My fiancé and I are soon getting married in a tropical location, without friends or family present.
This is our decision - to make it about us and not have all the stress that comes with the "big wedding." We’re an older couple, both previously had traditional marriage events.
My fiancé wants to conduct business while on our honeymoon. He's in the financial planning and insurance business.
Also, he plans on making/accepting phone calls to/from "daddy's girl" while on our honeymoon.
I’m frustrated that he’s unable to separate himself from his adult children for a week! Am I unreasonable?
You’re somewhat unreasonable about his daughter front, plus starting off on a negative footing by referring to her (even if just in your own mind) as “daddy’s girl.”
With non-traditional weddings now common, it’s equally common that adult children attend their parents’ second weddings.
Your choice otherwise is fine, but it’s unreasonable that he shouldn’t be able to have a chat with his daughter that week.
The more inclusive, positive way to handle this is to suggest that, after the ceremony, you both speak to all adult children, and receive congratulations. I strongly suggest that you speak to his daughter, too.
If you raise this approach, it’s then logical to say that, given you’re away only one week, you’d prefer if you both limited family calls to just that one (barring emergencies).
As for his work calls, he’s in a business when he could be occupied for hours daily, talking to clients.
Gently suggest that he make only essential contacts, and give time to exploring your tropical destination, relaxing together, and appreciating the luxury of a brief honeymoon respite from stress.
I’m a man, 66, stuck between a six-year relationship and starting a new one.
The old relationship isn’t going as before and is becoming a problem, with her moved into a retirement home and always wanting me to run there and see her a lot.
She’s not giving me any space to enjoy life and see other people and places.
I’m not married to her. I want to be happy with a very special person, which isn’t easy to find.
How do I handle this rough time?
Your letter shows that for some people, the search for happiness sometimes never ends.
The challenge for most of us throughout life, however, is knowing for sure what brings happiness, and what decreases or shatters it.
Apparently, you were happy with the first woman for several years, but her move to a retirement home has restricted your sense of freedom.
You feel pressured to see her there, instead of wherever you choose, and prevented from seeing your friends who live elsewhere, going to events, etc.
If you care for her as a person (why else be together for six years?) you must realize that she’s now much more restricted than you are, and she’s trying to adjust.
But you’ve already started moving on. There’s someone else whom you want in your life, instead.
These things happen, though it sounds somewhat harsh for the woman who must accept being left behind just when she most needed her once-closest companion.
Nevertheless, that relationship is already over in your mind, so tell her.
Be honest and be kind. Say that your lives are in different modes now, that you care about her and will visit her occasionally, if she still wants that (mean it, at least for a while).
FEEDBACK Regarding the fiancé who avoids his partner’s daughter (October 2):
Reader – “My friend has been in the same situation, with an adult daughter. The new husband never seemed to be able to have a "proper" relationship with her.
“But otherwise she couldn’t have wished to have a better father. He did whatever - and more - than he could for her benefit. Her own father wasn’t in the picture.
“Eventually, we all realized he’s like that with many people, if he hasn’t known them for a very long time (other than his "new" wife).
“She’s very happy in their relationship. The daughter turned out just fine - she learned to accept him as he is, she found a way to deal with him. All is good.
“The letter-writer’s fiancé may just be normally uncomfortable, and maybe she shouldn’t be pushing, unless there are problems.
“When the daughter’s visiting, accept him as he is and have "women-only" visits.
Tip of the day:
A wedding should include generosity of thought regarding each other’s children from previous relationships.