Should he go to the wedding?

in a daze

Well-Known Member
So his cousin is getting married in August. Big church wedding. My daughter is the maid of honor. This is on my husband's side.

He does not want to go. He thinks it will be a trigger. He says he still has cravings and has dreams about drinking.

Now, he went to Indianapolis a few weeks ago with two friends for a concert, and spent the night. He said he didn't drink, even though one of the friends is a problem drinker and can't hold a job but supposedly has cut down on the booze as he has a new girlfriend. He said that the shared experience of listening to the band and getting into the music helps take his mind off it, and he says he knows he has too much to lose, like a place to live and his job.

So far he still works, sees his therapist and his case manager, takes his medications. But he tends to isolate himself, and spends a lot of time either sleeping or on the computer. Therapy goals are for him to basically get a life, with new friends and hobbies and to organize his time.

Now my husband really wants him to go to the wedding. He has brought it up several times. I told him difficult child told me it might be a trigger. Now I told him that he could go back to the hotel room, he could sit with his cousin who has been sober for five years and who he's gone to meetings with, and his other cousin who doesn't drink much, we could take him home after dinner, or he could just go to the church. I don't know how much of this is his isolationist tendencies and the fact that he really doesn't care for husband's side of the family. Now he didn't drink at the concert, so I'm thinking he may not drink at the wedding, but I would tend to err on the side of caution and take him at his work that he would have a hard time.

How do I deal with husband? I feel if he doesn't want to go, I'm not going to push him. I am tired of getting difficult child to do stuff that he doesn't want to do, and besides, we will have to take care of 94 year old grandfather who is in a wheel chair and can barely transfer. The last party we were with him at, on Easter Sunday, I felt I had to keep checking on him if he wasn't in my sight to make sure he didn't drink. That was more to relieve my anxiety than anything else, but still, it's exhausting.


one day at a time
IAD, if difficult child said he doesn't want to go, why would anybody try to make him go?


Who knows if he is drinking or not? He'll either drink or he won't. Why would you put that kind of stress on all of you to have him at a wedding he doesn't want to go to (for whatever reason) and then you'll be stressed all night, watching and waiting for a scene.

We have to listen to people. We have to listen to what they say. If they said, no, this isn't something I want to do, we have to accept it. We have to go ahead and do our thing, and respect their choice.

I think this is the essence of boundaries.

Having said that, you should not be navigating between your son and your husband. You can't protect and manage all of these folks. Let them have a talk about the wedding, without you anywhere around. If they have an argument, so be it. They're both grown people.

I remember one time long long ago, when I first started therapy. I was upset because I thought my husband, my two sons' father, did not have enough patience with them when they were little. He would fly off the handle, get irritated, at the smallest thing. I found myself running interference and "protecting" my kids from their own father. My therapist put the kibosh on that real quick. She said, get out of the middle. They will have their own relationship sink or swim whatever it is. Leave them alone and let them have it.

Great words.

I am glad your son is stating what he wants. I hope your husband can hear and respect that.

And YOU need a break. You can't save these people, IAD, no matter what. They will have to save themselves.

Warm hugs. Take a break. Get off the merry go round.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
When I need to get out of the middle (and somehow, I still seem to find myself there sometimes), it helps me to see the situation in terms of respect.

I need to respect that the other parties involved are capable of managing their relationships to one another without me smoothing everything over.

How else can any of us learn to manage ourselves? Mistakes will be made. It will not be perfect.

And that is where it gets to be about me.

I am the one who will move Heaven and earth for things to be perfect.

But perfect isn't real.

So I needed to let go of that.

It's really uncomfortable for me to let things not be perfectly resolved. But what I am learning as I back away from taking responsibility for every blessed thing is that...well. I was going to say something about everything working just fine without me. But that's not right, either. Things have been uncomfortably hanging there right in front of me.

It's been really hard, has left me feeling irresponsible. Initially, there were explosions everywhere. Now, things are coming into balance.

husband describes this phase of our lives as getting to live without his muzzle on.


Now, I try so hard to just listen.

I remind myself that those in my family have the right to define themselves and their relationships to one another.

It really is a hard thing to do.

For all those reasons, if you can manage to love them enough to let them have the experience of figuring it out for themselves, whatever the consequences, that is what I think would be best.

It's way harder to do that though, than it is to fix everything. It helps me so much to post my way through it.

Everyone here is so supportive.

Wishing well with this, Dazey.

It's been really hard for me.



Well-Known Member
I would not force the issue. Perhaps he will find some way to see his sister in her finery and congratulate his cousin without attending the actual wedding.


Well-Known Member
He is 27. For whatever reason he doesn't want to go, nobody in my opinion should tell him what to do. If husband tries to push the issue with you, you can say something like, " I am choosing not to get involved." Until he gets the point, rinse and repeat firmly.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
IAD I agree with what everyone else has said. All I would add is for you to think about what YOU want. YOU want to go without difficult child so you can relax, so that is what should happen. Go have a peaceful, enjoyable, comfortable, relaxing time. Enjoy YOUR self.


Well-Known Member
I hate weddings. If I didn't want to go then I wouldn't go. If he doesn't want to go then just respect his wishes and leave him alone.

in a daze

Well-Known Member
For all those reasons, if you can manage to love them enough to let them have the experience of figuring it out for themselves, whatever the consequences, that is what I think would be best.

This is so profound. This is the ESSENCE of how to deal with our wayward adult children. In order to grow emotionally, they need to learn from their own mistakes. Rescuing them all the time prevents growth and change. But, it's not always black and white, and we all struggle with when, if, and how much to help them.

Anyway, difficult child is now vacillating about the wedding, even though he told his aunt he would not be attending. Now I thought about reminding him to ask for the Saturday off in case he decided to go, but I have decided to do...


He probably won't want to do that anyway because he feels that he is a marginal employee (he has severe unmedicated ADHD symptoms, although he does show up as scheduled.) He doesn't like to call attention to himself by asking for too many favors.

YOU want to go without difficult child so you can relax, so that is what should happen. Go have a peaceful, enjoyable, comfortable, relaxing time. Enjoy YOUR self.

You're right, RE. I would continually be on edge if he were there. I can just envision it...scanning the room every 10 minutes, what's that drink in his hand, where did he go, etc....

But the really hard part is dealing with husband. He really wants him to go and is willing to go to great lengths if he would decide to go. husband is biting off more than he can handle in my opinion. The bride called him left message asking him to take charge of his elderly 94 year old father who is in a wheelchair and can barely transfer and refuses to hire more help because he insists on giving all his money to one son and 3 grandchildren. Ugh.