DEAR Abby: I just read the letter from "Don't Want to Be His Daughter-in-Law" and had to respond.
My husband is a wonderful, kind, caring, responsible man. However his father is crude, rude, and has made sexual advances to me.
From my personal experience, you CAN have a good, strong marriage, even if your father-in-law is horrid. Our solution was to invite our friends to our wedding and ignore my future father-in-law's guest list, serve no alcohol at the reception, treat him kindly without letting him walk all over us, and after the wedding -- we moved! We now live two hours away. Most important, her fiance must stand up for her, back her up, and not be cowed by his father. -- HAPPY WIFE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR HAPPY WIFE: Thank you for some excellent suggestions. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: That bride-to-be and her fiance should get premarital counseling to work out how to cope with his family. He may also have some problems down the road being a good husband and father, since he did not have a good role model. Counseling and some good self-help books about being the child of an alcoholic will also help. Also, they should attend Al-Anon meetings and learn how to say no to the alcoholic when it comes to their lives.
And last but not least, I recommend she stop calling them "drunks." They are "alcoholics" suffering from a terrible disease that often has its roots in genetics. -- KATHARINE IN FREDERICKSBURG, VA.
DEAR KATHARINE: I won't quarrel with you on that one. And your idea of premarital counseling is a good one. Another helpful resource might be ACA -- Adult Children of Alcoholics. (It is also in the phone book.)