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First Thanksgiving after wedding-- How do I handle "the no-shows" Please Help!!

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Re: First Thanksgiving after wedding-- How do I handle "the no-shows" Please Help!!

  • image nemertes:

    while reading all the responses, I've think I know why this bothers me so much -- 

     the common thread of your responses is to find out why he didn't come. 

    He has not talked to me -- but I was told by another family member the day after my wedding, that he and his wife was out boozing the night before my wedding and they were too hungover to come.  I should hve added that in my original post, but was embarrassed.  

    Since my wedding, the few times i've mentioned it,( and i've only made mention to a few family members), nobody wants to acknowledge why he didn't come --  or his drinking problem. It's one of those things nobody talks about because he loves to talk a big talk, and throws his money around.

    Confrontation is a big problem is my family.  It is highly frowned upon.  That is one of the reasons my mom isn't going, because my mom was told not to say anything.  Today I was told that my husband and I "just weren't his type of people" (rowdy drinkers).  That comment is what prompted my original post.  It feels like i'm being told told to not make waves.

    Wow.  You realize how dysfunctional that is, right? 

    Who cares if other people don't want you to "make waves"?  They can get the fark over it.   Continuing to tiptoe around your relatives' alcoholism is the better solution?  And your mom is actually SKIPPING THANKSGIVING so that no one "makes waves" with your alcoholic relatives?

    Indifferent

     

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  • I'm confused. Who is hosting Thanksgiving Dinner? A dinner your mom isn't choosing to attend, that your aunt and uncle will be at?

    If it's another family member, I would have opted out also and make plans to join my mother for the holiday.



  •  Thank you!  scherza

    This is a pretty spot-on summary!  how insightful.

    However, It is my mother's brother,and my grandparents (maternal) who want my mom to keep quiet.

     The dinner is hosted by my grandparents.

    Also, my family is the portrait of dysfunction - lol

  • Why did you let them RSVP for 8 people anyway and how does two people drunk impact the other 6 that were supposed to come?  Are the other 6 minors? 

    I understand being upset, but I think really you either need to confront the issue or get over it.  If you aren't willing to say something I think it is a little passive aggressive to suddenly stop inviting them to family functions or in your mom's case boycott family functions because of it.  

  • If it was me, I would probably pretend to be concerned about them and ask if something awful happened causing them and their children to not be able to attend my wedding and not have a chance to call me to apologize for it yet.  Then I'd make sure I was sitting on the opposite end of the table from them. 

    I might be able to forgive someday, but I think it's valid to have your feelings still hurt just 2 months after.  Absent a really good excuse, I think it is ok for you to act hurt if you really do feel that way, as well.  You should be an adult about it, no reason to sulk in the corner.  But, I wouldn't exactly be chatting about trivial matters with them either.

  • image nemertes:

    while reading all the responses, I've think I know why this bothers me so much -- 

     the common thread of your responses is to find out why he didn't come. 

    He has not talked to me -- but I was told by another family member the day after my wedding, that he and his wife was out boozing the night before my wedding and they were too hungover to come.  I should hve added that in my original post, but was embarrassed.

    See this is some very important information that would have greatly changed the advice you were given from the get go.  There is no reason to be embarrassed, this isn't real life, we don't know you, and for the most part we don't really care if you have alcoholic relatives because we all have our own issues to deal with.  The more information you give us the better we can help you and the less likely we are going to make incorrect assumptions.

    OK, so they got trashed and didn't show up to your wedding.  So I'm going back to my initial advice.  Go to Thanksgiving, be polite but avoid direct communication with them.  If you want to confront them about their drinking that is not the place to do it.  However if your mother is holding her own Thanksgiving I think you should go to that rather than the big family dinner.

    I would not invite them to your Christmas dinner.  It should not warrant any discussion, but you know if these people  would get the hint or not.  If you don't think they would get it I don't know if you have any other option than to call them and say "Aunt/Uncle, I was very disappointed that you chose not to attend my wedding because of your alcoholism.  I hope that one day you can sober up, but until then I just cannot allow you in my life.  Please make other arrangements for Christmas this year."  Hang up get off the phone.

    As far as their alcoholism goes.  There is nothing you can say or do to change it.  They have to make that decision for themselves.  However as long as everyone is choosing to look the other way they are never going to have the incentive to change.  Be that brave person in your family that finally says "Enough is enough, I don't want you in my life while you are still drinking."  Maybe, just maybe, some other people will take your lead and make a change.

  • image nemertes:

    while reading all the responses, I've think I know why this bothers me so much -- 

     the common thread of your responses is to find out why he didn't come. 

    He has not talked to me -- but I was told by another family member the day after my wedding, that he and his wife was out boozing the night before my wedding and they were too hungover to come.  I should hve added that in my original post, but was embarrassed.  

    Since my wedding, the few times i've mentioned it,( and i've only made mention to a few family members), nobody wants to acknowledge why he didn't come --  or his drinking problem. It's one of those things nobody talks about because he loves to talk a big talk, and throws his money around.

