DEAR ABBY: I recently took my children to spend a week with my mother-in-law, "Bea." Three days after we arrived, my husband flew in to join us. The next day, Bea handed me a hotel room key and told me to take as many of the children as I wanted, but I could not take my husband because she never gets to spend time with him!
I told Bea I was offended, and that I should not have been invited if it wasn't a "family" trip. As I was packing to leave, my mother-in-law left and spent the rest of our visit in the hotel herself while my family and I stayed at her home.
My husband has now told me that I will not be "allowed" to visit her again, and when she visits us next, it will be just him and the kids because I make his mother "uncomfortable." Must I stay away as he says, or should I pursue keeping myself included when they visit my mother-in-law? -- MOM OF FOUR IN MARYLAND
DEAR MOM OF FOUR: Did this happen out of the blue, or have you always had a strained relationship with your husband's mother? (I'm guessing it's the latter.) If so, why?
If the genesis of this is something you have said or done, and you can't mend fences, then perhaps it would be better if you made other plans while Bea visits. If it isn't, then face it: You married a mama's boy, and for that you have my sympathy.
Were I in your shoes, rather than inflict my presence on "Queen Bea," I'd grab the chance to treat myself to a well-earned vacation when the "lady" is in town -- and ditto when your husband and the kids go to visit Granny. Check into a spa and let yourself have a good time!