Ron Villano, M.S., LMHC, ASAC is the leading expert in working through change. As a father who lost his 17-year old son in an auto accident, he always speaks from the heart. As a licensed mental health counselor he guides others on how to work through difficult times. As a national speaker and author of Be Zing, Ron has appears on TV and radio throughout the world. Visit www.RonVillano.com to listen to his featured interviews and watch for his recurring appearances on Verizon FiOS1 (Channel 1/501 on FiOS) feature show “Push Pause.”
Dear Ron —
Me and my husband are going to attend a wedding for my cousin in the spring. The issue that I am facing is more about a family situation. Over the years, my aunts and uncles have had feuds on and off. Some are still not talking to each other. My mom, one of the siblings, passed over 5 years ago and her two brothers didn’t even come to the wake. This is the first wedding of all the first cousins and I’m worried that it will turn into a real mess. I spoke with my cousin having the wedding and she said “none of the cousins know what the problem is. So I hope our parents can put aside their problems and just enjoy.” How can i go and celebrate and keep out of the line of fire? — Family Feud
Dear Family Feud — Family politics can be a real trying situation for all. But it becomes even more difficult for those not directly involved in the issue — they are often the ones who lose out on family relationships because of the feud. So it seems like from what your engaged cousin said, your job is to focus the attention toward enhancing your relationships with your first cousins. No need to ask questions about “the feud,” no need to see about “fixing” the problem, and even no need to talk to anyone who is trying to take the focus off the happy couple. If someone comes over and begins to mention about the problems, simply change the subject. You can say something like “I’m sure there is a story to tell about that, but wasn’t her wedding gown beautiful?” or any other event focused talk. Then spend time making sure that you have contact info for all the first cousins and start creating your own relationships independent of the sibling issues. In short — a wedding is about a celebration of two people coming together — any other topic is off the table.
Judy Sherman, B.S., CHt.
Chief Operations Officer