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by Abigail Van Buren

Recovering Alcoholic Opts Out Of Wedding In A Winery

DEAR ABBY: I was sober for a year when I met my husband. Neither my alcoholism nor my 24 years of perfect sobriety have ever caused any upset for anyone in his family.

His niece will be married later this year in a winery in another state. The thought of it makes me anxious, and I am opting to not attend with my husband.

Abby, I am not a "special" aunt, and I have no place in the wedding, which will be large. Some family members think I'm being selfish, but I believe I am my first responsibility. They are not the sort you can talk to, so please advise. Am I being selfish? -- VERY SAD IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR VERY SAD: Not in my opinion. Your reason for not attending makes sense to me, and it's not "selfish" to skip an event at which you would not be comfortable. If you send your husband -- and a nice wedding gift -- I'm sure the bride will forgive your absence. And for those who would hold it against you, "remind" them that although you have maintained your sobriety for many years, it can't be taken for granted because sobriety is a day-to-day challenge for people with alcoholism.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations | Addiction