Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Bride-to-Be Grits Her Teeth Before Dress-Fitting With Mom

DEAR ABBY: My sister invited our mother, who is in her 70s, to my wedding dress fittings. I did not invite her.

I have forgiven my mother for the crappy environment she created for us while I was growing up. I always invite her to family gatherings although she remains demeaning, demoralizing and bitter. My mother can last about an hour in my company without saying something negative and snarky, and I don't want her to ruin this fun occasion.

She knows how I feel about her attitude around me. I don't call or talk to her unless there is a family emergency. I normally grin and bear it on holidays for my sister's sake. My sister has a mental illness, and our mom is an almost daily presence in her life, which I appreciate, as I live in another state. Must I suck it up again for my sister's sake? -- GETTING MARRIED IN MINNESOTA

DEAR GETTING MARRIED: Permit your mother to be present for the first fitting. If, as you predict, she becomes negative and snarky, concentrate on the fitting, then inform her -- and your sister afterward -- that she will not be welcome to join you for another one.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations | Mental Health