Birth­day dis­ap­point­ment?

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to Amy Dickinson by email to askamy@tri­

Dear Amy: My hus­band turns 50 this year. I booked him for a flight on a WWII air­plane and ar­ranged for his best friend to join him.

His friend lives across the coun­try and has just re­cently be­come a fa­ther for the sec­ond time. I called his wife first to make sure she would be OK with the idea.

I of­fered to pay for all his travel ex­penses and for the spe­cial flight.

We in­formed mu­tual friends of his up­com­ing visit, hop­ing to plan some­thing for ev­ery­one to see one an­other. A few weeks later, when we asked for his flight in­for­ma­tion, he in­formed us that he was bring­ing his wife and kids and would be stay­ing with one of the afore­men­tioned mu­tual friends.

He also made al­ter­nate plans, sub­stan­tially re­duc­ing his abil­ity to spend time with my hus­band.

I un­der­stand his mo­tives, and ev­ery­one is ex­cited to see him, his wife and his kids, but I am deeply hurt that the plans were so dras­ti­cally changed be­hind my back. I’m also dis­ap­pointed for my hus­band, who was look­ing for­ward to a “boys’ week­end” and is now in a po­si­tion of be­ing ir­rel­e­vant for his own birth­day week­end.

Should I still be ob­li­gated to pay for his travel ex- penses? Are my feel­ings of be­trayal jus­ti­fied?


Dear Mb: I don’t see how this friend bring­ing his fam­ily across the coun­try makes your hus­band “ir­rel­e­vant” on his birth­day. In fact, the friend ob­vi­ously thinks so highly of your hus­band that he is will­ing to go to the ex­tra trou­ble to f ly his fam­ily in, just to show them off.

Ide­ally you would choose to be in­clu­sive, and you would plan a fam­ily party (or “girls’ night”) dur­ing the time the guys are oth­er­wise en­gaged.

Yes, you should pay for the things you al­ready agreed to pay for. This is your gift to your hus­band, and if you are thrilled and happy, he will be too.

Dear Amy: My sis­ter “Addy” was still with her first boyfriend “Charles” when she got in­volved with “Stan.” She left Charles, wound up preg­nant with Stan’s baby, and ended up mar­ry­ing him.

Fast-for­ward 11 months af­ter their mar­riage; “bor­ing” Stan has been kicked to the curb in fa­vor of “Brad.” Addy and Brad fast-tracked their re­la­tion­ship, and a year later they were in a new place with a new baby; and yes, Addy is still mar­ried to Stan.

Need­less to say, it didn’t work out. Brad is gone and now “Jimmy” is on the scene.

Both chil­dren are in the legal cus­tody of their re­spec­tive fa­thers.

Addy tells us she’s go­ing to marry Jimmy — she has known him for three weeks.

We’ve tried to show her how she has a pat­tern of go­ing af­ter “ex­cit­ing and new” guys, but she won’t lis­ten.

I’m an­gry at her be­hav­ior and don’t care to hear about her new beau.

Sad Sis­ter

Dear Sis­ter: In­stead of try­ing to ham­mer home a les­son that your sis­ter won’t heed, you should fo­cus on her health and on the health and safety of her chil­dren.

Her be­hav­ior is rem­i­nis­cent of some­one with bipo­lar dis­or­der; has she been as­sessed and/or di­ag­nosed? Does she abuse al­co­hol or drugs? Can you en­cour­age her to seek treat­ment?

Make sure she has ac­cess to and uses birth con­trol. The most alarm­ing pat­tern she ex­hibits is hav­ing chil­dren with men she meets and then leav­ing.

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