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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Attachment to Late Wife's Family Disturbs His Current Spouse

DEAR ABBY: My husband's first wife died 17 years ago. They were married for 20 years. We have been together 14 years, married for 12. He still insists that her family is his family because of their daughter, who is an amazing young woman. We have an ongoing disagreement about this.

He can't understand why I refuse to attend functions that include only his late wife's family. He doesn't feel my family is his family, only his first wife's family. When he attends these functions alone, he comes home very angry. He tells me I don't understand and that I need to go where he goes.

I am sorry, Abby, but after another intense disagreement, I'm ready to call it the end of the road. We are both in our 60s, and it's kind of late in life for a divorce, so I would appreciate any advice you could give me. -- ARGUING A LOT IN MONTANA

DEAR ARGUING: Unless your husband's former in-laws have made you feel unwelcome, I think you should have made a greater effort to accompany him to some of those gatherings. Frankly, I am surprised you would seriously consider ending your marriage over the fact that he still considers them to be family. If ever I thought a couple should get marriage counseling, it is you two. Please consider it before consulting a lawyer.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Death