Last year DH and I were invited to my eldest niece’s wedding. At the reception, there was some friendly teasing going on between DH and some of the bridegroom’s relations, all of them giving as good as they got and no-one domineering, or objecting to what was said. Suddenly the bride swoops down on DH and asks him to “pipe down”. No similar request made to the others. DH chose to leave the reception, but asked me to stay on, so as not to cause a really awkward situation. (He felt he wasn’t welcome after my niece’s remark.) No apology since or contact between niece and us.
Now my other niece (sister to bride in the above incident) has invited us to her son’s confirmation – an event that is celebrated here in Denmark with a big family party after the church ceremony. This niece was not directly involved in the incident at her sister’s wedding, but has since hinted that she did not see eye to eye with her sister about it.
DH and I both feel that it might be best if he sends a polite excuse and I go on my own, as my other niece and her husband will undoubtedly be at this party.
I’m in two minds here: if he goes we will both be on tenterhooks in case elder niece is still in a huff, or anything else untoward occurs. On the other hand, if I go alone, it might be seen as an admission that DH overstepped the mark at the wedding. (I don’t think he did, I must say.) If we both refuse the invitation, we feel my younger niece can justifiably be hurt, feeling that the incident with her sister is being taken out on her and her family.
My sister (mother of my nieces) died six months before elder girl’s wedding, so I can’t ask her advice or help. We don’t live in the same town as my nieces so there has been no opportunity to meet “accidently on purpose” and perhaps smooth things over. Accepting the invitation will involve travelling and hotel expenses as well as present and money is tight. I don't really want to spend that kind of money if there is going to be a repeat of last time the family gathered.
BUT I did promise my sister, who died of cancer aged 60, t take care of her children.
The nieces in question are both mature women - the elder married at 40. So we are not talking of young adults or teenage girls.
Please, send me your thoughts and wise comments on this difficult situation.
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