Author Topic: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.  (Read 15135 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #60 on: October 13, 2011, 01:20:00 PM »
Not that this matters (or maybe it does), but Iíve lived on this side of the country for 13 years.  Not ONCE has this sister (or my other two sisters) been to visit me.  I saw my brother when he was out her for business, once about four years ago.  My mother has been out twice in 13 years.  ALL of them have traveled elsewhere for vacations, etc.  Yet ďIím the one expected to drop everything and go back when they think the situation requires my presence.  I have notÖexcept for my grandmotherís funeral in 2004.  Simply canít afford it Ė among other things. Though finances play little part in my current decision not to attend my sisterís wedding.

I've seen this argument a few times from different posters, and it tends to rub me the wrong way.  Bearing in mind that I've lived in different continents from my parents and sister, and I currently live a 12-hour drive from my parents--it was my choice to move.  It bothers me when people make the choice to move a great distance away from their family and then complain that family members never come to visit.  They didn't make the choice for you to move.  If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.

OP, it sounds to me like you're offering justifications for why you don't want to go.  You do have the option not to go, but when the two big reasons are (a) people don't cross the country to the place you've chosen, and (b) the wedding is right around your birthday, I'd be pretty careful of just how you word things when you do decline.  I could see the family fallout not being pretty.

It's just nice to have family members care enough about your life to want to see what it is like where you are.  And sometimes both sets of kids have moved "away" but the folks only visit one, for whatever reason.
"And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges." -- Feste, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #61 on: October 13, 2011, 01:31:12 PM »
My bro got married the day after my birthday.  I went to his wedding.  The rehersal dinner was on my birthday - they gave me a gift.  A birthday party can be had the weekend before or after.  I'd rather be there for my bro - who, at the time, lived a 4 hour flight away - than have a b-day party on the day of my birthday.  If you would go to the wedding on any other day, then I say go.  If you wouldn't go, and are just using the birthday as an excuse, then send your apologies. 

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MineralDiva

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #62 on: October 13, 2011, 01:51:01 PM »

...It bothers me when people make the choice to move a great distance away from their family and then complain that family members never come to visit.  They didn't make the choice for you to move.  If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.


My living so far from family, was the result of two corporate moves made by my (now former) husband.  Did I have a ďchoice?Ē  I suppose so, if I had wanted to end my marriage at the time for that reason.  Otherwise, I respectfully take exception to your assumption.

PeterM

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2011, 02:01:14 PM »
Not that this matters (or maybe it does), but Iíve lived on this side of the country for 13 years.  Not ONCE has this sister (or my other two sisters) been to visit me.  I saw my brother when he was out her for business, once about four years ago.  My mother has been out twice in 13 years.  ALL of them have traveled elsewhere for vacations, etc.  Yet ďIím the one expected to drop everything and go back when they think the situation requires my presence.  I have notÖexcept for my grandmotherís funeral in 2004.  Simply canít afford it Ė among other things. Though finances play little part in my current decision not to attend my sisterís wedding.

I've seen this argument a few times from different posters, and it tends to rub me the wrong way.  Bearing in mind that I've lived in different continents from my parents and sister, and I currently live a 12-hour drive from my parents--it was my choice to move.  It bothers me when people make the choice to move a great distance away from their family and then complain that family members never come to visit.  They didn't make the choice for you to move.  If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.

It really feels like you didn't read the second half of the paragraph. She's not complaining because her family never takes the time to visit her, she's complaining because her family never takes the time to visit her and yet badgers her into taking on the costs of travel anytime they feel she should be present. Those are not the same thing.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #64 on: October 13, 2011, 02:16:17 PM »
Not that this matters (or maybe it does), but Iíve lived on this side of the country for 13 years.  Not ONCE has this sister (or my other two sisters) been to visit me.  I saw my brother when he was out her for business, once about four years ago.  My mother has been out twice in 13 years.  ALL of them have traveled elsewhere for vacations, etc.  Yet ďIím the one expected to drop everything and go back when they think the situation requires my presence.  I have notÖexcept for my grandmotherís funeral in 2004.  Simply canít afford it Ė among other things. Though finances play little part in my current decision not to attend my sisterís wedding.

