Dear Abby: Drunk friend spoiled his own wedding; do we have to let him spoil ours?

After the boozer welcomed his buddy to his nuptials, he probably expects an invitation in return.

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DEAR ABBY: My fiance has a friend who is, for lack of a better word, a trainwreck. When I started dating my fiance, I heard about this guy, “Al,” from my fiance’s other friends even before I met him.

The group of friends has an on-again, off-again relationship with Al, and he has made a scene at each of their weddings. He has gotten obnoxiously drunk, gotten into huge arguments with his girlfriend (now wife), or done something rude like bring his own fast food to the head table at the reception. I tried to keep an open mind when I met him, but he has made us uncomfortable at every get-together.

We recently attended Al’s wedding, and he became aggressive with my fiance after drinking too much. We have now decided we don’t want him or his new wife at our wedding next year. We hoped to just drift away from them. Unfortunately, Al has realized that he hasn’t received a Save the Date and repeatedly texts my fiance that he wants to “go out” with him to talk.

We know he’s going to ask about his invite, and he’ll probably expect one because he invited us to his wedding. Are we justified in excluding him? How would you handle this? — TOUGH SPOT IN ILLINOIS

DEAR TOUGH SPOT: Your fiance should handle it by giving Al a straight answer. He doesn’t have to see him. A phone call will do. Your fiance should state clearly that Al isn’t being invited to the wedding because he can’t hold his liquor and has made a scene at each wedding he has attended. He should also be told that until he gets help for his alcohol problem, the two of you no longer wish to maintain the friendship. It’s the truth, and the truth will set you free.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Howard,” and I have been married 42 years. A couple of years ago, his father asked me to divorce Howard, which I did not do. His father died recently, and we learned he had disinherited Howard. My husband is crushed, and now I don’t know how to handle this.

Howard’s brother yelled at my husband and said, “If your wife got her hands on that money, you would not see a penny of it!” I don’t understand why he would think that. Howard and I have a good relationship and do not live above our means.

That said, my husband’s brother and sister have never liked me, and I do not understand why. I have never done anything intentionally to harm them.

I feel like the bottom line is, had I divorced Howard when his father asked me to, this might not have happened. My husband is hurt, not only by his father’s death, but also by being disinherited, and I do not know what to do. — HURTING FOR HIM

DEAR HURTING FOR HIM: The one thing you should NOT do is blame yourself for any of this. The only “winner” in this scenario appears to be the brother. Whether he poisoned your father-in-law’s perception of you or vice-versa, I cannot guess. But the dynamics in Howard’s family are so toxic, it may take the help of a licensed therapist to cleanse the wounds you and your husband are left with. The slightly tarnished silver lining in this is you have each other, which is more precious than money. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

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.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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