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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my fiance, "Joe," for seven years. My problem is that he refuses invitations from my family to events and leaves me to go solo. Before the end of the year, there will be a baptism in which I am the godmother, as well as three weddings. Joe says he won't attend any of them.

He claims he's not interested in the baptism of our niece because he's not religious. He's declining the wedding invitations because he doesn't know the people well. He uses work as an excuse. Although he is required to work on weekends, it still infuriates me.

It's humiliating going to these family events alone, while people ask why Joe isn't there. I could give the "work" excuse, but I'm sure they'll find it hard to swallow that he can never get off.

I'm worried that when we're married my family won't show up because he pulls this. I have told him if he doesn't change I will need to reconsider our relationship. Giving me a few days out of the year shouldn't be a big deal. Am I right to be angry? -- SOCIALLY OBLIGATED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR SOCIALLY OBLIGATED: After tolerating this for seven years, you are only now getting upset about it? Your fiance may feel awkward in social situations, which is why he avoids them. If the reason for your anger is you're afraid your family won't attend your special events, stop worrying. Because you are attending theirs, they will reciprocate. However, because your fiance is as socially withdrawn as he appears to be, they will never get to know him. What a shame.

DEAR ABBY: A young family member, "Missy," age 18, has been doing nude centerfolds for almost a year. Her mother signed the approval paperwork for her because Missy was still 17 at the time of the first photo shoot. Since then, there have been many more photos and nude videos.

Missy's grandparents practically raised her and don't know about what she's doing. The rest of the family is aware of it. Her mother says it's Missy's responsibility to tell her grandparents. The rest of the family would prefer the mother tell them. We all realize we have been part of this conspiracy.

When our parents find out and realize that everyone else knew, they will feel betrayed. I'm afraid this will tear the family apart.

Missy has shared all this with her high school friends and others, so it may just be a matter of time before the grandparents hear about it. Is there a way to keep the family from falling apart over this? -- COVERED UP IN THE DEEP SOUTH

DEAR COVERED UP: Once more than one person knows a secret, it's no longer a secret. When the inevitable happens, keep the hysteria to a minimum. While her grandparents may have preferred that Missy get ahead by using her brains, this doesn't have to be the end of the world. Look at it this way: One person who posed for a nude centerfold is now a U.S. senator. And that's a fact.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)