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I am SO upset...mainly a big long vent


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I'll try to keep this short.

 

Money is super tight. We had just dug out of CC debt following Dave Ramsey. I had 2 babysitting jobs lined up for the school year (2 ps teachers kids) They both bailed without so much as a phone call. I'm out $1000/month. Yippee. My DH is getting no OT. We can barely pay bills.

 

So..my 1 cousin in MY is getting married Dec 11. I knew about this for a year. No problem, but it will cost a lot. I will go to this. It was budgeted.

 

We just find out yesterday cousin #2 in Chicago got engaged and is getting married the weekend right AFTER the NY wedding. (We live in southern IL) Of course Christmas is the week after this and we always go to Indiana for Christmas. This will be my siblings last Christmas all together, as my bro and SIL are going off to Mali to be missionaries. So I would have an NY wedding, then 5 hour drive to a Chicago wedding the next weekend, then a 5 hour drive to Indiana for Christmas the next weekend. These drives cost me over $100 a piece.

 

SO, in order to go to cousin #2's wedding in Chicago I would have to cancel going to Christmas. Which makes me horribly sad. My IL's here are HORRIBLE and so we would be spending Christmas alone at our house. I have never ever missed a Christmas up there.

 

My entire family will throw a fit if I miss cousin #2's wedding. This is a long story, but the only reason they are jamming the wedding in at that date is because her fiancee is in bible college in California and she wants to go back with him in Jan. they havent even known each other a year.

 

So, I dont know what to do. Part of me wants to not go to wedding #2 because it is not budgeted for. Its pretty much not an option to skip a wedding in my family regardless of issues or money. We are just the type to be there no matter what. The child in me is MAD that she would be so inconsiderate and do this wedding on such short notice, knowing how hard it will be on the entire family. Its ridiculous. I have already cried over missing Christmas.

 

SUCKS.SUCKS. SUCKS. and I am sick of being broke.

 

I could toss Dave Ramsey out the window and just freakin charge everything and deal with it later, but I will be major bitter about that. I need to also get an attitude adjustment because right now I just want to scream at my cousin for being so selfish. Yeah, I know I need to grow up and get over that but thats what I am feeling right now. I need to scrape up about $600 out of NOWHERE and worry about paying my regular bills. POOH

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

 

And pretty crummy of your babysitting clients, too. Sorry.

 

ETA My sister pulled one like this on me, too. Moved her wedding up while I was out of the country on an extended trip. Went from 6 months out to 2 weeks after my return. Marriage lasted less than a year....

Edited by AuntieM
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:iagree:

Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

 

And pretty crummy of your babysitting clients, too. Sorry.

 

ETA My sister pulled one like this on me, too. Moved her wedding up while I was out of the country on an extended trip. Went from 6 months out to 2 weeks after my return. Marriage lasted less than a year....

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

 

And pretty crummy of your babysitting clients, too. Sorry.

 

 

:iagree: If it is a such a big deal, maybe some of the family that would make a stink about it, could help you to pay for the expense of it. Explain that you can't spend money that you don't have or haven't plan for.

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I'd skip cousin #2's wedding. Call her and tell her that you'd love to be there (I'm sure you would), but on this short notice, you simply don't have the money, especially with Christmas so close. Do NOT miss your family's last Christmas together for a while to go to a wedding where the bride and groom will be so busy they won't have much time to spend with you anyway. Let your family fuss. What are they going to do? If you don't have the money and aren't willing to put the cost on a credit card (I don't blame you for that), there's nothing they can do. Don't feel guilty. You can't get blood from a turnip.

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

:iagree:

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You have nothing to feel guilty for, so don't. Don't go to the second wedding, if anyone should feel guilty for your not going it's HER, not you. You will be sowing seeds of resentment if you go to the wedding and skip Christmas. It's not worth it. You can tell everyone who badgers you that you are very sad that she decided to get married at that time because it gives you no time to save up so you can afford to go. Be honest, and don't back down.

