Dear Readers - No advice (mine or anyone else's) can suit all people. Following is a reader's comment, and then that of the person who originally wrote me, asking about a destination wedding (April 7):
Reader - "An invitation may be accepted or declined. Those who plan expensive destination weddings must be aware that such trips don't fit into everyone's budget, so there may be close relatives who won't attend.
"There's no reason for a guest to feel guilty, or to provide reasons. They need only politely decline. She shouldn't be concerned about spending her savings in order to attend a wedding.
"While family ties are of utmost importance, the wedding couple should take that in consideration when making destination wedding plans."
Original Advice-Seeker - "Your sage advice made me tear up because you nailed the truth. No one has said it better, "It's about continuity, love, etc."
"You've helped me tremendously in making up my mind and since Cuba has now been decided upon, I'm going."
Ellie - "The point I make here is to highlight the fact that I answer each question with relevance to the person who asked it, with the circumstances and feelings which they included taken into account.
"Naturally, some people with different situations won't agree. Part of the "fun" of advice-columns, regular readers have said, is thinking of your own answer, and then comparing with the one given. I'm happy to have you on board, whatever your own conclusions!"
I'm acquainted with this woman and her ex-husband. One year prior to their divorce, he told me how he and his then-wife hadn't had sex for several years because she had some kind of infection.
I was surprised when he mentioned it. I wondered then and since, why was he telling me this?
His mentioning such a private matter of his wife's health reveals his weak character (lack of respect, privacy).
There may be many reasons for his sharing the information, though none are a decent excuse - e.g. he wanted to ruin her reputation, he suspected you were hitting on her or interested in doing so, or he knew she'd cheated and wanted to get revenge.
Either way, it was none of your business, may not have been true, and should be forgotten.
After first-year university I took a year off to save up money to return to school.
Without any work experience, I got a job in a factory. I was a very naive girl, 19, from a small town, raised by strict parents. I hadn't even dated, never mind had sex.
At work, I was flattered when the good-looking, exciting manager (early 30's) started flirting with me and eventually asked me out. After we started dating I was told by some of the other female employees what a player and cad he was. I hadn't seen this side of him - we were having a lot of fun and hadn't tried to go beyond kissing.
After several dates he said he couldn't see me anymore as I was "too nice" for him. He tried to explain that he saw what a genuine, trusting person I was, and that he didn't want to hurt me.
I didn't really understand then, but later appreciated what he'd done for me. I wasn't ready to handle the heartache that he knew he'd eventually cause me.
Saved from Bigger Hurt
Thanks for sharing that sometimes it's "lucky" to have Mr. or Ms. Wrong end the relationship first.
We get along fine until it's the monthly bills-paying time. My husband becomes a control freak, yelling at me even about buying kitchen items... new wooden spoons. He has no concept of replacing old grungy things. Sometimes I think I'll leave him over a dish drainer! How can we work this out?
You need a say in the budget, even if he's the larger or only earner.
Work out a "household expense" budget and present it to him at a time in between bill paying. To satisfy his concern for detail, there should be an amount for ongoing purchases plus replacing items, with a contingency fund for big repairs or replacements such as large appliances.
If he can't respond to this list without yelling, then insist on financial counselling, and ask the expert how to handle unexpected purchases (both large and small).
If even that doesn't work, you need marital counselling, soon.
Tip of the day:
Invitations to weddings of close family carry a different impact than those of others.