DEAR ABBY: Against my better judgment, I agreed to allow my parents to pay for our upcoming wedding. It was something they pretty much insisted upon. My fiance was upset by my decision because he fears I’m in collusion with them to make a big show of it.

For the last 10 months he has been suggesting we nix the religious ceremony and get married privately. I am hurt because while I don’t want a big party, I have always wanted a full ceremony with my friends and family. I have been trying to assuage his fears because I know he will appreciate the wedding on the day of, but he feels neglected. How can we compromise so that neither of us feels resentful? — PARTY OF TWO

Jeanne Phillips

DEAR PARTY: If you and your fiance haven’t had premarital counseling — and it’s apparent from your letter that you haven’t — I urge you to get some right away. The two of you are encountering serious issues that need to be resolved BEFORE your wedding. That he doesn’t trust you and feels you might be conspiring with your parents against him is a huge red flag.

When he says he wants to “nix the religious ceremony,” is he talking about the religious aspect of it — or what he perceives to be a circus surrounding it? If it’s the former, it could affect the way you raise your children. If a compromise can be reached, counseling will help you to determine what you may need to do next. Please don’t wait. Start now.

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DEAR ABBY: For a long time, I have been in love with a man who is 15 years younger than I am. We had a relationship for about a year, which ended six years ago. Since then, we have remained friends and occasionally hooked up a few times. The short relationship we had was close to perfect. He broke it off with me because he said he couldn’t give me the relationship I really wanted and I would end up resenting him or even hating him for it.

Although I didn’t understand that when he said it, I understand now he was right. The problem is, I cannot seem to get over him. I’ve had two unsuccessful relationships since. They weren’t the same as it was with him. I don’t know what to do.

A few months ago, I cut off everything with him, and we haven’t talked in many months. It’s not working! I’m still in love with him and can’t get him out of my head. I mentioned the age difference because I had a hard time with it, but he didn’t. What else can I do? I’m afraid to start anything with someone new. — HOPELESS IN NEW YORK

DEAR HOPELESS: What you are describing is painful, but it’s happening because you haven’t accepted the reason the two of you broke up. He said he couldn’t give you the relationship you really wanted — whatever that was. You are not in love with this man. You are in love with the fantasy of the person you wanted him to be. Once that fact is firmly in place in your head, you’ll be able to move forward, although it may take help from a licensed psychotherapist to accomplish it. Whatever it takes, please do it, so you can start living your life.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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