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Do not miss Christmas with your family over this!!! Why should Cousin #2 get to ruin your children's Christmas, just because she wants to get back to California ASAP? If that's more important to her than having her whole family with her, then she made her choice, kwim? You don't have the money to do all three trips, so you do the 2 you had budgeted for, and tell her you're really sorry you didn't have enough notice to get the funds together, but you hope she has a beautiful wedding and a happy marriage. I don't understand why it would even be up for debate (in your extended family) whether a cousin's last minute choice would take precedence over the needs of your own children and siblings? :confused:

 

Jackie

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I think this is a matter of balancing the repurcussions. You alone know the family dynamics involved. Questions I would be asking myself (not to answer publicly)....

 

How serious of an offense will you give if you skip the wedding? How long will it take you to recover from financing? Will your angst at going into short-term debt for the wedding affect your long-term relationship with your cousin?

 

Did I read correctly that attending the wedding will preclude you from going to your last whole family Chrismas? Will your immediate family (parents/siblings) really want you to attend this wedding over coming to Christmas?

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Guest RecumbentHeart

:iagree:

ITA with everyone else. Part of Dave's plan is 'live like no one else, so later on, you can live like no one else.' It involves some hard decisions...but they're worth it. However, I would not miss Christmas!
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Adding another voice to the go to wedding #1 and Christmas; skip wedding #2. If the family is that worried about you being there, they can pay your expenses in full before you leave your home. That last part is important; you don't want to put out the money and have them change their mind leaving you in a bind.

 

Christmas is too important to miss.

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Guest RecumbentHeart
Do not miss Christmas with your family over this!!! Why should Cousin #2 get to ruin your children's Christmas, just because she wants to get back to California ASAP? If that's more important to her than having her whole family with her, then she made her choice, kwim? You don't have the money to do all three trips, so you do the 2 you had budgeted for, and tell her you're really sorry you didn't have enough notice to get the funds together, but you hope she has a beautiful wedding and a happy marriage. I don't understand why it would even be up for debate (in your extended family) whether a cousin's last minute choice would take precedence over the needs of your own children and siblings? :confused:

 

Jackie

 

... This too ...

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Than for so many replies already. I was thinking I was nuts for wanting strangers to read all that :D

 

I think this is a matter of balancing the repurcussions. You alone know the family dynamics involved. Questions I would be asking myself (not to answer publicly)....

 

How serious of an offense will you give if you skip the wedding? How long will it take you to recover from financing? Will your angst at going into short-term debt for the wedding affect your long-term relationship with your cousin?

 

Did I read correctly that attending the wedding will preclude you from going to your last whole family Chrismas? Will your immediate family (parents/siblings) really want you to attend this wedding over coming to Christmas?

 

 

My first reaction was to skip it. My mom and siblings said they of course would rather me be at Christmas.

My DH cant go anyways because it is on Sunday and he has to be at work at 5 am on Monday.

 

BUT (of course there is a but)

 

This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other. No one likes this guy and this is SO out of character for my cousin. It is tormenting the family as is. I will be out $600 and the way things are going, I wouldnt be able to pay that off for 3-6 months. We were already doing a scaled back Christmas.

 

Someone said I shouldnt ruin my childrens Christmas and thats what hit home for me when this first came about. I cannot skip Christmas. I just cant.

 

grrrr for cousin 2 for putting people in this situation. SIGH. Is $600 plus interest worth upsetting family for? I worked SO hard to get out of credt card debt. So stinking hard..............

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"This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is."

 

 

I am so sorry, I do not mean to judge your family, but....

 

If they are truly this close and this loving, then surely they will also be very forgiving, won't they?

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This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other. No one likes this guy and this is SO out of character for my cousin. It is tormenting the family as is. I will be out $600 and the way things are going, I wouldnt be able to pay that off for 3-6 months. We were already doing a scaled back Christmas.

