DEAR ABBY: Over the years I've stayed in touch with my childhood best friend, "Claire." We talk a few times a year and I attended her wedding 10 years ago.
In the intervening years, her husband, "Kirk," has cheated on her multiple times and was once arrested by an undercover cop when he tried to meet a 14-year-old for a sexual liaison. Despite it all, Claire has chosen to stay with him. I have made peace with the fact that it is her decision and, because she lives in another state, it hasn't affected my life in any practical way -- until now.
I am being married next year, and Claire has expressed excitement at attending my wedding. I'd like to invite her, but not Kirk. I think he would be too much of a distraction for me. There will be enough people keeping an eye on the kids, but I know if I see him talking to my niece or nephew, it will make me extremely uncomfortable. God forbid, if he did something inappropriate, it would end my friendship with Claire.
Am I worrying too much? I don't want to hurt my friend, but I also don't want to put any child in harm's way or have my memory of the day marred with scanning the crowd to make sure Kirk isn't doing anything suspect. Your opinion would be helpful. -- APPREHENSIVE BRIDE-TO-BE
DEAR APPREHENSIVE: You need to be up front and sort this out with Claire before issuing an invitation. It is possible that her husband is legally enjoined from having contact with minors and could not attend your wedding even if invited. If you prefer that he not attend, you need to have the courage to say so. It probably won't be the first time she has heard it. But safety of the young people, not to mention your peace of mind, must come first.