The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a company worker in my 50s, and I raised two daughters on my own after getting divorced. I’m not happy that not only my former husband but also his mother want to attend my younger daughter’s wedding.
My ex-husband attended my elder daughter’s ceremony because she wanted him there. However, I felt very uncomfortable when I saw him behave exuberantly during the celebration. Seeing this soured my relationships with both of them.
Regarding my younger daughter’s wedding, my ex-husband, my older daughter and her family initially were not supposed to attend. Right before the ceremony, however, they changed their minds, and surprisingly enough, even his mother said she wanted to attend. I’ve heard my older daughter and her family won’t attend if I don’t agree to his mother’s attendance.
I’m aware I should be reasonable enough to accept my ex, my older daughter and her family. However, there’s no reason to accept his mother. For me, my ex-husband appears to be trying to use this event to make his mother happy, rather than to celebrate.
My younger daughter has told me she wants to respect my feelings, but I know it’s against her true wishes. I try to convince myself that it’s only for one day, so there’s no reason I can’t endure this, but I feel very frustrated.
M, Chiba Prefecture
Dear Ms. M:
Your former husband is terrible. You raised your two daughters on your own and when one of them finally got married, he behaved exuberantly at her wedding without thanking you for all your hard work. It’s quite natural you felt jilted when you saw his behavior.
However, let me tell you something. Was it only tough for you to raise your children? You’ve definitely had good and bad times with them through the various experiences you went through together. Your ex-husband and his mother were not able to have such precious opportunities. You can pity them in this respect, can’t you?
Your second daughter is a very warm and caring person, just like you are. She considers your feelings most of all. I believe your first daughter is similarly caring, although she expresses it in a different way. As you are a caring person yourself, I hope you will tolerate your ex-husband’s small wish to please his mother.
If you still can’t stop being angry at him, I recommend you write down in a notebook every single reason for not being able to forgive him and then read them. It’s not too late to read your notebook and then decide whether to accept them at the wedding.
Masahiro Yamada, professor