 

 

If your family is that close and loving doing what is best for your immediate family should not affect your long term relationships with them...just saying.:001_smile:

 

ETA: I was beat to the comment by AuntieM

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. It was last-minute, you didn't budget for it, and it sounds like Christmas will be a lot more meaningful to you than the wedding. If your family doesn't like it then they just have to deal with it. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. They may not feel it's a legitimate excuse, but it is.

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My first reaction was to skip it. My mom and siblings said they of course would rather me be at Christmas.

 

Well, there you go then...

 

This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other. No one likes this guy and this is SO out of character for my cousin. It is tormenting the family as is. I will be out $600 and the way things are going, I wouldnt be able to pay that off for 3-6 months. We were already doing a scaled back Christmas.

 

Someone said I shouldnt ruin my childrens Christmas and thats what hit home for me when this first came about. I cannot skip Christmas. I just cant.

 

grrrr for cousin 2 for putting people in this situation. SIGH. Is $600 plus interest worth upsetting family for? I worked SO hard to get out of credt card debt. So stinking hard..............

 

Don't sacrifice your family's financial health for wedding #2. This wedding in no way falls under the heading of "Extreme emergency for which I must go into debt".

 

"This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is."

 

 

I am so sorry, I do not mean to judge your family, but....

 

If they are truly this close and this loving, then surely they will also be very forgiving, won't they?

 

 

To say nothing of understanding...kwickimom, take the decision which is in your immediate family's best interest.

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

 

And pretty crummy of your babysitting clients, too. Sorry.

 

ETA My sister pulled one like this on me, too. Moved her wedding up while I was out of the country on an extended trip. Went from 6 months out to 2 weeks after my return. Marriage lasted less than a year....

 

:iagree:

 

:iagree: If it is a such a big deal, maybe some of the family that would make a stink about it, could help you to pay for the expense of it. Explain that you can't spend money that you don't have or haven't plan for.

 

:iagree:

 

You have nothing to feel guilty for, so don't. Don't go to the second wedding, if anyone should feel guilty for your not going it's HER, not you. You will be sowing seeds of resentment if you go to the wedding and skip Christmas. It's not worth it. You can tell everyone who badgers you that you are very sad that she decided to get married at that time because it gives you no time to save up so you can afford to go. Be honest, and don't back down.

 

:iagree:

 

Than for so many replies already. I was thinking I was nuts for wanting strangers to read all that :D

 

 

 

 

My first reaction was to skip it. My mom and siblings said they of course would rather me be at Christmas.

My DH cant go anyways because it is on Sunday and he has to be at work at 5 am on Monday.

 

BUT (of course there is a but)

 

This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other. No one likes this guy and this is SO out of character for my cousin. It is tormenting the family as is. I will be out $600 and the way things are going, I wouldnt be able to pay that off for 3-6 months. We were already doing a scaled back Christmas.

 

Someone said I shouldnt ruin my childrens Christmas and thats what hit home for me when this first came about. I cannot skip Christmas. I just cant.

 

grrrr for cousin 2 for putting people in this situation. SIGH. Is $600 plus interest worth upsetting family for? I worked SO hard to get out of credt card debt. So stinking hard..............

 

and :iagree:with those who said if you're family is so very loving and close then why would they hold it against you to not have enough money to do all three? What do you mean by loving? I can't imagine a loving family holding a grudge against someone because they could not afford to do something. :001_huh:

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Since the weddings are still over a month away, is it possible you could find some short-term babysitting jobs that will allow you to make the 2nd trip? Do you have a homeschooling group where you can send an email that says you are available to babysit?

 

If you can't find a way to earn the money, I agree with the others that you skip the second wedding and just send a gift based on what you can afford.

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I'd skip the both weddings. It's just cousins. It's not even immediate family, and they're both asking you to undertake expensive travel just to be at their wedding. I'd say "no thanks, but congrats," and then send a nice gift if you feel so inclined. If you're losing $1000/mo that you planned on, then that budget you made with the first trip in it is irrelevant. You need that money until you get something else to cover the amount you're losing from the babysitting.

