Wedding snubs and dishwasher dilemmas

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. He has three children from a previous marriage. In the early days of our relationship, my nieces would often come and visit during the summers, and all the kids would play together. As everyone grew older, the visits lessened to just holidays.

Fast forward to now, when one of my nieces is getting married. She invited my husband and me, and our two younger boys, but not the other three. I asked her if it was an oversight or if they were assumed in the family invitation. She told me that the four of them hadn’t really spoken in years, with my husband’s daughter ghosting her when she’s reached out during her most recent visits. She also mentioned that because his daughter treats me poorly (she’s often rude and disrespectful — something my husband and I have been to therapy over), she doesn’t want that behavior at her wedding.

I mentioned this to my husband so that we could talk about the event privately, without upsetting anybody. He became very upset and thinks we should invite them anyway. He said they probably won’t come. He also said his daughter has mental health issues and we just need to accept her behavior (this is why we are in therapy) and look past it. I told him that my niece can choose who she wants to invite, and if there isn’t a relationship and her concerns of possible drama are valid, then she shouldn’t feel obligated to. Is my husband right? Should I ask my niece to reconsider? — Blended Family Wedding Season

Dear Blended: This is a difficult situation, and I applaud that you are all in therapy to work on your relationships. If your niece just didn’t invite the daughter who was rude and disrespectful to you, then I would say you have to explain to her the consequences of her actions toward you. When you are rude or mean to others, you probably won’t get invited to events from people who love the one you are being mean to. However, she didn’t invite any of his children. That seems a bit exclusive and mean.

Dear Annie: I live in a condo complex, where we all own our individual condos. Recently, I redid my kitchen to include a dishwasher. My next-door neighbor, who is elderly, found out and asked if I wouldn’t mind putting a couple of dishes in with mine as she says that it is hard for her to stand at her sink and do them by hand.

At first, I didn’t mind, but it’s gotten out of control. She now wants me to come over and collect her dirty dishes, put them in my dishwasher and then return them to her. I feel guilty because she is elderly, but this has gotten completely out of control. How do I tell her no without being a “bad” neighbor? Please help! — Freeloading Neighbor

Dear Freeloading Neighbor: The reason she is taking advantage of your kindness is because you are kind. You were very generous with her in the beginning, but she took advantage of your kindness and now that has to stop. If you don’t politely stop her now, laundry might be next. Just know that having boundaries is not unkind, and let yourself off the hook.

— — —

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today