Dear Abby: Sister-in-law told me to shut up

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I went on a trip with his brother and his wife recently. Three days into the trip, while we were having dinner at a restaurant, my sister-in-law yelled at me, “Shut up! You talk too much!” I was stunned.

Then my husband said, “I agree with her.” Words cannot express how surprised and hurt I felt. I do sometimes talk a lot when I’m excited, but no one has ever said this to me, certainly not my husband.

The next day I felt very angry, especially at my husband for siding with her against me in public. I asked him to please tell me when we are alone if he has a problem with something I said or did, rather than embarrass me. I feel betrayed and angry. What should I do? — ANGRY AND HURT

DEAR ANGRY AND HURT: Your feelings are justified. Your sister-in-law may have been frustrated at your verbosity, but she should not have attacked you at the dinner table. Her “helpful criticism” should have been offered privately and in gentler terms.

The same is true about your husband, who should not have ganged up on you. What he did was hurtful, not helpful.

Both of them owe you an apology.

DEAR ABBY: My fiancee and I had a party. A very good friend of mine came with her 4-year-old daughter, “Emma.” It grew late and my friend wanted to stay for a while, so we put Emma in our bed to sleep (the guest room was unavailable).

After going upstairs to get Emma later in the evening, my friend came downstairs with Emma and told us that the child had wet our bed. Not wanting to make Emma feel bad, we said it was no problem.

My friend did not strip the bed, offer to wash the sheets, or anything. She hasn’t mentioned it since, and didn’t follow up to make sure we were able to get the urine out of our bedding and the mattress.

I find this to be incredibly rude and inconsiderate, but at the same time, what’s done is done and there was no lasting damage. Should I say something to my friend, or let it go? — ACCIDENT IN THE BEDROOM

DEAR ACCIDENT: Let it go. You should have spoken up about your true feelings when the accident happened.

In the future, consider purchasing a moisture-resistant mattress cover for your bed and the one in the guest room in case of “accidents.” It may reduce the “ick” factor if you’re squeamish.

DEAR ABBY: I have gone to my hairdresser, “Adrianna,” for regular haircuts — nothing fancy — for about three years. However, I’ve heard about another shop nearby that gives haircuts for half the price, and they seem to do a good job. Would it be disloyal of me to leave my current hairdresser? — HALF THE PRICE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HALF THE PRICE: Adrianna would probably feel that way, but you are free to give it a try. However, I’ll offer one caveat before you do: People usually get what they pay for, so don’t burn any bridges.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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