DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a huge problem. My fiance and I have been together for two years, and we’re getting married next June. The problem is my soon-to-be mother-in-law. She is a wonderful woman, and we get along very well; however, she insists on tagging along on our honeymoon! She keeps pushing the idea of making it a family trip. My fiance told her that the honeymoon is going to be just for us. He tried to tell her we all could go someplace together another time, but she got upset. She abruptly got off the phone with him, saying she was "only joking," but she'd work on me.
This is becoming a nightmare. She's normally a pleasant and reasonable person, and I like her a lot. I don't understand how she can't see this is a huge intrusion. Can you help? I don't want to have to change my honeymoon destination to accommodate the three of us. -- Leave Mom at Home, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR LEAVE MOM AT HOME: You and your fiance need to get on the same page about this and stay strong. Your mother-in-law absolutely should not go on your honeymoon. Period. She may be feeling that she’s about to lose her baby, which could be why she’s being unreasonable. It could be that, selfishly, she just wants a vacation and doesn’t imagine that one will come for her anytime soon. Whatever her reasons, don’t cave to her emotions. Remind her that you love her, and ask her to stand down.
DEAR HARRIETTE: In two months -- after a mandatory one-year separation -- my divorce will be final. During this past year, I finally told my best friend, the man I wanted to marry in the first place, how I feel about him. He responded with great joy and told me he has felt the same way about me for many years. We are extremely happy together. He loves spending time with me doing the same things I enjoy, which is the basis of our friendship. My relationship with him is the exact opposite of the one I had with my ex-husband.
My problem is that my ex wants to give me away at my next wedding. When I told him I wanted our 2-year-old to walk down the aisle with me, he said no because he wants to be the one to do it. Then he added that it's his "right" to give me away, since he's my husband. My fiance and I don't even want my ex to attend because we're afraid he will act a fool. He's angry with my fiance because he was the best man when my ex and I married.
I am considering allowing him to walk me down the aisle because our daughter might want him at the wedding -- even though he rarely sees her. I feel guilty not wanting my ex at the wedding, but I will finally be marrying the man I wish I'd married in the first place, and I want the day to be fun and happy. What do you think about my ex's demand? -- So Confused, Bronx, New York
DEAR SO CONFUSED: Your ex should NOT walk you down the aisle. Nor should he be invited to the wedding. Handle your business. Get divorced. Then plan your wedding. Keep the lines divided, even as you remain cordial to your ex. Because you have a child together, he will remain in your life.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)