So a little back story...I got married 2 1/2 years ago. My mom's side of my family (i.e. her parents are SUPER religious - i.e. Latin Catholic mass everyday). My husband and I got married outdoors, which in the eyes of my parents (mostly my mom) and grandparents, was not a "legal marriage", since it was not in a church. Along the way up to the wedding, my grandparents sent us numerous books about the importance of having a Catholic wedding, as well as not very nice voicemails and letters stating their opinion and how they would not attend if it was not in a church. In the end, my grandparents chose not to attend our wedding.
Our entire wedding planning process was very stressful...lots of guilt, nasty opinions, and tears. We ended up having some issues with our minister (family/friend) we had lined up (nothing personal, we just found out too late that their license would not be valid in the state we lived in). In the end, we decided to get married a week a head of time (before our outdoor wedding ceremony/reception), in my church (just ourselves and two witnesses). At that point, my husband and I were so fed up with not only my parents for not being supportive of our decisions and especially my grandparents that we told no one about our quick/small ceremony, because we felt that if they couldn't come FOR US, then they shouldn't come at all.
We eventually told both my parents and grandparents that following Christmas (6 months after our wedding). I was very reluctant to even attend Christmas because I knew that my grandparents would be there. My husband was the one that told everyone. When we told my parents and grandparents about our small "church wedding", my grandparents seemed very relieved that we did do a church ceremony. I told them how very hurt I was that they chose not to attend. There response was "I wish you would have told us about your small church ceremony, because then maybe our church would have approved of us attending" and "it was a hard day for us too".
There apology did not feel very sincere to me. It was extremely hard to see them miss our special day. On top of this, since finding out we did getting married the "legal / Catholic way", they do now recognize our wedding anniversary (they sent us a wedding present after we told them too- of course a religious gift, and now send yearly anniversary cards too). But it just hurts that they couldn't recognize it before. It's not like I had some heathen/devil wedding or something. We had a beautiful barn/country wedding, and I'm so glad we did, (despite all the hell we went through).
I talked to my uncle later on about it (my grandparents son), and he was very supportive of my husband and I, and our decision. He actually told us that something very similar happened within his family decades ago when another uncle got married. I found out that apparently my grandparents never even attended THEIR OWN SON'S WEDDING!! (I believe it was because he married a non-Catholic who had a child "out of wedlock" from another father). I had never heard about this prior. So turned out, this was not the first time they chose not to attend a close family members wedding. It actually made me feel a little relieved, and disgusted. To this day, this uncle still very rarely speaks to them (understandably)...(and yes, they are still married).
To this day, I am still very angry with them. Frankly, I really don't consider them my grandparents. It just hurts that their apology did not feel sincere. They only have so many grandkids. They made the CHOICE not to attend...NO ONE ELSE. I believe in God and I'm much more spiritual than religious. I don't appreciate people shoving thier views down my throat. I realize they probably will never change; I realize how important religion is to them, but if your church is so strict that you can't attend your granddaughters outdoor wedding, and in the end, you end up pushing family away, then there is something seriously wrong with that. For gosh sakes, my husbands 90 year old grandpa had to have his LEG AMPUTATED weeks before our wedding and he STILL ATTENDED.
I still very reluctantly attend holidays (my husband is very supportive but also keeps telling me I should try to "get over it"). In fact, part of the reason, I'm writing this is because my family is trying to get my husband and I to attend my grandparents 80th birthday dinner coming up soon. They have been calling and texting the past week (To which I haven't responded to the matter yet). I really hate conflicts, I hate stirring up trouble. I'm not sure if my parents just don't realize that I'm still peeved at my grandparents, or what... My feelings towards it, is why should I recognize someones birthday who couldn't even acknowledge my marriage?? I'm not sure if I will tell them we already made plans that day (which is true, we did/still do have plans - they did only tell us about this very last minute), and/or if I should tell them the real reason why....
I know it's not good to hold grudges. I realize they're getting older. I'm normally pretty good at letting things go, but I just don't know how to move forward...I just don't know what to do anymore...this has really been stressing me out again lately. I don't want to have any regrets, and I hope I'm not sounding selfish, but honestly, I'm still very hurt, and I just don't know how to forgive them. Any advice would be appreciated!