Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Should I Tell my Boyfriend I Kissed my Ex?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss texting ex’s and family shunning.

I’ve been dating this guy for about a month, and recently my ex started texting me again. We’d flirt, but mainly it’d turn to “Last time we broke up because of bad timing.” Even as I texted him, I knew it was for the ego boost I’d get when he’d compliment me. I had no real feelings left for my ex. My boyfriend was always busy doing things when my ex texted me, so I guess you could say I was feeling lonely. We went to the library once, and I helped him with math. We managed to control ourselves, get some work done, and do nothing more than flirt.

Last weekend, we went to the movies. It was just us two, but we rationalized it by saying we were rebuilding our friendship. Once at the movies, it became increasingly clear that our rationalization meant nothing. He began holding my hand, flirting with me, and getting extremely close to me during the movie. He kissed me once, and I let him. It was disgusting and horrible, but I kissed him again. After the second kiss, I pulled away and said “I have a boyfriend. I can’t do this.” After quickly explaining to him my regret and guilt, I apologized and left the theater. Now I’m torn. Do I tell my boyfriend, irrevocably ruining his trust of me and hurting him? Or do I live with this intense guilt, and not risk the end of our relationship for good? — Hopelessly Torn

 
If the only reason you have to tell your boyfriend that you kissed your ex is to alleviate your guilt, keep your mouth shut. You’ve already acted selfishly enough. If you’re ready to fully commit to this relationship, quit hanging around with ex-boyfriends and anyone else who tempts you to cheat; if you’re on the fence, have the decency to MOA before you hurt your boyfriend more than you have already.

After my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend broke up, we started to go out. Things are fine, but his ex-girlfriend texts him every day. He used to be real mean to her, but now he says they’re friends. I told him by him texting her back it’s making her think there will be a chance for them to get back together. I want to find a way to tell my boyfriend that it really bothers me that he texts his ex and that, if it doesn’t stop, I feel I can’t keep going on with our relationship. This has been bothering me for along time now. What should I do? — Second Fiddle

 
Tell your boyfriend just what you said here: “It really bothers me that you text your ex, and, if it doesn’t stop, I feel I can’t keep going on with our relationship.” His response will tell you everything you need to know about how committed he is to you and your relationship.

My brother and I got into a big fight and he told me he does not want me in — or even at — his upcoming wedding. I love my brother and I’m hurt, but I’ll get over it. My husband is not going to the wedding now either, but the rest of my family says I should still let my three sons, aged 9, 10, and 16, go. I say if I can’t go, none of us goes. What do you think? — Shunned from Wedding

 
Be the bigger person and humbly apologize to your brother and let him know how much it would mean to you to be welcome at his wedding. If he still refuses to allow you to attend, at least let your sons represent you. Family is important and weddings are no time to hold a grudge (even if that’s exactly what your brother is doing to you…).
 
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

129 comments… add one
  • FireStar

    FireStar January 6, 2012, 7:43 am

    I don’t know…to me the consequences of disinviting the sister means her children will not attend either. Why should she split her family up for the day because her brother has made a decree? We don’t know who deserves an apology from the letter so unless one is warranted, I wouldn’t give one. If the children were adults I’d say let them decide for themselves but as minors their place is with their parents. Perhaps if the brother asked specifically for his nephews to be there, letting them go might be a peace offering of sorts and a step at rebuilding the relationship but if it is just family weighing in, then I think keep them home with you. Actions have consequences – this is your brother’s consequence for telling you don’t come to his wedding.

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      SGMcG January 6, 2012, 8:00 am

      Yet her children did nothing to contribute to the fight that lead to the wedding disinvite. Why should they have to suffer, if their uncle is someone they like? The 16 year old may be old enough to decide for himself and HE should be asked (depending on his maturity level) – I can’t say the same regarding the 9 and 10 year old though.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar January 6, 2012, 8:25 am

        I don’t think the children should be split up. Franky, I don’t think the family should be split up. The children are innocent, but if the brother is close with his nephews, like I said he can ask for them to attend. But if the brother feels that the sister should automatically be ostracized from her own children on that day because he said so? I’m going to vote not so much.

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        Blondie January 6, 2012, 8:57 am

        Strictly from an etiquette standpoint, I would say that if their parents have been disinvited, at the childrens ages, they have been disinvited as well, as the invitation was issued to the family unit. If they receive their own invitation, I would still probably not send any, short of maybe the 16 year old, and then it would be his call. It really isn’t fair to him though to send the younger ones, as no matter what another family member says, it will most likely fall to him to keep his younger siblings in line. As an aside, I think we would need to know more about the rift before openly stating that the LW should suck it up for family sake- that is a dangerous mentality to have if the family has done something toxic. Then again, that is all speculation.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 6, 2012, 11:34 am

        My first thought was if the kids all go whose responsible for the younger two? You can’t send kids at that age on their own and how well would the older brother watch them and is it fair to him to have to watch them. Also, how far away is the wedding. Could the 16 year old drive there and return home or would he need to stay somewhere overnight. It also places all three boys in the position of appearing to take their uncle’s side over their own mom and so might feel very ackward for them. I’d let the older boy decide for himself whether to go or not, if the wedding was near his home and he wouldn’t need to stay overnight at a hotel. I’d keep the younger two at home. Why would anyone think you can just drop off kids at a wedding.

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    • leilani

      leilani January 6, 2012, 9:00 am

      I would just ask my sons if they wanted to go. If they really want to, I wouldn’t want to penalize them for I fight that I had that doesn’t involve them, and I would let them go. If they’re indifferent, I wouldn’t bother sending them.

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        LSS86 January 6, 2012, 2:47 pm

        My thoughts exactly. Frankly, I think Wendy’s advice on this one was WAY off base. Your advice is absolutely perfect.

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      cporoski January 6, 2012, 9:12 am

      See I would look at the grandmother in this situation. If she wanted to have her grandkids there then why not make her happy. I have never regretted being the bigger person.

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        lets_be_honest January 6, 2012, 11:18 am

        “I have never regretted being the bigger person.”

        Awesome, never thought of it that way.

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        Temperance January 7, 2012, 11:12 am

        I always regret it! Maybe I am just unlucky, though, and choose really awful people to forgive.

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      Allison January 6, 2012, 9:37 am

      Regardless of whether the children are still invited, sending your two children to a wedding with no supervision seems rude. Nine- and 10-year-old boys are not going to enjoy a wedding and probably are not going to behave. Forcing, because what 16-year-old boy would willingly put himself through this, your teenage son to watch them is really not a solution. If the parents aren’t going, then the kids shouldn’t go. Probably, someone else is going to end up watching the children, someone who would rather be enjoying themselves.

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 January 6, 2012, 10:20 am

      Agree 100%!

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        mcj2011 January 6, 2012, 11:12 am

        Exactly and so what they should drive to the wedding and drop their kids off, have a good time kids, I’ll be back at 9. NOPE, I don’t think so. I would try speaking to / working things out with the brother one more time, but unless the ENTIRE family goes, no one goes!

