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Weddings Pose Awkward Situations for Family Split by Divorce

DEAR ABBY: My father was married before he met my mother and had five wonderful children during his previous marriage. When my half-brother got married two years ago, he invited our father, my mother and me to his wedding. My parents declined because they didn't want to see my father's ex-wife (my half-brother's mother). I went because, quite frankly, I have no dog in that fight.

I recently got word that my half-sister is getting married in June and plans on inviting our father and my mother as well. Due to their absence at my half-brother's wedding, my parents have decided they shouldn't go to any of my half-siblings' weddings in order to be fair to everyone.

Although I'm upset that they're refusing to attend, I can't help but wonder what I should do when I get married. Because they're my parents and I love them, I'd like them to come. But I also want to be sensitive to my half-siblings' thoughts and feelings. I don't want them to feel as if their father and stepmother love me more than they love them. What should I do? -- TROUBLED IN KENTUCKY

DEAR TROUBLED: When the time comes, talk to your half-siblings about your concerns and the fact that your parents did not come to their weddings. Explain that they were absent because they were uncomfortable about encountering their mother. I'm sure it won't surprise them. Tell them you would love to have them with you on that special day. But if they refuse out of loyalty to their mother, do not be surprised or regard it as a personal rejection.

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