Fiance's hateful mother unsettles bride

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I am getting married next month, but my future mother-in-law hates me. This is not a traditional "mother-in-law hatred;" it's a deal-breaker. She doesn't invite me to family events, and I've never been in her house. Should I go through with the wedding? I love my fiance, but I don't know if it is worth dealing with a life of neglect. What happens if we have children? Will she hate them too?

--Mommy-in-law Issues

DEAR ISSUES: You don't have many decisions to make, actually, because this woman will hate and neglect you regardless of what you do. Your fiance has the most at stake. He has important and life-changing choices to make.

When people get married, they leave their parents' orbit and cleave to their spouse. That's the way it is. If you are lucky enough to have parents with an ample and generous embrace, marriage makes the family grow. If not, the circle tightens. But the marriage needs to be at the center. If grandchildren come into the family, it will be mighty hard for this grandmother to get to know them if she won't spend time with their mother.

Because this woman has completely rejected you, her son will have to reject her to be married to you. Unless you are both prepared to put your marriage at the center of your lives, you should not tie the knot. Put your plans on hold as you pursue pre-marriage counseling.

DEAR AMY: "An American in Switzerland" has in-laws who don't close the door when using the bathroom. To insinuate that this is some sort of Swiss custom is ridiculous. I'm Swiss and I assure you, this is gross, no matter where you're from.

--Swiss in America

DEAR SWISS: This writer wasn't saying that this was a Swiss custom. But her in-laws' choice to tease her for her "American prudishness" made their open-door policy her problem.