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by Abigail Van Buren

Brother-In-Law's Absence Leaves Bad Taste In Family's Mouth

DEAR ABBY: My brother, three sisters and their husbands and children and I go to our parents' house for holiday dinners. My youngest sister's husband refuses to go because he doesn't get along with our family. (He also does not get along with his own family.)

Before my youngest sister leaves, she insists on taking a plate of food home for her husband who was "unable to be there." I feel if he doesn't want to be with our family, he shouldn't be allowed to have takeout. Our mother is 82, and it upsets her that he doesn't want to be there. What do you think? -- RESENTFUL

DEAR RESENTFUL: If your brother-in-law can't get along with the family, he is doing everyone a favor by not attending those family dinners. Because your mother finds his absence upsetting, it is up to her to put her foot down and tell your sister she doesn't want food taken to him. Until she does, food deliveries will continue.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations