In-laws keep spouses off family-only text thread

Published 8:09 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I recently married and was excited to be part of my husband’s family. My own siblings and I are not particularly close. During COVID, one of my husband’s sisters started a family text chain in which they share what’s happening in their lives. I thought it was a great idea. 

Not technically being a family member yet, I understood why I wasn’t included in the thread. But after our wedding, I wasn’t added to the chain. Come to find out, none of the spouses are included. I have also learned from my husband that his mother really had no use for any of her kids’ spouses, because technically “we are not one of THEM.” 

They aren’t sharing earth-shattering information with one another. It’s normally fun stuff or things their kids are up to, etc. It is very hurtful that I’m not included. I have to hear everything secondhand from my husband. 

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Am I wrong to feel this way? I asked him to add me to the list and he tried, but he couldn’t. Instead of pursuing it with his sister, he just dropped it. I have asked him several times to see what he can do, to no avail. I feel like he doesn’t have my back. Your advice? — LEFT OUT IN FLORIDA


DEAR LEFT OUT: Your husband doesn’t have enough power in his family to do what you have been requesting, which is regrettable. Rather than pout, consider starting a text chain of your own, comprising of all the outcasts who have been excluded from the “our bloodline and nobody else” chain. It might be fun, and you may find it’s a club that is welcoming and has some interesting things to say.


DEAR ABBY: My wife of 26 years is having an affair with another (married) man. We have teenage kids and so does he. She has been having him over and meeting him out for the last four months. The kids have noticed how she takes off in the middle of the day for hours to do a “solo hike.” Several times, my teenage daughter has called me at work, frantic, saying Mom is not answering either of her phones and was supposed to pick her up at the agreed-upon location. 

My wife claims to love us both and wants to continue both relationships. For our family’s sake, it is sad that this has happened. He is the manager of a local business, and I encounter him from time to time. I want to ask him how he thinks this is OK. What should I do? — SHARING HER IN MASSACHUSETTS


DEAR SHARING HER: Make up your mind about what kind of a marriage you want. If it’s what you are experiencing now, do nothing. However, if it isn’t, tell your wandering wife she must end the affair now. Offer her the option of counseling to see if you can get your marriage back on track. 

Instead of talking with the man she’s having the fling with, tell HIS WIFE what has been happening if she’s unaware. That your wife is so irresponsible she would leave her daughter stranded while she’s “hiking” is disgraceful. If your wife refuses counseling, contact an attorney.


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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)