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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband Maintains Connection With Late Wife's Mother

DEAR ABBY: I am my husband's second wife. His first wife died of cancer eight years ago. His late wife's mother still calls him her son-in-law and introduces him as such. She also asks him to help her with things around the house, like getting mulch and remodeling the bath. She invites all of us over to holidays, but I can't help but feel awkward. Am I overreacting? Shouldn't she find someone else to help her now that bond is broken? -- IN THE PRESENT IN INDIANA

DEAR IN THE PRESENT: If the bond were broken, your husband's former mother-in-law would find someone else, and your husband would help her to do it. He may still feel like a member of that family. Please be smart and less defensive. The woman is making an effort to include you in her celebrations. Accept the gesture for what it is and be gracious.

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