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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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My 31 yr old son is getting married April 1 in Barbados. We

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My 31 yr old son is getting married April 1 in Barbados. We do not like this girl and have expressed to him that we think they have dif. values. On Jan. 1 they informed us of the wedding and said no one will be invited. I said "I hope this will not turn out like the engagement party where we got an invitation but were told not to come because it was for young people only. Her family went even after her Mother told me they were not going either. She posted pictures on facebook, etc.

He later that night called me and told me to "never, ever contact him again". In late Jan. he called (as if nothing ever happened) and ask for addresses for a reception that will be held after they return from Barbados. I got all of those together for him. He contacted me through email to help him cut the list down. I gave him some guidelines but told him it was his decision and we would support whatever he chose to do. We have not heard one word from him for 40 days. Should we contact him?
Hello and thanks for using!

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It must be very hard to have your relationship with your son change in the way it has. Although he began changing when this girl came along, try not to blame her for it entirely -- Your son is a grown man and can make decisions for himself. If they are marrying, she's going to be a part of his life now and accepting her will be very important if you're to mend this relationship.

I do think contacting him would be worthwhile. However, it sounds like they're making a statement that they are a team now and to respect that (and avoid offending the fiance) you may want to address this issue by inviting them both to the table for a discussion. If you live near each other, then I'd suggest an invitation to lunch or coffee -- something casual. If not, a phone conversation will have to do, but invite her to be involved in the call as well.

Preface the call positively -- What you appreciate about them as a couple, for example. Then explain what you miss and how you would like your relationship to change. No pressure or negative comments about past behavior, though. It sounds as though that might make them both pull away. I'm certainly not excusing the inappropriate things they've done, but judging by the way you've described them I think it may be more effective to only address the future of your relationship. Ask what they would like from you (they may be more inclined to respect your wishes if the feeling is mutual). My hope is that they will recognize the efforts you're making and want to make their relationship with you a successful one.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We have had so many lunches, dinners, causal meetings between all four of us to fix this problem. Nothing works. I am really torn about whether to make contact. I want to do everything I can to save this relationship; however, I did everything he asked and finished my last conversation with "we love you, we have your back and we will always be in your corner". I don't understand why that triggered this silent treatment. What should I say if I contact them. I have already (in the past) said all the things you suggested. I don't think I should keep doing the same thing because it is not producing good results. Please advise me.
What was it he asked? And what has been his response when you've initiated these conversations in the past?

I do still think it's ok to initiate contact with him once again. After all, he's waited 40 days and is likely caught up in the major changes that are about to take place (upcoming wedding) so more time could easily pass without him ever making contact.

What about approaching this from the angle of "life's too short?" I don't want you to scare him in any way, but we have lost loved ones in our lives and too often are left with regrets. You're his only parents. You only get one lifetime to have a relationship with him. Perhaps a gentle reminder of that might put things in perspective. It may help if you have an example of another friend / family member's experience with regretting a relationship (or lack thereof) only when it was too late to do anything about it.
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