Dear Abby: Snap-happy relatives expect us to display the dozens of photos they send

Frustrated couple overwhelmed by the images of groups, individuals, children and even dogs.

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DEAR ABBY: I married my husband five years ago. He has three younger sisters. During the year we receive about 20 pictures of them, and another 20 during the holidays. We also receive a similar amount from my husband’s parents. Isn’t this excessive? When they visit us, they are upset that we haven’t displayed all or most of these pictures. Honestly, if we did, we would run out of wall space.

They send group photos, solo photos, ones with the children only and even pictures of their dogs! It’s overwhelming! They all live five to 10 miles away, and we see each other often. Even when we’re with them, they take selfies while we’re eating or watching TV. They even snap pictures of guests in mid-chew. I think it’s disrespectful. I usually walk away or cover my face, which upsets them.

It’s getting harder to be around these people. My husband and I have expressed our distaste for this, but they see it as “my problem.” I won’t even get into the Facebook issue. I unfriended them because they post pictures of themselves every five to 10 minutes. Help! — OVERLOADED IN NEW YORK

DEAR OVERLOADED: Some people love having their tables and walls crammed with family memorabilia. Others are minimalists who enjoy the soothing ambience of plain walls and surfaces.

People express their personalities through their surroundings. That your relatives take offense that you do not wish to be surrounded by their images every minute of every day is THEIR problem, not yours. And, by the way, it is RUDE to snap photos of unwilling subjects.

DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I were dating, I knew he liked to drink. At the time, I wasn’t bothered by it because I would hang out with my friends while he was drinking with his. However, since we married and moved to his hometown, our different attitudes about social drinking are pulling us apart.

Almost all of his friends and family — even church family — are big social drinkers. I’m always invited to go out with everyone, but it inevitably leaves me feeling left out and uncomfortable. Although they mean well, people continuously insist that I should “have a little something to take the edge off,” and it has become frustrating.

I’m tempted to look for new friends outside of my husband’s group, but I’m afraid if I do it will pull us further apart. It seems absurd to me to drink just to fit in with everyone here in small-town America. Do you have any suggestions about how to improve this situation? — NO FAN OF DRINKING IN WISCONSIN

DEAR NO FAN: Yes, I do. Start looking for other social activities in your community. See if any of them interest you, and if some do, invite your husband to join you. It seems only fair that if you socialize with him and the drinking crowd that he should be willing to do the same for you.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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