My family is a compilation of people who aren't speaking to one another. My parents are divorced and have been in the same room on two occasions since their divorce 23 years ago: my brother's wedding and my wedding. So, for one, my parents don't talk, which causes family vacations to be split in thirds: my dad, my mom and my husband's parents. Thank goodness my husband's parents are still married.
Next comes my dad and his brother. Before my wedding, they decided they weren't speaking. It was huge turmoil when I decided to invite my uncle to my wedding. My dad, who I adore and respect, was very hurt and upset that I invited his brother. The reason I did was that he was the only aunt/uncle who didn't stop communicating with me after my parents' divorce. I always appreciated that. Being ex-communicated as a teenager was very, very hard on me. Now that Dad's fighting cancer, I still haven't decided whether or not to tell my uncle - I'll cross that bridge later.
Then comes my mom and her sister. After the divorce, my mom moved out of state to go live near her sister. This sister have four kids, my cousins, who are roughly my age and starting having kids of their own a few years ago. Each year of the last 10 or so, my mom would organize a family gathering during my annual visit to see her that would include my cousins. My husband likes my cousins, and their children are the closest cousins my children have. As such, my husband wants to maintain relationships with my cousins. Here's the wrinkle, my mom and her sister have stopped talking, putting me and my cousins in a rough spot. When I talked about trying to see my cousins while up visiting mom this coming weekend, she got upset and made it clear she didn't want to be there. Last year, she made it clear that she didn't want me seeing her sister. It was a guilt trip about how she only gets to see her grandkids a few days each year and shouldn't have to "share" that time. I respected her wishes.
This is when the pity party starts. I'm so tired of my parents' selfishness when it comes to family relationships. I don't understand why they don't accept or acknowledge their effect on others and how unfair it is. It makes me angry and it embarrasses me that my family seems so dysfunctional. My husband's family seems so normal in comparison. So, now I get to either make my husband happy and my mom mad or my husband disappointed and my mom righteous.
Ugh . . . .