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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My sister, her husband, my cousin and me have planned a day in wine country which is located between us - about 3.5 hours from where we all live. I live to the south of it, they to the north. The day would end in a meal and some time hanging out together in our hotel room(s). We have done this in the past - either with just the girls or with my sister's husband along. Especially since my ex and I split a year and a half ago, these twice annually (or more) jaunts became important to me and a good way of keeping in touch with people who live 7 hours away from me. I have also made other huge efforts to stay connected to my people by making probably ten trips to my sister's home during this time. They have visited me once.

Anyway. We planned this jaunt a couple months ago. Recently, I have met someone new that I am eager to get to know better. He lives about 6 hours away and wine country also happens to be a close mid point between our homes. I suggested he tag along on the trip - leaf season and all, and he accepted. Today I told my sister about this man and told her I had invited him on the trip. This is the first man I have been with since the ex so this is a first for her (and me ha ha). Well, she is not happy. She said we should just cancel the trip if I want to hang out with him. She is upset that he will change our little dynamic and is basically worried that she won't have fun and her husband will refuse to come at all if I bring this man with me. I explained that I would get a separate room at the hotel etc. She said if he was someone I knew better or someone I was going to marry that would be different, but as it is, she is not wanting to share our trip with someone else.

I feel like she trying to control me. I told her if push came to shove, I would tell him not to come before I would cancel the trip. And that is true, but I would resent it. I can't get my head around how I should feel about this. Is it wrong of me to expect her to accept a "stranger" that I have selected into our little "club"? I know I am asking her to be flexible for me and I am trying to change plans almost at the last minute, but I'm 45 years old and I feel like I should be free to bring whomever I want.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance. Really struggling with this.

Susan
 

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I also think it's controlling of her. If she doesn't want him going, she can back down on the trip.

Make new plans or proceed on the trip with your new interest. It's obvious he's interested in you if he's willing to meet the family. Just let him know she is not going.

Have fun on your trip. You shouldn't uninvite your new man since you already asked him to go. Your sister should never make you choose between her and anyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
IYour sister should never make you choose between her and anyone else.
That's a really good point. I think I would never do that to her. I would be happy for her.

I asked my cousin her opinion and she said it sounded just fine to her.

Why oh why is my sister so difficult? I swear - from before the whole divorce thing began, I feel like she can't stand for me to be a real individual person. She projects her needs and wants on to me. or something like that.

I know I must've played into the whole dynamic in the past, but it feels really strange now that I am trying to recreate and adult life as a single person.
 

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oh, I don't know about that. It seems to me that you already made plans with your sister and you are the one changing things. Meet the new guy before or after your visit with your sister. Sister is a lifelong relationship, this guy may or may not be a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the conversation. It just proves that this thing can easily be considered from different angles. So frustrating!

Does anyone else get a sense that although their siblings and families profess to support them fully in the divorce, they really do not like it one bit? There is a part of me that thinks my sister and her husband are just not interested in allowing me to change - even though they've seen the suffering days I have been through. I think part of this is THEM needing to adjust to the new reality - something they have been protected from thus far.

I'm just trying to figure out why this is such a big bad no no to them. Their reaction seems out of proportion to the issue.
 

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I don't think you should worry about your sister being controlling or not.

Just do what YOU feel like doing.

If you want to bring the guy, let her know he's coming and she's welcome to tag along or not come.

Make the decision on what's more important to you, but don't let someone else control your decision process like that.
 

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You can't please everyone, least of all your family.

Do what you want...it's your life. If your sis and BIL can't respect your decisions, then that's on them. Don't own their problems, anger, adjustment issues, etc.
 

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COGuy is absolutely right.

They are the ones with the problem.

Does anyone else get a sense that although their siblings and families profess to support them fully in the divorce, they really do not like it one bit? There is a part of me that thinks my sister and her husband are just not interested in allowing me to change proportion to the issue.

Luckily, my family wasd not like this re: the divorce. They were very supportive, regardless of whether I chose to stay o reocncile (we divorced).

BUT, there are some families/friends who just don' support the divorcing/divorced person. I think that speaks to them, not you. There was a lady on here who told us how she'd divorced legally & felt good but her family family (sister and parents) demanded & kept pressuring her to get a "spiritual divorce" complete with ceremony because if not her soul was not clean/ok/good enough. That felt she needed the spiritugal divorce to be whole again (or something like that).

We all basically told her to tell them to stuff it.

The point of the story is: they are the ones wo have an issue w/ this. Not you.

So let them stew. Not your problem.



********************** | ***************************************** | ***************************************
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I decided to bring him along despite her protests. The more I thought about it, the more I feel that him being there is just not going to be that big a deal. It is not like I never see my sister, I was at her house by myself for the whole weekend three weeks ago.

I told her last night that He was coming. She said that would be fine and she would still make the trip. The jury is still out regarding her husband. Whatever! I hope for her sake he decides to come along.

