I am currently engaged to a man who I have known and been friends with since high school. He is a great guy, treats me right, and is just finishing up his degree as we are both wrapping up college. We also both were working full time until my fiancé recently got laid off. He is still looking for a job while we have been continuing to plan the wedding. After all, we have been planning the wedding for the past six months and already sent out the invitations two months ago and already have people RSVPing.
Mikey, the problem I am having is with my father. He is not comfortable that I am about to get married to a guy who does not have a job. My father has always said good things about my fiancé as he has known him for years and has always liked him, and was happy that we finally decided to get married after dating for the long time that we have, but now he is uneasy that we are getting married.
I understand where my father is coming from but I have also been trying to explain to my dad about the economy and that certain things were out of my fiance’s control as to why he got laid off. I know that my fiancé will find a job and then my dad will feel confident about our marriage again, but in the meantime my dad is stressing me out while we are already stressing out about our wedding that will be here in less than eight weeks. It is almost like my dad wants me to postpone the wedding because my fiancé still does not have a job, but how can we when we already booked the venue, invited guests, hired the DJ, etc.? How can I reassure my dad that my fiancé will find a job while making him feel comfortable about us still getting married?
— Torn Bride in Ahwatukee
Dear Torn Bride in Ahwatukee,
Congratulations on being engaged and for your upcoming wedding. Although weddings can be stressful to plan, usually it is a positive stress but in your case I can see how your stress is more along the lines of negative.
First off, you make a great point. You have already sent out the invitations, most likely paid/put down a deposit for the DJ, venue, and other wedding responsibilities so even if you decided to cancel the wedding now, you would most likely lose money, lose your venue, etc. So, I do not think that would be the best idea at this point. If you hadn’t put money down yet, or even sent out invitations and you wanted to make your dad comfortable before you and your fiancé tied the knot then I would say that if you were willing to, you could postpone the wedding for a month or two, to give your fiancé a chance to find a job, but at the same time, would you have been willing to change your date? Probably not.
If your dad has already told you that he likes your fiancé in the past, then it seems as though the only thing he is really worried about is that he does not have a job because he was just laid off. It does not seem like there are any other issues your dad has with your fiancé otherwise he would have said something throughout all of the years leading up to your engagement.
Your father’s concerns are perfectly normal. Your dad obviously cares about you and just wants what’s best for his “little girl.” Where he is coming from is 100 percent understandable. However, he also needs to realize where your fiancé is coming from. Your fiancé was working and then due to budget cuts and our rough economy he was laid off. He wasn’t fired; he was laid off, which in turn shows that it was out of his control, and it just happened to fall around the time you both were planning your wedding. Unfortunately, the economy doesn’t care if you are about to get married, having a baby, or want to buy a house. When a layoff comes around, it usually is never a good time.
Surely, your fiancé has been doing whatever he can since he was laid off to find a new job but this may take some time. In this economy, it is very hard to find a job overnight like one may have been able to eight years ago.
At this point, it does not seem like you want to cancel or even postpone the wedding because of how close you are to the big day, and it’s probably too late in the game to turn back now. Your letter voices no worries that you don’t think your fiancé is going to be out of work forever, nor does it sound like your father has a problem with your fiancé as a person. I think at this point, the best thing to do is to sit down with your father and let him know that your fiancé is doing whatever he can to find a new job, but that you are going to continue on with the wedding.
If you think it’s a good idea, perhaps all of you can go out to dinner and everyone can put their concerns out on the table. This way your father can see the situation from your point of view, and you and your fiancé can see the situation from your father’s point of view. By talking about it, surely you all can come to some common ground of understanding and reassure each other about the situation.
Once everyone is comfortable again and on the same page, it’s back to planning your wedding.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.myaskmikey.com.