Don’t let un­rea­son­able Mom ruin wed­ding

Cape Breton Post - - ADVICE / GAMES - El­lie Tesher Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice. Copyright 2017: El­lie Tesher Dis­trib­uted by: Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

Q: My boyfriend of four-anda-half years and I (both in our 30’s) will buy a house in the spring, and then get en­gaged.

We have large ex­tended fam­i­lies, so we want a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding.

But my fu­ture mother-inlaw said she wouldn’t at­tend, though my boyfriend’s her only child.

Her rea­son was that his half­si­b­lings would be there!

His fa­ther died when he was in his teens. His half-sib­lings from his fa­ther’s first mar­riage are great peo­ple and great role mod­els for us.

We plan on hav­ing them in the wed­ding party.

She says nasty lies about them, though she hasn’t seen them in 10 years.

I told her they’re fam­ily, too. I said we couldn’t af­ford a guest list of 250 peo­ple so we’re plan­ning a year or two ahead so guests can save up.

Those who can come, will; those who can’t won’t, and that’s fine.

I’m feel­ing she doesn’t want us get­ting mar­ried. I’m scared she’s go­ing to ruin this for us or guilt-trip us the rest of our lives. — How Do I Deal?

A: First, she’s his mom, so he should talk to her. Sec­ond, don’t build a drama about her not want­ing you to marry.

His half-sib­lings are go­ing to be present wher­ever your wed­ding takes place. So her re­ac­tion is about them, not you two.

He has to tell her that they’re in­cluded, pe­riod. Also, that he loves her and wants her there.

But, if she chooses not to at­tend, she’s mak­ing these peo­ple more im­por­tant than her own son.

Q: I’m 49, have suf­fered from clin­i­cal de­pres­sion and bi-po­lar dis­or­der since my 20’s, and have two grown chil­dren.

I found so­bri­ety af­ter al­co­hol ad­dic­tion, yet for months I’ve been us­ing al­co­hol and weed to cope now.

I’ve been with my com­mon­law hus­band for two-and-a-half years. He’s a bit older, re­tired, with no chil­dren. I work full­time and can re­tire at 55.

But the prob­lems in our re­la­tion­ship are a fa­mil­iar pat­tern for me. I ex­pe­ri­ence waves of ir­ri­ta­tion and anger, then sad­ness and lone­li­ness.

We have a lot in com­mon. I love him. But I keep push­ing him away.

I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced very low pe­ri­ods, and felt lonely and in­se­cure. I’d lash out at my part­ner and threaten to end things.

Yes­ter­day he con­veyed that he was done. I broke down and cried like a baby.

So I begged him to give me an­other chance, and he agreed to try.

I’m in ther­apy. I take med­i­ca­tion. I usu­ally take good care of my­self.

I know that my drink­ing again is con­tribut­ing to my de­pres­sion.

It’s hard to be with some­one who doesn’t un­der­stand men­tal ill­ness and ex­pects me to just ac­cept things, be pos­i­tive.

He’s kind, lov­ing, and sup­port­ive, but just doesn’t see life through the same lens.

I want to stop giv­ing up just be­cause we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a dif­fi­cult time. He gives up eas­ily too, he ad­mits.

— Re­peated Cy­cle

A: Get back to what­ever so­bri­ety ap­proach helped be­fore, be­cause you can’t fight de­pres­sion on al­co­hol and weed. Your self-med­i­ca­tion is in­ter­fer­ing with your pre­scribed meds and ther­apy.

You know this. You’ve learned a lot through the hard work you’ve done to help your­self.

But in cri­sis, you need pro­fes­sion­als - your doc­tor, your ther­a­pist, a cou­ples’ coun­sel­lor - to help you and your part­ner through this.

Your men­tal health de­pends on you know­ing when to reach out. Writ­ing your cur­rent state down was a start.

Alert your team. They can’t help if you don’t let them know when you most need them.

FEEDBACK: Re­gard­ing the bride’s con­cern about her dis­abled guest: (Jan­uary 28):

Reader - “The best thing a bride can do for some­one with crit­i­cal heath is­sues is ask them what their needs and lim­i­ta­tions are.

“Af­ter suf­fer­ing sev­eral strokes, I was ex­pected to at­tend a fam­ily wed­ding.

“I was told of var­i­ous ac­com­mo­da­tions that had been made for me, none of which I needed or would’ve helped my then symp­toms.

“Months later, I per­son­ally ad­vise a bride and groom of my med­i­cal sit­u­a­tion and say it’s a 50/50 chance that I’ll ac­tu­ally be able to at­tend.

“I tell them my spe­cific lim­i­ta­tions and that I’ll likely be leav­ing with Grandma in the early cab home.

“I think that prior con­ver­sa­tion where ev­ery­one is on the same page be­fore­hand can re­duce a lot of anx­i­ety for both parties and any un­due med­i­cal trauma for crit­i­cally ill peo­ple who are still try­ing to share pre­cious mo­ments with loved ones.”

TIP OF THE DAY

A par­ent who tries to ob­struct a wed­ding for self­ish rea­sons, risks be­ing by-passed.

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