DEAR ABBY: "Chad" and I have been engaged for more than a year. Our wedding is in six months. While finalizing the guest list, I discovered that Chad wants to invite some people with whom I am not at all interested in sharing my special day.
"Michelle" was a close friend of mine through high school and college, but we have not spoken to each other in four years. I know Michelle's parents really like Chad, and I remember Michelle's mom telling me that if I ever broke up with Chad she'd like him to date Michelle.
Chad knows Michelle from high school and college only because he was dating me. He occasionally speaks to Michelle since they are in the same profession, and he likes her parents enough to take the time to visit them when he's in town.
I do not want to come across as the jealous fiancee, but I am uncomfortable with the fact that he so badly wants Michelle and her parents to be at our wedding. When I told him how I felt, he said he has known them forever and considers them good friends. Abby, I do not consider Michelle a friend at all, and her parents mean absolutely nothing to me and my family.
This is the only disagreement Chad and I have about our wedding. It's important to me to have only people there whom I truly care about. Should I put my foot down and deny them an invitation, or suck it up and pray they're busy that weekend? -- SICK OF THE LIST IN FLORIDA
DEAR SICK OF THE LIST: Take a giant step backward and let's look at this situation:
(1) Chad and Michelle have a casual business relationship.
(2) Chad was never romantically interested in Michelle, regardless of how much her parents might have wished it.
(3) Chad wants to invite them all on HIS special day, so they can have the pleasure of watching him commit the rest of his life to you.
(4) If I were you, I'd offer them a front-row seat and popcorn!
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I both had failed relationships in the past. I thought we had learned from our mistakes, but we've been arguing a lot.
If I ask where something is or have a different opinion about something, he claims I'm trying to make him look stupid, that he's "always in the wrong," and that I accuse him of things "all the time."
Abby, I do not think my husband is stupid. I think he's smart. I have never thought the things he's accused me of thinking. He blows everything out of proportion to show how wrong, wrong, wrong I am. The most benign comment can start a fight that leaves me in tears. His previous wife belittled him relentlessly, but I don't.
We have five children under age 5, and for their sakes, history must not repeat itself. Please help. -- CONFUSED IN IOWA
DEAR CONFUSED: There's an old saying, "Once burned, twice shy." Because of the way his first wife treated him, your husband is hypersensitive to what he perceives as criticism. He's playing old tapes over and over in his head and reacting to them, instead of what's going on with you.
With five children under the age of 5, this may be difficult, but I cannot stress enough how important it is for you both to find the time for marriage counseling. Do it for your children's sake. You may need to be more diplomatic, and he definitely needs to learn to live in the present. Please don't wait.
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 $5 (U.S. funds only) 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