DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 26 years. We have a daughter, 25, who recently graduated from college. We will have a small gathering of close friends and family to celebrate.

During our entire marriage, anytime we invited my in-laws to birthday parties or other special occasions, they never accepted unless we agreed for the event to take place in one of their homes. I feel at this point they no longer deserve more invites. Although they were invited to attend the graduation, of course they refused.

My husband feels we should invite them, even though he knows they won't come. I feel they don't deserve any more invitations, but my husband refuses to agree. I have never been unpleasant to them or spoken about how I have felt about their snubs. My daughter has also reached the point of not caring if they are included because she feels the same way I do. Am I wrong for feeling this way? -- SNUBBED IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR SNUBBED: Not knowing why your in-laws are reluctant to celebrate milestones with you outside their homes, I can't guess their reason. However, you are entitled to your feelings, and from my perspective, you should have asked them the rationale for their reluctance years ago.

That said, I do not think this is the time to punish them, particularly because your husband feels so strongly about it. They are his family. Send them the invitation and you'll be beyond reproach. Who knows? They may surprise you and attend. However, if they don't, it will be on their heads and not yours.


DEAR ABBY: I'm turning 30, and I have had many relationships. Some of them lasted more than a year, but many have been short-lived. I have been engaged once and proposed to three times. It's a joke among my friends that I'm a serial dater, but I don't feel it's worth my time to sit around and be depressed about something that's not working out.

I have been seeing someone now for the last four months, and I can honestly say I have never felt this way before. We complement one another in so many ways and have much to learn from each other as well. I'm as in love with him as he is with me.

My issue is, nobody around me takes it seriously because I have had so many relationships and "loved" so many times. I try to tell them this is different, but they brush him off as just another guy who will be gone with the wind someday.

I don't want to take it personally, and I'm not usually the type to care about what others think, but it irks me because I am so passionate about this man. Should I try harder to make them understand, or just enjoy the love that I'm in? -- LOVER IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR LOVER: Just be happy. Sometimes the harder we try to sell something, the more resistant the buyer becomes. You do not have to convince anyone that this is the real thing. As the relationship develops, those around you will see it for themselves.

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