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by Abigail Van Buren

Flurry of Family Birthdays Makes Fiance Feel Left Out

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Bob," and I have a problem. It seems like every few days we receive an invitation to a birthday party for someone in his large extended family. Just yesterday, we received an invitation to a joint celebration for both his aunt's birthday (she will be 41) and his cousin, who will be 22. The problem is, none of these people ever send Bob a birthday card. He does receive cards from his immediate family, one of his two grandmothers and my family, but nothing from any of his extended family.

Abby, it hurts him when they forget his birthday, especially when we receive an invitation to yet another family birthday. I don't feel comfortable saying anything to them on his behalf.

Is there anything we can do? -- FEELING FRUSTRATED

DEAR FEELING: Do you send cards to these family members whether or not they're having a party? If you do, then they should reciprocate.

If you want your fiance's family to make a fuss about his birthday, throw him a party and invite them. Far better to perpetuate family traditions than to do nothing and brood because they don't observe your fiance's birthday in the way you think they should.