Her wedding or mine?

My fiancé’s daughter just announced that she’s getting married, and it’s overshadowing my own wedding plans. 

She’s going to be your stepdaughter, says our elder. Be supportive.


Dear EWC

My fiancé’s daughter is getting married and I feel like it really rushed. The bigger problem is that I have been planning mine, and now I feel like I shouldn’t even bother with mine because of how rushed hers is and I am not really sure why. She calls her dad up, and says that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to say yes or no to the guy asking her to get married. Then all the sudden she calls back and says, “Hey guess what – we are getting married in three weeks even though I wasn’t sure last week. Surprise!”

I already felt that because of that I had to take resources away from my own so I figured, whatever, I will just put it off for another year. Would have been nice to have had more of a heads up  or maybe even been asked if that was cool with me or not, but whatever. Now I’m getting to a point that I’m not so sure I want to get married at all. It seems like it’s such a headache with my fiancé’s daughter that mine just seems to not even matter. So, I don’t know what to do, or if I should even be feeling this way, or what is wrong with me really. I feel really mixed up.


JanLynn replies

If I’m reading your letter correctly, the girl you mention will be your stepdaughter, not daughter-in-law. Not that it matters in the advice I give, however. What I suggest you do is to think about her first, and not your own wedding. Yes, I know that’s hard to do because you’ve probably put a lot of thought and planning into your wedding and now this girl is taking the limelight, as well as resources, with her rushed wedding.

Beyond that, however, there seems to be a real major problem, as I see it. For some reason, she’s rushing her wedding. Not sure why that is, but it doesn’t matter in regard to your concerns. I believe you should consider being as supportive as possible to her. You’re not her stepmother yet, but you will be. One thing I learned over the years, when it comes to stepchildren, the more attention you give to them, the more you show you care, the better your life – and theirs – will be. That kindness will come back many times over.

So, I advise you to put off your own wedding, but not for a whole year. Does it need to be that long? How about four or five months, maybe even less?

As for your thinking that you might not want to get married at all, I hope you will reconsider that. This is just a bump in a relationship. There will be many more. The thing a person has to do is to think about something seriously and without anger, and then proceed in a good direction for themselves – and in this case, for your future stepdaughter. She might not fully appreciate your advice and kindness at first, but my guess is it will sink in at some point and your relationship with her will be better.

Also, there’s your fiancé in all of this. By showing you care for his daughter, you will be showing him that you care for him as well. That will mean a lot for the future, for your future marriage.

Regarding why you’re feeling the way you do, it’s not uncommon. All sorts of dynamics are at work when a wedding is involved, even more so when two weddings are involved, and of course when two people combine in a marriage that brings along a child or children. It’s not easy, never will be. But with effort and caring, it can work.

Now, if you continue to feel the way you do, please consider a session or two with a counselor. Sometimes we just can’t do everything for ourselves by ourselves. We need a medical professional to help guide us in a good direction. One thing you don’t want to do is harbor any more ill feelings toward this girl. It sounds to me like she’s going through a lot and perhaps she’s not making a wise decision to rush the wedding. Your kindness might allow her to think differently. No promises there, of course. People do things that aren’t wise, as we know.

I hope I’ve given you a few things to think about as you contemplate what to do. Whatever that is, I hope it will be good for everyone involved. Take care and I wish you the very best going forward.

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