DEAR ABBY: I'm writing about the letter from "In Love in Kansas" (10/2), whose priest is predicting that if she marries her fiance, the marriage won't last.
When my husband and I were married, the priest who married us was the same one who had seen my parents through their divorce and divorce counseling. Therefore, he had a negative view of every member of our family. The entire time we were in premarital counseling, which is required in my religion, "Father John" was very pessimistic and went so far as to repeatedly try to talk my fiance out of marrying me. Well, it didn't work. We got married.
On our wedding day, the entire ceremony was videotaped from start to finish. Little did we know until we viewed our videotape that on this keepsake, Father John, who had just pronounced us man and wife, said directly to the camera, "Don't blame me for this. I tried to talk them out of it." Needless to say, my husband and I were both stunned and horrified.
My advice to "In Love in Kansas" is, if this is the attitude of her officiate, change officiates! Father John was a man I had known for several years. He knew my family well and still behaved this way. Had I known what was going to happen, I never would have let him marry us. -- TOO TRUSTING IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR TOO TRUSTING: The mail that letter generated has been all over the map on this subject. However, I can think of only one excuse for your priest's behavior -- he must have had two sips too many of the sacramental wine. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: The young woman who is about to be married and is disturbed by the priest's comments should heed his warning. My daughter ignored her priest's advice that she and her fiance, "Brad," were "not compatible," saying, "He didn't understand the questions." To date, her husband has fathered an illegitimate child, given her an STD, spends a lot of time on "hunting" vacations -- and I caught him with another woman. Because I told my daughter what I witnessed, Brad has forbidden me any contact with the kids.
So you see, the priest was right! -- THE CREEP'S MOTHER-IN-LAW
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I had a similar experience when we were wed. We were both in the military at the time and had been assigned the base chaplain for our ceremony. It seems our priest didn't approve of married women serving in the military, so he suggested to us that in a "successful" marriage the wife stayed home. He even took it one step further: During the ceremony he expressed his doubts about whether our marriage would last. Happily, we proved him wrong. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year.
My advice to "Kansas" is: Don't worry about the naysayers. Work on your marriage every day and enjoy each other. -- 20 YEARS AND COUNTING
DEAR ABBY: Fifteen years ago, my priest, "Father Gregory," told me the same thing. I was very offended. Yet as time has passed, almost everything Father Gregory predicted has come true! All of the problems we ignored prior to our marriage have come back to haunt us. "In Love in Kansas" should get specifics from that priest about why he has these feelings. It could save her a lot of grief. Please pass this on. -- SAD IN SAN DIMAS
DEAR ABBY: That letter had a familiar ring. A priest told my girlfriend that she shouldn't marry me, too. Well, we've been married 34 years now. We're so glad she didn't listen. -- RICK IN AUDUBON, N.J.