DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a 45-year-old nephew who married for the first time two years ago. Before that, he was engaged to a woman I’ll call Anita for two years. We assumed the reason for their breakup was she wanted children, and he did not. Last year, we attended Anita’s wedding, as we are still friendly with her.
Our nephew was, and still is, furious with us for going. He claims “only 5% of people attend one’s ex’s wedding.” He says we should have been loyal to him and abstained because Anita was a “vicious, lying rumormonger.”
He still emails and calls us, ranting and raving to the point that we might lose the relationship with him forever. We feel we did nothing wrong and were not obligated to get his permission to attend that wedding. What do you think? — BIG SIN IN OREGON
DEAR “BIG SIN”: I think you were right to attend Anita’s wedding, in light of the fact that you are still friendly. You didn’t need your nephew’s permission. I seriously doubt his breakup with Anita had anything to do with whether she and your nephew disagreed about having children. More likely it had everything to do with the fact that your nephew is stubborn and behaves irrationally.
DEAR ABBY: My wife has no friends of her own and no hobbies. She’s miserable most of the time, and happiness with her seems fleeting. I think she needs to see a counselor, but she refuses. In couples counseling, when the counselor pushed her on her issues, she quit.
I realize now that she is able to hide these issues from everyday acquaintances. But we have a 1-year-old daughter, and I’m certain that as she gets older, she’ll see these issues as well. What do I do? — LOOKING FORWARD IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR LOOKING: Whether your wife has postpartum depression or longstanding mental health issues I can’t guess, but something is not right with her. I think it could benefit you greatly if YOU go back to that counselor, if only to ask for advice on how to handle this situation and provide as healthy an environment for your daughter to grow up in as possible.
DEAR ABBY: I am having issues with one of my good friends. When we hang out one-on-one, she’s great. We laugh at just about everything and agree on a lot of different topics. However, when we hang out with other people, it’s a different story. It seems as though all attention needs to be on her. It’s not something I’m jealous of. It’s more an uncomfortable feeling for everyone else. She’s almost like a 4-year-old who needs constant attention and all eyes on her.
I enjoy hanging out with her when it’s just us because I don’t see this side of her, but in groups or even with one other person, it’s like it’s her world and we are just living in it. We are planning a trip soon, and I feel hesitant about being with her for long periods of time. — WEARING THIN IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WEARING THIN: I’m puzzled as to why, knowing your friend behaves the way she does, you would be planning a trip with her. Unless it’s a road trip — just the two of you — I think it could end the friendship. Considering who she is, the less time you spend in groups larger than two, the better.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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