Ending the engagement is sometimes the only correct choice

A question recently asked of Slate’s Dear Prudence:

Q. Always Take the Wife's Side?: I'm about to get married and am caught in an argument between my fiancée and my parents. This will be the first time in over five years that our whole family will be together. My parents want to take a picture of just them, me, and my siblings, and a family photo obviously means a lot to them. My fiancée heard this and became immediately offended. She says it's rude to exclude her on the day she "joins the family" and any family photo should therefore include her in it. We're not talking about taking an hour for a separate family photo shoot; my parents simply want one photograph of themselves and their children. I don't understand why my fiancée is so annoyed and now she's even more angry because I'm not supporting "her side." Should I back up my fiancée on principle, even if I disagree with her?

Prudence describes this as “one of those silly little fights every couple has” and suggests that the groom calmly discuss the issue with his future wife and help her to understand that this is but a single moment in the grand scheme of the wedding and important to his parents.

I hate this advice.

First off, he’s already done this. He’s said as much in his question. And “talk to her” is not exactly what I would call advice in almost any circumstance.  

More importantly, I don’t see this as “one of those silly little fights every couple has.”

No reasonable, unselfish, decent human being would ever be offended by the idea of this photograph taking place. As a wedding DJ for seventeen years, I can assure you that these kinds of photos happen all the time.


As unrealistic as this advice may seem, I would advise the man to strongly consider calling off the wedding altogether. If he were my friend, the last thing I would want to see is him marry a person as despicable as this, and as his friend, I would say as much.

I’ve said as much to friends in the past, and though these words are often received poorly, I am also often in the position to say “I told you so” later on (as was the case just recently).

I actually think that breaking off the engagement is the only choice here. Try to imagine the level of selfishness, self-centeredness and narcissism required to reject a request as simple and innocent as this from your future in-laws.

It’s astounding. Don’t you think?

Some might attribute the bride’s actions as the result of the stress involved with planning a wedding, but in my experience, if you act like a jerk during the planning and execution of your wedding, it’s likely that you will act a jerk in the future when life becomes complex, challenging and stressful.

Planning your wedding is not an excuse to act like an animal.

A bridezilla often becomes a wifezilla after the wedding.