Mom says son is with wrong woman

Dear Annie: My 25-year-old son, “Andy,” has been dating “Cassie” for a year and a half.

Andy is the kind of guy everybody loves, from 2-year-olds to 100-year-olds. Cassie only has a couple of friends and has a terrible reputation. Nobody has anything nice to say about her.

For the first six months, he hid their relationship from us. When I found out, I was devastated. He told me he liked her so much and wanted to marry her, but first he wanted to get to know her better and make sure she would be worth breaking his mother’s heart for.

He wanted me to get to know her, so I agreed to go out with her, and we spoke for several hours. I still believed she was not the right person for Andy. I did not invite her over to the house for a few months, even though she wanted to come over. Eventually, I saw she wasn’t going anywhere, so I sucked up my pride and included her.

Cassie is stubborn. She and Andy set a wedding date without involving us. When I told her the date would be inconvenient for us, she said she was sorry but it was the date they wanted. When I protested, she threatened that I would never see the future grandchildren. She ended up breaking things off with Andy over the fight. He begged for her forgiveness, and they were back on again. I was skeptical but swallowed my pride and even bought her a diamond bracelet.

Then Andy dropped out of the program Cassie really wanted him to be in, and she broke up with him again. He begged for her to give him another chance, and eventually she did, but in the meantime she wrote a nasty letter to my sister, tearing Andy’s character apart. Cassie tried calling me several times to apologize, but I do not want to hear it. That letter was so abusive; I cannot forgive her.

I told Andy he can always come to us should he need anything but I will not go to the wedding. I can’t walk him down the aisle to an abuser. I know you’ll say I’d regret not going, but I don’t think I would, because how can I support my son’s marrying somebody who abuses him emotionally?

By the way, his friends have even told him she’s not the right one for him, so it’s not just us as parents. But he just won’t listen. — To Go or Not to Go

Dear TGONTG: I’ll get to Cassie’s behavior in a minute, but first I have to keep you honest. You were never going to like this woman, no matter what, even if she turned out to be a saint. You prejudged her, made sweeping generalizations (“nobody has anything nice to say about her”) and then held out for months hoping she was just a phase. Your calling her stubborn sounds a bit like a pot remarking on the hue of a kettle.

Now on to Cassie’s behavior. I empathize with your heartache at watching your son get hurt. I know that not going to the wedding might seem like your one last way to stand against the mistreatment. But Cassie is going to be in your son’s life whether or not you are. And if she really is an abuser, then her goal is to isolate him from his loved ones — something she’ll have made huge strides toward should his parents not show up for the wedding.

So yes, I implore you to go to the wedding, wearing a smile and your dancing shoes — if not out of support for the marriage, then out of support for your son.

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