Sec­ond wed­ding leads to sec­ond thoughts

Cape Breton Post - - LIFESTYLES/ADVICE - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 73

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.

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