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    ReginaRey January 6, 2012, 8:27 am

    Were the first two letters written by high school students?? I mean, that should really be the only excuse allowable. If you’re shamelessly flirting with an ex for the ego boost it provides, then maybe you’re not mature enough to be in ANY relationship. And why are you, LW1, even with your current boyfriend? It sounds like you may have jumped from your ex to this dude just to be in a relationship…you certainly don’t seem to respect or care too much about your current boyfriend. I think your behavior is a sign that you’d be better off in NO relationship right now.

    And LW2, if a boyfriend is continuously texting an ex even after you’ve expressed your dislike…that’s usually a surefire sign to MOA. Also, it seems like your boyfriend didn’t leave much time in between his ex and you, meaning there’s a good chance he never fully got over their breakup, and neither did she…which would explain the texting. If you’re just a placeholder girlfriend to help him move on (which he isn’t doing a good job of, anyway), please MOA.

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    • JK

      JK January 6, 2012, 8:38 am

      At least the 1st one is a highschooler apparently (“I helped him with math”).
      BUt both letters definitely reek of immaturity.

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        ReginaRey January 6, 2012, 8:41 am

        I mean, I took math in college, too… I’m hoping they’re both at least VERY young.

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        Fabelle January 6, 2012, 9:30 am

        They both sounded very young to me! The first one could maybe be in college, but the second definitely sounded high-school status.

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        6napkinburger January 6, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Yeah, but then you’d have said “I helped him with calculus” or “differential equations” whatever it is that math people study in college. My chemistry major friends never said they helped someone with “science.”

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        Red_Lady January 6, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Good point, but science categorized more than math. You don’t major in “science”, you major in a specific field. But I majored in plain old math.

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      bethany January 6, 2012, 9:28 am

      That was my exact thought!!

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B January 6, 2012, 10:47 am

      I don’t know. What gives her the right to tell him who he can talk to? I wouldn’t like it if I was told I couldn’t talk to any of my male friends (some of whom are exes). I’d probably dump the guy. If she’s bothered by it, she should tell him, but she shouldn’t be surprised if he dumps her. I guess it would depend on what exactly they were saying to each other.

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        lk January 6, 2012, 10:59 am

        me too.. if my SO told me to stop talking to my exes…. welllllll….. NO. i like them. that’s why i dated them in the first place – duh !

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        2_J January 6, 2012, 11:02 am

        Im going to kind of agree here with Kate but…i mean unless there is parenting involved, the ex is the mother/father of their child, then you can’t really blame a person for either not wanting you to or demanding that you not continue something with an ex. If it were me, i’d express my concern about it, and if in fact i had very clear and validated reason for being uncomfy with the situation, and still it continued, MingOA would be the next step. Thats just my two cents..i’ve seen and heard the whole, “oh well, we were friends back in the day and tried being together and it didn’t work out, so we are just friends now”…yea for some that may be true but i have seen one too many people say that and act a different way and still end up screwing around so i don’t buy it therefore don’t feel like i should have to be around someone you have slept with before me just because you two were friends before hand.

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        lk January 6, 2012, 11:12 am

        it’s definitely case-by-case. i did cut contact with an ex after he told me he still loved me when i had just started dating someone new. HOWEVER, now that ex & the formerly-new-bf-now-ex are 2 of my friends : ) no h8te, no sweat. if my current dating partner(s) took issue with that, i’d kick them in the shin(s)

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        2_J January 6, 2012, 11:27 am

        Well in that case, since you seem hell bent on keeping the ex’s as friends to the point that you will not date someone who has an issue with that, therefore holding your ex’s (friends) to a much higher standard than a boyfriend to the point you would “kick them in their shins” for having being told that they don’t like it, i don’t see you having much of a healthy relationship anytime soon. Everyone has their opinions and that it totally fine, this is mine.

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        lk January 6, 2012, 2:31 pm

        wow i feel really angry reading this comment actually…..

        i’d be perfectly happy to discuss the issue with anyone i dated. i don’t interact with the exes so frequently that it would send any healthy person into a tail-spin. i just like to “keep in touch” since i dated them both for years.

        i have a really wonderful relationship actually with someone i’m seeing right now. i feel very safe & loved with him & we both feel comfortable about each other’s relationship histories.

        ……. wow i still feel absolute fire in my body reading “i don’t see you having much of a healthy relationship anytime soon” …..

        & 7 likes too !

        lol…. i guess……….. in my relationships i want to feel trusted & that includes being free to associate with anyone i please without any suspicion

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        lk January 6, 2012, 2:39 pm

        also, i’m in a horrible mood (please see initial comment wayyy below) today…

        but i also just want to point out that your writing in that comment is so confusing i could barely understand what you were saying to me. except the part where you think i have little chance of healthy relationship… i caught that part.

        however, you say i hold my exes to a higher standard ?? the opposite. i hold my current dates to a higher standard BECAUSE my exes were really wonderful men & partners to me. & yes, my “loyalty” is to the men with years of history being amazing & supportive partners.

        HOWEVER, obviously – as evidenced by my cutting off ex1 out of respect for my relationship with ex2 – if an ex were being disrespectful to a current relationship, they would find themselves in the Silent Zone.

        sorry if this triggers you or upsets you.

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        Red_Lady January 6, 2012, 11:48 pm

        “therefore holding your ex’s (friends) to a much higher standard than a boyfriend ”
        I’m assuming that by “higher standard” you meant “higher regard”?
        Since they’ve become her friends, and she’s known them for a while, she should hold them much higher than some guy she starts dating. If someone you’re dating doesn’t like your friends and can’t deal with it, then they’re definitely not worth dating.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. January 6, 2012, 12:12 pm

        I was briefly interrupted by having to get dressed and go to work. 🙂 It is definitely case-by-case. If the ex is sending provocative or flirty texts and the boyfriend’s responding to that, then I would say the LW has grounds. If he won’t stop, then she should move on. But, if they really are friends, then she needs to accept it. If she can’t, then she’s with the wrong guy. Either way, she’ll find out of this relationship is the one for her.

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        ReginaRey January 6, 2012, 11:13 am

        I think the difference is TIME. How long has it been since the LW’s boyfriend and his ex dated? If it’s been years? OK, well then it’s understandable that they’re still friends. But to break up and immediately declare yourselves “friends,” well that’s just not very believable. It’s impossible to go straight from a breakup to being friends with an ex…it makes it extremely difficult to get over them and move on. So if the LW’s boyfriend rebounded directly with the LW, and maintained communication with his very recent ex, THEN I think there’s something wrong with communicating with an ex. Then again, you probably shouldn’t date someone fresh out of a breakup and expect the relationship to be healthy and serious.

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        2_J January 6, 2012, 11:29 am

        Exactly. Also lk, i wasn’t trying to ruffle your feathers, i agree with the case by case but there is a very fine line when dealing with that.

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        lk January 6, 2012, 2:42 pm

        lol … you can ignore my riffing above. really late & heated rxn to this conversation. i’m feeling VERY torch-able today… if you know what i mean.

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        6napkinburger January 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

        I took the “everyday” part to be the deciding factor here. The women who can’t stand their SOs ever talking to exes: not so cool. Having an issue with the daily check-in from your SO’s most recent ex? Totally normal and probably healthy.

