Dear Abby: Sick dinner guest puzzled by hosts' silent response

DEAR ABBY: "Amy" and I have been married seven years. I used to enjoy family gatherings with my parents and brothers, but I am finding them stressful. Amy always seems to have an issue with "time." My family is easygoing and sometimes late for various reasons. Amy doesn't understand why this happens. She believes the timelines are being amended to suit one of my brothers and his family. Their tardiness bothers Amy, and she asked me to talk to my family about it.

I did, and they don't see a problem. This is the way our family has always been. Amy stresses me out (high blood pressure runs on the male side of my family) when I should be enjoying these gatherings. By the way, my wife is an only child and has no extended family. She has never experienced what larger families go through. Should she ease off, or should I ask my loved ones to change their ways?

- Pressured in Toronto

DEAR PRESSURED: You said you have already talked to your family about this. Because this is the way your family has always functioned, it is highly unlikely that they're going to change now. Sometimes you have to accept family, warts and all, and this appears to be one of them. If Amy's complaining is truly causing your blood pressure to spike, your physician should be telling her to lower the "pressure" she's putting on you.