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Brother ruining wedding plans

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill


Don’t give in to selfish family members.

Don’t give in to selfish family members.

Don’t give in to selfish family members.

Dear Maura: My brother is refusing to come to my wedding because I haven’t invited all of his family. We’re having a small group and we’ve had to cancel twice already because of Covid-19. I can’t believe he’s like this. We’re not having any children and we told everyone that from the start. Our mother has talked to him but he’s digging in his heels and wants his two daughters, aged 16 and 18, invited. Part of me feels like I’ll just give in, but then I’m thinking, why should I? This has been organised nearly two years. Why is he being so annoying? It’s my wedding day after all. The problem is that now I’m stressed over this instead of the usual stuff a bride should be anxious about. He’s ruining the build-up for all of us. We’re not exactly close to begin with and if he decides not to speak to me then there’s nothing I can do. His wife is as bad. The whole thing is just so ridiculous. There’s a shadow hanging over the entire day and I don’t know what to do about it. What would you do? Answer: So let me start by congratulating you on your wedding and reminding you that this is a very special day for both of you. You were clear from the start about only having adults. I don’t know what his problem is and he’s making this all about him and his daughters which is unfair. Look at what he’s putting your mother through as well. How about asking to meet him, on his own, for a coffee or drink. Make it friendly and simply ask him to understand that this is what you want for your wedding. Put him in your shoes. Tell him your hope is that everyone has a great day of celebration and not an issue in sight. Can he do that for you, for his sister?

How can I help my boyfriend to focus?

Dear Maura: My boyfriend can’t settle on a career and keeps changing jobs. He’s really bright, has a degree and still can’t decide.
We’re both 26 and have been together two years. I hope to travel with him and then maybe see about getting a place together after that. He doesn’t have any money saved yet. He lives from one pay cheque to another.
He’s such a lovely guy and he’s always helping other people. But he’s not able to focus on himself and what he’d like to do with his life. He doesn’t get on with his dad and I don’t know if that’s affected him in some way. How can I help him?
Answer: If you could get him to talk that would be a great start. I feel if he could work out why he’s so unsettled or describe his feelings about moving from one job to the other, then it’d be helpful.

Could the reason be that he just hasn’t worked out what he wants to do? Maybe his degree wasn’t the direction he intended to go and now he’s stuck.
It’s so sad for him not to have a good relationship with his dad. This must be affecting him on some level. Try to get him to open up to you.

Email your problems to
Dr Angela Brokmann dr.angela@sundayworld.com
Maura O’Neill maura.oneill@sundayworld.com

All pictures are posed by models

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