My son’s marrying soon, and inviting all my ex-in-laws to the wedding.
Unfortunately, we (the in-laws and the ex) didn’t part on good terms. His father left 14 years ago with another woman; seven years later, he pushed her out of a moving vehicle and took his own life.
The ex in-laws have had nothing to do with us because they blame me for what happened to their loved one.
They’re all alcoholics and always treated me badly. These people like to get drunk and make big scenes.
I told my son if they had to be there, then I would go to the church only.
I don’t know if I can put up with these people one more time.
My son blames me for his father’s demise. He doesn’t realize all the pain the alcohol caused us when his father was alive. What should I do?
- Distraught in Houston
Go to your son’s wedding. The issue is his pride, not yours.
He wants to feel his father’s presence on his wedding day, and has chosen to do so through his father’s family. They’re a painful part of your past, but that’s not this young groom’s concern.
Show him the support he needs by being there, for the whole wedding, and by avoiding any reaction to these people other than a gracious nod.
Walk away if anyone tries to provoke you. Have your closest friends or relatives whisk you off to another part of the room, if they spot someone troublesome approaching.
After the wedding, try to stay connected to your son. A legacy of alcoholism and suicide is worrisome, and you want to be a caring parent offering good advice (for professional counselling) should he feel the need to seek it.
I’m a South Indian girl, with much tradition to be followed regarding marriage: e.g. he should be of our religion and caste.
I’m in love with a guy who has all the qualities that I expect. But my mom doesn’t want me to marry him, because, though he belongs to our religion, he’s from a different caste.
She threatens that she’ll die if I marry him without her permission.
I love my mother. How do I solve this problem and marry the man I love?
- Nowhere to Turn
Talk to someone in your community whom you trust, perhaps a religious leader, and first, learn what caste differences mean to your mother, culturally, in terms of her worries for your future, and her sense of status for you, and for herself, if you proceed.
Once you recognize that you and she have very different views of caste, you may be able to approach her with more sensitivity. Explain to her that your life in North America has become, naturally, very different from that she knew when growing up, and that some traditions such as caste lines don’t carry the same meaning to you, nor to many other people your age and background.
However, before you press her to approve marrying this man, promise her that you’ll think it through longer before making a commitment. I say this because sometimes a love that’s thwarted by parents glows brighter than it would if left alone to grow or fade.
Also, consider whether you can live comfortably without your mom’s approval, and whether you love this man enough to risk being estranged from your family.
Once you’ve decided, you can take the next step… either way.
Our lesbian relationship of 15 months has gone wrong.
My mom has cancer, I work two jobs, my kids’ father wasn’t spending time with them. I became depressed.
Our sex life was non-existent.
She’s 21, and wants to have a baby. She’d go out till 4am.
Then I discovered her cheating on me with a man, in order to get pregnant.
I forgave her but I cannot forget.
Is there counselling for lesbian couples?
Your local gay and lesbian association will have referrals to counsellors, but frankly, you both need individual therapy at this time.
You are overwhelmed with responsibilities and can’t easily handle the pressures of a still-early relationship with a young person who’s searching for change.
She isn’t ready to support your many burdens.
You’re not ready to raise another child (and her).
Talk this over with a professional. It’s the relationship, not the sexual orientation.
Tip of the day:
When a child of divorce is marrying, putting up with ex-relatives is how parents show support and love.