    Confrontation is a big problem is my family.  It is highly frowned upon.  That is one of the reasons my mom isn't going, because my mom was told not to say anything.  Today I was told that my husband and I "just weren't his type of people" (rowdy drinkers).  That comment is what prompted my original post.  It feels like i'm being told told to not make waves.

    They were too hung over to come to the wedding, so what happened to the other 6?

    Now you have to separate their drinking problem from their rudeness.  And now decide if you want them in your life.  Knowing that they are boozers and unreliable.  And frankly, care more about themselves than you.  Missing a wedding is a pretty big red flag for alcohol abuse.

    Anyway, you are pissed but this isn't really about you.  You are just another victim to their out of control drinking.  You have a great story for their intervention.

    In the meanwhile, move on.  There behavior is out of control.  You can't do anything about it.  And while good, decent people would have called to apologize and would have sent a gift ... they didn't.  It's okay to right them off as boozers with a REALLY big problem.  A drinking problem you don't have to solve .. or be around.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Despite your anger about them not showing up and the alcholism that likely lead to the situation, a Thanksgiving celebration is not the time for this discussion (one hosted by someone else, no less).

    image
  • I'm assuming you are upset because they cost you a lot of money.  So how much money are you out?

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  • I'm coming at this from another perspective.  We had about 25-30 people in our family, and Christmas was a big deal for my entire childhood into my early adult years, with everyone attending.  After my aunt took over hosting from my ill grandmother, she started barring certain family members from attending when she was mad at them.  Granted, sometimes her anger was warranted, but it still sucked that our entire family no longer met up for Christmas. 

    I never felt that she had the right to decide for the entire family that one or two people couldn't be part of our FAMILY celebration.  If she wanted to host, she should be willing to have everyone there, in my opinion.  It was the beginning of the end of the family getting together for Christmas.  Some took one side or the other, and the rest of us just didn't feel it was Christmas if not everyone was welcome.  Eventually, the 30-something-year-old tradition of getting together stopped.

    Now, a decade later, I couldn't tell you the last time I saw most of my extended family.  That's what sometimes happens when you start deciding that some are worthy to attend "your" family Christmas party and others are not welcome. 

    I definitely would be ticked at them in your position, but I would think long and hard before starting a "tradition" of deciding who's part of the family and who's not for holiday get-togethers.  I don't think your gripe in this case is a big enough reason to take that stance. 

  • I think you need to let go of the fact that they no-showed.  We all (probably) had people stiff us, I know I did, and some of them were likely for the same reason your uncle reportedly missed yours.  If its bothering you this much, why not bring up the subject in conversation...something to the effect of "its good to see you...we missed seeing you guys at the wedding...whatever happened that you couldn't make it?"  You might find out is was something legit.  Sounds like that might not be the case, but if nothing else bringing it up would let them know it bothered you.  Thanksgiving dinner, presumably at someone elses house even, probably isn't the best time to bring it up...but sooner than later would be better.  The more things fester, the worse they'll get.

    As for Christmas, just don't invite them.  Could be a tricky situation if its normally a gathering they'd attend, but if its at your house then its your right.  Could worsen the rift in the family...but if they ask why they weren't invited and are told its because it hurts when they say they'll come and then don't bother...that could be a good jumping off point to let them know their actions hurt others.  Of course, they could just call you a b*tch and go drink a fifth...but then you'll know you made the right decision for you and DH to not include them.

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  • What other people have told you and their alcoholism aside, I still don't see why you can't simply say "We missed you at the wedding- what happened?".  Really- you've heard from a 3rd party why they weren't there.  Sure, it's probably accurate, but in reality, you don't really KNOW the reason why.

    Asking them this isn't "confronting" them and it isn't bringing up their alcoholism.  It's simply calling them out on a very simple lack of etiquette situation that THEY brought on themselves.

    No, bringing this up won't cure their alcholism, but it will let them know that their behavior does affect other people.  May not change anything, but it will let them know.

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  • I still think you should ask what happened.   It's been really easy for them to just skip your wedding and not be confronted about it and hope that the rest of the family to spread the message to not mention it.   Screw that.   I'd actually mention it right after everyone has been seated for dinner.   But, I actually enjoy asking questions designed to make someone squirm uncomfortably. 

    Also, why would their drunkenness impact the other 6 people coming?    Who were the other 6 no-shows?  

    Did your mom contribute to your wedding?   If she was footing the bill for those 8 people, I can understand why she'd be so angry with them.    If I were her, I'd have no problem whatsoever saying something like, "you cost us X amount by not showing up, for your NIECE'S wedding.   And you don't even have the grace to apologize for it or make a half-hearted excuse for it."   

    Also, don't mention that they're not invited for anything else.   Just don't invite them.   

