I am engaged and planning my wedding for 2024. We're happy and in love, but unfortunately, my mother cannot stand a bone in my partner. She has told me that he isn't right for me, not for any discernible reason other than that she got a "vibe". My mother is pastor of a church, a very influential and charismatic woman, but my fiancé and I worship elsewhere. Where we worship, my pastor has blessed our union. While I am still planning to proceed with my wedding, my mother's approval is very important to me, and I hate this roadblock. I'm also wary enough to heed her warning, somewhat, because what if she's right? I have asked her to sit with us both to talk and go into more details about her reservations, but she said the spirit is leading her away from my partner. What do I do?
You've raised an important issue with your letter. Many people may need similar clarification with this issue of parental involvement when selecting a spouse. Let me say, yes, it is very important to involve your parents. Ultimately, parents usually have the opportunity to influence what happens in that marriage, way after the wedding, for the better or for the worse. Also, it is important for everyone getting married to have a decent social support structure behind them. And usually the most important aspect of that social support structure will be parents. Your spouse must know that you have a support structure.
Getting the blessing of your mother is important; however, not at any cost. If your mother has a track record of giving you good, reliable advice, then her advice should matter the more. You'll also have to consider, though, that parents can have a bias which can impact their ability to be objective and form proper opinions. Biases can be social, religious, and even racial.
That said, you are old enough to determine your own path. As you've been able to determine it necessary to worship elsewhere, which was your own adult decision, likewise you can make this decision on your own. It'll require you to act as an adult: make a decision, then take responsibility for it — however it goes.
Speak to your mother again: Tell her how much you love her and would like for her to be a part of your wedding. Let her know why you believe this person is the one for you and also that you need more specific and practical information from her if you are to change your plans. Remind her that you are adult enough to make a choice and to stand by it — come what may. Let her know you want her support though.
Speak to your pastor: Ask your pastor to have a meeting with your mom and yourself before the wedding. There they both can share comments and concerns with each other and with you. If your pastor is indeed confident with your partner then he can help to assure her and answer concerns she may have. Ask your pastor to meet with your mother at a location that might make a candid discussion with her easy.
Speak to your fiancé: Reassure him of your love. Let him know that you value your mother's input and you really want her blessing. Let him know of your plan to have a meeting with your pastor and your mother.
Get premarital counselling: Make sure to get proper counselling. Proper preparatory work can take as much as eight weeks. Please take the time and make the relevant investments to do that. Your sessions should involve questionnaires with deep, probing questions and provide you and your partner with the necessary tools for managing marriage. You can also let your mother know of your plans to have extensive premarital counselling sessions.
I pray for your wisdom and happiness.
Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to email@example.com.
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