DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiancee's son will be having an engagement party next month, and she has informed me she does not want me to attend.
I am quite hurt. We have been together for five-plus years; I have supported and treated her like she is my wife already, and she says she loves me completely.
But ... The family of her ex is a source of intense stress to her, and she simply "cannot deal with the stress of (my) being there and near them."
I let it go, while having told her this hurts me, and I feel disrespected for not being present at such an important family event. Am I wrong to be so? Is there clear etiquette for such a situation? We are engaged and she wears the ring. I almost feel a bit shamed by her decision.
GENTLE READER: Does your fiancee plan to invite you to the wedding? Miss Manners means the son's wedding, of course, but now is wondering whether your betrothed intends to invite you to your own. Surely, family stress will be a factor there as well.
When one is affianced, a promise is made that that person will become a future member of the family -- and an ally in its often difficult navigation. Limiting access to it, however, will not make an imperfect family go away, only strain the relationship that is thus far intact.
Miss Manners hopes that you can make that argument gently and persuasively, so that the issue becomes about the interest of your union, rather than an additional emotional pressure on your fiancee.