DEAR ABBY: For the two years I've been married to "John," I have known his parents wished he had married someone other than me. They have never accepted me or tried to get to know me as a daughter-in-law. Family is important to me. All I ever hoped was that they'd give me half a chance.
I've told John how I feel. He has yet to stand up for me. What upsets me is his mom and dad are nice to my face and in John's presence, but when he isn't around they ignore me. It's like I'm invisible.
My husband is in the military. During the past year he has been away on active duty, his parents have never once invited me to spend a holiday or any other time with them. I am always the one to reach out. John is due home next month, and I know my in-laws will try to "make nice" with me for his benefit -– but it's all fake.
If they truly wanted to get to know me, they would have tried while I was alone. (I live less than a mile from them.) I am sad, hurt and angry about the way I've been treated in my husband's absence. I love him more than anything, but my biggest fear is that when we're reunited, my feelings toward his folks will have a spillover effect on our marriage. What can be done, Abby? -- MISERABLE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW IN NORFOLK, VA.
DEAR MISERABLE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: When your husband returns, impress upon him the fact that his parents never called or invited you to join them in his absence. It's a shame to have to put him in the middle, but these are his parents and if they'll listen to anybody, it's most likely him.
In the meantime, develop other emotional resources with other military families. When a loved one goes on active duty, it's not unusual that those left behind are on an emotional roller-coaster. Other wives (and husbands) can appreciate how you feel. Perhaps you can support each other.