Squabbling siblings send mom into spin, what is the solution?
DEAR ANNIE: I have two sons, both married with children, living in two different states. For several years, my older son “John” has refused to talk to his brother, “Teddy.” I don’t know why, except that John’s wife initiated it.
My husband and my sons and their families were at a wedding a few years ago. John’s wife refused to acknowledge Teddy’s family. She stayed for all of the wedding festivities, but walked away whenever Teddy, his wife or children came near.
Since then, John and his family have visited cousins who live near his brother, but they have not once contacted him. My husband and I are stressed over the situation, but don’t know what to do about it. Any suggestions?
Dear Cornered: Can you speak to your sons and find out what this is all about? Was there an argument between the wives? Did Teddy say or do something that John’s wife found insulting or unforgivable? Or vice versa?
Losing a sibling over something that might be remedied is terribly sad. But if you are willing, you are in a position to broker a truce. Perhaps one of your sons (or their wives) would be willing to discuss it with you and find a way to resolve it. Often these disagreements turn into longtime feuds because no one is willing to take the first step without encouragement and help from a third party. If you don’t feel capable of mediating, consider asking another relative or a close friend to step in.