        Ive recently begun to date (aka go on dates) again, but if I started dating someone exclusively and was still texting my ex every single day? New boy would be smart to not be that ok with it, because he’d be right. And if he was texting me? New boy would STILL be smart not to be that ok with it, because my refusal to shut it down would actually mean something.

        So while time factors into this a little bit (how long ago they broke up), I think its completely fair and not at all possessive to have an issue with your SO texting practically everyday with their most recent ex.

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      cporoski January 6, 2012, 11:19 am

      RR – haven’t you ever boomeranged back to an ex? I feel bad for the people they are dating, but I see that all the time at various ages. People forget why they broke up or the have a flood of feeling remembering something amazing. People in thier 40s reconnect with high schools sweet hearts years later and mess up thier marriages doing it. Shouldn’t we all be mature all the time, of course, but we aren’t. I think she is in a wierd place with her current boyfriend and that is how the ex slipped back in there.

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        ReginaRey January 6, 2012, 11:23 am

        Oh, sure, I’ve definitely done it! But for me at least, it was a sign of my lack of relationship know-how and general immaturity. Our emotions and confusion are bound to get the best of us, which is why we need someone to tell us “Hey, stop doing this to yourself and these dudes and just be single.” That’s what I needed, and I’m pretty sure that’s what she needs, too.

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        cporoski January 6, 2012, 1:05 pm

        great point

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      Meaghan January 6, 2012, 11:58 am

      Exes are in the past for reason, and I say keep them there. Maybe this is because I’ve never dated in my social circle, but I’ve never had a time where being friends with an ex was ever an option due to feelings leftover. Also, I don’t think I’d appreciate my husband constantly chatting/seeing someone that he had had sex/sexual acts with (assuming that’s what occurred in the relationship) on any type of basis and vice versa. It would just seem like playing with fire and very disrespectful to our relationship. To be clear I don’t mind him hanging with friends who are girls as long as I’ve met them at least once. Men aren’t that good at identifying shady ladies lol Too much trust!

      There are plenty of people out there to talk to and hang out with so why do you need to hang onto an ex?

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  • theattack

    theattack January 6, 2012, 8:55 am

    LW 3: You’re the parent. I assume your kids were invited through the same invitation you were. Unless your brother extends a specific request for them to still come, I think they’re also uninvited now. Don’t worry about what the rest of your family thinks. You’re the parent, and you’re the only one who gets a say in this. (Although I think if your children are re-invited, the 16 year old should get to decide for himself)

    LW 2: You don’t have to search for special ways to say things to someone else. I understand how it can seem that way at first, because you’re sort of taught not to be too direct about criticizing another person, and you don’t want to disturb your relationship peace. First, right now you don’t really have relationship peace, so don’t worry about stirring the pot. Second, and most importantly, always ALWAYS be direct about what you want and what you won’t tolerate for a few reasons. He won’t know it’s bothering you if you don’t tell him. It sounds like you only told him the possible effects on them, not on you and your relationship. And you need a relationship where your needs are met. Do not stay in something if you’re unhappy. And you certainly have permission to be upset about too much communication with an ex. Tell him exactly what you wrote here. If he can’t do that for you, then leave. Do not negotiate.

    LW 1: It sounds like you need some time to explore. Why don’t you cool things off with your bf and just casually do what you want to for a while?

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  • leilani

    leilani January 6, 2012, 9:15 am

    LW1: First things first, I would really examine why you felt the need to jeopardize your relationship for a little male attention just because your boyfriend was “busy”. Are you really into this new relationship, or just biding time with someone new? Are you ready to be in a new relationship, or are you still into keeping your options open and flirting with different guys? I was in a long relationship, and when it ended, I really thought I wanted a new boyfriend right away. As soon as I started seeing someone more seriously, though, I was unable to truly settle down, and would continue seeing other guys (including sometimes my ex). The fact of the matter was, I really needed some time to be single and play the field and do my own thing, but that was too scary for me to admit at first because I was so used to having a boyfriend and I would get really lonely. When I came to terms with that, however, it ended up being one of the best periods of my life.

    If you do really like this new guy, are excited about where things are headed, and feel you are ready to be in an exclusive relationship, I would just move past your mistake and dedicate yourself to being a better girlfriend. We all screw up sometimes, and if was truly just a stupid mistake, I would get over it and just cut off all contact with your ex. You clearly cannot be friends with him, so if you want your new relationship to go anywhere, you really need to let him know that you guys will no longer be talking, and stick to that.

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  • avatar

    Mwalt January 6, 2012, 9:17 am

    I TOTALLY disagree with Wendy on LW3. If you and your hubby aren’t welcome at a wedding, you shouldn’t let anyone go. Family is just a bunch of genetics that are somewhat similar – nothing more. You don’t owe anyone anything, and if your brother doesn’t want you there at a function, I don’t know why he would want your kids there without parents.

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    • theattack

      theattack January 6, 2012, 9:35 am

      “Family is just a bunch of genetics that are somewhat similar – nothing more.”

      I think almost everyone would disagree with this. It’s such a bitter sounding attitude. Ideally, family is a group connected by love, understanding, common issues, etc. Sure, there are family conflicts sometimes, but unless it’s a long-term or a very serious problem, everyone usually pulls through it just fine and continues to care for their families.

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        cporoski January 6, 2012, 9:38 am

        totally agree. Honestly, weddings make people heated. Your siblings are usually the only people that are with you your entire life. Try and make the peace.

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        lets_be_honest January 6, 2012, 11:21 am

        Not only try and make peace with him, but don’t put your kids/his nieces and nephews in the middle of your fight with him.

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        Mwalt January 6, 2012, 10:51 am

        Of some course people disagree with that idea – because they feel obligated through years of being told family is so special, when it’s only as special as YOU make it. If they had a big enough fight to throw around an invitation to a WEDDING (that is only supposed to happen once in a lifetime) I would say it’s a “very serious problem”.

        I would never let someone, especially my family, try to emotional blackmail me into sending my kids to a place where I myself am not welcome. Screw that noise 😉

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        lk January 6, 2012, 11:08 am

        wait – aren’t your kids just practically strangers with just some similar genetic makeup ?? i mean, come on, don’t humans & monkeys share like 95% of their DNA ? lol

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      • theattack

        theattack January 6, 2012, 6:37 pm

        No, it’s not because I feel obligated. It’s because I genuinely LOVE my family. Most people actually do love their families, even when they have issues. I would not say that withdrawing an invitation is indicative of a very serious problem. My brother once came at my mother with a knife, and I still love him, even if I hated him for years, refused to speak to him for years, and will never respect him the same. THAT was a serious problem, and we’ve still managed to move past it. Most people do have genuine connections with their family members.

        I agree that she should leave the kids at home. I just don’t agree that family means nothing.

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        ChemE January 6, 2012, 11:00 am

        I wouldn’t say everyone would disagree with that. It completely depends on your family situation and how you all interact. Where my family would fall more towards “just genetics” my husband’s family is the ideal loving, caring unit.
        Not all families recover and care for each, some don’t even start off caring for each other. I could go in with my sob story, but I will spare you. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose your family, and I don’t think you owe any family members anything just because they are your family – unless there is a good relationship to start with.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 6, 2012, 6:51 pm

        I don’t disagree with you. There’s a wide range of family types, and not everyone fits into my description above. But to say that family members are only people with similar genes is extremely reductive to the majority of us who are close with our family members. We don’t know about the LW’s family situation other than the fact that she’s fighting with her brother.