The cool thing is that now that I've made my decision and announced it to the world, I get to start getting excited about the weekend - getting butterflies in my stomach and all. Never really believed I would ever feel that feeling again!
 

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Well, I don't know the feel of this or your family's personality, but I know that different people can change the dynamic of a situation. Some people are "people persons" and feel the more the merrier. Everyone isn't like this. I always disliked it when I had plans with a group and then suddenly someone else that i didn't know was invited. I'm just saying I can relate to her feelings.
 

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I can see she might be concerned that youre going to focus more attention on the new guy than on the family you are visiting so maybe if you reassure her? Since HER husband is coming, what's the big deal with this guy coming? Even if he isn't around long-term what's the harm in being pleasant and including the guy on a superficial level? You aren't asking everyone to become his best buddy. I would just be sure to pay just as much attention to sister/family while still including him and not making him feel like an outsider.

That being said, it might have been a good idea to extend the vacation to include him either before or after the family trip but not during until the relationship simmered a bit but too late for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have apologized profusely for changing things without consulting her first and I have explained that the invite was sort of tossed out to him without a whole lot of thought on my part and with very little expectation that it would be accepted. Again, she has said she will deal with it but she is not happy about it. I still don't know about BIL.

Ya know, all the counselors say, the family is like a set of windchimes. One part can't change position or move without causing all the other parts to move or change in response. I really think this is at the root of this problem - along with a long history of me being the screw up in the family and seemingly running to my sister all the time for help. I feel I have made huge strides in my self respect and boundaries, and assertiveness since getting out of my abusive marriage, and I feel my reputation as a screw up is undeserved, but I think my sister and her husband like to see themselves as the central stable overly responsible part of the family. I help them be that if I stay screwed up.

My bringing this guy along proves neither that I am still screwed up nor all fixed up, but they can easily choose to think of it what they want. In my opinion, they are putting a totally negative spin on this thing when they think about it, and therefore, cannot approach it with an open mind. They cannot step back from their own projected version of me to see that this whole thing should really not be that huge a deal.

My final thinking on this is that my Cousin who is also going on this trip has absolutely no problem with him being there. So, either she is strangely laid back or they are strangely uptight. Or, they have needs they need me to fulfill that I don't understand.

Sorry this was so long. It seems like this issue is a bit like pandora's box! Thanks for all the thoughful replies thus far. This site is great!
 

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Good. If it were me I would reach out to your sisters H. I would keep it short and sweet.
- I would really like it if you came and also completely accept it if you choose not to since this change in plans is a surprise
- You are important to me, she so I hope that if you choose not to come, you will not be angry about this situation
- I am not doing this lightly - I do want to eventually remarry
 

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For a 'close family only', planned trip where this is a total surprise they are likely just as annoyed that you didn't consider their preferences before inviting him. Spontaneity is good except when there is an existing plan with others who like stability and dislike surprises.

If your sister sees you as having a history of begging forgiveness instead of asking permission, this likely feels painfully familiar to her.

I often tease my wife with a question 'do you ever actually listen to yourself'?

So take this in the semi amused tone in which I offer it:

I wanted an outcome (new guy to come), I attempted to achieve the outcome (by inviting him), but don't be annoyed at me that it actually happened because I didn't think he would say yes.....
:)
 

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After my brother's divorce he was always inviting along the woman of the week to family events. We tried to be accepting of the first few but after a while I didn't even want to know their names. I tried to put my brother first but he really annoyed me bringing these strangers to family events and then I never saw them again.

I would advise you consider your family's feelings because they are your family forever. This new man friend may or may not be forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sandc,
I'm not offended by your post. I think it is good advice. I do want to point out that this is hardly the man of the week. He is the only person I have even mentioned to them since I split with my husband 18 months ago. So it is not as if I have a long string of boyfriends they have had to deal with. Nope. Just a 15 year unhappy marriage and an 18 month separation. This is my very first try at having my own friend around and it may be my last because of the way it is already turning out.
 

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sandc,
I'm not offended by your post. I think it is good advice. I do want to point out that this is hardly the man of the week. He is the only person I have even mentioned to them since I split with my husband 18 months ago. So it is not as if I have a long string of boyfriends they have had to deal with. Nope. Just a 15 year unhappy marriage and an 18 month separation. This is my very first try at having my own friend around and it may be my last because of the way it is already turning out.
Understood. I didn't mean to come across as offensive, if I did my apologies.

I can also tell you we (my family) are creatures of habit. We got used to my brother's ex. She was always nice to us. Not so much to him we later found. So they just need some time to get used to the new guy. Give them a little time.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The trip is off. My cousin will be invited to spend
The weekend at my sisters and me and the new
Guy will have unexpected time to roam around
The countryside on our own. I'm so bummed it turned
Out like this. But I will make the best of it.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
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