Dear Abby: My granddaughter is marrying into an intolerant family
Grandma worries as the fiancée’s stepmom and other relatives condemn gay marriage and bar the young woman from their home.
DEAR ABBY: My adult granddaughter, “Kaia,” is in a relationship with “Jenny.” Jenny’s stepmom doesn’t believe in gay marriage or homosexuality. I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that Jenny’s family doesn’t accept Kaia or allow her in their home. Kaia is excluded from all holidays and family functions.
I don’t know what to do or say to her about this. They are getting married in two months, and Jenny’s family is still shunning her. How do I deal with these “holy rollers” who use the church as a reason to hate my granddaughter? I don’t want to die knowing she’ll have a miserable life ahead of her. Please help me. — SUPPORTIVE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SUPPORTIVE: If Jenny’s family are truly good Christians, they may not dislike your granddaughter. They may be following a misguided directive to love the “sinner” but hate the “sin.”
I cannot advise strongly enough that Kaia and Jenny discuss the ramifications of that family’s stance BEFORE they marry. I am surprised Jenny would attend family gatherings from which Kaia is excluded. If this continues after the marriage, it could damage their relationship. A counselor at the nearest LGBTQ center would be helpful in facilitating this discussion.
Be as supportive to your granddaughter and Jenny as you can so they know you’re always in their corner. Encourage them to cultivate their own “chosen family” as they move into their future.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Jonah,” comes from a large family. They are rude people who live in a small, rural town, and they don’t like outsiders. Jonah and I have been together 15 years (married for eight), and I have never been invited to his mother’s home or some of his siblings’ homes.
We love to entertain, so they attend our holiday parties, where they literally walk in without greeting me. They eat all our food and leave without saying goodbye or even helping with the cleanup. It’s “pack behavior.” They do this all together.
I have reached the point that I no longer want to host these events. I feel uncomfortable in my own home. Jonah and I have started cutting back on the number of parties we host, and now they are making rude comments about it. My husband acknowledges that they’re a bunch of miserable, rude people, but that doesn’t help the situation.
I don’t want anything to do with them, and I don’t want to be forced to keep inviting a bunch of ungrateful individuals who don’t have even the common courtesy to speak to me. How can I make Jonah understand how I feel? Please help. — ANNOYED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR ANNOYED: If you have expressed to your husband what you have written in your letter, he DOES understand, but doesn’t want to acknowledge it. The way his family has treated you is deplorable. If you don’t wish to entertain them, let your husband buy and prepare the food and do the cleanup with no help from them afterward, while you go and do something alone or with people whose company you enjoy. He can also visit his relatives without you if he wishes.
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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