        Something I’ve noticed here on DW is a sharp division between people and the way they view families. I almost think this community lacks the capacity to answer questions relating to family, because we dont’ understand it the same way. When I wrote in a few weeks ago, I got very little useful advice because people just did not understand my family type. (No offense, everyone!) Without further description of the LW’s normal family dynamics, it’s impossible to tell her how to handle the situation. I agree with you that if her family members are practically random people to her, then she doesn’t owe anything. (And for the record, I never advocated sending the boys to the wedding to appease everyone else. I think they should stay home. )

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      • katie

        katie January 6, 2012, 7:35 pm

        “But to say that family members are only people with similar genes is extremely reductive to the majority of us who are close with our family members.”

        what about people who were adopted?

        family is what you make it. if you have a really close, extended family- thats great. but if you have a really toxic terrible family, or a non-existent family, and you indentify others (non-genetically family) as family- what does that change?

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      • theattack

        theattack January 8, 2012, 9:25 pm

        I’m not the one that said anything about the genes! That was someone else above. You and I are not disagreeing on this. I just take issue with the original statement that family is only genes, because, like you said, it is what you make of it. And many, many, many people choose to make meaningful relationships out of it.

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        Meredith January 6, 2012, 12:01 pm

        Ideally, yes, family is a group connected by all of those things. In reality though, that is not always the case. I agree with Mwalt. Just because you share genetic code with someone does not mean that you are obligated to love or like them or even want to be in their presence.

        Obviously there are issues in this family, otherwise she wouldn’t be banned from the wedding. I also really disagree with Wendy’s advice – either they all go, or none of them go.

        I can understand being the bigger person but I hate when people think that one person should just give up and apologize when it may not be warranted just to keep peace. Peace is kept by working out the problem, not by one person arbitrarily demanding an undeserved apology. All that does is reward bad behavior. (This is assuming that the apology would be undeserved. We obviously don’t know that but I would imagine that if it were not, she would have already done it).

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      • theattack

        theattack January 6, 2012, 6:39 pm

        I didn’t say that she should be the bigger person. I don’t think she should apologize, and I don’t think her kids should go to the wedding. I just doubt that the family does have serious issues. We don’t know enough about the situation to say that. For all we know, the LW’s brother got mad because she left a coffee ring on his table.

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    SweetPea January 6, 2012, 9:18 am

    So, regarding LW3… does anyone else think it would put the kids in an awkward situation to attend a wedding where their own Mom wasn’t welcome? Kids this age are certainly in tune with what is going on. When I was a child, there is no way I would feel comfortable going somewhere that my Mom was thought of poorly and not allowed to be. I suppose letting the 16 year old decide on his or her own would be a good idea. But, to send all three kids there- forced into a night of conflicted feelings? I dunno. I agree with Wendy that the LW should absolutely try to talk it out with her brother and apologize for her part in the argument. Life is too short to hold such grudges!

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      SweetPea January 6, 2012, 9:20 am

      *Ooops, missed that all the kids were boys. Didn’t mean to put “his or her own”!

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    • FireStar

      FireStar January 6, 2012, 9:40 am

      I thought it would be awkward when relatives would naturally ask the kids where their mom was – and then they really would be put in the middle.

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      cporoski January 6, 2012, 9:40 am

      See, the kids might also think that the family hates them too because of what mom said. Trust me, these kind of things blow over. I think that this will show that family is for the long term and will see people fight and make up.

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      bethany January 6, 2012, 9:58 am

      If my mom and her brother had a falling out, as a child I would not have known about it. My family is very good at keeping the drama to themselves. They would act polite to eachother whiler we’re all together, and not let it interfere with the family dynamic. My mom would have sent us to the wedding (IF we wanted to go) with another relative, Grandparents, Aunt/Uncle, and made up some sort of excuse as to why she couldn’t attend, and that would be the end of it. As long as the kids are technically still invited, they want to go, and they will have adult supervision, I don’t see why allowing them to go would be a problem.

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        SweetPea January 6, 2012, 10:09 am

        I guess it is a very individual thing. I totally would have known about the fight as a kid… and all the details. My parents always had very loud conversations and were very open. So, without knowing more about this particular family (or even the nature of the fight), it is hard to say.

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        iseeshiny January 6, 2012, 10:36 am

        See, my family is terrible at keeping drama to themselves, and the fact that the LW’s extended family is pressuring her to let the kids go makes me think that hers is too.

        My mom is one of five girls, my grandfather was one of ten children, and any two are always in some sort of kerfluffle with the other sisters, my grandmother, and various cousins chiming in with their two cents. Or six cents. Or, y’know. Life savings. Phone calls fly between family members and everyone thinks it’s their job to try and reconcile everyone else and old fights are dug up and flung around and honestly it’s the reason my husband and I eloped.

        If it were me, I would try and work things out with my brother. I don’t know if I would “humbly apologize” because that is a sign of weakness in my family (like being the slowest gazelle) but I would stress that family is family, that I love my brother and I would be hurt to miss out on his wedding and promise to be on my best behavior at the event. If he doesn’t relent, then no, I would not be sending my children. I would still send a gift. And I would not allow my extended family to tell me what to do with my kids.

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        cporoski January 6, 2012, 11:07 am

        This is EXACTLY the way my family is!

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't January 6, 2012, 10:23 am

      Also, someone mentioned this earlier but I really think it bears repeating: young boys are NOT likely to enjoy a wedding. And 9 & 10 year old boys are mostly likely too young to be impeccably well-behaved if they are at this wedding without their parents. the 16-year old is going to be resentful if he has to look after them for the whole event. Even grandparents or aunts and uncles might get cranky if they have to look after the kids the whole time rather than just celebrating and doing their own thing. So I definitely wouldn’t advise sending the kids on their own.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 6, 2012, 10:25 am

        Also, as I child I would have resented not having my parents there. It’s like forcing the kids to choose a side in the argument and I would have wanted to be with my parents, not with the other side of the family.

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        cporoski January 6, 2012, 11:10 am

        See, I think it depends on the family. When I was a kid, we had 20 cousins. So weddings were a kid free for all and so much fun. If you are the only kid there then it is boring. But if you have a big family, then as a kid you would feel very left out.

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        jaybro January 6, 2012, 11:19 am

        Yeah, I think the number of kids going to the wedding makes a big difference in the mom’s decision to let them go to the wedding. If there aren’t kids, then it’s pointless and they would have no interest in going. If all their cousins are there, especially if they are cousins they don’t see often, then they might want to go.

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      Mwalt January 6, 2012, 10:52 am

      Preach it, my sista! Totally awkward for the kids.

