Husband’s family largely absent from kids’ lives

Published 8:19 am Tuesday, October 10, 2023

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two children and live close to my family. We spend lots of quality time with them, and they are invested in our children’s lives, as we are in theirs. The same is not true of my in-laws. The first few years I would FaceTime and call, trying to build a relationship. Eventually, I realized I was the only one making an effort, so I stopped calling, which means there are no more calls.
The first cousin on my husband’s side is due to give birth, and my husband wants to skip my nephew’s first birthday party for her gender reveal party. My argument is, they have put no effort into our lives or our kids, so why would we miss an event for people who do. His argument is that they don’t ask for much and we see them only twice a year, so we should just go. Help! – EASY DECISION IN MINNESOTA

DEAR EASY DECISION: Not only do his relatives not ask for much, but they give absolutely nothing. Rather than argue about this, attend your nephew’s first birthday party and tell your husband to go to the gender reveal. Problem solved.
DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman who was born with cerebral palsy. As such, I struggle to run or walk at the same pace as others do, and I have an uneven sense of balance when carrying things. For my entire childhood, my parents insisted those around me treat me as if nothing was wrong.
I hope to become more independent (driving, college and the like), and sometimes I worry the physical strain will be too much for me. How do I swallow my pride and ask for some guidance? Who should I talk to? – NOT READY TO REACH OUT

DEAR NOT READY: Asking for guidance should not involve swallowing your pride. Everyone has limitations in one area or another. One excellent place to look for guidance would be the student health center at the college you would be attending; another would be the Cerebral Palsy Foundation ( Having the good sense to ask for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength and intelligence.
DEAR ABBY: My friend dresses like a slob. We were on a cruise and went to dine in one of the upscale restaurants on the ship. Because she was wearing jean shorts and an old, faded T-shirt, we were asked to leave. We will be going on another cruise soon, and I’m concerned she will do this again. Any advice for our next cruise so this won’t happen? – EMBARRASSED IN ALABAMA

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DEAR EMBARRASSED: Before the next cruise, ask your friend what she plans to bring with her. Remind her that you had to leave the upscale restaurant because she wasn’t properly dressed, and suggest she bring a dress or skirt and blouse on the next trip “so neither of you will be embarrassed or inconvenienced.” Most cruise lines have a dress code that spells out what attire is required. If your friend checks the website of the carrier, she can easily determine what to bring.
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