DEAR ABBY: My husband "Zak" and I have been married five years. His brother "Tom" has never liked me.
In fact, he went out of his way to ruin our wedding. Just before the ceremony he feigned a dramatic illness, yelled obscenities at my aunt for taking pictures and refused to wear his dress shirt or tie. Abby, he was a groomsman.
Tom is being married this spring to a woman who likes me even less than he does. I want no part of their wedding, nor do I even want to attend.
Zak insists that I go and be "civil." Is my husband right? Should I swallow my feelings and go to the wedding, or am I justified in sitting this one out?
- The "Black Sheep" In-Law
DEAR B.S.I.L: While I understand your feelings, my advice is to go to the wedding and be civil. Don't do it for Tom and his fiancée. Do it for your husband.
Considering the way your brother- and sister-in-law-to-be appear to feel about you, you won't have to tolerate their company often, so count your blessings.
DEAR ABBY: I had an affair with a married man for about nine months. I broke it off after finally realizing it wasn't going anywhere and he was lying to me about his intentions. Part of me wants him to feel pain for his actions.
I want to contact his spouse anonymously and tell him not to trust him.
Most of my friends advise against this, while a few tell me to go ahead. What do you think?
- John in San Francisco
DEAR JOHN: Please do not represent yourself as an example of injured and outraged virtue "done wrong" by a married man. You knew he was married and you were a willing participant.
If you insist on contacting your lover's spouse and causing pain, have the testicular fortitude to identify yourself. To do so anonymously would be cowardly.
DEAR ABBY: A couple of years ago my son went away to school and met a girl from another state who had no family or friends here.
"Celia" was adopted as a baby and didn't get along well with her adoptive family.
When my son returned home, Celia came with him - engaged. Our family accepted her into our home and our hearts.
When their engagement was called off, because Celia had nowhere to go, she moved in with me and my husband. She continued to live with us until she met someone and they were married. She is close to my other kids, especially my two daughters.
Celia recently gave birth to a baby boy. She refers to me as his grandma, which pleases me greatly. I have two other grandchildren whom I adore.
My question is: How do I explain to people who ask, when I have the baby, who he is? When I say "my grandson," they ask me from which of my kids. That leads to a long, drawn-out explanation I don't always feel like making.
- Full of Love in Missouri
DEAR FULL OF LOVE: Why not say, "My honorary grandson"? And if you are questioned further, add, "His mother is like a daughter to me."
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby - Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)