This wasn’t the first time something like this happened. More like the twelfth. We have been excluded from weddings, other baby showers, etc. The reality is my mother’s SILs hate my mother deeply (kid sister who’s brothers adored her once a upon a time) and they make sure to exclude us from everything. Until now my mother has repeatedly asked/requested/forced us to take the high road – just let it slide of our backs, but I can’t do it anymore. Since I am going to this reunion alone they will ask were my immediate family is and I want to tell the truth. I want it out loud in front of everyone. I’m going not because I want to hurt my aunts but because I want to see my great-aunts and uncles and their kids and grandkids. I love them very much, and I am not missing an opportunity to see them at this stage in the game.
What do I say? How do I proceed? What do I do? I’ve been playing the “bigger person card” all my life and I just can’t do it anymore. When my great aunts and uncles pass away, I’m not going back to the reunions. Which means I probably will never have to see my mother’s brothers and their wives again. But how do I deal with them at family reunions until then? — Broken Family Ties
Why in the world would you continue going to a reunion for a family who clearly wants nothing to do with you? If it’s the great-aunts and uncles you want to see, schedule a time and a place where you can see them without the overbearing and oppressive presence of your uncle’s wives. Life is too short to spend weekends with people you despise when there’s no reason to put yourself through that. Make a special trip to see those great aunts and uncles wherever they live. If they’re coming to your neck of the woods for the reunion, see if they can stay an extra day or two to spend time with your immediate family. Or plan a reunion at a halfway point between your two towns at another time of the year and don’t invite the family you hate. The point is: you have options. You don’t have to spend time with the miserable shrews your uncles married. Being a “bigger person” doesn’t mean being a martyr. It doesn’t mean putting yourself in terribly uncomfortable situations when there are plenty of ways — and reasons — to avoid those situations. Be the “bigger person” and skip the family affair where you’re obviously not warmly welcome and make plans to see those family members you do like on your own time.
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