DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Bob," and I have been married 35 relatively happy years and have raised two successful daughters.
For the past 10 years we have been friendly with a couple I'll call "Ted" and "Alice." They have been married for about 12 years -- it's the second marriage for both of them.
It seems like whenever we get together, Alice manages to bring up the subject of sex. In the past I'd ignore it, but the last time it happened, she began talking about how Ted had taken pictures of her after sex. Then she stared at Bob and asked, "Would you like to see them?" Abby, my husband responded, "Sure!"
At that point I lost it. I told Bob his response was extremely rude and showed no concern for my feelings. Everyone tried to make light of what happened, but I feel I was right. I realize that Alice may have an issue, but was I wrong to state my feelings? -- CAROL IN STATEN ISLAND
DEAR CAROL: You were right to make your feelings known, but your anger should have been aimed at Alice, not your curious spouse. If I had to guess, I'd say Alice and Ted probably have an open marriage, and they have been trying to "enlist" you and Bob for some time. Unless this is your cup of tea -- which I doubt -- wake up and cool it with this "adventurous" couple.
DEAR ABBY: I have a 23-year-old daughter I'll call "Whitney." She got pregnant five years ago, dropped out of school, and moved in with her boyfriend, "Tim." They are now a family with my granddaughter.
Three years ago, Whitney and Tim mentioned having a wedding and splitting the cost three ways -- between Tim's parents, me and them. (I was OK with a small, simple wedding.) Then, two years ago, they decided to elope with no one invited except Tim's parents.
Now Whitney has decided she wants a large wedding with 300 guests, most of whom are Tim's family and friends, along with her father's family. She says she doesn't "feel" married without walking down the aisle as a bride and her father giving her away. (Her father and I are divorced.)
Abby, my family lives halfway across the country. Only my son and I would be attending. The problems started when I told Whitney that I would not fund this expensive affair and that she is already married -- plus, I was not invited to her first wedding.
This has created a rift between us, and I'm not sure what to do. I don't feel it's right to fund a second wedding. I offered her a week at a resort for a honeymoon. She refused my offer and has disowned me. What should I do? -- QUESTIONING IN NEW YORK
DEAR QUESTIONING: Your daughter appears to have an unusually inflated sense of entitlement. Nowhere is it written that a parent is obligated to fund an extravaganza like the one she has in mind. A first wedding is a gift that some parents give to their children. However, your daughter chose to elope. The fact that Tim's parents were invited while you were excluded should be a clue as to how you rate with her.
Your offer to treat Whitney and her husband to a second honeymoon was generous under the circumstances. You are her mother, not her personal piggy bank. I hope you will stick to your guns and not permit her to blackmail you -- because that is exactly what she is trying to do.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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