 

If anyone questions you about it, simply say the expense of the travel would be too much to ask of your family's budget. If someone argues with that, tell them you'll gladly accept their offer to pay your way. If they balk at that, tell them to go stuff their objections where it hurts the most.

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Though I don't know you or your family, in my own experience, part of following Dave's plan requires a bit of pride on your part. Be proud of what you're doing and expect others NOT to understand.

 

Skipping wedding #2 might be part of standing our ground and being proud (in a healthy way) of the way you and your family are choosing to live your life.

 

Also, seeing you stand your ground on an important issue -no matter what others might say about it- is a great example of character for your children to follow.

 

Good luck.

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I agree with Audrey. I would skip BOTH weddings. I'd send a nice gift to each and save the rest of the money. Use the economy as an excuse. Go see your family for Christmas and relax.

 

If they were sisters, it'd be different.

 

I have family like that too. Trust me, they will take the opportunity to get all worked up...but they WILL get over it. :)

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:iagree: If you all are genuinely close, then you missing a last minute wedding will not impact the relationship at all. I would call the cousin first to congratulate and let her know how very sorry you are that you can't make it, then I would call the other family members and give your regrets. I have a hard time believing that in this economy there isn't some grace for events like this. Best wishes and stay strong!

 

 

 

I am so sorry, I do not mean to judge your family, but....

 

If they are truly this close and this loving, then surely they will also be very forgiving, won't they?

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I would charge it. If that's simply not an options, I would skip the wedding. Sorry, but family isn't allowed to plan an event, insist that you attend, regardless of what it's going to cost you (in terms of time and money and the loss of your Christmas).

 

I don't follow Dave Ramsey and I'm not the best person to be talking to in terms of how to manage finances, but my biggest issue with him is that I see people making paying off a debt a priority over irreplaceable experiences. It's great to make paying off a debt a priority, but it's not like charging the the wedding is going to throw out all your hard work in paying off your debts. It's just a delay. And I realize it's an attitude thing. Where do you draw the line, etc. I guess it's your call.

 

But yeah, if charging it just isn't something you're willing to do, I'd skip the wedding.

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"This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is."

 

 

I am so sorry, I do not mean to judge your family, but....

 

If they are truly this close and this loving, then surely they will also be very forgiving, won't they?

 

:iagree:

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Skip cousin #2's wedding. Yes, you can, no matter what your family has to say about it (okay, I don't know all the dynamics but you really must consider skipping it as a serious option. Unless you really just WANT to go...). This is very late notice to expect people to adjust their travel plans, especially on the brink of the holidays.

 

And pretty crummy of your babysitting clients, too. Sorry.

 

ETA My sister pulled one like this on me, too. Moved her wedding up while I was out of the country on an extended trip. Went from 6 months out to 2 weeks after my return. Marriage lasted less than a year....

 

:iagree:

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If you had the advance notice, you'd have saved up for it... but you weren't given that. So, instead you save up over the next several months... and pay a little extra for the short notice in interest.

 

I think credit, and emergency funds, are there for when life throws us curve balls. ...and this is a curve ball. Not as obvious as a car repair or a medical bill, but in some ways more urgent... there isn't the equivalent of a bus or a payment plan!

 

Spending money that you don't have presumes that there will be a way to pay the debt in the future. If the OP chooses to charge the wedding trip and then has to charge an emergency car repair so her dh can continue to get to work, their debt load has then grown tremendously. While this particular wedding will not happen again, the long term damage attending could do to the family budget is not to be overlooked.

 

In a really close family, even if everyone is forgiving, not being there causes pain and some distancing. ...and being there at the big moments is part of what keeps everyone close.

 

Quite frankly, my own in laws didn't come to our wedding. It wasn't because they didn't like me, it was because they felt they couldn't travel that far. While we both missed them greatly, neither of us got in a tizzy about it. We sent them flowers on our wedding day, called them between the wedding and the reception and made sure they got a video.

