Should I feel obligated to attend because we are related?

by Mainer Doesn't Want to Ride the Waves
(Maine)

My cousin is hosting a baby shower for her daughter in law this summer. My initial feeling was to not attend. I actually was shocked that I was invited due to the family dynamics & past history. Here is my shortest version of our history. 1 - The cousin/host of the baby shower was my mother's flower girl as a child. When I hosted a 50th Anniversary for my parents, this cousin/host never RSVP'd or attended. 2 - The daughter in law never RSVP'd or attended either. 3 - The daughter in law & her husband has numerous times not paid for services rendered from my business, which resulted in my having to write off the debt. So all in all, I feel that this family has been very rude to me in the past and I am not really "happy" to attend. My mother thinks that I should just "suck it up" and go. I would love to hear your opinion.

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Attendance
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Mainer,

Whether you attend or not will affect the family dynamic. If you want to be perceived as another rude and thoughtless family member and thus adding to the chaos, then decline the invitation. On the other hand, if you can attend without resentment to celebrate the birth of the baby then please accept. Declining will perpetuate the behavior you so dislike in the others, while attending may help in ways you cannot imagine at this time.

Practical etiquette would ask you to be gracious while letting go of the desire to treat them as you have been treated. This is a big decision that is entirely up to you.

Ms Practical Etiquette

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