Tell Me About It: Two at odds plan a marriage

Posted: March 30, 2013

Question: I'm a single mom in my 40s with three girls. My boyfriend and I are discussing marriage. The question is timing and logistics. We have an issue of how well he and my children (9 to 15) can live together, given their loudness, friends coming and going, his need for quiet.

The issue that has come up recently is about the wedding ceremony. He comes from a very, very small family and has a few close friends. I have a very large family with many more friends, plus a church family. His mother is agoraphobic with social anxiety, plus health problems, and wouldn't be comfortable even at a small wedding or reception. He also wouldn't feel comfortable having a ceremony with all of my family in attendance, but not his.

I am not looking to be a bridezilla, but I would like to share this with my family and friends who stuck by me through the end of my first marriage.

It will be his first wedding, so I'm willing to bow to his wishes and have it be us, my daughters, and a justice of the peace. But would it be tacky or hurtful to have a wedding celebration party later, knowing his mother can't/won't come?

Answer: Are you sure you're ready to marry into the Control Family Robinson?

 My unsolicited advice is to take your time. I can't imagine being the 9-to-15-year-old kid who gets served the crud sandwich of losing a boisterous family home to one where merely having friends over risks offending a high-maintenance stepparent. And I'm a noise-avoidant introvert.

But that's not what you asked me. No, it's neither tacky nor hurtful to host a celebration with and for your community after your little capitulation of a wedding. Just consider not calling it a reception, and do invite the mother, even expecting she'll choose not to come.


E-mail Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|