DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Richard" for three years. I am 27 and he is 25. We have talked about settling down for quite a while now.
A month ago, Richard asked me to marry him. We have looked at engagement rings in the past, and he knows my taste. However, he decided it would only be right to let his parents know about his decision. His mother, "Irene," asked him how much he planned to spend for a ring. He told her $2,000 to $3,000, and she said that was too much money. She added that he should buy me something little now, and in a few years, he could buy me something nicer.
Abby, I don't feel this should be Irene's decision to make. Richard earns good money. This would not break the bank for him, believe me. I am doubly upset because Richard has decided to take his mother's advice. Irene is always interfering, demanding to know what's happening with us. She says that he's the "man" and needs to act like it. She told him he "shouldn't let a woman control him." Irene even has our wedding planned for us.
Richard is a grown man, and I feel he should tell his mother nicely, "I appreciate your advice, but please realize this is still my decision to make."
Am I being unreasonable? I'm afraid that if we are married, Irene will be a constant interference. -- LOST IN NEW YORK
DEAR LOST: Your fears are justified. Until Richard stops allowing his mother to make his decisions for him, she will rule the roost, and her wishes and opinions will take precedence over yours. It's interesting that Irene is telling her son not to let a woman control him, when she's the one who's doing it. If I were you, I'd recognize the writing on the wall and run for the hills.