DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Arthur," and I are planning a trip. One stop will be to see some friends of his, "Mac" and "Annie," from years back. I am dreading the visit.
Last year, Arthur had a heart attack. I called some of our closest friends to let them know he was in the hospital. One couple knew Mac and Annie, and told them about his illness.
Mac and Annie then called me and yelled at me for "allowing" my husband to get ill. I hung up, but they called back when I was at the hospital and left another hate-filled message on our answering machine. Not wanting Arthur to get upset, I erased it and never told him.
Abby, I don't want to see these people. I know I'll be suppressing the urge to slap them both, but I intend to try to be gracious. Should I tell my husband about my last encounter with them, or trust that they have enough sense not to bring up the matter? -- DREADING THE VISIT IN TEXAS
DEAR DREADING: What exactly is it that you should have done to prevent your husband from having the heart attack -- thrown your body over his fork so he couldn't eat the "wrong" foods, nagged him into quitting smoking, or "forced" him to exercise and adopt a different lifestyle? You're his wife, not his mother.
You should absolutely tell your husband about those outrageous phone calls. Do not assume that folks with such an absence of common sense that they would attack you during a family crisis wouldn't do something equally inappropriate during the visit.
Frankly, I don't blame you for wanting to avoid them. Your husband should clear the air before either of you see them -- if you decide to see them at all.