My son is getting married and I’m not invited | Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup suggests that a mother excluded from her son’s wedding tackles long-standing family discord

The dilemma My son and his girlfriend live in New Zealand and are returning to the UK to get married (not legally binding because of residency requirements), then returning to NZ for what I assumed would be a quiet registry office affair. Having not been invited to my son’s first marriage, I’ve been very involved in planning this ceremony. They’ve asked me to be a “witness”, do a reading, etc. I am estranged from my other two sons so didn’t attend their weddings. There’s a lot of history here but my lovely husband, relatives and friends say it isn’t my fault. I’ve now learned online that the “legal” wedding is next year in NZ and his dad, who holds grudges about our divorce, is attending but I’m not invited to the “real” one. I feel foolish for getting excited about the UK wedding. When I tackled my son he blew up. So I have three sons; between them four weddings I haven’t been invited to and a granddaughter I’ve never met. Am I some kind of monster?

Mariella replies You’ve sent me a relatively short letter about what is clearly a complicated family history and it’s difficult to make a judgment about what’s occurred today without being privy to what has gone awry in the past. What I can say is, it’s not about you. I appreciate it may be hard to get your head around all this, but that could be the lesson you need to learn. If you require reassurance that you’re central to your son’s thoughts, then consider there might not have been a UK wedding had you not been a priority for them.

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