Woman Torn On Whether To Attend Brother's Graduation Or Mom's Wedding To Man She Had Affair With

All actions have consequences.

unhappy woman and estranged mother fizkes / Shutterstock

Not all families fit into the picture-perfect ideal many people imagine or see in the movies. In fact, family relationships are complex and can often be difficult, sometimes bordering on dysfunctional.

And that dysfunction can come at a cost, as one woman's mother found out the hard way.

A woman questioned whether to attend her mother's wedding to the man she had an affair with.

Posting to Reddit, a woman pondered if she was wrong to turn down her mother's wedding invitation so she could attend her younger brother's graduation instead.


RELATED: 5 Common Reasons An Adult Child May Become Estranged From Their Parent, According To Experts

The woman said that her 22-year-old brother, Stefan, invited her and her other younger brother, 18, to his upcoming graduation.

However, the woman's estranged mother invited her and her siblings to her wedding, which happened to fall on the same date as Stefan's graduation.

When she rejected her mother's invitation, the latter did not take it very well.


"At first she was taken aback and then started bawling and said not only do we exclude her from our major life events (yes I did not invite her for my graduation either), now we are not even attending her major event," the woman wrote. "It's been so long and we still haven't forgiven her."

But it wasn't just any mistake they hadn't forgiven her for.

The woman then explained that she and her brothers haven't forgiven their mother for cheating on their father.

Years ago, Stefan, then 13, found his mother, then 37, in bed with another man, the same one she's now marrying. Finding out about the affair destroyed the relationship all three kids, especially Stefan, had with their mother.

RELATED: 20-Something Questions Why 'Resenting Your Children' Is So Common Among Gen X & Boomer Parents


Subsequently, during the custody battle, the kids all sided with their father and didn't want to be involved with their mother. Though she received visitation rights every weekend, the children "never went and cried whenever she came to visit."

Their mother was devastated and had to attend therapy, as her kids wanted to live with their father, and resulted in the two youngest children completely cutting off contact with their mother. After five years of their mother trying to rebuild their relationship, they both threatened to call the police if she kept trying to make contact.

Unlike her siblings, the woman is now on speaking terms with her mother. However, she's still uninterested in reestablishing a true bond.

Despite her mother's emotional reaction to the rejection, the woman reminded her mother what caused it, saying, "I told her it was just the repercussions of her actions."


Eventually, the mother decided to postpone her wedding to a later date so her children could attend, though there's been no update on whether the wedding occurred or if they were in attendance.

Many people commented in support of the woman estranged from her mom, saying she's in the right for prioritizing her brother over the one who hurt him so much. Commenters questioned why the mother didn't talk to her kids before setting a wedding date, and agreed that her children not wanting to come is a direct result of her actions.

As one person put it, "Your mother made a choice to be unfaithful. Often, the consequence of such a choice is alienation from family members. Time does not heal all wounds as surely as it does not wound all heels."

RELATED: Therapist Explains Why 'The Grief Of Watching A Functional Family' Is Triggering For People Who Grew Up In A Specific Family Dynamic


Dealing with an estranged parent means setting strong boundaries for yourself.

In this woman's case, she and her brothers did what worked best for them, which was to cut their mother out of their lives after she threw a wrench in it. The siblings were all fairly young at the time when discovering their mother had an affair, which certainly played a huge role in the dysfunction of the family.

With 11% of 65- to 75-year-olds saying they are estranged from a child, there are certain steps those kids can take to protect themselves from the very hurt they want to avoid. And many agree that setting boundaries is an excellent way to do so.

One study found that boundaries "promoted well-being" among adults with a "history of maltreatment" in their families. The brothers set their boundaries by refusing any type of reconciliation, and their sister also set her own boundaries by not being guilted into attending their mother's wedding to the man she had an affair with.


While estrangement from a parent is certainly not ideal, it's what these siblings decided was the best route for themselves, in order to avoid reliving the pain caused to their father. And that's okay if there was no resolution.

So, despite their mother repeatedly begging her children to rebuild a relationship, even though someone is your family member, that doesn't give anyone carte blanche to expect a bond. You have to work at relationships every single day, whether you're born into them or not.

RELATED: Dad Says 50/50 Custody Has Him 'Drowning' But His Wife Won't Get Back Together Because It's Cut Her Workload In Half

Jonathan Alfano is a contributor to YourTango whose work focuses on news, entertainment, and professional sports topics.