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Ask Amy: She ruined my Disney birthday plan, and I can’t get over the hurt

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Dear Amy: My husband will be turning 80 next year and I suggested to my daughter that, since everyone in our family loves Disney, the 10 of us should spend the week of his birthday in Orlando. (My husband’s birthday falls during a holiday week, and the children are not in school.)

She said she thought this was a fun idea, but now she wants to go on a cruise instead.

Our daughter is well aware that my husband does not wish to go on a cruise.

So she and her family have planned a weeklong cruise for that week, which means they won’t be with us for the birthday or any part of that holiday week.

I am very hurt by their decision and find that this is bringing up a long list of past hurts that I have never verbalized.

It’s pretty much all I think about.

In your opinion, should I tell her how hurt I am, or should I let it go?

– Sad Mother and Grandmother

Dear Sad: Recently I was talking with another parent who has adult children (also with grandchildren), and she offered that elder parents should never correct adult children. Her point was that they are adults, and that elder parents should accept and support their choices, even if the parents disagree with these choices.

I agree with the spirit of this point of view where it concerns not interfering with the decisions of competent adults to run their own lives and relationships the way they want to – but when these decisions directly affect your own life, are you supposed to remain silent?

I don’t think so.

One advantage of being appropriately honest is that slights don’t build up and become overwhelming. Expressing a basic view (“You have the right to make your own choices, but I disagree with this one”) enables you to express yourself honestly, and move on.

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