Pay your debts…

Question: Hello my concern is more of an opinion on how to handle a problem that exists between my brother and my cousins that indirectly affects me. This problem began way back in the early nineties and still is lingering today. My brother owes money to one of my cousins and is having a hard time paying him back, and because of this of course my cousin’s brothers family as well as other cousins of ours always exclude my brother, my mother & myself and my family from family gatherings (like Xmas, Thanksgiving, etc) even though my mother and myself have nothing to do with the money issue. We were once again excluded from this New Years dinner at my other cousin’s house this Thursday. My question is, should I say anything to my cousins wives about why they don’t at least invite my mother to their functions (my brother lives with my mother). It’s not like we don’t speak to them, we do. I almost feel like calling up my cousin’s wife and asking her if I have offended her in any way since she has been declining invitations that I have extended to her in the past few years. I hope that I have given you enuf information about the situation, if you are able to give an opinion on this I would appreciate it. Thank you
Answer: Judy,
I think it is perfectly reasonable to approach the cousin or the person in question and make sure that you haven’t offended them. Whatever you do, don’t start a protective crusade for your brother with these people. He owes them money and has probably been a bit lazy in paying them back. Making sure you haven’t offended them and letting them know you still want a relationship is a great way to make an attempt to reconnect. Don’t go and confront it will forever ruin any relationships for the future.

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