been going on for five years, it's no longer "new" -- it's a fact of life.

It's shocking that your sister would rather be abused than be alone, but she is an adult, and she has the right to make choices, even poor ones. I hope you will choose to stay in her life, even at a distance. You do not have to tolerate her abusive guy, but your emotional support could make a huge difference to her.

DEAR AMY: "Hurt Wife" was bothered by her husband wearing a ring from his previous marriage. Before their next anniversary, she should insist that "it's time to take off your old ring." No replacement ring is necessary at that time.

Removing the old ring is a symbol of his love for his current wife, and putting his past in the past.-- Paul in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

DEAR PAUL: I agree with you.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Aug 14, 2013
1 Ted and his wife are jerks. If after 25yrs of friendship you cant be there when times get tough then screw them. And amy is right, tell them exactly why and let them know you wont be around for them.

2 I say you all do the opposite. Everybody should show up and ride his azz like there is not tomorrow. Instead of him driving everyone else away, y'all drive HIM away.

3 Or just lop off his finger.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Aug 14, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 Ted and his wife are jerks. If after 25yrs of friendship you cant be there when times get tough then screw them. And amy is right, tell them exactly why and let them know you wont be around for them.
2 I say you all do the opposite. Everybody should show up and ride his azz like there is not tomorrow. Instead of him driving everyone else away, y'all drive HIM away.
3 Or just lop off his finger.
1.Yep
2.Oh Yes.
3 Messy, but it will do.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Aug 14, 2013
RACE seems to have this covered this morning.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#5 Aug 14, 2013
1- Don't transfer your grief to your only friends. Who wants to cancel a camping trip to go to a funeral of a non family member? I say cut them some slack.

2- So... you want to control her so she's not controlled by her boyfriend?

3- It's just not appropriate to wear your ring from a former marriage. ESPECIALLY if you're remarried.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Aug 14, 2013
25yrs of friendship is family. Go camping next weekend.
edogxxx wrote:
1- Don't transfer your grief to your only friends. Who wants to cancel a camping trip to go to a funeral of a non family member? I say cut them some slack.
2- So... you want to control her so she's not controlled by her boyfriend?
3- It's just not appropriate to wear your ring from a former marriage. ESPECIALLY if you're remarried.

“Colorful Beyond Words ”

Since: May 11

" Live, Laugh, Love "

#7 Aug 14, 2013
Team Race :)

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#8 Aug 14, 2013
RACE wrote:
25yrs of friendship is family. Go camping next weekend.
<quoted text>
The husbands have "worked" together for 25 years. They've gone out as couples a "few" times a year. Not what I would call a very close, family-like friendship.

And camping takes planning, maybe reservations are involved, deposits. You can't always "just go next weekend."

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#9 Aug 14, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
The husbands have "worked" together for 25 years. They've gone out as couples a "few" times a year. Not what I would call a very close, family-like friendship.
And camping takes planning, maybe reservations are involved, deposits. You can't always "just go next weekend."
I agree. The LW doesn't say that this couple is their BFFs. I do think the other couple should have shown more concern/support than just an email after having known the family for so many years, but it doesn't sound like the relationship between the two couples was vacation-cancellation level.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 14, 2013
1: There are people I've known a lot less than 25 years with whom I didn't even have a "socialize a few times a year" relationship who nevertheless put stuff on hold to support me. I would never have expected it, even from close friends, but then again,*I* never *expect* anything from anyone, but I think that's just me. The rest of the world seems to have expectations of other people. <shrug>

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#11 Aug 14, 2013
2: What RACE said. Also, I would go ahead and let the husband and brother "pop" him.

3: OMFG Married people do not wear the rings of their former spouses. You take it to a jeweler and get the stones reset into a new ring, or a necklace, or a bracelet... If it's a palin band, get it like welded to another ring or something.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Aug 14, 2013
RACE wrote:
25yrs of friendship is family. Go camping next weekend.
<quoted text>
25 years of socializing a few times a year. I have people like that in my life and they are not even close to being "family". Not saying I would skip out on their kid's funeral, but these folks don't consider themselves as close as lw does.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 Aug 14, 2013
Ltr 1 has been bothering me. If I have known someone well enough to see them several times a year and a child dies, I will make an effort to go to teh wake/funeral.

