DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband, "Stu," for 27 years. His brother's family continues to send invitations addressed only to Stu. When they call to invite us to anything and I answer, they ask to speak to him. He has asked them not to do that.
When RSVPing to the latest invitation to our niece's graduation party -- addressed only to my husband -- I said that he would attend as he was the only one invited. I also asked if I had done something to offend anyone. I was told, "No, of course not," and they were "sorry if there was a misunderstanding," because the invite was for the whole family.
When we see each other, they are polite. I feel that pushing the point or not attending would reflect badly on me. What do you suggest? I am hurt by years of this treatment, and Stu is just as offended. -- HAD ENOUGH IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR HAD ENOUGH: Either your brother-in-law and his family never learned how to properly address an invitation (i.e., "Mr. and Mrs." or "and family"), or on some emotional level you were never accepted as a full-fledged family member. As I see it, you have two choices: Continue to attend these events as you have for the past 27 years, or both of you decline and tell them exactly why.
DEAR ABBY: My 17-year-old daughter, "Corey," is in a two-year relationship with "Greg," who's 19 and in the Naval Academy at Annapolis. They have exchanged promise rings and agreed to make this long-distance relationship work. She went to visit him for Thanksgiving and he came home for Christmas. He also returned for spring break. He takes advantage of every opportunity to see Corey.
We live in California and Corey is a junior in high school. Prom is almost here, and Greg has told her he doesn't want her to miss out on anything. I feel she should not go with anyone else -- that it's a sacrifice you make when you have a boyfriend. Well, she accepted an invitation from a guy "friend" and Greg said he was fine with it. I sent Greg a text message, and he repeated that sentiment.
I believe Greg was thinking she wouldn't actually go to the prom and he was just trying to be nice, hoping she'd make the better decision. I am stressed that this may ruin her relationship and she'll be devastated. What's the etiquette? Is it OK for her to go to the prom with a friend, even if she has a boyfriend? -- ONLY WANTS THE BEST FOR HER
DEAR ONLY: If your daughter cleared it with her boyfriend and he said he's fine with it, then it's all right for her to go to the prom. I'm more concerned that you took it upon yourself to text your daughter's boyfriend to "double-check." Greg appears to be a mature, confident and stable young man. If you'll stop trying to run interference for your daughter and let the relationship continue to evolve naturally, the romance might actually pan out.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)