DEAR ABBY: For quite a long time now, when certain situations arise, I ask myself, "What would Dear Abby say?" I would like to address this situation:
Before I was married, I visited my parents (they live nearby) several times a week. Now I am married -- with new friends, wanting to spend time with my husband and also visit my other siblings. This means that my husband and I don't visit my parents as much.
The problem? I feel guilty for not spending more time with them. My mother makes comments like, "Oh, we haven't seen you for months!" (Not true, Abby; we see them at least twice a month.)
I know that we are only as guilty as we make ourselves feel, but I would like to know, in Dear Abby's opinion, how often is often enough to visit parents? They don't seem to understand that there are other people in my life now, and working every day makes me tired at the end of the day and weekends are precious. Any comments? -- FEELING GUILTY
DEAR GUILTY: No one can "make" you feel guilty without your permission.
Your reasons for seeing less of your parents now are legitimate, so when you mother "reminds" you that your visits are less frequent, don't apologize (like a child); explain to her -- as you did to me -- that there are other people in your life now, and working every day is very tiring and weekends are precious.