Dear Margo, I am engaged to a wonderful man who treats me like a queen, is considerate and thoughtful, and has excellent manners. He is hardworking and has been there for me through thick and thin. "John" is 28, and I am 27. We have known each other for three years and have lived together for 11 months.
My father has never given John a chance. Dad says it is because he didn't ask for permission before our first date, which is a mighty lame excuse. I thought Dad would change his mind when John and I became officially engaged seven months ago, but it hasn't happened.
My father is zealous about his religious beliefs and said he will not attend our wedding because John is not "religious enough." Also, Dad looks down on John because he has only a high school education and I have a college degree. Dad says a woman should never marry beneath herself "education wise."
Finally, John's job is manual labor -- he drives a moving truck. Dad thinks when John gets older and can no longer do that sort of work, he will become dependent on me. The truth is that John makes a lot of money working for an international company, and his retirement plan is far superior to mine.
This situation hurts my mother and me, and it is hard to explain to John. My uncle will be walking me down the aisle. I have cried a bucket of tears over this, and no one has been able to change Dad's mind. Any ideas, Ann? -- Woodbridge, Va.
Dear Virginia, Your father is mean-spirited and punitive. His reasoning is faulty, and his values are cockeyed. Ignore his stubbornness, and make plans without him. I fear he is going to pay dearly for his dominating ways and heavy-handedness. Have a wonderful wedding, dear, and be a beautiful, beaming bride.
Dear Virginia, Oh, Dad, poor Dad. He's confused. Traditionally, one asks for a woman's hand in marriage - not to go out on a date. He also sounds like what I have long called a "wack-job-Churchie." His opinions are set, so forget about any reformation. Stop crying and accept the reality that you were not a winner in the Father Lottery. It happens. Have faith in your own values, they are good ones. - Margo