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    Addie Pray January 6, 2012, 9:18 am

    Yay, I’ve missed short cuts! LW3, I say suck it up, make up with your brother before the wedding (even if it means apologizing when you know HE is the one who should apologize), go to the wedding, and then you can try to work out your dispute later. Obviously I don’t know what the big fight was about, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably the same fight you’ve been having for years, right? I mean, aren’t all sibling feuds kind of more of the same – the thing that pissed you off when you were young (e.g., he is bossy, he treats you like a kid, he gets more attention, he’s selfish, … whatever) still rears its ugly head today as adults? If that’s the case, I say recognize that siblings bicker – sometimes forever – and try not to let it ruin other relationships in the family (like his with his nephews) or key life events (like weddings). Now, if he slashed your tires or shot your dog or something, disregard this advice and don’t let your kids go to the wedding either. Because he would be a psycho asshole.

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      jaybro January 6, 2012, 11:17 am

      “Now, if he slashed your tires or shot your dog or something”. OMG literally made me laugh out loud!!

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      Anna January 6, 2012, 3:52 pm

      I agree. Make peace with him because family is family! However, I feel like this was something the brother said in a heated moment of anger and he will end up changing his mind anyway when he has calmed down and become rational again. Unless he’s a real grudge-holder or she did something really fucked up to him to deserve being uninvited, I think he will come around in his own time and re-invite her.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow January 6, 2012, 9:35 am

    LW2: “He used to be real mean to her”. Doesn’t it bother you that you’re in a relationship with someone who would do that instead of breaking up, and then after it’s done won’t even move on and let it be? Why does he want her in his life, to keep being “real mean to her”? I think this speaks volumes about his character and you should be careful.

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      callmehobo January 6, 2012, 9:53 am

      Yes. THIS. Why would you even date someone who you admit treated their ex cruelly? Seriously?

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      Jubietta January 6, 2012, 9:55 am

      Ditto! A great place to remind folks that people tell you who they are by what they do…

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        Kaylee January 6, 2012, 10:57 am

        The childish wording of “real mean” adds further to my belief that LW2 is a high schooler at most. And I 100% agree – why would you want to be with someone who is a jerk to his ex? When a relationship is over, you move on – you don’t make sure you keep the wound fresh by continually being nasty to your former partner. If he’s mean to her now, he’s probably going to be mean to you when you guys break up, too, unless he suddenly grows the hell up (or possibly gets counseling or a personality transplant). Not something I’d want to hang around and wait for personally.

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      6napkinburger January 6, 2012, 3:10 pm

      See, I read it as “cruel to be kind.” As in, she’d text him and he’d be “mean”, as in asking her not to text him any more, ignoring it, only replying curtly, saying he was busy and had to go. Which are the only things to do if you DON’T want to lead people on. I mean, isn’t doing anything that will make the receipent sad, mean?

      And even doing the most mature thing you can do (texting: “Sarah, I still care about you and always will. However, I am seeing someone else now and do not feel that texting this frequently is appropriate. I hope you understand why I will not be in contact anymore. Be well.”) is STILL mean, if you’re the one getting it, because it hurts.

      I mean, if he was insulting her or laughing at her, or saying actual mean things, then he’s a jerkface. But I got the feeling that he was “being mean” by not being engaged, and eventually that shifted.

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    CottonTheCuteDog January 6, 2012, 9:54 am

    I have to wonder if LW1 spelled all those words correctly or if Wendy fixed it up.

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      Fabelle January 6, 2012, 12:44 pm

      I wonder that a LOT with this site (& other advice sites, now that I think about it…) There have to be some letters that r spelltt lYk disS, right?

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        MsMisery January 6, 2012, 2:08 pm

        I hope if Wendy ever got a letter written “lyK datt” that she’d post it as is and her advice would be “Get your GED and an IUD.”

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        CottonTheCuteDog January 6, 2012, 4:11 pm

        That’s the way high schoolers write. I really wish Wendy wouldn’t put letters like the first two on her site at all. High school problems are not adult problems.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 6, 2012, 6:59 pm

        And is this site supposed to be exclusively for adults? I think it’s great that teens occasionally write in here and get advice from adults rather than their 16 year old bff who also has no idea what to do. We could save many teens from a lot of heartache. Since most of their problems are simple like this, Shortcuts is a great place for those issues.

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    wendyblueeyes January 6, 2012, 10:07 am

    In my family, my kids would want to go. I have 4 siblings, and each of them have children the same ages as mine. When the cousins get together, it is sheer joy for them; they are truly as close as brothers. So I say ask the kids and let them go if they want to.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't January 6, 2012, 10:26 am

    LW1: “my boyfriend was always busy doing things when my ex texted me”— What was he busy doing, exactly? School? Work? Regular life things that people have to do where they can’t spend every waking second showering their SO with attention?

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    artsygirl January 6, 2012, 10:38 am

    LW3 – Does your extended family realize that since neither your nor your husband will be attending this wedding, then one of them will have to watch two grade schoolers and a high schooler in your absence? A 9 year old is either in 3rd or 4th grade (depending on where his birthday falls). He and the middle child are just too young to be unescorted – especially at an occasions of a wedding where alcohol might be flowing freely. Also, if you put the 16 year old in charge of them, he is not likely to enjoy playing babysitter. If I were in your shoes I think I would bury the hatchet and apologize to your brother (even if the fight was not your fault). Weddings make people crazy – and while it is not an excuse for abhorrent behavior – it can help explain why normal, rational people delve into hysterical raving crazies as the date nears. If all else fails I agree that you keep the two younger at home and allow the 16 year old to make up his own mind.

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    lk January 6, 2012, 10:52 am

    i’m in a horrible mood this morning, but all 3 of these LWs sound like 17-year-old brats to me. yes, even the parent of the 16 yo.

    sorry i’m not sorry.

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    cookiesandcream January 6, 2012, 11:06 am

    LW 1: I think LW 1 just needs to learn to be more independent. Once she starts developing her own life, she won’t look to boys for an ego boost and won’t feel as lonely when her boyfriend is out doing things on his own. Either way, she needs to become more self-aware because I have to admit that I chuckled a little bit when she wrote that kissing her ex was disgusting and horrible, yet she kissed him again.

    LW 2: Sounds like you’re a rebound while your boyfriend strings along his ex just in case he wants to get back together with her. People don’t instantly become friends after breaking up. Now I’m kind of curious about what he said to you when you told him that texting his ex was leading her on. I’m guessing it wasn’t entirely satisfactory since you wrote into DW….

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 6, 2012, 11:58 am

      Yeahhhh, “disgusting and horrible”…??!! What’s up with that!

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    jaybro January 6, 2012, 11:14 am

    LW1: Get your big kid pants on, and break up with your boyfriend. If you’ve only been dating a month and you need an ego boost, that relationship is going nowhere. Date the ex, or better, stay single.

    LW2: Get your big kid pants on, and tell your boyfriend how your feeling. If he doesn’t understand why it’s making you upset, then he’s a jerk.

    LW3: Get your big kid pants on, and apologize to your brother WITHOUT the intention of getting an invitation. Also, echoing the cproski’s comment, if the grandparents/oldest members of your family would really enjoy the kids there, then have the 16 year old go. Weddings suck for kids.

