DEAR ABBY: Our son “Greg” has come out as gay. My husband can’t accept it and refuses to meet Greg’s boyfriend. Our other son is getting married (to a girl), and Greg will be bringing his boyfriend. My husband says he won’t come to the wedding because our son’s boyfriend will be there. He says it would “make a mockery” of the wedding. He has not told them yet.
I have tried everything I can to convince my husband to come. I told him this will destroy our family and marriage. He said he doesn’t care! I told him this has nothing to do with the wedding. He will embarrass both sides of the family.
He finally admitted he just doesn’t want to see Greg’s boyfriend. I told him he doesn’t have to talk to him, but no argument works. I know our children will never speak to him again. I cannot stay married to him if he does this. I have no idea what to do.
— SUPPORTIVE MOM IN NEW YORK
DEAR MOM: Tell your husband, as calmly as possible, that the wedding isn’t the only milestone in his sons’ lives he will miss unless he has an attitude adjustment. Skipping the wedding will be just the beginning of his isolation because he will be absent from other important family milestones — celebrations, christenings, birthdays, sporting events, recitals and graduations. If that doesn’t wake him up, nothing will. However, if he still cannot relent, whether you should end your marriage isn’t something you should decide on impulse or out of anger. A licensed marriage and family therapist should be consulted.
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DEAR ABBY: My sister, who is estranged from our siblings, has been diagnosed with cancer. The more-than-three-year estrangement wasn’t her choice, and she was devastated by it. She has requested that they be kept ignorant about her medical condition. We are all (six of us) in our 60s, and I don’t know how much time any of us has left. I would hate for my siblings to regret not having time with her, or to disown me for keeping this secret. Do I betray her trust and tell them?
— SIBLING DILEMMA IN NEVADA
DEAR SIBLING DILEMMA: Do not betray your sister’s trust and reveal her diagnosis to the siblings who ostracized her. The news is hers and hers alone to convey. You are assuming they would rush to her side to support her, which isn’t necessarily true. This could be detrimental to her recovery, so do not risk it.
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DEAR ABBY: My daughter expects that her children always receive a “gift” from their four grandparents on Valentine’s Day. My wife and I are OK with this, yet WE receive no cards, gifts or phone calls from the grandchildren or our children. Are we old-fashioned, or is my daughter’s expectation inappropriate?
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: Your daughter’s expectations are inappropriate. They are also nervy. Your daughter should be teaching her children that exchanging holiday greetings is a reciprocal endeavor. If your daughter doesn’t want to buy Valentine cards for her children to give to you, the kids should MAKE them for Grandma and Grandpa. (They would make precious keepsakes, framed individually or as a collage.)