OTOH this sounds like a destination memorial service: 2 hours from LW and back, no saying how far from the guests. Destination memorials like destination weddings are attendance optional.

A close friend's wife was from the Detroit area, Her father retired and lived i FL for maybe 15 years before he died in his 80's. His son is a pastor in NJ. The dad was buried in Michigan at a very small funeral. The memorial service was in NJ attended by more family than went to MI, but lots of people who knew the old man never attended anything. I know the distances are different than in the Ltr.

It would have been nice if the friends attended. I have a strong suspicion that the LW a nd her husband are better friends with Ted and Joan than vice versa
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#15 Aug 14, 2013
I agreed with Amy today!

But I really like RACE's answer to LW2. And PEllen has a good point about it being a "destination funeral". 2 hours each way is quite a distance.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Aug 14, 2013
I can see that the LW probably views the relationship differently than the friends, but if you work with a guy for 25yrs, and go out with then 3 to 4 times a year, I would call that close enough to go to their kids funeral.

And they were made aware of the funeral before they made the camping plans (since they did not mention the camping trip till 2 days prior)

When my father has his stroke a group of guys that he worked with showed up one day and just started doing stuff. Cleaning the garage, splitting firewood, mowing, tree trimming. I had never seen these guys before, my father never mentioned them, but they all were close enough to him, and respected him enough to want to help. It stuck with me, and I always try to help out my coworkers when I learn they need it. To me, its just common decency.
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
The husbands have "worked" together for 25 years. They've gone out as couples a "few" times a year. Not what I would call a very close, family-like friendship.
And camping takes planning, maybe reservations are involved, deposits. You can't always "just go next weekend."

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#17 Aug 14, 2013
Destination memorials are attendance optional.

Technically yes, but morally no. Not in this case. This is one where you go, even though it may be an imposition for you.
PEllen wrote:
Ltr 1 has been bothering me. If I have known someone well enough to see them several times a year and a child dies, I will make an effort to go to teh wake/funeral.
OTOH this sounds like a destination memorial service: 2 hours from LW and back, no saying how far from the guests. Destination memorials like destination weddings are attendance optional.
A close friend's wife was from the Detroit area, Her father retired and lived i FL for maybe 15 years before he died in his 80's. His son is a pastor in NJ. The dad was buried in Michigan at a very small funeral. The memorial service was in NJ attended by more family than went to MI, but lots of people who knew the old man never attended anything. I know the distances are different than in the Ltr.
It would have been nice if the friends attended. I have a strong suspicion that the LW a nd her husband are better friends with Ted and Joan than vice versa

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Aug 14, 2013
And WTF the friends are going camping that day?

The memorial service was at the kids favorite HIKING spot? I bet there are places to camp, either there or nearby. The "Friends" could have to their camp site, set up camp, gone to the memorial service and then back to their camping trip. would have been a couple hrs out of their day.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Itasca, IL

#19 Aug 14, 2013
LW2 - so, support HER... take her shopping with you, take her out for lunch/coffee/drinks/dinner/pic k your poison... Be there to help her pick up her pieces wehn the relationship breaks. try not to talk trash aobut the guy, but encourage her when she starts looking for her spine.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#20 Aug 14, 2013
Color me odd because I dont. Maybe not "invited to their kids wedding" family, but certainly to their funeral.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>25 years of socializing a few times a year. I have people like that in my life and they are not even close to being "family". Not saying I would skip out on their kid's funeral, but these folks don't consider themselves as close as lw does.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#21 Aug 14, 2013
RACE wrote:
Destination memorials are attendance optional.
Technically yes, but morally no. Not in this case. This is one where you go, even though it may be an imposition for you.
<quoted text>
So it's optional, buy they have an obligation to go?

Yeah, that makes no sense.

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