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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter's Engagement Is No Cause for Mom's Celebration

DEAR ABBY: I am writing because I am very disturbed by the lack of morals in our young people today.

Our daughter just became engaged after more than two years of living with her male friend. They didn't have the respect to care what we thought, and they knew how we felt because they were told that we will not visit them where they live. (We do see them at our home.)

They expected us to be delighted over their engagement. I felt it was time they were married, not engaged to live together for yet another year.

I was also surprised that her live-in boyfriend came to us to ask for permission to marry our daughter. (When they are breaking all the old traditions, why believe in this one?)

Needless to say, we were not very receptive, and said neither "yes" nor "no." After all, a few years of living together will not prove that their marriage will last.

I am also upset because our fine "strict" Catholic church doesn't address this subject from the pulpit.

I'd like to add that because of the live-in situation, I will neither have nor will I attend any bridal showers. Nor will I pay for the wedding. I would like to hear your opinion. I'm upset that things are this way and can't really enjoy my only daughter's wedding. -- DISAPPROVING MOTHER

DEAR MOTHER: Since you asked for my opinion, here it is: Obviously, you are hurting or you wouldn't have written to unburden yourself. Taking this rigid, insensitive, punitive stand will only increase your pain and reinforce your isolation from your daughter and future son-in-law.

You have nothing to gain and everything to lose, including contact with any future grandchildren, if you refuse to accept the young couple's decisions.

If it's not too late, please reverse your harsh decision, apologize to your daughter and her fiance, and enjoy the wedding.