Dear Margo, Our son and his wife have separated after two months of marriage and will be divorcing shortly. They want to know what to do about the wedding gifts. Should gifts be returned when the marriage does not last six months? Many friends have said their gifts should be kept and that my son and his wife should divide them. Gifts of money were spent already on the honeymoon and on furnishing the house. - Splitsville in Wyoming
Dear Wyoming, According to Letitia Baldrige, foremost authority on etiquette, the couple should keep the gifts. There is always the possibility that they will get back together before the divorce is final, and if not, friends will feel so saddened by the news that a returned gift would make them feel worse.
Dear Wyoming, Ha! Tish Baldridge was my neighbor in Chicago, and a woman for whose social arbitration I had high regard. I do agree that wedding gifts should be kept, because sending them is not contingent on the length of the marriage. (I'm not sure I agree with the idea that returning them would "sadden" people, or that the couple might reunite.) - Margo
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
The couple should keep the gifts and split them up. I'm sorry the marriage didn't work out, but there's more important things going in their lives than the gifts.
Jennifer Sanchez's Comment
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.