Ask Amy

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:45pm

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.

Your thoughts?

— Judy

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."

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

5 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 8/20/10 at 7:25

Dear Amy,

the couple getting married are going to live their lives together. It should be their decisions on how they want their wedding to be, not their parents. Simply ask their parents how they had their wedding and who decided to do it that way for them.

I betcha they made their own decisions.

I wish them a great future together.

By: yogiman on 8/20/10 at 7:37

Dear Amy: one other point on the 'Respectful Bride', unless they want an official wedding for all their friends to be there (including their parents), maybe they should go to the county mayor's office and ask to be married. It would be a simple ceremony. They are the only ones who's needs and desires should be considered in this marriage.

By: NewYorker1 on 8/20/10 at 8:56

The couple getting married can resolve this issue with one sentence "If you don't like it, then don't come." There, problem solved. Next issue please.

By: WickedTribe on 8/20/10 at 2:55

It's hard to take Respectful Bride seriously when she wants a heavily tattooed kilt wearing weirdo to officiate her wedding. Sorry but that sounds like you're just being immature and provocative for no reason except to be provocative. I'm a 32 year old atheist so if I feel this way, I can guarantee the in-laws and anyone else of any common sense over age ~23 will feel the same way.

I have a friend who did the same thing, had a friend officiate her wedding instead of a preacher. However, this friend was a normal person wearing a suit, not a sideshow freak.

By: yogiman on 8/21/10 at 5:06

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, Wicked.

You spoke of your friend having a friend perform her wedding. Was her friend legally eligible to perform wedding? If not, they may only be emotionally wed.