DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Craig,” and I have agreed to let you settle an argument. We have been married for seven years. Craig was married to his previous wife, “Charlotte,” for 12 years. Since their divorce, Charlotte is invited to – and attends – all of his family’s functions and holiday gatherings, as is my husband, but I am not.

Craig has told his parents that Charlotte’s presence makes him uncomfortable, but they said she will “always be their daughter,” and they can invite whomever they choose.

I don’t think Craig should attend these gatherings with his ex-wife, but he accuses me of being selfish because if he doesn’t go, he will miss out on his family’s events. He says if I don’t want him there with her, then I should “crash” the events and show up uninvited and unwelcomed. Who is right? – SNUBBED IN PORTLAND, ORE.

DEAR SNUBBED: It would be interesting to know more about how your husband’s first marriage ended, because that may be what has influenced your in-laws’ decision not to accept you into the family. However, as it stands, you are already experiencing enough problems without crashing his parents’ gatherings, and I strongly advise against it. Your husband is selfish to ignore your feelings and go without you, but hey – that’s the doll you married.

DEAR ABBY: I am a sophomore in high school. A short time ago, a freshman at my school was killed. He was walking home from a friend’s house, and on his way he was hit by a drunken driver. (He was in a crosswalk.)

Abby, he was 6-foot-7 and on the football team. We called him the “gentle giant.” It was a huge loss, and many people at school have been suffering this past week. His family is doing the best they can to cope with this.

Our school has sold 250 shirts made in his honor and is donating the money to his family. He is missed and was loved by so many people. Everyone at school wants to help make sure that no one has to go through this kind of tragedy again. What other ways can my school get involved with helping to support not drinking and driving? – GRIEVING IN SAN JOSE

DEAR GRIEVING: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your classmate. His death should be a reminder to those he left behind just how fragile and precious life can be. An effective way to memorialize him would be to see that every student in the school who takes a driving course from now on signs a contract promising not only to not mix drinking and driving, but also not to get into a car that is being driven by a person who is “under the influence.”

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend whose wife was in a nursing home for several years before her death. “George” was very loving and faithful, and visited “Marie” every day until the Lord took her three years ago.

George and I have been seeing each other for six months, and he is still wearing his wedding ring. When we talk he mentions Marie frequently.

I am embarrassed when we go out because George still wears his wedding ring. It makes me feel like I’m going out with a married man. Why do you think he still does it? – PUZZLED IN VIRGINIA BEACH

DEAR PUZZLED: Your friend may have worn the wedding ring for so long that taking it off would make him feel naked. He may wear it because, on some level, he still feels married to Marie. However, you have asked the wrong person. The only one who can give you a definitive answer to your question is George.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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