DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married more than 30 years. We have a problem I cannot seem to get past: We didn’t have a church wedding because he threatened not to marry me if I demanded one. I went along with him because of my low self-esteem, and I’m still sad and angry about it. He also refuses to take vacations with me because he “traveled too much” during his career. What can I do? — POUTING IN THE SOUTH
DEAR POUTING: I can’t do anything about the church wedding you were denied, but I do have a suggestion. Quit pouting over what you can’t change and assume some control over your life. Accept that because you had low self-esteem, you were willing to marry someone this self-centered and controlling. Because you have a desire to travel and, I assume, can afford to, ask some of your women friends to join you. If you do, I’ll bet you will have a great time sending photos back to your homebody hubby.
DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced from my ex for 36 years. Our son is now 44. My ex and I haven’t spoken since the divorce because it was ugly. Now that we are older, for the benefit of our son, I would like for my ex and I to be civil to each other. I’m tired of hating and I don’t want him to hate me. I wonder if it would make my son happy if his father and I were on better terms, so I have been thinking of writing to my ex and asking if we could talk sometime. What do you think? — WHITE FLAG IN THE WEST
DEAR WHITE FLAG: I see no harm in writing the letter to your ex. However, do not expect a miracle. Because the divorce was “ugly,” do not expect him to react positively after more than three decades of icy silence. As to your son, whatever the situation has been for most of his life, he is accustomed to it.
DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter, “Suzie,” is getting married in a month in a fairly large wedding. She is my only grandchild. Suzie’s father is not in the picture. Because of the pandemic, my husband and I must decline the invitation. We are in our mid-70s and both of us have some health issues. The wedding party will mostly be young people. My daughter and granddaughter are very upset that we are not coming. What is your opinion? — ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION
DEAR ON: Given the fact that you and your husband have health issues, you are making a mature and appropriate decision. Soften the blow by agreeing to attend via Zoom or one of the other video-chat platforms. This may not fulfill your daughter and granddaughter’s fantasy, but it’s better than nothing. If Suzie loves you — and I am sure she does — she would never get over the guilt if one or both of her grandparents became infected and possibly died of COVID because she pressured them into attending.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)