Second wedding leads to second thoughts
Dear Annie: My son is divorced and will be marrying again soon. His fiancee has never been married. I like her and am happy for both of them.
Here is the problem: When he married the first time, my husband and I paid for all of the customary groom things — the rehearsal dinner, the bar tab, the minister, and so on. For this wedding, we told him we would give him a specific amount of money and he can use it for whatever he wishes.
We are getting some bad vibes about this. We were asked to make out a guest list, so we did. When I gave it to my son, he asked why it was so small. Annie, I don’t think I should expect everyone to come to a second wedding. I listed only close friends and family. Also, since we aren’t paying for the wedding, we don’t feel right inviting a bunch of people.
Weddings should be about the words you say and the ceremony, and less about the party. We are happy he is getting married, but we don’t believe in big weddings. We will, of course, support whatever they do and attend with bells on.
My husband and I have been married for 34 years and believe in for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health. What is your opinion? — O.
Dear O.: Please have an open discussion with your son and his bride. Explain that since this is a second wedding invitation for your family and friends, you don’t feel it is appropriate to have a large guest list. Also, because you are not financing the wedding, you don’t wish to obligate the couple or the bride’s parents with additional expenses. They need to know that your small guest list is for reasons of propriety, not because you aren’t happy about the wedding.
Your son and his bride may ask you to increase the guest list anyway, and that is up to you. (We don’t advise upsetting the bridal couple.) There is so much stress surrounding weddings. By speaking honestly and directly with your son and his fiancee, it will help to limit mixed messages and hard feelings.
Dear Annie: "Love Her" seems like a caring, loving husband, but I think he is still a bit clueless. He says, "I consider it a privilege to do things for her." That indicates that he believes doing laundry, washing dishes, going grocery shopping and other chores are for HER, and that he is helping her out.
Why is it so many men do not believe that these things are as much their responsibility as they are for the women they live with? Don’t they wear clothes, use dishes, eat food? When will couples realize that all the things required to run a household are the responsibility of both people in the household?
Obviously, chores should be adjusted to reflect the time available and the skills necessary, and that should be discussed. Hopefully, an equitable resolution is reached without the inference that something is "her job," but he’ll "help" because he loves her. — Not a Feminist, a Partner
Dear Partner: A lot of readers made this point, and it’s a good one. It takes time to adjust the old-fashioned attitude that household chores are "her" job, but society is getting there.