Hi - this crisis has been stressing my family for over 2 weeks. I'd like an outsider's opinion. Here's the story, names changed, as briefly as I can tell it:
Tom and Mary have been dating for almost 2 years.
Tom invited Mary to go on a cruise.
Tom asked his mother, Julia, if she would be available to babysit his dog.
Julia agreed then told her daughter, Tom's sister, Ann, about the cruise.
Ann had been planning to give mom a cruise for Christmas so booked herself and mom on the same cruise.
When Tom told Mary, Mary was disappointed. Mary had been looking forward to a romantic cruise, and now mom and sister were coming along.
Mary was at dinner with Julia and Ann.
Ann asked Mary, "are you excited about the cruise?"
Mary answered calmly, "it will be fun," her disappointment evidenced in her tone.
Ann asked, "why do you say it like that?"
Mary answered, "well, originally I had thought I was going on a romantic cruise. Now it will be a family excursion. But the more I've thought about it I think it will be fun for us all to be together."
Ann was silent. Mary recognized that she had said the wrong thing and tried, unsuccessfully, to smooth it over.
Ann, ultimately, rescheduled the cruise for her and her mother for another time, costing about $1,000 more.
The final result is that Ann and Julia aren't speaking to Mary.
Tom is hurt and betrayed by Mary's treatment of his mother and sister.
And Tom and Mary's relationship is nearly destroyed.
What, if anything, can be done to resolve this situation?
Should Mary pay the $1,000 expense that Ann incurred?
What apologies are needed?
IMHO - Ann should have ASKED if you two minded that they would be on the same cruise. She didn't - her move.
Now Ann has changed cruises. Her move, her choice.
Mary should just stay in neutral about this with Mom and Ann. The dust needs to settle. No, don't compensate anyone for the choices they make.
Now - about Tom. He probably thinks he's in a bee's nest, but watch where his allegiance is. Sounds like this relationship COULD involve you pleasing three people, just not Tom. Take a look at the family dynamics, here.