Father-in-law angers grieving woman
my father passed away unexpectedly, and when it came time for the funeral, my father-in-law asked my husband if it was okay if he and his girlfriend skipped the service because they had plans to go away with friends.
He was pouty about having to attend my father’s funeral and my husband reluctantly said he didn’t have to go. When I found out, I was crushed and angry that my father-in-law would have so little respect and empathy for me and my family.
My husband agreed that he shouldn’t have said it was okay. He called his dad and told him he made a mistake, but my father-in-law pointed the finger back at my husband, saying he gave them permission.
I have forgiven my husband, but I refuse to see my father-inlaw as he has not reached out to me or my family to apologize. My husband is now giving me guilt trips for not forgiving him. He hasn’t apologized and I think he just hopes I will forget at some point and everything will be okay again. I’m not sure what to do.
Hurt and Sad
I am so sorry for this loss and further sorry that your anguish and anger about it is causing you to make choices that are guaranteed to keep you anguished and angry.
You should not go through your husband to communicate with your father-in-law. He chose to use your husband as a go-between because he is a coward. He knew he was making an unkind choice to miss this funeral and he didn’t want to face you.
And now you are doing your version of this same dance.
Your father-in-law will never initiate an apology and ask for forgiveness because — he is a coward. If you want for your hurt to be recognized, then you will have to do the hard work of communicating your feelings directly to him, without any expectation that he will respond well. After that, I hope you can heal.
Dear Amy: We have a new dog park in town and generally things are tame there. Sometimes there’s a dust-up over aggressive behavior, but that’s usually on the part of owners, not their canine charges.
Lately, I’ve encountered people bringing small children and letting them play among the dogs. This, frankly, scares
the heck out of me. When the number of dogs hits critical mass and they begin to run around as a pack, I fear the worst. Rather than confront the “responsible” adult , I leave with my dog, feeling slightly cowardly. What do you suggest as a way of keeping everyone safe and happy in the park?
Nervous in Redlands
I’m assuming that these parents don’t also have a dog at the park. Undoubtedly they have seen adorable YouTube videos of bull mastiffs safely nuzzling babies and think that all dogs somehow know how to protect and nurture children. I can’t imagine watching this unfold and choosing to simply slip out of the dog park. And other dog owners are allowing this?
Dogs behave differently when they are influencing each other and running as a group. You should warn the parents of the risk; bring your own dog and let the child pet it, but caution the parent to be careful. If the parent rejects your attempt to protect the child, then, yes, slip out the back. Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.