Fa­ther-in-law angers griev­ing woman

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - Ask Amy Dear Amy: A few months ago

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 askamy@tribpub.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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