Dear Abby: I have been married to my husband, "Stu," for 27 years. His brother's family continues to send invitations addressed only to Stu. When they call to invite us to anything and I answer, they ask to speak to him. He has asked them not to do that.
When RSVPing to the latest invitation to our niece's graduation party -- addressed only to my husband -- I said that he would attend as he was the only one invited. I also asked if I had done something to offend anyone. I was told, "No, of course not," and they were "sorry if there was a misunderstanding," because the invite was for the whole family.
When we see each other, they are polite. I feel that pushing the point or not attending would reflect badly on me. What do you suggest? I am hurt by years of this treatment.
-- Had Enough in New Hampshire
Dear Had Enough: Either your brother-in-law and his family never learned how to properly address an invitation (i.e., "Mr. and Mrs." or "and family"), or on some emotional level you were never accepted as a full-fledged family member. As I see it, you have two choices: Continue to attend these events as you have for the past 27 years, or both of you decline and tell them exactly why.
Parents' love upsets couple
Dear Abby: I have fallen in love with a very special woman. She happens to be my daughter-in-law's mother. We are very happy together, but our children are extremely upset. My son and her daughter no longer speak to us. Is it wrong for me to be with her, or are the kids overreacting?
-- In Love in Kentucky
Dear In Love: The "kids" are overreacting, and they shouldn't be trying to blackmail the two of you into doing what they prefer. It IS your life, and just as you wish your son and daughter-in-law every happiness, they should be doing the same for you. This situation is not as unusual as they think, and they should not be judging or punishing you.