  • I missed the part about the alcoholism.  I can understand why your mom won't go, sounds like it was the last straw for her and it sounds like your grandma is enabling your unlcle.   I can understand why your mom wouldn't want to be a part of that anymore.  I would spend Tday with your mom and maybe just stop by for dessert with that side of the family. 

    Try to understand that you cannot control an alcoholics behavior, nor can you make them want to change.  It has to come from within themselves.  I would just tell them that it was a shame they couldn't be there and that they missed a good time.  And, I wouldn't be extending any further invitations to them until they become more responsible and reliable.

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  • image arlhello:
    So your Mom won't come to Thanksgiving because of your Aunt and Uncle, and you're still inviting your Aunt and Uncle?  I'd rather have my Mom there!

    way to enable childish behavior.  the only thing preventing "mom" from attending the dinner is "mom," because she's being a turd.  No host should be in a position of having to keep track of who's mad at whom.  You invite who you want to invite and expect your guests to act like adults.  If they can't, that's their problem.

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  • That sounds so thoughtless that part of me thinks there must have been some other explanation.  Like one of the kids had some embarrassing crisis that they don't want spread all around the family.  Or maybe whatever happened was such a big deal that your wedding was legitimately totally forgotten about (you know, like if someone important had died).  If you haven't already, I'd try to bring it up politely, "So good to see you again after all this time, we missed you at the wedding."  And see if they offer an explanation or apology.  It might not include details, but the details really aren't any of your business.  (Of course, if they tell you that flights were too expensive or they got up that morning and didn't feel like coming, I'd probably never speak to them again...) 

  • When 8 people don't show up, my presumption is some horrible thing happened and OMG. I had a few no shows at our last big party, people who'd RSVPd, and I called the next day, kind of worried and kind of pissed; but saying "Omg! We missed you so much last night; is everything OK??" line. One person had actually been called out of town on work, and just didn't call me; the other two blew off the party and then told me so, and were sorry, etc, etc, and I accepted their apologies.  They're not likely to be reinvited; but the matter was out in the open and done with.

    All the passive in the background I was told and my mom won't come and someone said they said stuff is just malarky. Next time, pick up the phone and find out what happened to your much loved guests who didn't show. At this point, you can still  do a "omg, we missed you at our wedding; don't worry about the plate cost, I'm just glad you're ok" (with a relieved look and no annoyed tone). Then if they say "yeah, we just don't like sedate receptions, we decided to blow you off" then you can be retroactively insulted and stomp off if you want.

     

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  • This happened to me.  My cousin RSVP'd days before the wedding with my grandma (she called them so we could get a final number) and then all 6 of them didn't show up.  At our Christmas Eve get together, I hugged her as usual and then said "so what happened at the wedding"  She looked at me confused and I said "for the wedding, you RSVP'd for 6 people at the last minute and then didn't show up."  She got real flustered and stammered on about them getting stuck in Pittsburgh that day and thought they could get back in time.  I told her that that was fine and all, but in the future, please do not RSVP for a wedding if you are not positive you can come because we had to pay for all six.  She aplogized profusely and said she never knew you had to pay for the final number in advance (duh??).  So I think people truly are clueless.
  • I'll tell you this... my husband's cousins and Aunt has RSVP'd for 5 people to our wedding and no showed.  I was more upset about the cost I was out (I'd estimate approx. $300 or so) but because it was my husbands family it was never ever mentioned.  I don't think they realized that it cost us money, but I know our wedding was on a Saturday and the Wednesday right before my husband talked to his Aunt and she assured him she was coming.  They still speak, though not as much, but my husband never asked why they didn't come and they never offered an explanation.  It's been a year and I can tell you I am nowhere near as close to them now as I was before.  It's not so much that they missed the wedding, it's that they were perfectly fine and never gave an explanation.

    This was a year ago, and my husband didn't want to cause waves so he never asked.  I can tell you, if given the opportunity, I would have asked and probably still would to this day.  It's just one of those things that is always going to be in the back of your head if you don't ask.

  • You arefucking petty.  Your wedding is not the be all and end all of the universe.  Get over it and quit creating unnecessary drama.  
  • I want to thank you guys that gave advice.  It has been very insightful, & really helped me to approach the situation in a tactful way. 

    At Thanksgiving dinner, I did what most of you told me to do( ask them personally) and she didn't have a reason, just some him-hawing, saying they were out of town, but couldn't remember where (my uncle couldn't either). It was a tense moment for the three of us -- but I feel so much better since I got it off my chest

     Thanks again!!

     

      


  • image ictoana:

    Put on your big girl panties and suck it up.  Be polite, keep conversations superficial, and let it go. 

    As far as telling them they aren't invited... just don't invite them.  You don't have to make it a point to tell them "Sorry Aunt Sara and Uncle Jim, you aren't invited to Christmas dinner!" 

    This - adults don't stress over 8 extra seats that were empty at your wedding.  If you're mom is hurt b/c it's her sibling, then she should have talked with your uncle by now or let it go.  None of this will matter in 10-years anyway. 

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