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Carolyn Hax: She’s trying to sabotage the engagement

DEAR CAROLYN: My fiancée cheated on me. After talking it over, I have forgiven her, and want to move on. Now she is questioning my love for her because I didn’t get upset enough about it. This has thrown me for a loop. I never thought my ability to be rational and forgiving would break my heart.


DEAR BEWILDERED: Technically, these abilities didn’t break your heart – they just gave your fiancée a new way for her to break it, after the cheating didn’t work.

In 34 words, you exposed your fiancée as deeply immature, unready for marriage and incapable of saying this to your face. So she’s resorting to sabotage – first cheating, now lobbing accusations at you, soon something else. If you don’t believe me enough to walk away, then please make this engagement contingent on rigorous premarital counseling. The ever-after you’re looking at now is not a happy one.

DEAR CAROLYN: Our daughter is in her early 30s, and is engaged. She wants a small wedding, but we would like to include family and close friends. She and her fiancé recently moved far away and want the wedding to be in their new location. They love their new environment, plus the distance will help them keep it small. (Some family and friends will not be able to travel for cost and health reasons.)

Before they moved, we offered to pay for the wedding and reception. However, it does not feel right to be hosting a wedding that many of our family and friends cannot attend. We realize this is our daughter’s and her fiancé’s wedding, but we are trying to find a solution with which we can all feel happy. What do you suggest?

Wanting to Do the Right Thing

DEAR RIGHT THING: The “right thing” is to respect the decision these two adults have made.

You can certainly ask your daughter to consider the feelings of those they’re de facto excluding. Beyond that, though, there’s no magic adult-autonomy bypass that allows you to overrule the bride and groom.

Unless, of course, you choose to use your freely offered money as leverage – but that would be tantamount to declaring war on your daughter in the name of family unity, the absurdity of which I hope explains itself.

So support your daughter and celebrate her happiness.

If you feel strongly that homebound friends and relatives deserve a place in the celebration, ask your daughter if you can host a gathering in your area to toast their marriage, sometime after they have regrouped from the main event. Even a first-anniversary party would promote the notion of family and community that you hope your daughter will embrace.

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