I've seen this argument a few times from different posters, and it tends to rub me the wrong way.  Bearing in mind that I've lived in different continents from my parents and sister, and I currently live a 12-hour drive from my parents--it was my choice to move.  It bothers me when people make the choice to move a great distance away from their family and then complain that family members never come to visit.  They didn't make the choice for you to move.  If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.

It really feels like you didn't read the second half of the paragraph. She's not complaining because her family never takes the time to visit her, she's complaining because her family never takes the time to visit her and yet badgers her into taking on the costs of travel anytime they feel she should be present. Those are not the same thing.

POD

And I would say that when a "child" becomes an adult and is out on their own, they do not take with them the burden of doing the bulk of the traveling so that the family can visit with each other.
 
That's just not reasonable.

It's the nature of things that children grow up and move away.  I suppose if parents want to cut their noses off to spite their faces they could take up that kind of attitude--"well, you chose to move away, so we're not going to visit you..." but it would be counter productive.

My in-laws have done this.  My DH is their oldest son.  We had 3 children and so were a family of 5.  Yet, they expected us to fly out to visit them instead of the other way around.  We even offered to help them pay for two tickets rather than us try and pay for 5 tickets .
 
Of course they didn't like visiting us because it wasn't "their house, their rules" and they couldn't try and boss us around as much.
 
I recently found out that one of my great "sins" as a DIL was "making DH move away from Hometown."  Which was news to me because I didn't "make" him move anywhere and I would have been perfectly fine staying in his Hometown.  However, that's not where the job was.

high dudgeon

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #65 on: October 13, 2011, 02:16:53 PM »
If you (general you) make the choice to move away, then I think it's reasonable to expect to be the one doing the bulk of the traveling to visit family.

I disagree with this. If people who live far away from each other want to keep up contact with each other, its on both of them to find ways to do so. If it matters to both of them, they will both look out for cheap fares, learn how to video chat, use up their vacation time to get together. If one or both of them isn't interested in keeping up contact or maintaining the relationship, then it's no one's fault, it's just not a priority, and one person can't be expected to do it all by themselves. Regardless of who moved and who stayed.

MineralDiva

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #66 on: October 13, 2011, 02:19:52 PM »

It's just nice to have family members care enough about your life to want to see what it is like where you are.  And sometimes both sets of kids have moved "away" but the folks only visit one, for whatever reason.

Right.  I have a brother who lives in another state.  He is regularly visited.  Another sister (this oneís twin, in fact) has a second home in Florida, which is also regularly used/visited.  Somehow, I am an afterthought Ė if thought of at all Ė except when my presence is demanded.  In their opinion, after my divorce, I no longer have a legitimate life.  So why canít I just drop whatever insignificant thing Iím doing (including work Ė Ďcause itís not a ďreal jobĒ anyway, where their needs are concerned) to do what Iím told?  After all, theyíre faaamily!  They should come first!  To do otherwise is totally selfish and uncaring on my part.  Well, I suppose they have the right to be wrong.  They will think and say whatever suits their purposes, regardless Ė and often do, despite glaring evidence to the contrary.  I choose not to participate in such nonsense any longer.  If I can reasonably accommodate, fine.  If not, they can add it to their ever-growing list of real and imagined ďwrongs.Ē

I just wanted to make sure I wasnít being completely off-the-wall-rude here.  Thanks for the great input. 

still in va

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #67 on: October 13, 2011, 02:23:49 PM »
I just wanted to make sure I wasnít being completely off-the-wall-rude here.  Thanks for the great input.

i don't think that you're rude in the least.  though i did get a kick out of the car on the exit ramp analogy.

Ruelz

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #68 on: October 13, 2011, 02:29:58 PM »
I'm in a similar spot...just with my ILs, not my own family.  My husband is the oldest of 6 kids...and for some reason I've always gotten the impression we're 'less important'.  His siblings don't visit us, but they visit each other.  We've spent years doing the driving etc., to go home to visit and the fact that we gave up vacation time (that they would never do) was just a non-issue.  I could go on, but will spare you all a rant... >:D

I've recently given up to save my sanity and my feelings.  His family.  He can send cards, give gifts, etc.  and take either the negative feedback, or the non-existant feedback.  His feelings don't seem to be bothered by it.  I'm out of it.

If you don't want to go, don't go.  It's not rude to decline an invitation.  You don't have to have a reason, or give a reason. Actually, it might be best to not give one at all...less fuel for the fire, so to speak.


