Dear Annie: My daughter has been married for 14 years to a wonderful, successful, caring husband, and they have four beautiful children. But she recently moved out of their home. I can’t believe it.
Everyone could tell the marriage wasn’t going that well in the past year, but we thought it was the usual ups and downs. Then my daughter started spending a lot of evenings with her girlfriends and staying out until the wee hours. She also became secretive and not the loving, open daughter she had been.
I asked her to see a doctor, thinking maybe she was depressed, but also to check her thyroid because I have hypothyroidism and so did her grandmother. But she told me to stay out of it, that it’s between her and her husband. She says there’s no abuse, drugs or alcohol, and I believe her. But I think she is seeing someone on the side. She says she just doesn’t love her husband anymore.
I asked her to please go to counseling or speak to their pastor, and she said no. She told me to leave them alone and let them work it out. Now she says the split is permanent. I am devastated and angry with my daughter. She left the kids with her husband, and she’s moved in with her sister. I cannot believe she would do this.
I see the kids two or three times a week when I babysit. My daughter has asked me to support her in this decision, but I just can’t. What do I do?
— Beyond Sad
Dear Beyond: We know this is breaking your heart, but you must try your best to stay out of it. Whatever problems are going on in your daughter’s marriage are hers to deal with, good or bad. Try to spend time with the children, especially if you can bring them to your house, giving them a stable, calm place to visit. But don’t take sides. The best you can do is talk to your other daughter and ask that she encourage her sister not to rush into anything she’ll regret.
Dear Annie: We went to a family wedding last month. The ceremony was scheduled for 2 p.m., but the wedding party didn’t show up until an hour later. The reception was at another location, and dinner was supposed to start at 5:30, but the wedding party showed up at 7. No one ate until 8.
We thought this was inconsiderate and rude. There was no good reason why the wedding party was late for the ceremony and supper. Her 90-year-old grandfather and his 86-year-old grandmother and numerous seniors as well as young children all had to wait for the wedding party to show up. What do you think about this?
— Saskatchewan, Canada
Dear Canada: We, too, think this is rude and inconsiderate. There’s an amazingly selfish trend these days where some brides, grooms and attendants erroneously believe they are entitled to have a “before party” (although generally not before the ceremony, as well) because it’s “their” night. They delay arriving at their own reception, often by hours. In that case, they should not invite guests to share in the celebration, because obviously, the guests are not included in it. Unless the bridal party had a good reason for the delay, we’d have gone home.
Dear Annie: You had a letter from “Any Light at the End of My Tunnel?” whose husband is controlling. I was in the same situation, and all I can say is: If you love your children, leave now! You will find help.
I finally left after he threw a plate in my face, but unfortunately, it was too late for my kids, as I watched two out of the three enter into exactly the same kind of abusive relationship they saw growing up. You have a chance for your children to learn a better way of life.
— Been There, Done That
— Creators Syndicate Inc.