DEAR AMY: I'm about to be married to a wonderful man in four months. I love him more than anything in this world, and I can't imagine my life without him. The problem is this: Our families' lives have been falling apart around us.
His parents are separated and can't afford to divorce. My fiance's dad was also dealt a blow when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
My dad lost his job over a year ago. Now his benefits are about to run out and there's no employment in sight.
I am sad because I can't do anything to help my dad, and my mother is not excited about helping me plan my wedding. Sometimes she cries because she can't help us financially. They paid for my wedding dress, and I am so grateful for it. My fiance and I were counting on their financial help at one time, but that's not possible now — we'll cut corners where we need to and pay for this wedding ourselves.
All I want is my mother's help and enthusiasm toward wedding plans.
How do I deal with this swirl of emotions I'm feeling, and how do I help my parents?
I'm employed and as financially stable as I can be for someone my age, but I still feel like what's happening to my parents is also happening to me.
I just want to get married and have my family surround me on that day. I just want to be happy, but it feels wrong to think about a wedding when there's so much doom and gloom.
What can I do? — Sad Bride
DEAR BRIDE: It might help your parents get on board if you enlist their help with specific wedding tasks. This will make them feel invested in the event and genuinely useful to you.
Your wedding may not turn out to be the affair you imagined, but look at photos of marrying couples from the 1930s (perhaps even in your own family), and you will see many a couple who started out married life wearing worn shoes or borrowed clothes, accompanied by family members wounded by circumstances or illness.
The ancient idea that you and your fiance are stronger together than apart is the beauty of joining families, because you can face life's challenges as a unit. Accept and then celebrate the "for better and for worse" of family life, and I guarantee that you will have a beautiful day.
DEAR AMY: I have been dating a guy for more than three years. I had heard that he had just ended a marriage with a much younger woman when we started dating, but he never mentioned this relationship, so I believed it was a crazy rumor.
Recently, when he left for work, I snooped around his home and discovered that he actually has had four wives over the past 40 years (he told me he had been married once).
I am disgusted with myself for snooping but extremely angry at my discovery. To top it off, I stupidly looked at the pictures in his phone and found pictures of two women, some quite suggestive. I assume these are ex-wives and/or girlfriends.
I find myself physically ill, angry and feeling that I've committed a criminal act in these discoveries. What in the world do I do now? — Guilty
DEAR GUILTY: Now that you have proof, it's time to pay attention to all of the signs that prompted you to snoop in the first place and get the heck out.
Let your guy know that three extra wives is a lot of wives to leave off your life narrative when you have been with someone for three years. Don't worry about the snooping; his estimation of your behavior shouldn't count for much.
DEAR AMY: For "Drowning in Baby Supplies," I recommend that the parents ask the generous grandparents to be the diaper sponsors. Diapers, either disposable or reusable with a diaper service, are a huge expense for the first two to three years of a child's life.
This would be a practical way for the grandparents to help on an ongoing basis. — Sponsored
DEAR SPONSORED: This is a fantastic idea!
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamytribune.com. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)
By Amy Dickinson