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immadz

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2011, 02:45:23 PM »
When I first read the post, my initial thought was " Well obviously go to the wedding, it would be fun to celebrate with family and then come back and celebrate with friends as well." Then I realized that unless it were a funeral, my birthday would get a mini-celebration even if it were my sister's wedding and everyone including my sister would party and have fun for me. If OP is going to return home and feel unwanted and neglected on her birthday, then I think it is perfectly okay to not move.


Redneck Gravy

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2011, 02:58:13 PM »
If you don't want to go - don't go.  I wouldn't let the "milestone" birthday be the issue though, just say you have other plans. 

I do think it sounds rude that your excuse is your birthday - but that's just my opinion.  Just saying you have other plans (watching the grass grow if you want to) is all that needs to be said.

As far as the argument about moving away from family, the road runs both ways.  I have lived here all my life, both brothers and my sister moved away - for various reasons.  I go there, they come here, we are close, huge difference with MineralDiva.   You have choices, life is too short to be emotionally abused by family or anyone else.


alegria

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #71 on: October 13, 2011, 03:09:50 PM »
I'm in a similar spot...just with my ILs, not my own family.  My husband is the oldest of 6 kids...and for some reason I've always gotten the impression we're 'less important'.  His siblings don't visit us, but they visit each other.  We've spent years doing the driving etc., to go home to visit and the fact that we gave up vacation time (that they would never do) was just a non-issue.  I could go on, but will spare you all a rant... >:D

I've recently given up to save my sanity and my feelings.  His family.  He can send cards, give gifts, etc.  and take either the negative feedback, or the non-existant feedback.  His feelings don't seem to be bothered by it.  I'm out of it.

Wow, that's just like my situation - my DH is the oldest of 5 kids, the only one to actually be a successful adult so far, and yet he's the one who is ignored.  We've been married nearly 10 years, are financially stable, and he's in a career that is moving well (as am I), of his other siblings one is unemployed and married to an unemployed cheater, one is married to an adorable person and they are starting a nice life together, one is being a drama llama about the country on the other side of the world they chose to go to school at, and one just got engaged and the only reason I know the bethrothed's name is because of Facebook. 

After various drama with Christmas last year (nobody seemed to feel it was necessary to buy us presents, despite handing out plenty of their own wishlists) and plans this year, I gave up.  Gifts for his siblings are up to him - I'll help with his parents, who are lovely people and understand reciprocation is important, but his siblings are up to him.

Ruelz

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #72 on: October 13, 2011, 03:31:00 PM »
It's always good to know you're not the only one in the boat... ;D

I wish I had backed off some 30 years ago...but I was still young and optimistic then... ;)
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MineralDiva

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #73 on: October 13, 2011, 03:41:25 PM »
It's always good to know you're not the only one in the boat... ;D

I wish I had backed off some 30 years ago...but I was still young and optimistic then... ;)

POD and amen.

Ticia

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Re: Sorry, I donít want to spend my 50th birthday at your wedding.
« Reply #74 on: October 13, 2011, 03:50:59 PM »
A sort of similar story, about the visiting people who live far away thing...

When I was 18 I moved in with my grandmother, and then about a year later moved in with my sister, who lived about an hour away from the town I grew up in. My sister lived in a Very Very Small Town. There were 12 students graduating from the High School one year I was there, and that was a large class.

My best friend, at the time, was very mad at me that I moved so far away. She moaned and complained and we fought about it. I visited Home Town every other weekend. It's where my parents lived, so I would stay with them for a day or two and I made sure to spend at least 4 or 5 hours with my "Best friend"

In the three years I lived in Small Town, she came to visit me *once*, and the whole time she was there, she had a list of complaints. "I can't believe there's only one movie theater, and it only shows one movie on Fridays and Saturday nights!" "There's nothing to doooooo here. I'm so bored." was mostly what she whined about. It was very disappointing that just hanging out with me wasn't enough to keep her entertained. It's not like we sat around staring at the walls!

She was a very narcissistic person, in my opinion, looking back on the 12 years of friendship I had with her. Some people just expect the other person to do all the work in a relationship (Friendship, family, spouse, etc.) and as long as you cater to them, they have no reason to change. For me, I eventually "Broke up" with my friend. I still feel bad that I couldn't salvage the relationship, but I was doing all the work and getting nothing from her. It was too much of a drain on my energy.
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