Dear Barb – The Cost of Education

Dear Barb:

My brother is getting married in a few months and he’s having a destination wedding. The problem is that I cannot afford the $3,000 to go to his wedding. I am in my twenties, recently graduated, and have just started a new job. I have huge student loans I have to start paying and I need a car to get back and forth to work. My brother and other family members think I should attend the wedding as it is a once in a lifetime event. Am I a horrible person for not going in debt to attend my brother’s wedding? Thanks, perplexed Wanda.

Hi Wanda:

I am surprised that your family members would expect you to go on this trip as they must know your situation. How do your parents feel? Maybe they should all get together and pay for your trip if they feel so strongly. I do not think you should be expected to dish out $3,000 to attend your brother’s wedding especially considering where you are in your life. Many couples who have destination weddings will also have a gathering at home so the people who could not attend the destination wedding will be able to celebrate. If you can’t afford to go, then that’s all there is to it. You have to assume your brother and family members will get over it in time. Thanks for your letter.

Dear Barb:

This is the first time I have written for advice, but I am desperate. My wife works part time and is taking three courses at AU, plus we have two boys aged seven and eight and I work full time. My wife is so exhausted that she does nothing around the house; therefore I have to do everything for the boys. Our house is a disaster and most nights we end up having chicken strips and fries. I try to get my wife to help out, but she spends her time in the bedroom with the door shut studying. She tries to reassure me that she’s almost finished her degree and then she will be able to help out more, but she’s been saying this for three years. I think she should cut back on her work hours or take one less course. What do you think? I don’t mind helping out, but this is just too one sided. Thanks, Dan.

Hi Dan:

I feel your exhaustion. Housework and child care should be shared, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Your wife seems to be putting her needs ahead of you and the children. I agree with you she needs to cut back her work or school schedule. Another option would be for you to get someone in to help with the chores. Perhaps hire a cleaning lady to come in one day a week. This will take some of the burden off you, but your wife will still be spending all her time in the bedroom studying, so it seems she needs to cut back somewhere so she can enjoy some family time with you and her sons. Hopefully she will see the light and realize part of a balanced life includes time with family and friends. Happy cleaning Dan.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length and to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.