Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Matchmaking Mom Wants Son's Gal Pal in the Family

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old man about to be married for the second time. My bride, "Jennifer," is significantly younger than I, but aside from that, we're alike on most issues. We have lived together for five years and have two beautiful daughters, ages 3 and 7.

We are now involved in making wedding plans. I know it's a woman's special day, but when I ask the normal question of "How much does it cost?" Jennifer becomes unglued. She says she's aware that we don't have an unlimited budget, and she's sick and tired of my always asking about the costs and saying things are too expensive.

Today she went off again when I said that the diamond-encrusted wedding band she wants me to wear was too expensive, and a simple gold band is fine for me. I told Jennifer to cut out the Bridezilla attitude. Money is a factor in a wedding, and since I'm part of it, my opinion should matter as much as hers.

Now she's stomping around in a huff, and I'm at the end of my rope. If this is how she acts now, what about after the wedding? Am I being an idiot to worry about the money, or is Jennifer being unrealistic by ignoring it and stifling my concerns? -- GROOM (?) IN MICHIGAN

DEAR GROOM (?): You're not an idiot. You are asking some very intelligent questions. One of the most frequent causes of divorce is arguments over money. So before you go any further, stop the music and insist that the two of you get premarital counseling to ensure that you really are on the same page. It could save you a bundle -- of heartache and money.