DEAR ABBY: This summer my husband's four children by a previous marriage spent their vacation with us. They are 16, 15, 13 and 11. I have a 13-year-old daughter.
Abby, I spent months planning their holiday so that everything would go well. I did all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry for them during their visit. I bought tickets for all of us to do interesting things while they were here. We had just put in a new pool, and they could swim every day if they wanted to. We hosted two picnics so they could see everyone in the family. There wasn't a day that they didn't have something to do, and they seemed to have a good time. There were a few arguments between the kids, but nothing major.
After they left, my husband called to make sure they had made it home OK. He was told his children had a terrible time; they had nothing positive to say about their vacation. They totally trashed me and my daughter. My husband knew they were lying, but he still took their side.
I am crushed. I worked hard to give his kids a great vacation. I'm so angry with my husband I'm seeing red. What should I do? -- FURIOUS WIFE AND STEPMOTHER
DEAR FURIOUS: First, calm down; then forgive your husband. He's not the villain.
Accept the fact that the chidlren told their mother what they thought she wanted to hear. They lied because they were afraid she'd feel hurt to hear they enjoyed themselves while they were with their father and you. Forgive them; they are caught in the middle and are attempting to protect their mother.