Don’t let unreasonable Mom ruin wedding
Q: My boyfriend of four-anda-half years and I (both in our 30’s) will buy a house in the spring, and then get engaged.
We have large extended families, so we want a destination wedding.
But my future mother-inlaw said she wouldn’t attend, though my boyfriend’s her only child.
Her reason was that his halfsiblings would be there!
His father died when he was in his teens. His half-siblings from his father’s first marriage are great people and great role models for us.
We plan on having them in the wedding party.
She says nasty lies about them, though she hasn’t seen them in 10 years.
I told her they’re family, too. I said we couldn’t afford a guest list of 250 people so we’re planning a year or two ahead so guests can save up.
Those who can come, will; those who can’t won’t, and that’s fine.
I’m feeling she doesn’t want us getting married. I’m scared she’s going to ruin this for us or guilt-trip us the rest of our lives. — How Do I Deal?
A: First, she’s his mom, so he should talk to her. Second, don’t build a drama about her not wanting you to marry.
His half-siblings are going to be present wherever your wedding takes place. So her reaction is about them, not you two.
He has to tell her that they’re included, period. Also, that he loves her and wants her there.
But, if she chooses not to attend, she’s making these people more important than her own son.
Q: I’m 49, have suffered from clinical depression and bi-polar disorder since my 20’s, and have two grown children.
I found sobriety after alcohol addiction, yet for months I’ve been using alcohol and weed to cope now.
I’ve been with my commonlaw husband for two-and-a-half years. He’s a bit older, retired, with no children. I work fulltime and can retire at 55.
But the problems in our relationship are a familiar pattern for me. I experience waves of irritation and anger, then sadness and loneliness.
We have a lot in common. I love him. But I keep pushing him away.
I’ve experienced very low periods, and felt lonely and insecure. I’d lash out at my partner and threaten to end things.
Yesterday he conveyed that he was done. I broke down and cried like a baby.
So I begged him to give me another chance, and he agreed to try.
I’m in therapy. I take medication. I usually take good care of myself.
I know that my drinking again is contributing to my depression.
It’s hard to be with someone who doesn’t understand mental illness and expects me to just accept things, be positive.
He’s kind, loving, and supportive, but just doesn’t see life through the same lens.
I want to stop giving up just because we’re experiencing a difficult time. He gives up easily too, he admits.
— Repeated Cycle
A: Get back to whatever sobriety approach helped before, because you can’t fight depression on alcohol and weed. Your self-medication is interfering with your prescribed meds and therapy.
You know this. You’ve learned a lot through the hard work you’ve done to help yourself.
But in crisis, you need professionals - your doctor, your therapist, a couples’ counsellor - to help you and your partner through this.
Your mental health depends on you knowing when to reach out. Writing your current state down was a start.
Alert your team. They can’t help if you don’t let them know when you most need them.
FEEDBACK: Regarding the bride’s concern about her disabled guest: (January 28):
Reader - “The best thing a bride can do for someone with critical heath issues is ask them what their needs and limitations are.
“After suffering several strokes, I was expected to attend a family wedding.
“I was told of various accommodations that had been made for me, none of which I needed or would’ve helped my then symptoms.
“Months later, I personally advise a bride and groom of my medical situation and say it’s a 50/50 chance that I’ll actually be able to attend.
“I tell them my specific limitations and that I’ll likely be leaving with Grandma in the early cab home.
“I think that prior conversation where everyone is on the same page beforehand can reduce a lot of anxiety for both parties and any undue medical trauma for critically ill people who are still trying to share precious moments with loved ones.”
TIP OF THE DAY
A parent who tries to obstruct a wedding for selfish reasons, risks being by-passed.