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      MissDre January 6, 2012, 12:29 pm

      Agree on all points 🙂

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    bagge72 January 6, 2012, 11:16 am

    So LW1 if you are exclusive with your current boyfriend you are cheating on him just by going to the movies with your ex that you are very flirty with, and now that you have kissed him aswell that is even worse. I don’t get why just because you current boyfriend of only a month is busy you have to go running around with this other guy? For some reason that whole letter just really annoyed me. If you don’t want to be in a relationship for the right reasons just get out of it, and save this poor guys some heart break.

    LW2 look at LW1 your BF is doing, or at least setting himself up to do exactly what the first letter writer did. So to keep this from happening, you need to lay down the law, and if doesn’t like it you can walk away.

    LW3 I personally wouldn’t go if my parents got disinvited to the wedding, and if I were the parents of such young kids I wouldn’t let them go, but I guess the best thing to do would be to ask them if they want to go or not.

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      Anna January 6, 2012, 4:05 pm

      I am actually wondering if LW1 and her boyfriend have had the exclusivity talk yet. If not, then technically she hasn’t done anything wrong by kissing her ex. I remember this kind of mindset from when I was about 18. After I had broken up with my rich douchebag boyfriend who was embarrassed to be seen with me because I came from a poor family, I started hanging out with a guy from school who I wasn’t attracted to at all but I slept with him anyway because he made me felt desired like my ex didn’t. About a week after I started hanging out with this guy, my ex called me and I ran back to him “to hang out as friends.” Of course we ended up hooking up, that was the point (even if I wouldn’t admit it). I was racked with guilt thinking I had cheated…even though Random Fuckbuddy and I had never so much as discussed being exclusive boyfriend and girlfriend and we had only been seeing each other for a week. I stopped seeing the other dude in the hopes to rekindle things with my ex, but thankfully it didn’t work out. I don’t want to know how my life would be now if I had ended up with him *shudder*. It actually took a few years for me to figure out that what I did wasn’t cheating at all…I was so silly and young.

      This letter made me think about how glad I am to be an older, wiser woman now and how lucky I am to have met my current boyfriend of 8 1/2 yrs.

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        Kristen January 6, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Just for fun, since we’ve been dating people approximately the same amount of time: When is your anniversary? Ours is June 6, 2003.

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        Anna January 6, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Are you fucking kidding me?! June 6, 2003 was the exact day I asked him out and we had our first date that night. We’ve been together ever since. He doesn’t remember the exact date it happened or details of the date but I remember everything. It was a Friday and we were both working. I had been considering asking him out for over a month but feeling like a chicken. We both got back from deliveries at the same time and I just went for it, asked him out. After work, we met up but could not find the place we planned to go so we ended up parking behind Domino’s (where we worked) and talked until the sun rose. We had our first kiss that night and have been exclusive ever since, living together since July of 2004.

        Kristen, the similaries between you and I are astounding. Does your boyfriend ride a motorcycle too?

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        mcminnem January 6, 2012, 8:04 pm

        The fact that they’ve only been dating a month makes me think you are right.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 January 6, 2012, 11:17 am

    So LW1 if you are exclusive with your current boyfriend you are cheating on him just by going to the movies with your ex that you are very flirty with, and now that you have kissed him aswell that is even worse. I don’t get why just because you current boyfriend of only a month is busy you have to go running around with this other guy? For some reason that whole letter just really annoyed me. If you don’t want to be in a relationship for the right reasons just get out of it, and save this poor guys some heart break.

    LW2 look at LW1 your BF is doing, or at least setting himself up to do exactly what the first letter writer did. So to keep this from happening, you need to lay down the law, and if doesn’t like it you can walk away.

    LW3 I personally wouldn’t go if my parents got disinvited to the wedding, and if I were the parents of such young kids I wouldn’t let them go, but I guess the best thing to do would be to ask them if they want to go or not.

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    eelizg23 January 6, 2012, 11:43 am

    My mother and brother had a huge fight before his wedding, and my mother ended up not going to the wedding. I was 18 at the time and was old enough to make my own decision, so I went anyway and was even a bridesmaid even though I was still living with my mother at the time. It was important for my own personal relationship with my brother for me to be there.

    I know it’s a little bit of a different situation, but I say do let the kids go. It’s bad enough to have feuding relatives, but excluding them from a big family event, especially if they are relatively close to their uncle, is just dragging them into the middle of your fight. And as someone’s who’s been drug into the middle of family feuds time and time again, I can tell you that nothing good can come of it.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed January 6, 2012, 11:50 am

      you could also say that having them go is putting them in the middle of your fight because it could be perceived that going is choosing the uncle’s side…especially since you would have to have their mother talk to someone about who was going to take care of the kids and all the logistics. It calls so much more attention to the fight than having no one in the family go. How would the kids handle the inevitable questions about why their parents aren’t there?

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        eelizg23 January 6, 2012, 4:30 pm

        I think it really all just depends on the closeness of the family.

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    Meredith January 6, 2012, 12:20 pm

    Man, I posted some of this in a reply above but I feel so strongly about this that I’m doing my own comment about it. Wendy, I normally think you are spot on but you are way off with LW3. In my opinion, apologies have to be earned and deserved. Obviously we don’t know the details of the fight or who was in the wrong, but apologizing just for the sake of keeping the peace or to get to go to the wedding isn’t a real apology and would mean nothing. If anything, it should be up to the brother to apologize and try to have his whole family at his wedding.

    I suppose that this hits a nerve for me as I had a long standing feud with my brother because of how we were treated at his wedding. It was like we were the impoverished relatives that also had the plague, after we all traveled a long way and at great expense. This is something that I have talked to my mom often about as she was always asking me to apologize to him. I was the one offended, why would I apologize?? Perhaps this makes me immature, but apologies are supposed to be an expression of contriteness and if given without that underlying feeling they are worthless.

    I am also a big believer in not rewarding bad behavior, even if it is an adult. The reason we have bullies and people who treat others badly is because more well mannered people let them get away with it in the name of “being the bigger person” or “turning the other cheek”. There are no consequences for their actions so they just keep doing it or even escalate it.

    whew… I seem to have gone on a rant, hold on let me find my way back. Right. The wedding invitation and the children. I agree with most of the people here – they are too young to go by themselves and shouldn’t be put in the middle. Also, unless there are compelling reasons for them to want to go, I think they should show some solidarity with their mom and stay home with her.

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      Nadine January 6, 2012, 12:31 pm

      I for sure agree the kids shouldn’t go without their mum. If the brother wants to be a dick and play ‘exclusive club’ games with his sister on his wedding day, this shouldn’t be accepted. If an apology is in order, whoever needs to give it should be encouraged to, if not, the whole family doesn’t go. Who knows what things the kids will hear about their own mother if they are made to go without her? I’m sure people will comment on there being young kids unaccompanied by their mother, the sister of the groom.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't January 6, 2012, 12:56 pm

      This is SO well written and I really agree with you. Sometimes, when I’m upset with someone, or when I feel I’m owed an apology, I make myself pause and ask ‘do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” And sometimes, being happy means letting it go. However, I think you are totally right that we place too much emphasis on “just being the bigger person”. Because sometimes, “being the bigger person” is synonymous with “I’m afraid of confrontation so I’m just not going to say anything”, and that leads people to believe it is their right to treat others like garbage.

      That said, we really don’t know the details of the argument between LW3 and her brother, so it’s hard to say one way or the other.

