Dear Annie: My husband has four grown children – one from his first marriage and the other three with his late wife. Talk about drama! Who talks to who? Who can’t stand who? Who gets annoyed when one of them comes to visit us? Today they could be BFFs, and tomorrow they stab each other in the back!
Recently, my husband has been saying he’d like to see his four children and all his grandchildren together. Actually, his exact words have been, “I guess the only time I’ll see all my kids together in one room is when they come to my funeral.”
My husband has a milestone birthday approaching. I’ve been thinking about having a surprise birthday party at a restaurant for him and inviting all the kids and grandchildren. I’ve thought about texting/emailing all of them with a note letting them know their dad’s wishes and asking them to be civil to one another for a few hours for their dad.
What are your thoughts? Should I try it, or should I just drop the whole party idea and the two of us go to dinner? – No More Drama, Please!
Dear No More Drama: What a beautiful wish. I would call each child individually and explain your vision for the event – to have the entire family together for their father’s special day. I would emphasize the point that this is not about them or their issues with one another. It’s about their dad.
If they seem receptive to the idea and committed to making their dad’s dream a reality, proceed with the party. If they respond by bringing up complaints or family drama, you can kindly ask that they sit this one out.
Dear Annie: My best friend of more than 20 years and I are having issues. She said something that hurt my feelings in December. I told her how I felt via text message, but she did not acknowledge my feelings. In January, I sent her a message saying I did not like the way things were and asked if we could talk. She said she was sorry for hurting me but does not wish to go back in the past; hence she will not talk with me.
I told her I don’t see how the friendship can continue if we don’t talk about what was said. She insists that our friendship is important to her; however, she is unwilling to talk with me about this comment. She said sorry for hurting my feelings, but I don’t believe she knows what she is saying sorry for.
I would like us to talk and for her to admit that it was not right for her to say what she did to me. I told her it is bothering me and I need to talk about it with her, but she is adamant that she is not going back in the past. This is not something we talked about before. Do you think I am being unreasonable? – Fractured Friendship
Dear Fractured: It sounds like whatever you and your friend were talking about is serious enough to be a dealbreaker for you. You’ve told her time and again how important it is to you to resolve the issue at hand for the sake of your relationship, and she’s responded with denial and defiance – not very friendly.
Actions speak louder than words. If your friend valued you the way she says she does, she would attempt to reconcile with you. There are some things even the longest friendships cannot endure. It may be time to accept this as one of them if it’s something you truly cannot see past.
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