Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for 26 years. We have a daughter, 25, who recently graduated from college. We will have a small gathering of close friends and family to celebrate.
During our entire marriage, anytime we invited my in-laws to birthday parties or other special occasions, they never accepted unless we agreed for the event to take place in one of their homes. I feel at this point they no longer deserve more invites. Although they were invited to attend the graduation, of course they refused.
My husband feels we should invite them, even though he knows they won’t come.
I feel they don’t deserve any more invitations, but my husband refuses to agree. I have never been unpleasant to them or spoken about how I have felt about their snubs. My daughter has also reached the point of not caring if they are included because she feels the same way I do.
Am I wrong for feeling this way?
Snubbed In The Midwest
Dear Snubbed: Not knowing why your in-laws are reluctant to celebrate milestones with you outside their homes, I can’t guess their reason. However, you are entitled to your feelings, and from my perspective, you should have asked them the rationale for their reluctance years ago.
That said, I do not think this is the time to punish them, particularly because your husband feels so strongly about it. They are his family. Send them the invitation and you’ll be beyond reproach.
Who knows? They may surprise you and attend. However, if they don’t, it will be on their heads and not yours.
Dear Abby: My 17-year-old son has always been very shy. Recently at a sports event that his team won and I could see him milling around outside of the “celebratory circle” of his teammates. When he was asked to join his teammates for lunch, he said he wasn’t hungry.
He has known many of the kids on his team for more than six years and has hung out and been on sleepovers with some of them on many occasions, so it’s not like they are strangers. My husband thinks we should just let him find his own way in life. I desperately want to talk to him and see if I can’t get him to be more sociable, but I’m not sure how to achieve this.
What would you suggest, Abby? Leave him alone or intervene, and if so, how?
Mother Of A Shy Guy
Dear Mother: I would suggest a little of both. Because you are concerned that your son is isolating himself, talk to him about it and try to find out why.
However, you should not push him into doing anything he’s not comfortable with. And if he appears to be happy with his life, let him live it and, as your husband says, find his own way.
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