Vegan upsets wife by reverting back to being a meatatarian
Q: When my (now) hubby and I got together, we were both ethical vegans. Recently, he decided he was "going back" to meat and has done so to an extreme. Over the years we've had countless heartfelt discussions about why we don't eat animals, and now I feel duped. And seeing meat in our refrig hurts. Also: He is not working, so it's "my" money going to purchase a "product" I find truly abhorrent. How can someone I love not see the cruelty that was once so obvious to both of us — and still is to me? Do principles trump love?
A: I can't tell what he's thinking, nor can I decide for you where to stand. I can point out, though, that for all your reverence for animals, you're not showing much respect for the mammal you married. "How can someone I love not see the cruelty?" Your love determines how someone else thinks?
I appreciate your passion and sympathize with your predicament — dramatic change in a spouse is difficult, no matter what form it takes — but he is entitled to his own principles.
Your job now is to see whether you're willing to do the hard work and look for ways you can trust and respect someone who differs with you, and whether he's willing to do the same.
Before you go in, I suggest you think carefully about "mine" vs. "ours" when it comes to money, because you could have a whole other, painful argument if you misspeak on that topic.
And, also consider whether there's any room for compromise in your views — say, for kosher meat or non-factory-farmed products. Pose the issue this way, to yourself first, and then to your husband: "Is 'ethical omnivore' an oxymoron?" After all, we're equipped with those pointy teeth.
Daughter's wedding plans leave mom worried, sad
Q: My daughter and her boyfriend recently became engaged. I like the man, they treat each other well, they seem compatible and have similar values. All good!
Now for the not so good. We live in the South. The rest of both families live in the Northeast. The grandparents on both sides would have difficulty traveling. We agree a wedding in the Northeast is best. The fiance has a large family; ours is small. Our family lives in a rural area; his in an urban one. My daughter's concern is that her friends will not be able to come as readily to the rural area.
Now, instead of a summer wedding, it's a winter wedding because the venue in the urban area is cheaper then. I feel, perhaps unjustly, this wedding has been hijacked by his family! If I felt this was my daughter's great and abiding wish, no problem! But she cries every time we discuss it, and claims she just wants everyone to be happy!
Wedding Bell Blues
Q: Your daughter's priorities are sound; she chose a good man and she's opting for inclusion at every turn. I hope you're proud of her, and say so — because I think you need to hear yourself say it just as much as she needs to hear it from you.
Next, remind her that the wedding isn't what matters — it's just the party around what matters. Ask if her tears are about more than being tough on herself. Next, think of everything beautiful about a winter, urban wedding — early sunset, skyline, candles, velvet, family, friends. Release the disappointment and choose to see the romance.