DEAR ABBY: My fiance’s friend “Art” and his wife, “Julie,” just had a baby. While Julie was pregnant she asked my fiance and me to be godparents. Although we could not attend her baby shower due to a previous commitment, we contributed several gifts as well as a quilt I had made.
A few weeks later, Julie posted on her social networking site that she was thankful for her baby’s godparents and named an entirely different couple — not us. I am offended. If she had discussed her reason for the change with me, I would have understood. But there was no dialogue, and to this day I have never received so much as a thank-you for our shower presents.
I would like to distance myself from Julie, but without damaging the relationship between Art and my fiance, who thinks I am overreacting and should let it go. What are your thoughts? — NOT A GODMOTHER
DEAR NOT A GODMOTHER: Julie may have been upset that you and your fiance didn’t attend the baby shower, or she may have spoken too quickly when she asked you to be godparents and didn’t have the courage to say so.
Whether you can let this go only you can decide, but I do think that before you make up your mind, you should have a chat with her and clear the air — if only because your fiance and her husband are such good friends.
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s younger sister, “Cindy,” is mentally ill. She has caused tremendous problems in the family. She has been arrested too many times to remember and is now on five years’ probation for injury to a child. My in-laws continue making excuses for her and are the worst enablers I have ever known.
My husband once urged his dad to put Cindy into a group home or program that will take care of her because his parents are getting up in years. They refuse because it would mean they’d have to have Cindy officially committed, and they think there is still some magic doctor out there who will fix her.
Can my husband do anything as a last effort before something happens to one of his parents, or she winds up in jail? — SAD IN TEXAS
DEAR SAD: Your husband should try to convince his parents to get some family counseling. It might help them accept that their daughter needs more help than they are equipped to give her. An outside, objective person should weigh in so that Cindy can get the professional help she so obviously needs.
If she is physically, psychologically or emotionally abusing her parents, Adult Protective Services can step in to be sure they are protected. When your in-laws pass away, if your sister-in-law becomes a danger to herself or those around her, a family member can request a commitment and psychological evaluation.
DEAR ABBY: A number of years ago, when two of my sons got married, I paid for two lovely rehearsal dinners among other wedding costs. Both marriages ended in divorce.
Now they are both engaged again and planning weddings for next summer. My question is, how many rehearsal dinners do I have to pay for? And how many other wedding expenses am I expected to pay for the second time around? — MOTHER OF GROOMS IN VIRGINIA
DEAR MOTHER OF GROOMS: From now on, you do not have to pay for anything. The expenses should be paid for by your sons and their brides-to-be, especially if their fiancees have also been married previously.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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