DEAR ABBY: My husband (my second, and I am his third wife) and I just returned from a fantastic trip throughout Asia. As he removed a piece of luggage from the conveyor belt at JFK Airport, my husband’s wedding ring flew off his finger. He glanced at and around the belt for about 12 seconds, shrugged his shoulders, turned and headed for the exit. I, and many of our fellow travelers, continued to look for it.
I called out to him as he was walking away and said that we should probably notify someone and give them our information if it was found. His response was, “Not worth it” and a simple head shake, leaving most of us with dropped jaws.
We celebrated our third wedding anniversary on that trip. We have been together for 14 years, and during that time, he proposed in several very romantic and loving ways. We had a delightful relationship up to the point of his losing the ring, but I realize now I was the only one who took the symbolism of our wedding rings seriously.
I am hurt, disappointed and embarrassed by his actions. He says I’m overreacting and that he didn’t want to wear one anyway. (I never asked or expected him to get one. He got it only because he had “cashed in” his former spouse’s engagement and wedding ring set that she had left behind in a drawer.) What is your take on this matter? — DEEPER MEANING IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR DEEPER MEANING: I do find it unusual that your husband made such a feeble attempt to find the ring. However, my take on this is you should — if you are smart — thank your higher power for the wonderful relationship you have shared with this man the last 14 years (married for three) and not ruin what you have by blowing this out of proportion. What you have with him is more precious than any tangible item, the lost wedding band in particular. If he prefers not to replace it, let it go.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law is the only member of our extended local family who drinks alcohol. I think she may be an alcoholic. At family events she becomes nasty when she drinks, but she thinks she’s clever and amusing.
For the last 10 years I have kept my mouth shut and never mentioned it. Am I enabling? Should I say something to alert her to how she is coming across? Other family members feel the same as I do. — NON-DRINKER IN MICHIGAN
DEAR NON-DRINKER: This woman is married to your son. How does HE feel about this?
One of the warning signs of an alcohol problem is a personality change when the person has been drinking. Not only should you point out to your daughter-in-law that she has a problem, but the relatives who feel as you do should approach her with you. It is called an “intervention,” and it should have happened years ago.
There are programs that can help your daughter-in-law — AA is one of several — but only if she recognizes she has a problem. Al-Anon is a resource for friends and family who are affected by a loved one’s drinking. Find it at al-anon.org and attend some meetings. You will find them enlightening.
P.S. If you see her verbally abuse someone while she is drinking, don’t stand quietly by. Say something.
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