DEAR ABBY: I grew up the third of four children. Both my older brothers chose to go into engineering (the field my father is in). I rocked the boat and opted to go into education. All during college and after, my parents continued to tell me I had chosen the wrong career and would never have any money.
Ten years later, I'm still getting constant comments about my career choice and financial status. They make little jabs like, "... but we know you can't afford it," and, "Is this too expensive for you?" which echo at family gatherings to the point that neither my husband nor I want to be there.
We both work hard and, while we might struggle, we never ask for financial assistance. How can I get my family to stop these comments? They're hurtful. -- EDUCATOR IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR EDUCATOR: You are being picked on not only because of your career choice and its salary level, but also the fact that you didn't fall into line as your siblings did and do what your parents wanted.
Much as we might wish to, we cannot dictate the behavior of others. If you have told your family their comments bother you and they persist, you will have to focus on the importance of the field you chose and the contribution to society you are making. And attend those family gatherings less often.