NOTE: This archive only contains Carolyn Hax columns through March 2011. Her more recent columns are located here.


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By Carolyn Hax
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dear Carolyn:

I'm getting married to a fantastic guy with a very tight-knit family that does EVERYTHING together. His sister and her 7-year-old daughter are both in the wedding party. The bridal shower the sister helped plan is being held at a winery and includes wine-tasting.

I opened a can of worms by assuming the shower would be adults-only. My simple request has them questioning his decision to marry me because I don't like children -- which is absolutely absurd. I love children and have always imagined we will have children of our own. However, I am a firm believer there are certain events that are inappropriate for children.

My extremely passive-aggressive future mother-in-law is furious with me, and put my fiance in the middle by calling him and not me directly. She laid the guilt trip on thick when she told me she already had bought the outfit for her granddaughter to wear to the shower, and how could she disappoint a 7-year-old? My future sister-in-law is on the defensive because she thinks I dislike her daughter.

My fiance now feels I am asking him to choose between his beloved family and me (again, absurd).

They have said they will not attend the shower if the 7-year-old cannot come. Is it possible to get them to see things from my side without seeming like Bridezilla?


No. They've made it pretty clear they're not entertaining alternative viewpoints.

Which, as it happens, is the real issue: His mother is the one asking your fiance to choose between his beloved family and his bride, not you.

Scratch that -- the real issue is his failure to see this himself.

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