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by Abigail Van Buren

Divorce Announcement Arrives With Wedding Thank You Note

DEAR ABBY: A friend's daughter was married several years ago. I attended the shower and her wedding, and gave gifts for both.

Two months after the wedding, I received a thank-you note in which a form letter was enclosed that read, "By the way, we are now separated and getting a divorce"! I was shocked not only by the news, but even more that my gifts were not returned with the divorce announcement.

This young lady is now being married again to a different man. If I attend the shower/wedding, am I obligated to give her another set of gifts? Or should I skip the shower and go to the wedding without giving another gift? What is proper in this case? -- CONFUSED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR CONFUSED: The rule of etiquette regarding disposition of wedding gifts when a couple divorces after a short time is that any unused items (preferably in their original packaging) go back to the givers. However, to return cookware, linens, china, glassware, etc., that have been used is impractical, so please don't hold a grudge.

If you decide to attend the shower and/or wedding for your friend's daughter, it is customary to give a gift.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Etiquette & Ethics