Wedding cast of characters reflects turbulent history
DEAR ABBY: My son, “Chad,” is being married in June to “Jenny,” a girl his sister “Madison” introduced him to. Madison feels she should be a bridesmaid in their wedding because she introduced them. Madison had sex with Jenny’s boyfriend “Axel” before she met Chad, got pregnant and had Axel’s baby.
Jenny feels Madison screwed up her life and, even though she’s about to marry my son, she doesn’t want to reward Madison by asking her to be in the wedding. My daughter says if she’s not in the wedding she won’t attend, and won’t allow her son (by Axel) to be the ring bearer, either.
I feel Chad and his fiancee should be able to have their wedding the way they want. I do not want to miss my only son’s wedding because my daughter feels slighted. What should I do and say? — COMPLICATED IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR COMPLICATED: While it’s unfortunate that Jenny can’t let bygones be bygones in the interest of future family harmony, you must not allow your daughter to dictate the plans for her brother’s wedding. When the big day arrives, you should definitely attend and celebrate with Chad and Jenny. If Madison chooses not to attend as a guest, that’s her decision, and you should not allow her to make it your problem.
DEAR ABBY: My mother married a man, “George,” a few years ago. They met online, and he makes her happier than I’ve ever seen her. Our entire family adores George and is supportive of their marriage.
My husband and I had our first child, “Ella,” this year. This has made Mom’s dreams of becoming a grandma come true.
When I see George hold, play with, or just be in the same room with my daughter, I can’t help but keep a really close eye on how he acts with her. He hasn’t said or done anything for me not to trust him, but it makes me really uneasy, and I want to restrict his interaction with her.
It is my responsibility to protect my baby girl, and I’m extra-cautious because I was molested as a young girl. I can’t discuss this with Mom because she doesn’t know about what happened to me, and I know this would cause a huge fight between us.
How can I limit George’s contact with Ella while still giving Mom the time she wants with her? Is this intuition or paranoia? — CAUTIOUS IN KANSAS
DEAR CAUTIOUS: Why does your mother not know what happened to you as a child? Did you stay silent because you were afraid you wouldn’t be believed? Because you wanted to protect her? Because your abuser was your father? You should have told her. It was her job to protect YOU.
I think the time has come for you to let her know what happened and how it has affected you. While I can appreciate your reason for not trusting men, not all men are molesters. If you would feel better keeping a close eye on your daughter’s interactions with males until she’s old enough to know what kind of touches are appropriate and which ones are not, that’s your privilege. And if it leads to an argument with your mother, you will just have to stand by your decision.