Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Should Family Attend Wedding When They Disapprove of Groom?

Should Family Attend Wedding When They Disapprove of Groom?

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Our daughter is 30 and in a relationship with a man 36, whom she plans to marry. He comes from a family of 5 boys ages 25-37 and none of them is married.

In the beginning he was not very open about his financial and employment status. Over time we found out that he had a part time job, was given a car, lived with his brother without paying rent, his parents paid his car insurance, and basically provided for him financially.

Out of concern for our daughter and her future, we pressured her to require him to get full time employment. Although he has a college degree, it took months to find a job that he wanted. He was not happy that we were advising our daughter to look out for her future, so they rarely came over or attended family functions.

In November he came to speak to my husband to ask for permission to marry our daughter. Although we had concerns, my husband agreed and offered to pay for their wedding.

On Christmas Eve he showed up to our annual extended family gathering drunk and got mad at my mother for not expressing enough gratitude for the gift he bought her. He refused to come over after that because he is “just so hurt.”

In January my daughter was going to move into a little house that we have to rent. He kept giving reasons why he couldn’t help her move, but finally agreed on a date he would help. On the day she was to move he never showed up. At that point my husband and I withdrew our offer to pay for the wedding. He asked for her ring back and immediately signed back up on a dating site looking for a mate. He told her she would have to choose him or us.

She has chosen him and plans to marry him on the beach. We have kept the door open by texting and calling. Next month they plan to move in together and get married in June. She has indicated that she wants to be treated like and adult.

There are so many red flags that we cannot support this marriage. Our family has decided that if invited we will not attend the wedding although my daughter has indicated that she planned to invite us.

Are we doing the right thing? --- KNOW THIS MARRIAGE IS A MISTAKE

DEAR KNOW THIS MARRIAGE IS A MISTAKE: I’m glad you and your daughter have remained in touch. It makes me think her fiancé hasn’t entirely won the “them or me” scenario he forced on your daughter.

I’m of the opinion that at least your immediate family should consider attending the wedding. For one thing, it’ll let your daughter know you don’t choose to use her as a pawn in a powerplay, as her future husband already did when he issued his ultimatum.

Another advantage to showing up is that if things fall apart with the marriage, your daughter may feel more certain of a welcome back into your family circle, and less inclined to stay in a bad situation if she knows she has people in her corner who truly care about her happiness.

Need advice? Please send your questions to Someone Else’s Mom at