 

I think that anyone who would choose to get their feelings hurt because someone didn't show up at a last minute (and a month is last minute) wedding are attempting to be manipulative. Mature people realize that they are to make wise choices and that they are not responsible for the feelings of others who disagree with their choices.

 

It isn't trivial. And, for some families, it isn't optional.

 

I don't think anyone has said it's trivial. There are always options.

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ITA with Audrey here too. Long term thinking, will you be more stressed out in the long run from working to pay off debt longer because you went to one or two of these weddings? Would that stress outweigh the stress of having to tell your family that you really can't afford to attend either wedding? Or does the family stress outweigh the financial stress?

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Than for so many replies already. I was thinking I was nuts for wanting strangers to read all that :D

 

 

 

 

My first reaction was to skip it. My mom and siblings said they of course would rather me be at Christmas.

My DH cant go anyways because it is on Sunday and he has to be at work at 5 am on Monday.

 

BUT (of course there is a but)

 

This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other. No one likes this guy and this is SO out of character for my cousin. It is tormenting the family as is. I will be out $600 and the way things are going, I wouldnt be able to pay that off for 3-6 months. We were already doing a scaled back Christmas.

 

Someone said I shouldnt ruin my childrens Christmas and thats what hit home for me when this first came about. I cannot skip Christmas. I just cant.

 

grrrr for cousin 2 for putting people in this situation. SIGH. Is $600 plus interest worth upsetting family for? I worked SO hard to get out of credt card debt. So stinking hard..............

 

If this will affect your long term relationships with members of your family, then those members can be assumed to be immature and childlike. e.g., use a gentle but firm disciplinary tactic if they try to make a fuss. It's the Broken Record approach; I don't remember where I read about it, but I've used it on my kids with success many times. :D Tip: Smile while you're talking, even if it's over the phone. It makes you sound pleasant. ;)

 

WHY can't you come to my wedding? "I would LOVE to, but it isn't budgeted, and we simply can't afford it right now. Congratulations, though, and I wish you and your new husband every happiness."

 

WHY can't you go to ________'s wedding? "I would LOVE to, but it isn't budgeted, and we simply can't afford it right now. I wish _______ and her new husband every happiness."

 

It's unfair of you to go to cousin #1's wedding if you don't go to MINE (or hers). "I would LOVE to attend your wedding, but it isn't budgeted, and we simply can't afford two events right now. I wish you and your new husband every happiness."

 

The last time I checked my wedding invitations, they came with a judgment-free RSVP card. I've never felt pressured into attending unless it was a sibling or I was asked to be part of the wedding party.

Edited by Abigail4476
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It's great to make paying off a debt a priority, but it's not like charging the the wedding is going to throw out all your hard work in paying off your debts. It's just a delay. And I realize it's an attitude thing.

But unless you know the op, you really don't know that for a fact. Getting out from under debt is not an easy thing to do, but it is what keeps families in their homes and their homes off of the auction block. It isn't just an attitude, it's a financial reality.

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I'd skip the both weddings... If you're losing $1000/mo that you planned on, then that budget you made with the first trip in it is irrelevant. You need that money until you get something else to cover the amount you're losing from the babysitting.

 

Gosh, you are so right about the NY wedding. I didn't even think of that, but the op is unemployed at the moment due to the significant loss of babysitting income. Great input!

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What do you mean by loving? I can't imagine a loving family holding a grudge against someone because they could not afford to do something. :001_huh:

 

:iagree: I'm wondering about the loving part as well. I'd skip #2 since you didn't plan for it. When/if the accusations fly, put the ball in their court, being sorry only for the fact that they are handling themselves poorly by holding you responsible for not being able to attend a last-minute wedding that you had no time to plan for. Wow!! That was some kind of run-on sentence!! :lol:

 

Put it this way: Which of these scenarios are ultimately going to be best for your own children? Most likely it would be a family Christmas!!!

