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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Stands Her Ground About Letting Kids Near Dog

DEAR ABBY: Our 27-year-old college-educated daughter, "Peggy," has announced her engagement to a high school dropout with an abusive past and a rap sheet longer than my monthly grocery list. He supports two teenage children from a previous relationship and has been in and out of jail for assault and battery and DUIs.

Peggy has lived with him for the past year and has stopped speaking to us because we won't pay for the wedding. She and my parents feel we are wrong for not supporting her and paying for the wedding. What is your opinion on this? She is marrying him against our wishes. -- UPSET PARENTS IN VIRGINIA

DEAR UPSET PARENTS: Please inform your daughter -- and your parents -- that a wedding is a GIFT, not an obligation on the part of the parents. For all of the reasons you have stated, you have ample reason not to pay for the wedding.