DEAR ABBY: I have a problem with my sister-in-law. We've never been close, but got along fine until the birth of my son two years ago.
She always said she didn't like or want children, but I never took her seriously. I thought she'd make an exception with her own nephew. She's not nasty, but she takes absolutely no interest in him. She never wants to hold or play with him, and she's made it clear she's not available for baby sitting. At times, I think she resents the attention he gets from other members of the family.
My husband says not to worry about it, but I find her attitude offensive. My relationship with her has deteriorated. I'm upset that our sweet little boy doesn't have a normal, loving aunt.
My mother-in-law understands how I feel, but tells me it's my sister-in-law's choice and that I shouldn't let it get to me. What do you think? -- OFFENDED IN EAST BENTLEIGH, AUSTRALIA
DEAR OFFENDED: I agree with your husband and mother-in-law. Not everyone is able to relate to small children. You'll gain nothing by continuing to personalize this. It has nothing to do with you or the child.
Perhaps when your son is a bit older and easier for your sister-in-law to communicate with, she'll be able to establish a relationship with him. However, if it doesn't happen, the loss will be hers, not the boy's.
DEAR ABBY: I recently received a wedding invitation from a family member. It was addressed to me only -- not my husband. The inside envelope also included only my name. Some of my friends say it was probably an oversight and told me I should add my husband's name on the return card. I feel this is improper. Another friend says there is no excuse, and I shouldn't go or send a gift. My husband is hurt, and I'm not sure what to do. Your thoughts, please. -- SHIRLEY IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SHIRLEY: To exclude your husband's name from the invitation was extremely rude. It meant that only you were invited to the wedding. Under no circumstances should you add his name to the response card. Simply pencil in that you will NOT be in attendance. Should the family member call to ask why, inform the person that you would be uncomfortable attending without your husband, and that he was hurt not to have been included.
DEAR ABBY: I have a major problem. I am a 25-year-old single mother with three kids. Fifteen months ago, I met a very attractive 33-year-old man who loves my children and me. He says he wants to marry me, but has not given me a ring.
Three months ago, I met a 42-year-old man who also says he loves me. He adores my kids, is financially secure and says he wants to settle down with me.
I have feelings for both of them. I want to make the right choice, but how do I choose without hurting someone? -- TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS
DEAR TORN: Since neither of these men has proposed, you may be counting your chickens before they're hatched. If you care for them equally, marry the one who asks you first.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600