Dear Abby: My boyfriend, “Chad,” proposed two months ago, but he didn’t ask my parents for my hand in marriage. My parents are upset about it.
When I realized that Chad hadn’t gone to them, I asked him why. He said he was following what his father had done – proposing first and then speaking to the parents. But Chad still hasn’t done it. In fact, he has yet to be around them at all.
How do I get my boyfriend to speak to my parents? I spend lots of time with Chad’s family, but I can’t get him to even go to lunch with mine.
Dad said that if Chad doesn’t clear the air with him, he may not bother showing up at our wedding! What do I do, Abby?
– Fiancee in a Fix
Dear Fiancee: You appear to be quite young. If I were you, I would take a step backward and see this from your parents’ point of view. It appears that Chad wasn’t entirely honest with you when he gave his reason for not talking to them. Could he be intimidated?
When a daughter marries, most parents want to know something about the young man – not only where he has been, but also what are his plans, including where the two of you will be living and whether he has a job. That Chad is hiding from them isn’t a good sign.
When most couples become engaged, the parents of the bride and groom usually get together and start to form a relationship. If your father hasn’t met your fiance, it makes it harder for your parents to reach out to his. When the in-laws are friendly, it makes for a more harmonious marriage.
As it stands, it appears Chad is not interested in having any relationship with your family. Frankly, I can’t blame your father for being upset about it.
Don’t give specifics
Dear Abby: My wife and I disagree on whether to tell our kids and friends how we met. When my wife and I met, she was underage. She was 16 and I was 21. We fell in love; it was true love. We have been together for 24 years. We have two beautiful children and have made a wonderful life together. I love her as much today as the first time I met her. How should we answer people when they ask about how we met and fell in love? I know it was wrong and against the law.
– Mike in California
Dear Mike: You do not have to quote chapter and verse when someone asks a question. In a case like yours, you could say that you met when you were both quite young without going into the specifics.
For a 21-year-old to SEE a 16-year-old girl is not against the law, as long as her parents approve and they are not having sex. The laws regarding statutory rape were enacted to prevent predators from preying on minors.