Ask Demetria: “My Husband Wants to Skip the Family Reunion!”

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Dear Demetria:

My husband’s younger brother is turning 30, lives in another state and is planning a night-out party. My family reunion is the same weekend and I’d like us to go. He says he is going to hang with his brother and not go to the reunion. Can you weigh in here? Am I wrong for expecting my husband to go with me? It’s our first as a married couple. —Anonymous

You’re not wrong … but neither is your husband. You have a scheduling conflict; surely it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Instead of focusing on who is wrong or right here, focus on how to resolve this conflict.

The obvious solution is for your husband to attend his brother’s party and the family reunion. I don’t know the distance between these two events or whether that is possible. But if he can spend a little time with his brother and with you, that’s ideal.

If the distance between the two events just doesn’t make attending both possible, then your husband should attend his brother’s birthday party.

That’s not what you wanted to hear, I know. I’m also newly married, and I like doing firsts with my husband:“Ooh! Our first married date!” “Ooh! Our first married Christmas!” “Ooh! Our first married New Year’s!” We’ve done all these things for years as a couple, mind you, but it’s all new and shiny again because now we’re married. You probably want another “first” at the family reunion.

Either that, or you want to show your husband off to the family members who weren’t at the wedding. I get it. Completely. Surely, there are relatives who had a lot to say about your being single for however long you were, and it will feel absolutely awesome in the moment to show up with your husband and smugly rub it in. I have petty moments, too. I understand.

But your reasoning—as stated in your question—isn’t worth your husband missing his brother’s 30th birthday.

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