Dear Annie: I feel like I’ve been bullied by my sister since I didn’t attend my nephew’s second wedding.

Dear Anne: Should we just give up? My wife and I were invited to my only brother’s son’s wedding in August. We did not participate. For context: My only sister and I have lived our entire lives within minutes of each other. Three years ago I retired and moved across the state, 240 miles away from her and her family. We were still close at that time, enjoying family events and celebrations.

My nephew’s wedding ceremony took place on a Sunday evening, with a pre-celebration scheduled for Saturday evening. Both were in an outdoor location (a park). Attending the weekend meant we would either have driven five hours or flown. And as the invitation specified, there were rustic cabins for “camping” on the weekends, or we could have found our own accommodation. This was my nephew’s second marriage, and he and his wife have lived together for at least five years and had a child shortly before the wedding.

After careful consideration, honestly, my wife and I were just not ready to arrange a three day trip. We sent our regrets a month before the wedding and a generous gift. After the wedding, I spoke with my sister, and she mentioned that “Dylan” was “a little hurt” that we didn’t attend. It is now a month after the wedding. We received no gift acknowledgment note from the couple, and communication between my sister and I cooled. Should I just pass the time and let it go? — An uncle feeling guilty

Dear guilt: It seems that the relationship you had with your sister and her family when you lived closer to each other was intimate. With such a focus on family gatherings and celebrations in particular, I could see how your nephew and his wife would feel a little miffed not having you both present at their wedding. While going through the necessary steps to be there might have been a slight pain, this is what we do for the family (finances permitting). But it’s also important to note that regardless of their physical presence, the newlyweds should have certainly sent a thank you note for the generous wedding gift. A month is a short time. You could still receive a thank you note.

Smooth things over with your sister and nephew’s family by suggesting a celebratory lunch together very soon halfway between you.

Dear Anne: I would be remiss if I didn’t email and let you know that the behavior of the future daughter-in-law in the “Caring For One Little Pig” letter may very well be due to ADHD or a undiagnosed depression. Before you start taking things off her, it would be a good idea to get her checked out by a doctor or go into some sort of counseling. It’s certainly possible that she’s just being lazy, but most of the time what adults consider lazy is actually executive dysfunction caused by other things.

ADHD and other neurodiversities are often underdiagnosed in girls. Instead of seeing this as something the child does to adults on purpose and punishing them accordingly, why can’t we start by assuming good intentions and trying to figure out where the blockage is? Thanks! – A college professor who was a slob at age 12

Dear College Teacher: A very valid suggestion. Thank you for your point of view based on experience.

See previous columns “Dear Annie”

“How can I forgive my cheating partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology – featuring her favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation – is available in paperback and e-book form. Visit Creators Edition for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]


Comments are closed.