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Ask Amy: Mother of frustrated adult sons who never remember their birthdays

Ask Amy: Mother of frustrated adult sons who never remember their birthdays

Dear Amy: My adult son made up an excuse for not attending an extended family holiday gathering, but I have reason to believe he may have lied to me.

He and his wife haven’t attended this annual party for several years, some of the years they lived out of state, I understand.

However, they are currently living within driving distance.

All gets along well in the family, and our time together is very pleasant.

As far as I know, no one has offended him in any way. They all love him and his wife.

The party is planned about a month in advance, and held on the weekend a few weeks before Christmas.

I asked my son if he was participating this year, and he said vaguely that he had an athletic team “thing”.

After the date, I checked the team calendar, and the team was in another state that weekend.

He doesn’t answer my text when he doesn’t want to answer the question I asked.

Later he told me that he had gone to a neighboring town on the day of the family party.

It hurts me that he doesn’t want to see the group, as well as the possibility that he lied to me.

Is this a generational issue, with individuals doing what they want, no matter how close family may want to see them once a year?

I don’t want to create a rift, but I want to know why they didn’t want to be involved.

No one is perfect, and I make mistakes too.

I just wish he was honest and forthright.

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Is it worth asking about it directly?

-Kentucky Mom

Dear Mom: Your son made excuses to avoid attending this family party. You later felt compelled to investigate his excuse, which seems to have turned his excuse into a lie. You should do some honest searching to understand why he is unable to tell you the truth. Maybe he is trying to spare your feelings. Is his cowardice motivated by the way you normally react to being told an unpleasant truth?

Yes – people do what they want to do. And they should! You want to attend this family party every year, and he doesn’t.

You should be honest with him, even if he is not honest with you.

You can tell him that you do not intend to pressurize, but all these family members would like to see him and his wife.

You can ask him, “Is there a reason why you don’t want to live with the extended family?” It is unlikely that he would like to be completely frank with you. No matter what he says, then you should say to him, “It’s okay, everyone loves you and misses you.” And then you should do your best to move on.

Dear Amy: I am disappointed that my sons, both in their 40s, don’t remember my birthdays unless they are told.

I accept his birthday. As well as the birthdays of their spouses and children.

I don’t expect a gift from him – just an acknowledgement, without being teased by anyone in the family.

My husband says not to take it personally, but I do.

Am I too sensitive?

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– Frustrated in California

Dear Disappointment: A person’s birthday is the very definition of “personal”, and this is why people rejoice when they are remembered and celebrated, and rejoice when they are forgotten, especially when they are forgotten by their offspring. are given.

I really agree with your husband that the best way to not feel bad about what you know is to think it through beforehand and choose not to take it personally.

This is a skill I would like to patent, as very few people have it. It is especially difficult for those who have invested heavily to influence the results. For example mothers.

I suggest you contact your sons with messages similar to, “Guys, my birthday is April 12th. Please put this on your calendar and remember that I’d be happy to reach out to me on that day (via call or text).” Will be. After that, make your choice.

Dear Amy: “No Stones” fielded a question about her husband, who compared the pain of his kidney stones to childbirth.

Yes – that pain is terrible! But I also think he goes on about it because he just wants some validation!

Thank you for giving it to me.

– a reader

Dear reader: I hope his wife does.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] Or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow him on twitter @askingamy either Facebook,

© 2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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