DEAR AMY: I am getting married next year. I am agnostic and my fiancé is a Christian but he's going through some issues with his faith.
Neither of us wants a religious ceremony.
His dad and stepmom are extremely religious, and I respect their faith.
I bow my head at prayer and I am very open to what they have to say about their beliefs.
I am also very honest with them about how I feel about religion, and they have been respectful of me as well.
Unfortunately, they are not as understanding toward my fiancé. They sometimes say things to him that make him very uncomfortable.
They have been asking us who will be officiating at the wedding.
His stepmom told me this is the only fear they have about the wedding.
My fiancé and I want a very casual wedding and we have asked one of our friends to get ordained (online) so he can perform the ceremony. He has agreed.
This friend has many visible tattoos and will most likely be wearing a kilt to the ceremony.
We think my fiancé’s parents will be extremely upset, and we don't know how to tell them the news.
We want to give his dad the opportunity to say something at the wedding or give a speech at the reception.
Any advice on how to handle this delicate situation?
— Respectful Bride
DEAR BRIDE: Hike up your kilt and wade right in.
You know in advance that this plan will disappoint your future in-laws. You like and respect them; in addition to that, candor is all you have going for you at this point.
You and your fiancé should tell them exactly what you have planned.
Acknowledge their disappointment by saying, "We know this isn't what you have in mind for us, but we hope you'll respect our choice. We appreciate it so much."
If you want to invite your future father-in-law to speak at the ceremony, realize that this might put him in an awkward position; leave the choice up to him. Expect family and friends to toast you at the reception.
DEAR AMY: My 59-year-old boyfriend of two years was in a motorcycle accident caused by a car more than a year ago. He wasn't seriously hurt and was well compensated through insurance.
He told me that he recently followed the woman who caused the accident. He said he knew where she worked, so he waited and followed her to her home. When I asked him why he would go to such lengths, he said he wanted to see if she had "changed her ways."
I find this disturbing. He is a stable person but seems to have a vindictive side.
DEAR JUDY: I agree with you that this is troubling, but how disturbing it is should be gauged according to degrees.
If he happened to see this woman driving down the street and decided to follow her for a few blocks, that's one thing. But he deliberately waited and then stalked her to her home. This was premeditated and it is creepy.
If you suspect he continues to stalk her, you should warn her immediately — she should contact the police.
If this guy has a "vindictive side," you need only to imagine how he would behave if you disappointed him, made a mistake or made him angry.
I suggest you leave this relationship.
DEAR AMY: "Fed Up" wrote to you about her boyfriend, who is a "mean drunk."
We were close friends with a couple just like Fed Up and her boyfriend for more than 10 years.
We suffered through years of mean "jokes" that got meaner and more frequent (with alcohol and without). We, and many other friends, finally had to withdraw completely from this couple's life with much pain and sorrow.
The behavior will get worse and Fed Up will be out in the cold if she stays with this man.
— Learned Our Lesson
DEAR LEARNED: I have heard from many readers who have suffered in the presence of a "mean drunk."
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