Cou­ple re­sists pres­sure to at­tend fam­ily wed­ding

The News & Observer - - Weather - BY AMY DICK­IN­SON Tri­bune Con­tent Agency You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­ Read­ers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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.

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