DEAR ABBY: Our son was married last year. There were many out-of-town relatives from the bride's family, plus a large wedding party. Once the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom were added to the list, close to 80 people attended the rehearsal dinner. We did not invite family members who didn't have a part in the ceremony, although spouses of the wedding party were included.
A few weeks before the big day, my husband's Uncle Charlie (who is close to 80), let us know he was very hurt not to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. He made it clear he expected us to make an exception for him because he and my husband have always been close. My husband explained to Charlie that if we made an exception for him, we would risk offending other relatives who were not included. He seemed to accept the decision.
It has been many months since the wedding, and it's obvious that Uncle Charlie is nursing a grudge. At family gatherings, he takes every opportunity to challenge anything my husband says to belittle him. He even collected articles on wedding etiquette, invited my husband to lunch and tried to get him to read them.
If my son gets wind of this, he won't tiptoe around Uncle Charlie's feelings as his dad has always done. There will be a permanent rift in the family.
Abby, is there anything I can do or say to resolve this? -- THE PEACEMAKER
DEAR PEACEMAKER: I doubt it. It is precisely for people who feel they deserve to be the "exception" that the rules of etiquette were written in the first place. There is no way to reason with narcissistic, self-centered individuals because they must always be right.
It is not your job or your husband's to make up to Uncle Charlie for his imagined slight. He owes your husband an apology, not the other way around. But please don't hold your breath waiting for it.