My wedding to my fiancé (together for four years) is imminent.
I’ve previously experienced little red-flag occurrences with his mom but they didn’t bring out the tension I’m feeling now.
We’re early 40's. I’m previously widowed.
My fiancé’s an only son and his mom is thrilled that he’s getting married. So she wants to be very involved with every little detail.
I’m happy for her. We chose to have a wedding rather than elope, partly for her sake.
But, as we get closer to the date, I feel she steps more and more over "the line."
Recently, she pressed me to make sure her son and I have thank-you speeches to all of our out-of-town guests and helpers, etc.
My response was, "Of course." My back was up as I’m not a child needing a lesson in manners.
She went on that she’s been to many weddings, and "the traditional wedding decorum is…”
As the youngest of 11 children and brought up in a church environment, I’ve been to some weddings too.
These recent conversations are sticking with me, adding an element of depression. I feel offended as well as coddled.
Do I tell her how I feel this close to the wedding and risk having a rift?
How does one say "back off" in a way that doesn't hurt, embarrass, or offend?
I want a happy and glorious day for myself, my husband-to-be, and his mom, too.
No Child Bride
There are strong emotions at play for both you and his mom.
Yes, you’re experienced and mature and can handle things yourself. But she’s a first-timer at wedding excitement.
Maybe she’s over-concerned with tradition, maybe she’s just nervous about the big event.
Let her son run interference. If she mentions anything new, tell her you’re very busy at this late date, but to talk to your fiancé.
He can listen and soothe her, and, when reasonable, pass on some things for you two to discuss.
Of course, he must be clear that all final decisions will be made only by you two.
Meanwhile, recognize that some tension goes with the territory of wedding-planning.
And some depression may naturally be related to your past marriage and having been widowed.
Now, you have a new, happy beginning, that’ll be a wonderful day, especially if you rise above the small stuff.
I brought an old acquaintance into our core group of friends of 20-plus years.
She became a bully, with me as a target. No one seemed to care when I dropped out of the group if she was included.
She then picked a new target. The rest rallied around the victim and stopped including the bully.
I now feel that they didn't value my friendship as much as this second person.
How do I get over this without confronting them?
Most of us aren’t that familiar with bullying in adult friendship circles. So it might’ve taken some time for the group to recognize it as such.
Nevertheless, they were remiss to not speak up once they saw how it affected you.
So now you know their measure – these friends don’t step up as individuals. They may be acceptable social company as a group, but not one has the integrity to take a stand alone.
Look elsewhere for a close loyal pal you can count on and whom you’d treat similarly.
If you already have a partner who fills that role, know that he/she is the one person you can trust most.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who worries from her own experience that her abusive stepfather may be sexually abusing her nieces (Apr 29):
Reader – “She should report this man to the police and Children’s Aid Society as soon as possible.
“She is probably those girls' only hope.
“Under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) in Ontario, anyone who reasonably suspects that a child is being abused (physically, mentally, sexually), or is at risk of harm must report to a Children's Aid Society.
“Since this man previously abused the writer (from ages eight to 15), and there were charges against him - stayed due to a technicality - she has a strong case.
“Even if the allegations are untrue, and she’s sued by him or her sister, she’d have acted in good faith to protect the girls and is therefore protected from liability.
“She can read the legislation at http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/childrensaid/reportingabuse/abuseandneglect/abuseandneglect.aspx
“Legislation elsewhere is likely similar.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t let the emotional build-up to a wedding overshadow your joy.