Dear Amy: My 29-year-old stepdaughter, “Jamie,” is getting married to a man she has lived with for three years.

Some time ago, Jamie e-mailed my husband (her dad) asking how much he could contribute to the wedding.

She did not tell us where she wanted to get married, or the cost. We are both retired with a limited income, and my husband and I agreed on an amount we could afford. When we told Jamie what we could give her, she didn’t say a word. We learned later she had complained to her mother, who contacted my husband to berate him because Jamie’s chosen wedding venue is extremely expensive.

We were hurt and confused by Jamie’s behavior, as she had not talked to us first about a wedding budget, or determined what each of us could contribute before she decided on a very costly wedding. We offered to give her more money, although it is going to be a strain on our own finances. Since then, we have not heard from her for the past several months, and she has completely left us out of her wedding planning activities. How do you suggest we handle this?


Amy says: What you should not do is to injure yourselves financially to pay for someone else’s dream wedding. Couples should host weddings they can afford, and should finance their own weddings. One way to do this is by gathering pledges from their parents. You have agreed to an amount, you felt guilted into giving more, and that should be the end of it. If “Jamie” wanted to express her gratitude, or wanted more money, she could attempt to bleed you further by including you in the planning. By accepting your money, she is enlisting you as co-hosts, and you should be acknowledged as such (don’t hold your breath). At this point she is playing her divorced parents off each other. Her father should express his disappointment in her entitled behavior. I hope you don’t succumb to further financial pressure.

Son’s teasing hurts mom

Dear Amy: My son has started to call me by my first name. I’m 67 and he’s 40.

He loves to tease me, so I didn’t say anything for a while, but I figured he wasn’t going to stop so I asked him to please stop calling me by my first name.

I told him it hurt me and that I felt it was disrespectful. Well, he still does it and mostly smiles when he does it. I don’t know what to do. After I’m around him, I usually end up having a good cry.


Amy says: Your son sounds like a mean tease. Taunting your mother and then persisting even after she has asked you to stop is quite an unattractive quality. You will have to carefully examine your feelings to decide how tolerable this is, but I suggest that the next time you feel like crying, don’t save your tears for your private time. Or, if you’re feeling more anger than sadness, just leave.


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