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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman's Bad Times Are Made Worse by Family's Desertion

DEAR ABBY: I recently realized I have a fair-weather family. My husband got in trouble with the law and is now in a drug treatment facility. This had been hard on me, but I love him.

His crime was being in possession of illegal drugs that were intended only for himself. His family has turned their backs on us. My family will invite me to family functions, but if I mention him, they walk away. I have been feeling very alone and isolated throughout this entire process.

Today I went for my follow-up OB-GYN appointment and was referred to an oncologist for further testing and treatment. I don't even want to tell my family. I spoke with one close friend who said my parents and siblings have a right to know what is going on, but I feel differently. I think families should support each other through everything. They don't get to pick and choose. What do you think? -- DOING THIS ALONE IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DOING THIS ALONE: I know you are angry with your relatives, but if you think you will be punishing them by keeping your diagnosis to yourself, you won't. I agree with your friend that your family should be told what's going on with you, not because they have a right to know, but because you may at some point need their help.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Health & Safety