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Would you marry a man if his family didn't like you? And can you force a partner to have kids?

Here is another time travel post friends!!! In case you haven’t had the chance in your busy lives to get over to to read this week’s Dear Elle columns I’m putting them here under one roof for you to enjoy. Even if you’re not a parent yourself, there are always some tidbits in my responses that I believe apply to being a human being, and dealing with life issues in our lives. So read along, and pass along to friends who are knee deep in the parenting pool.



Dear Elle,

I am 27 years old with my first child on the way. I have been with my fiance for two years and we will be getting married in September. We are very excited. Unfortunately, my fiance’s family is not supportive of our relationship, mainly due to religious reasons. My fiance and his mother used to have a great relationship, so I can’t help but feel that I’ve ruined that. We’re getting married and having a baby and most of our friends are on board, but not some very important key family members.

I have mixed emotions about our future but I definitely know that I want to marry this man. Help?!?


Hello One-Sided

Oh, do I ever relate to you. When my now husband and I began dating when we were eighteen, I got pregnant within four months, delivered at nineteen. Surprisingly my entire family was pretty stoked about it, I mean they didn’t think it was the best thing to have happen to me so young, so full of promise, but they weren’t against it. My husband’s parents? Not so much. His dad was fairly cool about it, but he did give him some misogynistic advice about me (he didn’t know me from a hole in the ground) but eventually, many years later he warmed up to me. His mother, thirty years in, still hasn’t accepted the fact that we’re not only a couple, but a family. This had nothing to do with religious differences like you are experiencing, but rather Quebecois and Anglos prejudices. I was a Toronto girl, and he was a nice French-Canadian boy, who could do better. Simply if I had been French, like them.

I don’t tell you this to freak you out, but to encourage you. We’ve been together for THIRTY YEARS, and we too had people who didn’t want us to be together. If you’re in love with this man, and truly want to marry him, that’s all that matters. Nobody else is inside your intimate relationship. It is strictly between the two of you. Eventually your future hubby’s parents will pass and he will be left with the family he made on his own. He can love his parents, his mother, all his relatives, while remaining true to what his soul needs for his one life.

My husband misses the relationship he might have had with his mother some days. But what he’s gained from a lifetime of marriage with me and being the father to our three girls is so much more than he would have had if he had decided to live the life his mother wanted him to.

Listen, if you love this man, and want to love him and experience life with him and the family you make together, he’s losing nothing. He is in fact gaining everything that really matters. A woman who loves him completely and wants to spend her life with him. What his mother chooses to do about who he’s fallen in love with is her own business, not yours. Love your man. Make your family and live the hell out of your one lives, TOGETHER.

Love rules!!



Dear Elle,

My husband and I have been married for three years. I have gained an awesome stepdaughter. I don’t have any kids of my own, and I now feel that I am ready to have a child. The problem is, my husband isn’t ready for another child-yet. We have had many discussions about us having children in the future and he’s all for it, but it never seems to be the “right” time for him. How should I be feeling right now?

I want a baby.

Dear I want a baby,

I’m not sure if this will make you feel better, or worse, but I’ve heard this same issue, a lot, from women who marry men who already have children. Some of them feel like having their husband’s children in their lives will fulfill that maternal instinct in them, while others know from the get go that that will not be enough for them.

I don’t know you personally, so I don’t know what your agreement was when you began dating, and then journeyed down the path to marriage. Did he say he didn’t want more children? Did you tell him that you didn’t want any? Or did you both agree that you did want children together, but you needed to let some time pass before you had kids of your own? Without knowing any of these details it’s hard for me to advise you on how to proceed here. I certainly would never presume to tell another human being “how they should be feeling right now”.

I will however tell you this. Whenever you’re in a situation with your partner that isn’t meeting your needs, or expectations I’m a strong believer of speaking your truth to them. Let him know where you’re at. That for you, today is your future, and that now is the right time for you to have a baby. Should he not be in agreement then I feel that this is a more serious issue that may require getting an unbiased, objective person, such as a marriage therapist involved so that you can get to the root of his hesitation. The reality is that in a marriage both parties need to feel fulfilled, and if by not having a baby with him is making you feel dissatisfied, or ripped off, then he needs to know. And if he’s not open to compromising and setting a firm date as to when you can begin your family, then I would absolutely get professional help to navigate the waters in order to stay together.

Good Luck!



Would you marry a man if his family didn't like you? And can you force