We’re having a small wedding (50 people), inviting just close family and friends.
I have a strenuous relationship with some of my mother’s family (as does she), but I have no problem excluding negative people.
But my mother believes in getting along and then complaining about it later.
When I didn’t send a Save The Date to her toxic sibling and spouse, she stopped speaking to me.
I said that if this is her one thing, I’ll submit for the sake of peace.
Now she wants me to invite more extended family with whom I have no relationship beyond Facebook.
My mother only has an email relationship with them.
Coming from large families, my fiancé and I decided that if we haven't both met the person, they aren't invited (unless there are extenuating circumstances).
Should I bend again for peace (and my sanity?)?
Almost Regretting Not Eloping!
If you “bend” only once, you’ll be in a tiny minority of bridal couples.
That’ll take determination – which it seems you have – but your relationship to her matters to you.
Weigh some facts: Those “excluded” relatives on your Facebook will feel publicly insulted when the wedding photos are posted.
Consider having your mother explain to them ahead, the need for limiting invitations.
Realize too that you two will also be left out of some family celebrations as years go by, especially if there are hard feelings.
That may be fine with you now, but…. maybe less so later.
However, truly “toxic” people are the exception… unless dissing them would bring drama to your mother. You were good to give in there.
You didn’t want to elope. A few pre-wedding snags won’t ruin your Big Day when it arrives.
FEEDBACK Regarding my own past letter about the significance of age difference in dating (April 9):
“I had drinks with a couple in their 50s, whom I met at a bar while vacationing several weeks ago.
“I told them about my prospective dinner date with a 34-year-old server I met in a restaurant there where I was dining.
“I expressed concern about the age difference. I'm 62; the “date” is 34.
“The married woman said, "Don't even think about the age difference. It's not about age; it's about energy between two people.
“You’re a good-looking man, and in good shape. Don't overanalyze and read so much into her being 34. Just go and have a good time."
“Incidentally, the date never happened and that's OK!
“I feel that as long as the two parties are happy and enjoy each other's company, who cares about what other people think?!”
No Age Issue
Ellie – You care what people think more than you admit, since you keep seeking advice from strangers and me.
The couple’s encouragement was about a first date, and seeing whether there’s any “energy” between you.
And my advice was to go slow on getting to know someone, especially someone who’s that much younger.
What matters is the potential vulnerability of the younger person, especially with differences such as you being able to afford a vacationer’s lifestyle and she waiting tables to make a living.
You were doing what so many older daters do… building up anticipation, talking it up, weighing factors before even having one dinner together.
You’re lucky to be attractive and fit. But if you’re looking for a companion, you also need to be thoughtful, a good listener, and aware of any real issues and differing expectations that may arise from a wide age-difference.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife who’s upset at her husband for teasing her (April 3):
Reader – “These types of passive-aggressive “teasers” refuse to admit fault and are brilliant at making the other person feel stupid.
“It might help if the woman raised the issue of his behaviour and its effect on her, and if she admitted that she doesn’t know or understand why he’d feel so badly about himself that he has to put her down to build himself up.
“She could suggest that he deserves to take time for himself and get some counselling.
“Meanwhile, let him know that she’ll no longer be paying attention to his "teasing."
“If she can accept that it's not about her, but about his own anger and insecurity, she might be able to let his comments flow over her.
“His friends are likely disgusted by his behaviour, so she could take some courage from that knowledge.”
Tip of the day:
If wedding plans only require a few peace-keeping/sanity adjustments, you’re lucky.