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by Abigail Van Buren

Earthshaking Revelation Creates Sudden New Reality for Family

DEAR ABBY: I have always been nice and respectful to my in-laws. I see them on every holiday and birthday and in between, and buy them nice gifts. For some reason, they treat my husband's brother's family very differently than ours. They give them extravagant gifts that cost hundreds of dollars and hand them extra gift cards in front of us. They also treat our children and their cousins differently. As my children get older, I know they will notice.

My husband is very independent. He acts like it doesn't bother him, but I know in his heart it does. We both have respected professions, keep an immaculate home and try our best to be great parents and family members. How do I accept this inequity and not let it bother me? I know I can't change them. -- RANKED LOWER IN FLORIDA

DEAR RANKED LOWER: You and your husband are successful people. You do not have to accept the treatment your family has received from your in-laws. You are absolutely correct that your children will begin to notice the disparity in the way they are treated by their grandparents. Continue to be kind and respectful, but see them far less often, and never on occasions when gifts are exchanged.

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