DEAR ABBY: I am being married this summer. It will be a fairly large wedding with 185 guests. My fiance’s parents and grandparents are very supportive. The problem is my mother. She’s an alcoholic.
When she drinks, she can’t stop and usually becomes angry and belligerent. She will cause a scene and beg people for money. If she doesn’t get exactly what she wants when she wants, she throws temper tantrums and has been known to become violent.
Mom has promised me she’ll refrain from drinking at my reception, but neither my fiance nor I believe her. What are my options at this point? Should I allow her to come, with the risk that she’ll ruin our big day? Or should I bar her from the reception?
Keep in mind that Mother was drunk during my entire high school graduation party. My friends and teachers who were there could see her bloodshot eyes and smell the alcohol on her breath.
She was rude to everyone. I had a collage of their pictures on display, and she spent most of her time at the party coloring over their faces. It was the most embarrassing experience of my life. I am terrified of what she’ll do at my reception. – BRIDE IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR BRIDE: You should not have to spend your wedding day worrying about what your mother might do.
If you allow her to attend the ceremony with the understanding that she will not be able to drink at the reception, what is to prevent her from having a couple before the ceremony – with all that that implies?
The definition of the disease of alcoholism is that the sufferer cannot control his or her drinking. Talk to your mother NOW. Explain that she will not be invited to your wedding and why. Alcoholics try to find reasons to celebrate by drinking, and your wedding would be too much of a temptation for someone who isn’t already involved in an alcohol-treatment program.
And nowhere in your letter did you say that this woman has even attempted to help herself.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Jack,” and I have been together for 14 years. We were married for seven years, then divorced and got back together six months after we split. We remarried three-and-a-half years ago.
We have two beautiful children and are happily married this time around – except for one thing.
Jack says he wants me to go out and find a boyfriend. He says he wants me to be happy, that I am his entire world and he loves me so much he can’t envision his life without me.
I have told Jack over and over that this wouldn’t make me happy, that I’m happy just being with him.
He continues to say the offer is there if I decide to take him up on it. He doesn’t seem to get that this is HIS fantasy – not mine. I am deeply hurt that he would want to put me out there like that.
I feel as though he doesn’t really care about me and that he’s only concerned about how he feels and what turns him on.
Why would he want me to be with other men if he feels the way he says he does about me? – CONFUSED AND HURT IN FLORIDA
DEAR CONFUSED AND HURT: A couple of thoughts come to mind. Your husband may want an open marriage, and this is his way of opening the door to one.
He could also be insecure about his ability to satisfy you.
However, the surest way to find the answers you’re seeking is in the office of a marriage counselor. Please don’t wait any longer to consult one.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.