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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Fears History Will Repeat for Daughter Marrying Young

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for 18 years. The main reason for my divorce was that I married too young and wasn't ready to be a wife and mother. My daughter has just announced her engagement to a truly wonderful man, but she's only 19. I want to support her, but I'm afraid she's making the same mistake I did. I have tried talking to her about it, but she is sure she is making the right decision.

I am tight on money now, and I don't want to pay for an expensive wedding if it's going to be a waste later on if my daughter gets a divorce. But I do want to be by her side and support her during one of the most important times of her life. What should I do? -- EXPERIENCED MOM

DEAR MOM: Your daughter already knows you're concerned about her marrying so young and the reasons why. Ultimately, this is her decision -- or mistake -- to make. Explain that you won't be able to contribute financially to her wedding because money is tight right now, but that you are there to support her emotionally now and forever. Tell her, too, that many successful marriages begin at a courthouse, and you wish her better luck than you had.

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