DEAR ABBY: My mom insists on including my ex-husband and his wife at our family gatherings. I have told her repeatedly that it makes me very uncomfortable, but she even included them in the gift exchange last Christmas. What should I do? Not go?
My sister has already laid a guilt trip on me. Must I go and have Christmas with my ex like we're one big happy family? (If we had been happy, we would not have gotten divorced.) What are your thoughts on this?
- Living in Dysfunction Junction
DEAR LIVING: If you and your ex were married for a long time, I can see why your mother might consider him still part of the family and want to include him. However, out of consideration for your feelings, it should be on a limited basis - not every holiday. (Could she be trying to punish you because she blames you for the divorce?)
Because it would make you uncomfortable and your mother knows it, make plans to do something you would enjoy - perhaps a trip out of town to be with friends or to a different climate. And please, don't feel guilty if you do - regardless of what your sister says.
DEAR ABBY: What do you say to your only son who can't even call to tell you he is getting married? He posted it on Facebook, and I was notified via a text from my sister.
Our relationship isn't the issue. He just doesn't seem to be able to use his phone for talking. Your thoughts?
- Outside the Loop in Oregon
DEAR OUTSIDE THE LOOP: Because your son seems oblivious to the fact that news of this kind should be conveyed to the immediate family personally rather than in a "bulletin," explain to him how it made you feel to receive the news the way you did. He owes you an apology.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.