DEAR HARRIETTE: Next weekend, my girlfriend and I are attending the wedding of one of her college friends. She is a bridesmaid in the wedding alongside some other college friends. I am excited that we are going to a wedding together, but I am also a bit nervous that I don’t know anyone attending besides my girlfriend. Because she is in the wedding party, I know she will be busy for much of the wedding, leaving me alone. Weddings are social events; there is always a lot of small talk and mingling, which is hard to do when you don’t have any mutual friends to speak to. Do you have any advice on how I can be more comfortable at the wedding? -- Loner at a Wedding, Boston
DEAR LONER AT A WEDDING: It is understandable that you are concerned about feeling awkward since you don’t know other guests. One way to help the situation is to have your girlfriend introduce you to the significant others of the rest of the wedding party. There’s a good chance that there are other boyfriends or husbands who will be loners at this party. If the bridesmaids consciously connect all of you, at least you have the bridal party in common. Talking about that can be an icebreaker. Also, during the wedding reception, your girlfriend should not be totally absorbed in wedding details. The bride will be with her husband. The bridesmaids typically will be on call but free to eat, dance and enjoy the reception -- which means being able to spend some time with you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 54 years old. I have been married to the same man for 27 years. We fell out of love about 10 years ago, but still live under the same roof and raise our children together. We are civil toward each other, but we both know that we are not meant to be married. I have not left for financial reasons. When we had our first child, my husband and I decided that I would stay at home and raise the children while he worked. Everything we have is from the money he earned for our family. The house, the car and all of our other belongings are under his name. What should I do? Do I stay married to a man I am estranged from and be financially stable, or divorce him and risk starting from nothing? -- Should I Get a Divorce?, Los Angeles
DEAR SHOULD I GET A DIVORCE?: What you should do is get a good lawyer. In your state, the law suggests that you would split the resources that exist in your family, whether your husband is the principal breadwinner or not. You do not need to stay in a loveless marriage to be financially stable. Talk to an attorney, and figure out how to proceed legally. Know your rights.
You don’t have to ask for a divorce immediately. Instead, talk to your husband about your life and ask him what he wants to do. Tell him your concerns and talk through your options. It may be easier than you think.
(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.)