April 8, 2020

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Bickering mothers turn engagement into battlefield

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was so happy. The man of my dreams just asked me to marry him. But, something that should have been a beautiful bonding moment has turned into a nightmare.

My fiancé’s mother, who has to be in control of everything, thought it would be "fun" to go and try on some wedding dresses. Huge mistake! My mom came too, of course, as I insisted.

My mom and mother-in-law-to-be ended up in a heated argument and now nobody is speaking to one another. Even my fiancé has gotten involved and agreed with his mother.

With this tension, it feels like it’s going to be a very short engagement. I’m livid, and questioning if my fiancé and I should be together, if this argument between our mothers can cause so much tension between us. Help me, I’m heartbroken. — Should Have Eloped, Winnipeg

Dear Should Have Eloped: If you are staying in this city to live and make a life after marriage, you really have to make a judgment about marrying into this guy’s family.

You have a particular problem with him, as he sides with his mother. He should stand directly WITH you and your right to choose without interference of both mothers, but he doesn’t. That doesn’t bode well for for future situations where his mother should have no sway at all. He needs to be the guy who tells her so, and freely.

Tell mama-in-law and your own mother that you will be searching out the dress with girlfriends, like it or lump it, and see what happens.

If the whole engagement breaks up over fights, better it be now than after you’ve been down aisle and have a house, career, children and money decisions and — horrors — one or both mothers running your lives.

If you’re really teetering on this marriage, consider a postponement of the wedding, and don’t set a new date. This nasty mess is a warning, and too serious to brush aside.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to the woman whose husband spends his paycheque on his custom car while she supports the household.

This was me at a young age. My first husband dumped tons of "our" money (including wedding presentations) into his hot rod, insisting it was an investment.

His buddies used to brag about taking out secret credit cards and loans to hide car money from their wives. There seems to be a subculture of guys who enjoy cheating their partners this way.

My ex at least covered half the bills, but he ran up huge debts I discovered later, hence the divorce. If this lady’s husband cannot even pay his fair share of household bills, she should get out now and protect her own assets. — Survived a Car Guy

Dear Survived: Expensive hobbies belonging to one person are not "investments" for a couple, no matter what the arguments about selling and cashing in on certain big items.

A person who’s "in love" with a hobby, sport, cars, exotic travel, even expensive clothes, can argue eloquently about investment — but the bottom line is they’re going to find a way to keep on with that hobby no matter what.

Keeping secret credit cards and accounts from one’s partner to feed that hobby is like secretly feeding a gambling habit.

No wonder you had to abandon marriage with the car guy. Glad you survived!


Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6

Maureen Scurfield

Maureen Scurfield
Advice columnist

Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.

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