Annie’s Mailbox: Wise words for children of divorce
Dear Annie: This is an open letter to all stepchildren with an impending wedding.
Dear Children of Divorced Parents: I worked in divorce law for many years. When it comes to wedding planning, you have one of two choices: You can choose to honor and include both parents appropriately, or you can choose to honor an angry parent and exclude half of your family.
If you select the former, then you receive all the benefits of having both parents and families. If you choose the latter and use the wedding to injure the other parent on behalf of the angry parent, you should not expect any fruits from that excluded family. Understand that your decision probably will determine the attitude of the other parent, and you will not have the right to expect generosity and cooperation from the excluded parent.
It might help to keep in mind that a parent whose relationship with you requires that you marginalize the other parent is not showing love. He or she is showing selfishness. It does not help your marriage or your future children.
Please get counseling to help you set standards so that an angry parent does not ensure your wedding revolves around his or her failed relationship. – Observant
Dear Observant: You have written wise words for future brides and grooms. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to distance oneself from a parent (abuse, for example), but in too many instances, it is one parent’s petty revenge upon the other. This is a sad way for young couples to start a new marriage.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, in care ofCreators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.