Dear Dr. Yvonne, My mother-in-law-to-be keeps putting pressure on my partner and I to get married. We've been together 3 years, living together for 18 months and we are in no rush to get hitched (though we plan to someday). How do we handle this without being rude? She has gotten really annoying. Chris
Dear Chris, Many couples, especially those who choose to cohabitate before marriage, often find themselves dealing with pressure from family members, friends, and even random strangers when it comes to tying the knot. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can deal with your to-be-mother-in-law_
1. Explain that couples today are dating longer and getting married later. You're part of a sociological trend that is becoming the norm. Stress the fact that there are generational differences when it comes to getting married and that many are waiting to get to know each other well - and not giving into pressure from others - when it comes to taking this most important step.
2. Be honest and straight-forward. Let her know how you feel and that you don't think your wedding date should be any of her business. You can say this delicately while being firm. Better yet, your partner should be the one having this heart-to-heart with this mother. One or both of you need to ask her to stop putting pressure on you. You need to make it clear that she needs to respect that and that you're feeling disrespected that she's made your union about her needs and not your own.
3. Change the subject. After a while, people will get a hint.