My wife and I are totally gutted and really upset by my sister’s actions. When I tried to speak to my mum and dad about what had gone on, they said they didn’t want to get involved but they defended my sister by saying, “You never reply to her texts!.” I told them I’d never received the text in question and I tried to reason that, even if she had texted me and I hadn’t replied, she should have rung me to say she was going ahead and organizing a party as we’d have liked to have paid half towards it. When I asked why she’d organized it for when we were on our honeymoon, she said that was the only date available. This is a lie as my wife checked with the venue and there was only one Saturday booked in the month!
I cannot get my head around all of this as we have no history of falling out. We have always gotten on. I feel confused and angry that my sister would alienate us like this, and I don’t know where we go from here. My sister, along with my mum and dad, think she hasn’t done anything wrong and can’t see my wife’s and my point of view. It is now at a stalemate with my sister as she refuses to apologize for her actions as she doesn’t think she has done anything wrong. I look forward to hearing your reply. — Kept Out of the Surprise
This is so weird and I totally feel for you. I’m sure you’re feeling left out, confused, angry, and hurt. I would be, too. But rather than focus on what your sister did wrong — or convincing her that she, in fact, did do something wrong, I would shift your attention to explaining your point of view (that you say your sister can’t see). Tell her how hurt you are and that you’re disappointed you were not only left out of the planning of the surprise party, but also left out of the party itself. And let her know you’re confused because this strikes you as something that would happen in a family that has communication issues or a history of fall-outs, and you believed you had a good relationship with both her and your parents. Ask her if she, too, believes you have a good relationship and that, if you are mistaken, you would appreciate knowing her point of view.
Then talk to your parents. Rather than try to blame your sister, which will only make them defend her — she’s their daughter, after all, and she just threw them a surprise party — explain how much you would have loved to have been part of their party, both in organizing and attending — and that your absence is not in any way a reflection of your feelings and regard for them. Tell them that you’re confused about why you and your wife were left out of the festivities but that you don’t hold them accountable and that you hope they had a wonderful time.
This may be one of those things you never get clarification on. Or, you may be in the dark for a very long time. That sucks, but for your own well-being, as well as your relationship with your family, I’d recommend trying to let this go. It’s OK and understandable to feel hurt and angry, but don’t dwell on those emotions too long. There’s obviously more to the story that you don’t know, and, while it’s a total bummer that you aren’t privy to that knowledge, you have to accept that there’s a reason you’re in the dark and that maybe that reason has little or nothing to do with you. Instead of wasting time and energy feeling upset, focus on your new marriage and all the love in your life right now, including the love you receive from people, including your sister, who disappoint and hurt you sometimes. We’re all only human and limited by our ability to process troubles and stresses and to always communicate effectively and compassionately with each other. Choose forgiveness and compassion, even if it’s hard or doesn’t come naturally in this circumstance, and you will be the better person for it.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.