Dear Annie: Our daughter recently became engaged and we couldn't be happier. She is our only child and is marrying a great guy. While we are excited about all of the planning for the big event, it appears that the groom's mother, "Dolores," is trying to take control.
For nearly every detail that my daughter and I agree upon, Dolores steps in and wants to make changes. While I appreciate her enthusiasm, is this the way that things are supposed to be? She is putting my daughter in the middle and making the situation terribly uncomfortable, especially since the groom is in the military and the wedding won't take place for another 18 months.
I'm not sure how long this can go on before we have words. My husband and I have given the bridal couple what we considered to be a generous budget, but Dolores keeps offering to pay for any additional expenses so she can make it be the day she wants. While we can afford to give our daughter more money for the wedding, we would like them to spend wisely for this one-day celebration.
Dolores has already married off a daughter. I'm only going to be the mother of the bride once in my life. Is it too much to ask that this day belong to me? How do I keep peace with my daughter and make this the day that we have dreamed of without constant conflict with her mother-in-law? — Once in My Life
Dear Once: These days, the bride's family doesn't get to control every aspect of the wedding. Grooms also get a say. And many families split the costs right down the middle, giving each an equal voice in the planning.
This day does not belong to you. Your daughter is the one who decides how to handle her future mother-in-law and what compromises she is willing to make. For your sake, as well as hers, please take one step back and be as gracious and accommodating as possible. It's a good lesson to teach your daughter. It may not be the wedding you dreamed of, but it could ease the way for your daughter to have the marriage she wants and a better relationship with her in-laws. Isn't that what counts?
Dear Annie: Recently a reader complained that you never write about the good stories. Here's one I hope you will share.
I want to publicly thank my husband's ex-wife for being a dear and special person. For the first 10 years of my marriage, I experienced the animosity that many ex-wives inflict on the new wife (and vice versa). Then I extended an olive branch, and we both put away our resentful and angry feelings and found out we had a lot in common, in addition to the man we both had married.
We "grew up," and our relationship flourished over the next 15 years as we shared birthdays, graduations, marriage, a grandchild, holidays at each other's homes, even family vacations. We recognized that jealousy and hate only destroy one's self, and that harmony brings peace and contentment to the soul. It's a wonderful feeling to have such a treasured friend. — Truly Grateful Friend
Dear Grateful: We love this. Please make a copy to show your husband's ex-wife. It will make her day.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.