Both Sides
His Side
Her Side
Sue's Side

Dear Panel,

Hi, thanks for reading this! I am in desperate need of advice!  I have been living with my fiance for over 3 years, we planned to be wed in the coming new year, but we are running into an issue that may break us up.  My fiancé is a very active person; he is in a band, has many friends and a very big family. I on the other hand am more a homebody.  I have a few close friends whom I see on rare occasions and a small family that I see typically once a year on Thanksgiving.

My Family Doesn't Interfere


I think there has been a communication breakdown in her family.

I was raised very independently and my family is small and close, but very individual people who honor the fact that I am an adult, and allow for the choices I make in my life without interference. 

His Family Is Very Involved


You NEVER want to see them.

My fiancé's family are very close and often lament the fact that we don't spend more time with them, or live close enough to them for them to see us on a regular basis.

My fiance's family are much more involved in the decision making of each other, and to put it mildly, seem to live in each other's hip pockets!

I Don't Share Their Religious Views

They are very religious people and are very active in their church. We see them at least once every 3 months. (they live approx. 2 hours away.)


This will be a significant problem in your marriage.

The problem is this: I do not feel close to his family, and there are few in his family that I get along with.  I do not share their religious views either, and if they knew this, according to my fiancé, they would want us to break up. 

I Want To Elope


If you can't come to an agreement on how to get married (i.e. elope), you probably shouldn't.

I wanted to elope, because I am very shy, and also don't want the expense and stress of a full blown wedding, but my fiancé would not agree to this until we contacted his family and asked them how they felt about it, my fiancé insists that it was simply to make sure that they were aware we were going to be wed, and that they would not be upset that they would not be involved. 

Just the Two of Us

My fiancé's family also had a tradition of every year on Christmas Eve, getting together and celebrating the day.  Well, this year, we spent Thanksgiving with my family, and we fully intended on spending Christmas Eve with my fiance's family, and then I planned to spend Christmas Day, just my fiancé and I, in order to begin our own tradition, and to also enjoy a holiday with him, alone (because we don't spend much time alone together because of his busy schedule).

When I was a small child, my parents and sister and I always spent Christmas together, in our pajamas, eating, playing with our gifts, watching movies, and just having a nice relaxing day together, and I looked foward to having that continue in my family with my fiance, then later our children.

They Changed Plans


They HAD to change it because  several of them have to work Christmas Eve.

But my fiancé's family decided this year to celebrate on Christmas Day, instead of Christmas Eve, and even though I had explained months ago to my fiancé that this Christmas was important to me, and asked him if it would be OK if we just spent this Christmas Day together, and he agreed, he now wants me to cancel any of the original plans for Christmas so that we can visit his family and spend the entire holiday with them instead. 

It always seems to  me that his family is too involved in our decision making process as a couple.

Can somebody out there help me?


Maybe you are looking for Bob to satisfy too many of your needs.

Am I too controlling because I would like my fiancé and I to think of one another as our family, and make decisions according to what we compromise, and not what his family wants? 

Forsaking All Others


Forsake? That's ancient history.

Am I correct when I believe that the vow in the marriage ceremony that states that "forsaking all others" not only means that you do not cheat sexually on your husband/ wife, but that now that you are married, that your decisions and life choices are based on what you as a couple decide togther, not what is going to please or placate the extended families and friends?


A wife SHOULD come before family and friends.



I cannot marry my fiancé if I have to worry about the rest of my life complying with what is best for his parents and siblings and friends, with what I feel is no regard for my needs/wants and opinions. Is this a control issue I have and should correct?


You will have to make compromises.

By the way, I am 33 years old, he is 28.  I dread the idea of losing him, but I don't know how I can continue to live like this.

My question is: Am I too controlling when I want my fiancé to put me above all others?

Female, age 33



You need some major compromises

Focus on loving and caring

Identify the most important core values

If you can't come to an agreement on how to get married (i.e. elope), you shouldn't

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