DEAR AMY: My fiance and I are having a rather large wedding (it’s the second time for both of us). We are in our 60s. My fiance is from a wonderful, large family. All his nieces and nephews and their spouses will be invited. The problem is one niece. She is always rude to me. Her rudeness is obvious to everyone. I’ve been very quiet about it, and have never provoked her. Amy, she is in her 30s! I’m glad she is the only toxic person in my new family! Here’s the problem: I really don’t want to invite her to our wedding. My fiance says to ignore her, and that we have to invite her. Why should I invite someone that treats me like that? Other family members have witnessed her rudeness. They’re passive about it. It seems her mother (my future sister-in-law) condones her behavior! So, do I have to invite her to my wedding?
DEAR FAMILY MATTERS: Well, it’s not really your wedding. It is your and your fiance’s wedding. If he has only one rude and obnoxious member in his large and otherwise wonderful family, then I’d say you’re both pretty lucky — and definitely beating the national average.
Ignore her. Minimize any contact with her (which can be easy to do at your large wedding). Families come in many varieties and combinations of good and obnoxious. For better (and perhaps worse), this person will be part of yours. Make a determination to enjoy your day. And then do that.
DEAR AMY: I’m a 28-year-old woman. My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 years. Amy, I thought for sure that I would be the first sibling in my family to get married, but my younger brother dated his girlfriend for less than three years, got married and now he and his wife are expecting their first baby! My boyfriend and I have talked about getting married for a long time, but nothing happens! I don’t want a huge wedding. I just want to go to the courthouse. He says he is also happy with the courthouse idea. I’m trying to work with him to get our future started, but I keep hitting a wall. I’m not even engaged! I have shown him several rings that I like. I even suggested that we skip the ring and go straight down the aisle.
Am I supposed to propose to myself? He keeps saying it is about money, but I have done my research and it doesn’t cost that much. I have shown him prices. He keeps saying we will get married “one day.” Meanwhile, everyone around me is getting engaged. Should I stop pushing? Should I start leaving bigger and bigger hints? Should I propose to myself and forget about the romance part?
DEAR FRUSTRATED: I always know when spring is on the horizon, and wedding season is winking over the yardarm. This time of year is an engagement trigger.
You’ve shown him rings. You’ve lingered at the courthouse steps. Either this guy can’t take a heavy hint or — he doesn’t want to get engaged.
You’ve basically asked for a proposal, and the most he will do is to say that you will get married “one day.”
If you truly feel that you two have a wonderful relationship, your choices are to stay together without getting married (you don’t seem to want that), or to tell him, “You know how you said we’d get married one day? Well, congratulations to us. Saturday is the day!”
There are definitely cases where couples who have been together for a decade or more go on to get married, but — more often — people who don’t get married after 10 years simply don’t get married. You may need to decide what you want the most — to be married, or to be with your guy, with or without marriage.
Your romantic fantasy may only come true with a different groom.
DEAR AMY: Oh, dear, I was devastated to read the letter from “Party of None,” the woman who threw herself a 40th birthday party, and only two people came. Thank you for you compassionate and understanding response to her letter. I agree that this is probably more common than people will admit.
DEAR BEEN THERE: This question opened the flood gates for readers, many of whom responded that they have had similar experiences. This is why I offered to go to her next party, and I hope she takes me up on it.