Should we go to a graduation party we have been invited to?

Should we go to a graduation party we have been invited to?

by Carol
(Michigan)

We have been invited to my husband's niece's high school graduation party in a few weeks. He does not want to go. This young woman has not spoken to us in two years. At that time, she got herself involved in an argument between my husband and her mother (his sister) and screamed at him. Her mother apologized for the argument, but he has never received an apology from this young lady, and she has not spoken to him since. Now she is graduating from high school and we have received an invitation to her graduation party, somewhat last minute, after other family members had already received theirs. He wants to say we are busy. What should we do?


May 17, 2011
Graduation: To Go Or Not To Go. That is the question...
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

Should you attend the graduation? I would suggest that you attend for several reasons...

First of all, this argument was in the past. Although it can be difficult, it is best to leave it in the past and move forward. You did not mention in your question what the argument was about, but it really does not matter. Here is an opportunity to "bury the hatchet" and heal the relationship going forward.

Secondly, she may not remember the incident. Although your husband may have had his feelings hurt and remembers the argument well, there is a chance that she does not remember it. As an example, my brother said something to me at a karate tournament recently that I took offense to and I was very short with him. I apologized after wards to him and he couldn't remember what he said that I was offended by. Her memory of the argument is certainly going to be different than your husband's memory.

Third, do not give her a reason to have hard feelings towards your husband going forward. I do not know your husbands' niece, but some people remember more about who was NOT there instead of those that WERE there.

Lastly, graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Even if there are harsh feelings, you might find that your attendance shows that you care and that she is important to you. That may be enough to soften her feelings towards you.

I know this probably isn't the answer that you were looking for. However, there is never a bad time to do the right thing. Going to the graduation will do good for everyone involved. Life is short. You do not want to carry these negative feelings with you for the rest of your lives.

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