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Question: Should I Be Mad At Her?


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This has been gnawing at me for weeks now and, with Christmas approaching, I need to deal with it soon. I am angry and hurt that my daughter-in-law didn't attend my Dad's funeral service.

A little background is required... My daughter-in-law has been with my step-son for 5 years now. She had a child prior to their relationship that now calls my step-son 'Daddy' and calls me 'Grandma'. I have always treated my step-son as one of my own children, and his adopted daughter as my granddaughter. My Dad, obviously, was not my step-son's biological grandfather but from the time I became involved with my husband 10 years ago my Dad treated my step-son as if he was one of his grandchildren...biological or not, and treated his daughter as a great-grandchild. There has never been any separation between biological and not biological at any point over the last 10 years.

The day of my Dad's funeral service my step-son came with my granddaughter, as I would expect, but my daughter-in-law was not there. She had to work and did not take the day off for the service. I was very taken back and hurt. Taking the day off would not have affected her job, and could not have affected it legally. I understand money is tight for them right now as we had to give my step-son gas money to get to the funeral, but we could have helped with her missing pay too. She actually said to a mutual aquaintance, "it wasn't (my step-son's) REAL grandfather." Not only that but through the whole time I was watching my father die, and up to today weeks later, I have not gotten one phone call, message, or text of condolence from her.

Christmas is coming soon and the family will all be together, including my daughter-in-law. I need some advice on how to handle this situation. I haven't yet said anything to her as I'm not sure I'm right to be so upset. Any opinions would help me decide what to do.

Thank you.

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Hi Angelles,

OK, here is what I think. Practice forgiveness! In any way you can. I say this because in the wake of my mother's death, my own family almost fractured into pieces because of personal conflicts and anger. And I know your anger is real. My anger at the time consumed me; it was disrupting my life. I had to go to a psychologist to dig my way out. And it worked. Took 1 year to sort out the issues and repair a damaged relationship with my sister.

Anger is such a complex emotion, sometimes I don't know what to make of it. Anger is good when it spurs us to correct something. Anger tends to be bad when it impels us towards doing things we might regret. If it was possible to 'nicely' communicate your feelings to your daughter-in-law, then I'd say go for it. You may handle anger better than I do. But for me a mountain of anger is like a coming train-wreck. So I try to forgive, and this has worked out well for me. Good luck!

Ron B.

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