A FATEFUL STEP (OR TWO) Listen: Since I was little, my parents and I have been putting money into a jar we call my wedding fund. They’ve always wanted me to have a really beautiful wedding and didn’t want me to worry about how I would pay for it. Last time I saw a statement from the bank, I had about $30K in the account. I got engaged in May and my parents were dying to meet him so we took a weekend off and went to visit them. They seemed to really like Brian when they first met him and kept talking about the wedding fund. I’ve always wanted “the big wedding” and the more we talked about it, the more excited I was. I already had my dress picked out. I knew what my colors were and the hotel where we were going to have the ceremony. At some point, Brian mentioned his kids. He’s got two. They’re so sweet. They’re about 3 and 5, so they don’t have any problems calling me Mommy. My parents have always been concerned about me being a stepmother. When Brian told my parents that the boys have two different mothers and that he wasn’t married to either of the women, though, they lost it. They said they would never consent to me marrying someone who had two illegitimate children. When I told them I was going to do it anyway, they told me to go ahead, but I wasn’t getting any of the wedding fund. I’m so angry that we haven’t spoken in weeks. It’s not about the money. It’s about the wedding. I deserve to have the wedding I want. Brian and I have already started making plans and without the wedding fund, we can’t go through with any of them. I also can’t believe they’re being this irrational. They met him. They liked him. So what that he wasn’t married to his kids’ mothers? I want to make peace with my parents and I want them to be at our wedding, but I’m not sure how to make it all work. Any ideas? Signed, A Reformed Player’s Fiancee,/b> Okay: What did you first think when he told you about his children? Or when he revealed that they were two different mothers, neither of which he was married to? And, more importantly, when did he tell you about all this? On the first date? The second? The 24th? It’s a changing world. There are some taboos of yesteryear that simply aren’t taboos anymore. Or aren’t as taboo. Instead these taboos have become another fact of life, so common that to think about them too long or too hard is just tiring. What I’m trying to say is: regardless of whether or not illegitimate children are “okay” now, the idea that he would have an illegitimate child still makes him seem irresponsible and lazy. Okay, maybe he and the baby’s mama were in love and there was an accident. But maybe he was just looking for some booty and didn’t care whether or not there was protection. Maybe he was a player. Add to that fact that he had TWO illegitimate children and “it was an accident” seems a little unlikely. My guess is that you found out about his kids’ origins long after you were in love with him; safely nestled in your land-of-love, you saw the whole thing with rosy glasses. But your parents hadn’t known him a weekend before they found out. It’s not as if they’re thinking, “What do we know about our daughter’s fiance? Well, he takes his coffee black and he’s impregnated two different women. What a good match she’s made.” They’re worried about you. They don’t want to see you make a mistake; as hard as marriage is to enter into, it’s even harder to exit out of. I’m feeling cranky, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that your guy isn’t shiftless and undependable. We all make mistakes, especially when we’re younger. Maybe he’s grown out of his wandering ways. My advice is to postpone the wedding and give your family some time to get to know him, the kids, the other mothers. Let them learn about their new millennial-age family. Once they know Brian, I’m sure they’ll really like him. Then, maybe they’ll even hand over the fund. Just make sure you don’t get pregnant before then.


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