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        Meredith January 6, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Honestly, and as I mentioned this may be a sign of immaturity in me, I would rather be right. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something in me that WILL NOT give in if I know I’m in the right. Perhaps it’s because I know that if I’m wrong, I am the first one to say so, apologize and try to make it right, and I expect others to do the same.

        Also, as it may be obvious, I am not a fan of taking the high road when dealing with someone that is trying emotionally blackmail me. To me, all that means is letting someone get the better of me undeservedly. How will they know they they can’t treat me that way unless I stand up for myself and show them that they can’t?

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't January 6, 2012, 5:57 pm

        That’s funny; I’m kind of a know-it-all so it’s *really* difficult for me to back down if I know I’m right. But I’m working really hard at because I’ve made the conscious decision that I’d rather be happy than right (in most cases). The reason for my decision is because of the way I grew up, though: my dad, as far as he’s concerned is always, always, always right. And if you don’t agree with him, you are stupid, ignorant, a moron, an idiot etc, and you get screamed at. Obviously, because he’s always right, you can’t reason with him or attempt to plead your case in any way shape or form. It is endlessly frustrating, demeaning and rage-inducing and I absolutely do not want to end up that way.

        So, that’s a depressing version of why “being happy vs being right” might be something for you to think about. But I do agree with you that you should stand up for yourself and expect others to treat you respectfully! (and sometimes, that absolutely means demanding an apology).

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        Caris January 7, 2012, 1:22 am

        Your father sounds like my brother. The worst part is that my mom always tells ME to apologize to HIM (even though she agrees with me) because she doesn’t want to hear us argue/shout at each other. I understand that she doesn’t want us to argue, but she is rewarding his bad behaviour by never telling HIM to apologize. Her rewarding his bad behaviour over the years turned my brother into an asshole that mistreats his own mother and sister.

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    AKchic January 6, 2012, 12:20 pm

    LW3: This is really all dependent on a LOT of things, in my opinion. What really precipitated the fight? If the fight was about the manners of your children, sending them without their parents to be watched by another adult (or older sibling) isn’t the right thing to do. Period. A 16 year old can make their own decision to attend the wedding and tender “regrets” for the rest of the family. The 9/10 year olds should not be dumped on another adult. I wouldn’t do it with my kids to anyone (not even my mother).
    Anyone suggesting that granny would take her grandkids to the wedding must remember, granny is going to want to enjoy watching her SON get married, not baby-sit her grandkids during a sibling feud through a wedding.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

      Um, those are pretty old kids for it to be such a nightmare for the grandmother to take them to a wedding… I mean, it’s not like being saddled with a two year old kicking and screaming all through the vows…

      My take on this is that the kids REALLY want to know because their mom can be a total b’ytch… I dunno. Just a feeling I have. But there is a lot more to this story that the letter writer deliberately didn’t tell us…which to me is highly, highly suspect.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

        know = go. Kids want to GO… Sorry.

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Knowing 9-10 year olds at any adult-function as I do, they do get bored. When kids get bored, they tend to start doing things that would get them in trouble with “the man” (“the man” in this case being any adult that thinks they are being inappropriate). Some adults may think that bringing video games and headphones to keep them entertained is inappropriate/rude. Some may think that fidgetting is rude. It’s all about perspective. If the fight was about her childrens’ manners or habits, then why would she send them in her absence? If during the fight, her parenting style, skills (or lack thereof), or her childrens’ behavior was attacked, why would she send them without her?

        Even the most well-mannered kids will slip up, which would only reinforce the brother’s poor opinion of the LW for sending the kids alone (“she just wanted a sitter so she could go do something without them!”).

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 2:13 pm

        But where do you get that this fight was about the kids? Is there some update I missed here?

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 2:17 pm

        Speculation on my part. A hypothethical to fuel discussion.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Oh. I simply don’t see that here. If he had a some problem with her kids, then I very much doubt he would WANT them at the wedding.

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Same here, but if other family members (read: LW’s mother) wants the kids there and that person is a strong presence within the family or even paying for the wedding, then that person could have some say in it.
        Or, if it is a parenting style thing, or to prove she can’t control her kids, allowing the kids to come would be a way to prove he’s right (“see, her kids are uncontrollable around HER” or “see, we can control them” or “see, they are monsters and they ruined my wedding, just like SHE would have”).

        Of course, for all I know, the argument could have been over who has more crows feet.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Yikes. Damn. Those first two letters finally convince me that 12 year olds shouldn’t even have cell phones, much less date. Wait, what? Oh, really? They aren’t all in junior high…?

    As far as the 3rd letter — Um, okay, dear LW… Pray tell, what exactly did you say to provoke this wrath? Frankly, the fact that you offer up nothing about the content of the “big fight” makes me suspect that you KNOW you are in the wrong here. I mean, if you truly were completely blameless, we would have heard all about it, wouldn’t we? Or will that now come in the update… I suppose. Anyway, as others have said, suck it up. Be the big person if you have to be. Petty family squabbles always make me think that those involved are less than bright. I mean, this whole I am so not talking to you is really rather lame and pathetic. It would be nice if people out there simply grew up or something…

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      MsMisery January 6, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Wow are we on the same wavelength?

      I was thinking the same thing re: #3. Either the brother is regularly a shitty-ass person (although that wasn’t mentioned) or the fight was spectatularly knock-down, drag-out and out of character for their relationship (also not exactly mentioned). How wacko does the situation have to be to un-invite one’s sister to one’s wedding? Of course, i don’t have siblings so maybe this happens all the time…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

        My sister and I fought a lot as kids. But really haven’t in well over a decade now. (Not since she lived out here California in my same apartment building…and that ended right after 9/11.) We talk all the time — like, semi-daily on the phone.

        But a lot of people out there seem to have A LOT of trouble dealing with their siblings. Of course, I am blessed. My sister and I really do get along insanely well…

        But back when we did fight — they were huge. Epic and explosive. But then —- over. Ten minutes later we had both moved on and would be playing scrabble or something…

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 2:15 pm

        Don’t know how it is in other families. I didn’t invite my sisters to either of my weddings. Granted, my weddings were so small that I had a total of 10 people there for both combined.

        Now, my funeral… I will be putting the “fun” in funeral. It is going to be a blast. It will be a requirement that anyone who is in my will MUST dance the Funky Chicken at my funeral. If they don’t, they don’t get a damned thing and their inheritance gets passed on to someone else (possibly by a random drawing, who knows yet!). My ashes will be mixed with purple and black glitter. I won’t give away ALL of the fun stuff I have planned though…

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      • rainbow

        rainbow January 6, 2012, 2:39 pm

        The glitter thing is AWESOME and the greatest idea ever. I’m totally doing it when I die.

        And old boyfriend and I had agreed whoever died first should make sure a bag of ashes would be given to the other so he/she could snort them, but then his mother wouldn’t give it to me (I didn’t even ask cause that would have been awful, so I figure he never got around to making arrangements or she didn’t think it was a good idea). I’m kinda glad it didn’t happen, now.

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 3:11 pm

        Everyone knows about the glitter thing. My grandma thinks I’m nuts, but she always thought that, so it’s nothing new. She did laugh about the glitter idea, so there is that. She said she plans on outliving me just so she can attend my funeral and laugh at everyone else. At least I’ve given her a goal, right?

