Couple resists pressure to attend family wedding
DEAR AMY: My husband is from a European country. We are in our 60s.
I work part time, and he hasn’t worked in a decade due to health problems.
We are being pressured by his family to attend his sister’s wedding next year in Europe.
The costs would be astronomical for both of us to attend. We would have to stay with his mother, and one of us would have to sleep on a couch. Our little dog would have to be kenneled and we would be worried the whole time.
My husband hates weddings and social gatherings, and is refusing to go unless I go. He also says I should go without him.
What is the way out of this mess?
– Hard Pass DEAR HARD PASS: You and your husband need to find one excuse (sorry, make that “reason”) to miss this wedding, and stick with it. Piling on various (completely valid) reasons to miss this wedding makes it seem as if you are trying to create a smoke screen. (Do you want to go without your husband? If so, then attend, but understand that this will not satisfy his family.)
Your husband should be dealing with this, for the following reason: These are his family members. Sending you out ahead as a human shield only creates more opportunities for them to bulldoze past you and appeal to him.
He should prepare himself (rehearse, if necessary), and give a very polite “regret” to this invitation. If I were he, I would anchor to his poor health as a reason. If he is not well enough to work, then he is probably not well enough to travel to Europe.
DEAR AMY: I had a tiny 12-year-old Chihuahua. I had her for eight years, but a month ago, I gave her to a friend, because I was gone all day and it wasn’t fair to the dog.
But now I miss her so much! I’m not away as much as I was – I’m home more now.
Is it wrong for me to ask for the dog back? My friend probably wouldn’t give her back anyway. She has already told me how much she adores her, but I’m wondering what you think?
– Lonely Without Her DEAR LONELY: I wonder what was really going on that you surrendered this elderly dog to your friend. But yes, at this point, if things are different in your household, you should at least ask if your friend would give her back.
If the dog seems welladjusted to both households, your friend might opt for a sort of joint custody arrangement, where you have the dog during times when she is away, and visa-versa.