 

I can feel your anxiety. I've been in those situations and they aren't fun!!

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I'm assuming you and your dh are the sole people responsible for your family's financial well-being. That said, no one else is going to buy your groceries, pay your note, etc., so you should feel zero remorse for not going to cousin #2's wedding - most especially since it would create a financial hardship. If your extended family jumps all over you about this, then they are inconsiderate, selfish heels. There comes a time when you have to decide that your little family's best interests come first and realize that what your extended family thinks doesn't really matter so long as you all are doing what is right, smart, and healthy for you, your dh, and your children. I say this very gently to you (not judgmentally) from a standpoint of drawing the tough line, surviving, and being happy that I chose to put my immediate family first. Have the Christmas you deserve and had planned. :grouphug: to you.

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I think what you end up doing is up to you and your dh. You got some great ideas here.

 

As for your cousin being "selfish," I am going to (gently) suggest that you think of it from her side. When you and dh got married, did you try to think of the possible financial situation of each and every person invited to the wedding? If so...REALLY? that is impossible. She is getting married because she loves this man and wants to be with him and this is NOT about you. So, either go or don't go, but don't hold it against her.

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This will affect my long term realtionships with MANY family members. I have always been so proud to be a member of a family as close and as loving as mine is. We are ALL close and in close contact and always there for each other.

 

Since you are that close, they will be more than understanding, so you really don't have to worry about that aspect. Being there for each other means understanding when someone can't be physically there. Or, if for $ reasons alone, helping out to if a family member needs it.

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I think what you end up doing is up to you and your dh. You got some great ideas here.

 

As for your cousin being "selfish," I am going to (gently) suggest that you think of it from her side. When you and dh got married, did you try to think of the possible financial situation of each and every person invited to the wedding? If so...REALLY? that is impossible. She is getting married because she loves this man and wants to be with him and this is NOT about you. So, either go or don't go, but don't hold it against her.

 

True, but when my sister didn't come to my wedding (which was across the country from her), I didn't hold it against her either.

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These are people who supposedly care about family and their well-being? If you really care about someone, you don't pressure them into debt.

 

I'd skip *both* weddings due to losing childcare income. I'd try to budget for a Christmas visit if possible. As for the more extended family, I'd probably take the time to handwrite a very personal note to each, saying something like, "I wanted to take a moment to connect with you, since we won't be able to make the wedding(s). You know how much I'd looove to be there, but it just isn't practical for us right now. Please take a moment to give my love/best wishes to the bride & groom on their special day. We'll be sorry to miss visiting with you. Hugs & kisses...."

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:grouphug: I had to miss a cousin's wedding. Ds was due in June, but didn't arrive until July 4. Their wedding was 2 weeks later and there was no way I was doing a 400 mile journey with a new baby for a 4hr family event. They still don't have any kids, and didn't understand it, but they accepted it after and we're probably closer now than we've ever been.

 

So I vote with the "miss wedding #2" crowd. Whatever kind of stink it creates, it's not worth it in the long run and I'm sure they will forgive and move on. Cut your coat according to your cloth and you won't regret it.

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They still don't have any kids, and didn't understand it, but they accepted it after and we're probably closer now than we've ever been.

 

 

 

This is a good point. When my good friend got married, we had just moved and had no one to watch our two little ones. It was a three-hour trip each way; we'd be gone ten hours. I emailed saying I just didn't know if we could make it, and she responded that we had better. :confused: She just didn't get the logistics involved with having small children. We ended up having family come and we made the wedding, but honestly, the way she acted changed the way I felt about her and we haven't been as close since.

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I'd skip both weddings.

 

I would absolutely not put the travel expenses on a credit card. What if you have an unexpected emergency--a major car problem or a catastrophic medical event? Those kinds of things are *needs*. A family wedding, no matter how close and loving you all are, is a *want*.

 

Yes, it would be nice to be there. But the world won't end if you don't go, and if these people are truly as loving and caring as you claim, they'll understand.

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