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Dear Annie: Who you marry is up to you

Sat., Feb. 7, 2009

Dear Annie: I was supposed to be married this month in a small private ceremony. However, my fiance, “John,” admitted he had communicated very poorly with his parents. His relationship with them is nearly nonexistent, and they didn’t want us to get married due to cultural differences. So he did not invite them to our wedding and felt terribly guilty. We decided not to have the wedding under these circumstances and canceled our plans so John would have time to find closure with his parents.

The problem, however, is my parents. When I told them the wedding was canceled, they immediately assumed we had broken up and took the opportunity to share every nasty thing they had ever thought about John. They don’t want us getting back together.

I realize John used poor judgment, but I don’t believe he did anything unforgivable. However, every time I bring up the wedding with my mother, she becomes irate. I don’t dare tell them we’re working on rescheduling. I need my parents to move past this. What do I do? – Torn Bride

Dear Torn: Is this an isolated instance of poor judgment and last-minute indecision, or is it a pattern of behavior? Is John’s guilt about his parents going to become an issue in your marriage? Do your parents have legitimate reasons not to like him? These are all things to consider before making wedding plans. The final choice, however, is up to you. If you choose to marry John, we hope your parents will come around, but you must be confident of your decision regardless. If not, you aren’t ready to marry him.

Dear Annie: My husband of 20 years cheated once and I was able to forgive him. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. Caring for him almost cost me my job, and my own health suffered tremendously. Fortunately, his doctors were fabulous and he came through it. Then I discovered that during his hospitalization, the “other woman” visited often. My husband admitted it, and once again, I forgave. A year ago, his health began to fail again and this woman popped right back into the picture. I finally left him once and for all.

This marvelous “other woman” couldn’t deal with his medical issues and walked away. I have no interest in returning to my ex, but oddly enough, I feel sorry for him. My family and friends think I’m nuts for caring. Help me wrap my head around this. – It Literally Makes Me Sick

Dear Literally: You were married to this man for 20 years and presumably loved him very much at one time. His cheating made you realize you couldn’t trust him or live with him, but it didn’t shut off all your emotions. It is perfectly natural for you to feel sorry for a man you once cared for, who is now sick and alone. It means you are a compassionate human being.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar write for Creators Syndicate.

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