DEAR ABBY: My daughter got married in a friend’s garden three months ago. Her husband built an arch for the ceremony. He spent $ 285 on a very nice walnut tree, and they plan to keep it forever.
With my daughter’s consent, my wife loaned it to a niece of hers. The ark was broken and thrown away. We only discovered it after weeks of asking us to retrieve it. They offered to pay the $ 285, but without even a “sorry”.
My daughter is extremely angry with my wife, my niece and her husband. I need words to console my wife and daughter. This caused a deep emotional schism in our family. – WEDDING MESSAGE IN ARIZONA
DEAR MESS: It’s time to talk to your daughter about priorities. Due to her deep emotional attachment to the ark that her husband created for their marriage, her anger and pain is justifiable.
That the niece and her husband not only damaged it but threw it away like a garbage can was terrible. That they not only apologized, but also failed to recognize the ark’s sentimental value is shocking. (At least they offered to reimburse the cost of the wood.) However, it is not true that your daughter blames your wife for the niece’s recklessness.
It takes strength of character to forgive. It doesn’t mean that your daughter has to forget what happened and how badly it was handled. In these uncertain times, relationships and family unity are paramount. I hope that in time your daughter and her husband will realize this and fix the loophole while acknowledging the niece’s shortcomings in the future. (“Neither a borrower nor a lender is …”)
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DEAR ABBY: At the end of last year, I sat down with my parents hoping that maybe we could approach the new year with a fresh start. A short month after the start of the new year, my mom does it again, ridiculing me and making me believe that whatever I do is never going to be good enough for her.
I reached the end of my rope. I am tired of dealing with the constant cycle of emotional abuse. I have overcome a lot of things in my life, and I’m proud of myself for it. During the times when I struggle, I think about how much. I keep pushing myself forward, but at this point I’m just tired.
I considered stepping back, but the recent loss of my grandfather hit me hard. I leaned on my family to keep going, so I’m in deep trouble. – INJURED, AMAZED AND TIRED IN NEW YORK
DEAR HST: You may never be able to get what you want from your mother, not because something is wrong with you, but because she has been unable to support you.
To understand and get the emotional support you are looking for, consider reaching out to your clergy member (if you have one) or the officiant at your grandfather’s funeral and ask them to join a support group in the event of mourning. If you do, you can find the support you need while staying safe away from your mom.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.