"My Parents Are Driving Us Apart!"
Her Turn, continued
"I met Todd at a singles dance. I felt instant chemistry; he's tall with dark hair, sexy hazel eyes, and a boyish grin. We had so much to talk about, from our shared religious beliefs to our love of the beach, foreign films, jazz, and travel. We also have complementary personalities. My assertive nature is balanced by his easygoing demeanor. Within a year of dating, we moved in together; a few months later, he proposed.
"Although I didn't have expectations of grandeur for our wedding, Mom insisted on an extravagant reception; Dad reluctantly agreed. They capped the guest list at 225. This upset my in-laws, who wanted to invite more people. But Mom and Dad refused because they felt the reception would be too crowded. They caused more hard feelings by banning children from the wedding, which meant that some of Todd's relatives wouldn't be able to bring their kids. Todd and I argued about whether I should push the issue with Mom; I didn't want to make a federal case out of it -- especially since she was footing the bill -- but to please Todd, I tried to mediate. As I predicted, I wasn't able to change her mind. This made Todd even angrier; there was this growing tension between us as the wedding drew nearer.
"When my parents complained about the expense -- 'I feel like I'm parking a Porsche on a train track,' my dad said -- Todd was so offended that he said he wanted to elope, a tempting idea given our stress levels.
"Things got worse when we decided to buy a house. My parents wanted to move to a smaller place, so when they found one, they offered us a steep discount on the house I grew up in. I was tempted, but before Todd and I made a decision, my parents went ahead and bought the new house. Even though Todd and I hadn't seen any other houses that measured up in our price range, he hesitated. He didn't want to get more involved with my parents, and he became furious when Mom said that she never would have bought the new house if she'd thought for a second that we wouldn't purchase theirs. Todd and I argued for days about this. Ultimately, he agreed to buy the house from my parents.
"Todd wants us to turn down my parents' help and limit our contact with them. I feel torn. Despite their faults, I still love them. I want them to stay in our lives, and I can't bear the thought of hurting them by refusing their gifts. And frankly, I like that they're helping us out. But the other night, when Todd suggested that we try counseling to learn how to deal with them more effectively, I agreed. I love Todd, and I don't want my parents to tear us apart."
SAVE EVEN MORE! Say “Yes” to Ladies' Home Journal® Magazine today and get a second year for HALF PRICE - 2 full years (22 issues) for just $15. You also get our new Ladies' Home Journal® Family Favorites Cookbook ABSOLUTELY FREE!