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    • FireStar

      FireStar January 6, 2012, 2:12 pm

      The “being the bigger person” thing cuts both ways – doesn’t it? Going so far to dis-invite your sister to your wedding doesn’t scream maturity and making family harmony a priority. I agree that the nature of the fight would be a good thing to know, though. If the sister called the new wife a whore then her attending is not exactly a good thing or if the fight was about her kids like AKChick said then sending them just fuels the fire. But then maybe the brother is mad over something stupid. Without knowing who was “right”, the call seems to be divide the sister’s family or not.
      Historically, I have found people with the big declarations and grandiose decrees RELY on other people taking the high road and going out of their way to make peace so that the person having the temper tantrum can essentially emotionally blackmail their way into what they want all the time. To me that is bullying. If someone wants to live their life giving in all the time to make peace – cool. But I think that it is a dangerous precedent to set and does the person making the decrees no favours in the long run. A sense of entitlement fostered in family relations will spill over into other areas of that person’s life too. And your employer is not going to give a rat’s behind about making peace with you if you act the ass.

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        Sarah January 6, 2012, 3:47 pm

        I tend to agree with you. To me, the disinvitation is actually reason to think her brother is the a**hole here. (E.g., I can’t see disinviting my brother to my wedding, no matter how bad the fight, but I can totally see him disinviting me to his over something relatively minor, because he is unpleasant and self-centered and has a history of blowing up over the tiniest and even imagined of slights. But for a short version sent to an advice column, I can definitely see leaving that out and just leaving the fact of the disinvitation to speak for itself.)

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        Meredith January 6, 2012, 4:04 pm

        This is EXACTLY my point! People who behave like this do so because they are allowed to do so by others who believe that “being the bigger person” is more important. Well, they better be ready to be the bigger person their whole life because all they are teaching that person is that they can treat other people like crap to get their way with no repercussions. So her brother gets to have his tantrum (as I can’t imagine any situation where one cuts ones sibling out of an important family event like a wedding without it being a tantrum) and then have everyone apologize and cowtow to him trying to make it better. How is that right? This goes back to what I was saying about rewarding bad behavior – it’s not a good idea for children, animals or adults.

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        eelizg23 January 6, 2012, 4:37 pm

        I see your point here, but it’s also entirely possible that the LW is a total drama queen, and the brother doesn’t want her there because he knows she’s only going to cause trouble or something like that. I think there’s just way too much ambiguity with that letter to really know what’s going on there.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 6, 2012, 4:43 pm

        While that certainly could be true, then why would he bother to invite her in the first place?

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        AKchic January 6, 2012, 6:05 pm

        Forced to by social customs, the mother of them both, or even the bride because she doesn’t really know the entire history because the brother chose not to hash it all out in detail? Trust me, there are some things I choose not to mention about my family because what I do mention seems sufficiently shocking enough to get my point across.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 6, 2012, 6:29 pm

        but now he has said she is uninvited…that’s pretty damn major and is going to cause questions and cause problems with all the suggestions you gave (all of which I could see making sense), so instead of causing a major problem in the family, like disinviting her, which if it’s the mother or the bride, what would stop them from trying to fix things and have the sister re-invited? If he gave in the first time, why wouldn’t he this time?

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    MsMisery January 6, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Is this the “letters from high school” edition? If it weren’t for the ages of the sons in the last letter I’d swear to Cerberus all of the LWs were teenagers. *grump*

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    Lamp January 6, 2012, 3:21 pm

    I love shortcuts. Seriously. Wendy, do not hesitate to shortcut it up.

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    6napkinburger January 6, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Here’s the thing: the brother disinvited LW3 to his wedding. She didn’t just get mad at him and refuse to go to it and then keep her kids home out of spite. He told her not to come.

    Now I think it matters how it happened. Was it in the midst of a big fight and it ended with, “well then maybe you shouldn’t even come, asshole!”

    If that’s the case, everyone should go. Sis and bro should talk and hug it out and the world keeps turning. You might even have to apologize; but not like, really. Me and my sister get into HUGE fights where I honestly think we’ll never talk again. And then one of you apologizes for something (“I’m sorry I said you were an asshole”) (it doesn’t even have to be for the big thing!) and then a conversation (not a fight) happens and everyone gets over it).

    But, if in the light of day, after you have spoken and discussed the fight, he still doesn’t want you at his wedding, then the whole family doesn’t go. Because it isn’t out of anger or spite. It’s a true feeling. And if he doesn’t want his nephews at his wedding enough that he’d tolerate his sister, then he’s made his choice. It is way too weird for the kids to go by themselves.

    This is different than a long estrangement. If brother and sister just do not like each other, for years, and one gets engaged; while weird, I think it would be appropriate for the children to go. But not when its as fresh as this is.

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      6napkinburger January 6, 2012, 3:24 pm

      Note: In second paragraph, everyone should go because sis and bro talked it out ahead of time. Not that sis should just show up at wedding.

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    Elle January 6, 2012, 3:37 pm

    LW3 doesn’t ask how to mend things with her brother. From the little that’s in the letter, it does not seem to be an option. Her husband is in her corner, and the family doesn’t pressure her for apologize (I think she would have mentioned it), only to send her kids to the wedding. I really can’t figure out who’s in the wrong here. If the LW3 is considering apologizing, she should if the issue will be irrelevant 5 years from now. Also, if it’s related to the wedding, the brother may be going through some stressful times, and he took it out on his sister. Maybe it’s my perspective, but I read a few DearAbby posts lately, and in one of them, someone wrote a thankful letter, saying that they reached out to a sibling they haven’t talked to in a long time, and that they reconnected, and that they wish they had done it sooner.

    And letter 1 is one of the reasons LW2 should speak up. Wendy’s too smart for this to be a coincidence – nice one, Wendy!

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    Sarah January 6, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I would be hard-pressed to take the “eat sh*t” advice to LW3, have to say. Not to say I wouldn’t send the kids, but I don’t go where I’m not wanted (by jerky, disinviting a**holes), nor do I grovel to be allowed to once the (jerky, disinviting, a**holish) decision has been made.

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  • katie

    katie January 6, 2012, 7:55 pm

    I have conflicting feelings about LW3. first off, i am the kids in this situation after years of fights like this and a firm no talking rule. i have lots and lots of family that i have never even met, dont know their names, who havent spoken for years before i was even born because of whatever stupid fights. that being said, i wish that the elders of my family could have gotten over themselves and apoligized so that i, years later, could have a normal family christmas/thanksgivng that had more then 4 people there. now, on the flip side of that, i feel like the whole “family is so important, just be the bigger person” thing is crap because no one ever felt strongly enough about that to care about ME as their family at all…

    so i dont know what to tell you, LW3. while family SHOULD be an important thing, i dont think enough people actually practice that fact. your son’s uncle should be important to them, and on that token, i think that he should be the one to express how he would still want them there…. i dont kow. im very conflicted. i guess in my experience, if the parents fight, the children are cut off as well. i think that is a terrible fact, and so now i have just decided that you should let your kids go.

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