Dear Miriam,

My husband and I have just received an invitation to a wedding, which is taking place in June. The invite came from a family whose farm is adjacent to ours and we have been life-long friends. There is a problem, however, and we are not sure whether to accept the invitation or not.

Back in 2010, our daughter was in a relationship with the groom-to-be. They were together for a couple of years and he broke up with her. It was an amicable split, but he told her he loved her, but was not in love with her anymore and had met someone else.

Our daughter was heartbroken at the time, but gradually moved on with her life. I am not sure, however, if she has ever truly got over him.

We worry about how she will take it if we go. Are we being disloyal to her? If we stay at home, it may create friction between us and our life-long friends.

Obviously our daughter’s feelings come first, but we don’t want to fall out with our neighbours either. We appreciate any advice you can send our way.

Thank you,

Loyal reader

Dear Loyal reader,

Thank you for getting in touch. I can see how difficult the situation is for you both and the only way to reach a decision is to speak to your daughter.

You say she has moved on with her life and that is good. I am unsure from your letter about when they broke up happened. You mention 2010 and that they were together for a couple of years. So at the very least, it is 10 years since they parted.

The fact that it was an amicable split makes it an easier decision with regard to accepting the invite. Find time to sit down and have a chat with her and hopefully, she will give you her blessing to go and enjoy the day. You are not being disloyal to her.

If it does transpire that she is still yearning for him and is very upset about the upcoming nuptials, however, then it may serve you better to stay at home. I would also suggest that if this is the case, that you encourage your daughter to seek professional help to enable her to deal with the situation and move forward with her life.

You will also need to inform your neighbours and let them know that you will not be attending. Effective communication is always the key when it comes to avoiding conflict and difficult situations.

If there has been a strong friendship down through the years, no doubt they will quietly understand the reasons behind your absence from the celebrations.

If they react negatively, know that you have done nothing wrong and that their reaction is about them, not you. I hope your daughter will give you her blessing and that you have a wonderful day at the wedding. If that is not the case, know that the day will come and go and life will go on. Ask yourselves how much will it all matter in another 10 years? It will be just a distant memory. Life goes on and we must go on with it. I wish you the very best.

Reader Writes

Dear Miriam,

Regarding Jane’s dental anxiety (‘How do I overcome dental anxiety’, 13 April edition) I too suffered very much from the same anxiety due to a bad childhood experience.

I now attend a dental clinic in the Limerick area, who are really excellent. They have dentists and hygienists specifically for nervous patients and I hope that Jane can find a similar clinic near her.

Wishing her all the best,


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