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Ask Amy: Weddings create tension and uncertainty

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • March 1, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Dear Readers: I’m stepping away from the “Ask Amy” column for a week. Please enjoy these hand-picked “best of” columns in my absence.

Dear Amy: I’ve been engaged for a year now, but I keep putting off the wedding because of my problem family. My parents are divorced and haven’t spoken in years. Although my dad has been remarried for more than 20 years, I know my mom would be very upset if I invited his wife. Also, some of my siblings don’t speak to one another or my mom or my dad. My fiancé’s only sister doesn’t speak to him or his mother.

All I feel is extreme anxiety. I know from experience that I can’t trust them to put aside their differences.

I would prefer to have a small, intimate ceremony with just my fiancé and his two daughters, and have perhaps two parties afterward where we’d announce our recent marriage. However, I’m sure this would hurt my mom and siblings’ feelings and who knows who else’s.

I feel trapped.

Amy says: Are you sure there is no way this crowd can hold it together for an afternoon? If not, I suggest that you run. Grab your honey, his two kids, a preacher and do it. But do you have a strategy for dealing with the hurt feelings and multiple opinions you’re going to get about what you’ve done? Might I suggest cheerful indifference?

Your warring families have denied you the opportunity to celebrate your union publicly, and that is a shame; none of this is fair to you, but you still need to learn to stand up to them. The behavior they exhibit now will only intensify if you have children.

No response card?

Dear Amy: Last night I opened my cousin’s wedding invitation to find only the invitation, no response card. When I called my mom, she told me that for real high-class weddings, you are required to hand write your response. In my opinion it is not high-class but cheap, because they did not have to pay for the response card or the stamp!

I’m not going to the wedding, but how do I let them know?

Amy says: It’s called a pen; you place it on the paper and move it around, making letters and then sentences.

You should thank the couple for inviting you, then tell them you’re so sorry, but you won’t be able to celebrate with them. Sign off affectionately.

You spring for the paper, ink, envelope, stamp and the five minutes out of your day it took to be gracious.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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