Oh goodness. For those of us who struggle with our partners’ families, the Internet is always a wonderful source of perspective. What sounds like a level-headed, lovely woman wrote into Slate’s Dear Prudence column with one hell of a situation: she and her boyfriend of two years just moved in together, and have no real plans to marry. So far, seems normal to me. Lots of couples feel committed and fulfilled without a marriage certificate, and their relationships are just as valid as those of married couples. So far, so good. Except, NOT GOOD.
Apparently the boyfriend’s parents (these people are 30 years old, by the way, and not children) are insistent on the two marrying, despite the fact that they both firmly have stated no desire to do so. The parents hemmed and hawed, but eventually decided that it was up to the couple involved, who were two consulting adults. Except, SIKE!
The parents went out and booked a church for next year and rented a ballroom for a wedding they are now planning without the bride and groom. They rented a ballroom. They booked a church. Are you reading this?
The couple told the boyfriend’s parents that they won’t be attending, and so they’re free to hold the damn thing without the bride and groom. The parents don’t seem to be budging, because obviously the way to get two people to enter into a legally binding commitment is through bullying. Sure, it’s lovely that the family is willing to pay for a wedding since not all families are so generous, but this isn’t generosity. It’s disrespectful to these two grown ups, who get to set the terms of their relationship without input from the peanut gallery.
Luckily, the couple seems to be on the same page (I cringe whenever I read stories about overbearing families where the son or daughter won’t stand up to them, leaving the partner completely alienated), and it looks like the parents will hold a wedding sans bride or groom next year. Hopefully, the young couple can just start ignoring their calls for a while until they get the message, and continue on with their happy life together without people planning events they have no use or desire for. But jeez louise. God help us all if those in-laws decide the couple needs colonoscopies.
Photo: The Wedding Planner