Bandage your ego and accept invitation to nephew's baptism
Q: We just got an invitation to the baptism of my seventh nephew on my husband's side. Once again we were not considered as godparents. I feel snubbed.
My husband and I are members of a church of the same denomination as his siblings, but a more liberal synod. In my family, as in my husband's, naming someone as a godparent is a way to forge a stronger connection between an aunt and uncle (or family friend) and a child.
I have no desire to go to this baptism, but that feels like a petty reaction. Is this a legitimate snub? Should I talk to my sister-in-law about it? My husband thinks this is no big deal, and would still like his brother and sister to be the godparents for our future (hypothetical) offspring.
Miffed in the Midwest
A: Since you regard being a godparent as a way to forge a stronger connection with your nephew, and since you want badly to be his godparent, you're saying you want badly to forge a stronger connection to your nephew. 1 + 1 = 2.
Boycotting the baptism in a wounded huff would be petty, yes.
Your hurt feelings sound real, painful and justified, and exclusion is a big deal, even when it's inadvertent, as it may be here. Regardless, your husband's approach better serves your needs.
Go to granddaughter's party and find a way to be civil to your ex
Q: My granddaughter will be having her second birthday soon and my daughter would like me to come to the party. Reasonable request, except it is hard for me emotionally to deal with my ex.
We divorced 15 years ago after I confronted her with evidence of an affair. She confessed to three in a span of five years. I suspect there was also one going on with one of my best friends. She ended up marrying that friend a year after we divorced.
At the time my daughter was 14 and I didn't want to subject her to a custody battle, so I moved out and relocated close to her. I remarried two years later and left the area. I have since moved back to within an hour's drive of my daughter.
When she asked if I would come to the party, I said I wasn't in a good place emotionally and asked if we could celebrate her birthday separately.
My daughter was disappointed. She asked: "Does this mean you won't come to any events?" I told her I would think about the birthday invitation.
I know being an adult means I should be able to put this behind me. But, it is hard for me to pretend nothing happened and interact with my ex and my one-time friend. Is that an unreasonable request?
Head or heart
A: What is this, Suck It Up and Go Day?
Your daughter isn't inviting you to "pretend nothing happened." That's a leap you made to justify not going.
Please instead take the invitation at face value. It's appropriate that both maternal grandparents be included.
Since it wouldn't be appropriate for those grandparents to hijack the party by hurling insults at (or pointedly ignoring) each other, please also see the invitation as motivation to find a way to be civil to your ex, and her current, that is neither forced, sarcastic nor phony.