DEAR ABBY: I have lived in this town for 40 years. My ex-husband and I divorced 34 years ago. Our children are adults, and we have four grandchildren, ranging in age from 4 to 10. I have many friends, but there are two women in this town I cannot tolerate. One has been my ex-husband's wife for 25 years. They are now being divorced. Wouldn't you know -- his current "main squeeze" is the other woman I can't stand.
When his second marriage ended, the entire family breathed a sigh of relief. I am almost 70 now, and all of us had hoped we could enjoy future family events without the stress of having someone around I disliked. (The family gets together every other month or so, and both my ex and I are invited.)
My ex now wants his girlfriend included in these family celebrations. I told him in no uncertain terms that I have purposely avoided this woman for many years. I do not want to associate with her simply because he is now involved with her. My children love their father and me, and are now caught in the middle.
Abby, do you think I am being unreasonable? -- MIMI IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR MIMI: Don't make your family choose between you and your ex-husband. You cannot control whom your family invites. You CAN control how many times a year you want to be around someone you dislike.
Perhaps you have misjudged this woman. I hope you can look beyond her faults for the sake of family unity.