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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter-in-Law Opts Out of Most Family Dinners

DEAR ABBY: I live in a triplex. I'm on the second floor, and my son and his wife and three children live on the ground floor. Every Sunday, I have a family dinner with my sons, their children, etc. My daughter-in-law does not come unless her best friend, who is my other daughter-in-law, comes. So three times out of four, her children come with her husband for dinner but not her. I think it sends a bad message to the kids. What do I do? -- INCOMPLETE IN CANADA

DEAR INCOMPLETE: First you ask this daughter-in-law why she does this. Does she feel she needs a buffer? Then tell her -- and your son -- what you wrote to me. After that, if nothing changes, drop the subject.

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