Dear Abby: My niece is being a total bridezilla, her mom may boycott the wedding

DEAR ABBY: My niece, who is engaged, is blossoming into a full-fledged bridezilla. She has upset her mother so deeply that she may not attend the wedding. The bride is dictating what her guests are to wear, in addition to telling her mother what she is to wear that day. She has also ordered my sister to get hair extensions and have her makeup professionally done.

The list goes on and on. She brought her girlfriends to a bridal shop and, without asking about a budget, tried on gown after gown with no regard to cost. She fell in love with one that is beyond her mother’s budget and demanded, “This is my dress!” My sister, wanting to avoid a scene, paid for it. 

My sister has been excluded from all the wedding planning. The bride is deferring to her father and stepmother, who are paying for most of the wedding. If anyone offers a suggestion or asks a question, it is met with hostility. How do we handle this? My sister feels defeated and is deeply hurt by her daughter’s actions. — AUNT OF A MONSTER

DEAR AUNT: This production (I hesitate to call it a wedding) has gone so far out of control that there is nothing you or your sister can do about it. Her chance to intervene and inject some sobriety vanished the moment she paid for the bridal gown she couldn’t afford. 

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If your sister can’t afford hair extensions and a professional makeup job (and possibly a new dress) for her daughter’s special day, she should consider coming just as she is and forgo being part of the wedding. She should also thank her higher power that she isn’t being ordered to fly to Bermuda or Bali in order to participate.

DEAR ABBY: My wife has been neglectful and hateful toward me ever since I was verbally abusive more than four years ago. I had fallen into a serious substance addiction around the same time, but I have been clean for more than a year. The addiction was another reason she is hateful toward me and holds a grudge. 

I understand how addiction affects loved ones and that our relationship is probably over. My problem is, we have two very young children and split the mortgage and all other bills 50-50. I cannot afford to live on my own.

She can’t afford to live alone, either. I can’t imagine trying to pay child support as well as rent somewhere else, even if I got another full-time job. 

I have done everything I can to make amends, but there is no hope. We tried counseling. It didn’t help. I don’t want to abandon the kids, but I don’t know what to do. Is there any hope at all? — LOW IN OHIO

DEAR LOW: So the abused has become the abuser. Unless your wife is willing to bury the hatchet (somewhere other than in you) and agree to marriage counseling with a different therapist, I don’t think there is hope for the two of you. Ask her if, for the sake of the kids, she is willing to try. But if she refuses, consult an attorney about separating as amicably as possible. 

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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