Should we pay towards her wedding? - Diane


Our eldest adopted daughter doesn't want anything to do with us. She is jealous of her younger sister, thinks we are awful parents and slates us to everyone. Should we still pay something towards her wedding next year to prove we were bothered about her and so others realise she is talking nonsense? She is good at lying and exaggerating. We wouldn't give it to her until her wedding day via post - Diane

I keep rereading your first sentence. Maybe you're just someone who favours accuracy. Are you one of those people that actually takes stuff to the dry cleaners rather than chucking it in the wash and keeping your fingers crossed? I love you people! You keep the world turning. 

I ask this because the fact that your daughter is adopted isn't really relevant, or it shouldn't be, but on some level it always is. Even with the smoothest of transitions adoption can raise questions about abandonment, self worth and belonging that can last a lifetime. I wonder if your daughter's hurtful words and actions are her way of processing some difficult feelings she hasn't yet addressed? 

Could this be something your daughter is going through and is there anything you could say or do to help alleviate that? I'm going to ask this to be your focus because the cold, hard truth is people are gonna think what they wanna think and no amount of cash is going to change that. If the gossipers don't know you and your family well enough to understand that you have been good parents, it really doesn't matter what they believe. Tell yourself (until it becomes true) that their thoughts, however hurtful, do not effect your actions. 

That being said weddings are a wonderful opportunity to bring people together and this is an opportunity I would seize. I'm not sure I would send money, a wad of cash arriving on the big day could be characterised as dismissive. I would reach out to your daughter in some way and say you want to contribute, to pay for flowers, a mariachi band, a flock of doves - whatever's en vogue at weddings these days. This could provide you with a way to reestablish contact and have direct involvement with your daughter around something joyful. If she resists this, you tried and you can always send a cheque. Having recently separated I know a marriage is not about a day but creating an extended family. Perhaps your daughter will have children, your grandchildren, whose lives you will want to be a part of. By the way if this happens I can guarantee your daughter will reflect very differently on your relationship but it would be beautiful if the healing could start before such a time. 

One last thing and I'm going to ask you to put on your big girl pants and take a shot of brandy for this - you probably were awful parents. Not abusive or absent or neglectful but awful in the way that most parents are, because all parents are human and by definition fallible. I'm sure you did your best but maybe sometimes your best was just not enough. If you can accept this, acknowledge this and maybe even apologise for it, it could really unburden you and/or your daughter.

Good luck with your journey and best wishes to your girl. If she has got to the place where she is mature enough and secure enough to take the significant step of matrimony, then you have given her the world. 


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9 comments

  1. I found this so interesting, and totally agree with your response. I hope that Diane and her daughter find a way to bond over the wedding xx #MarvMondays

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  2. I loved the answer, couldn't agree more. Situation is tricky, I really hope they will sort it out!

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    1. Thank you, parenthood - the journey never ends eh x

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  3. Even reading the question Diane posed makes me uncomfortable with the way it is worded. 'Adopted', 'Jealousy', 'Prove', 'Lying', 'Exaggerating', these terms are so powerful and makes me think that perhaps it goes both ways in this case. There's definite hurt felt by the parents and probably by the daughter. You shouldn't give money just to prove a point, and that's exactly what the daughter would feel. Hopefully the hurt gets resolved on both sides and the wedding can be uncontentious and about the daughter making a significant step in her life and her future. #marvmondays

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    1. It is uncomfortable reading but I think you're right it shows that there's emotion there and where there's emotion there's still hope x

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  4. Absolute respect for the response here. I couldn't agree more that throwing cash at the problem isn't going to embrace the opportunity to come together and share what could be a fantastic bonding experience. Brilliant and well thought out advice. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

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  5. Very sad situation but amazing response. Sometimes one side has to be the bigger person and it's understandable their daughter may have some abandonment issues. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

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  6. Before I even read your post, but read the question at the beginning I was uncomfortable. You are right, adoption makes no difference. If she is adopted then she's legally your daughter so the adoption part doesn't need to be mentioned. From the tone of the post, I feel like the lady has already given up on the relationship. I don't think money is the answer, I think it's insulting. I really hope that the daughter gets what she needs from her marriage and leads a happy life. I certainly agree that it's big girl pants time! Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

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