DEAR ABBY: I have been with my fiance, "Joe," for seven years. My problem is that he refuses invitations from my family to events and leaves me to go solo. Before the end of the year, there will be a baptism in which I am the godmother, as well as three weddings. Joe says he won't attend any of them.
He claims he's not interested in the baptism of our niece because he's not religious. He's declining the wedding invitations because he doesn't know the people well. He uses work as an excuse. Although he is required to work on weekends, it still infuriates me.
It's humiliating going to these family events alone, while people ask why Joe isn't there. I could give the "work" excuse, but I'm sure they'll find it hard to swallow that he can never get off.
I'm worried that when we're married my family won't show up because he pulls this. I have told him if he doesn't change I will need to reconsider our relationship. Giving me a few days out of the year shouldn't be a big deal. Am I right to be angry? -- SOCIALLY OBLIGATED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SOCIALLY OBLIGATED: After tolerating this for seven years, you are only now getting upset about it? Your fiance may feel awkward in social situations, which is why he avoids them. If the reason for your anger is you're afraid your family won't attend your special events, stop worrying. Because you are attending theirs, they will reciprocate. However, because your fiance is as socially withdrawn as he appears to be, they will never get to know him. What a shame.