DEAR ABBY: My husband, "John," recently returned from his fourth Middle East tour after having been gone for a year. As soon as he got back, his mother invited him and his two sisters on a vacation cruise for a week. He said yes, and they'll be leaving in a couple of weeks. The downside is -- no spouses allowed.
John and I are in our mid-40s. We have been married 25 years. I feel slighted, left out and, frankly, disrespected. I'm not sure how to bring this up to him or to his mom. I don't want to cause my husband, who is currently going through a difficult reintegration process, any stress. And I don't want to cause drama with his mother, who will regard my speaking up as an offense to her gesture for her children. Please help. Do I just keep my hurting mouth shut? -- HURTING IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR HURTING: Because your husband is having a difficult time reintegrating, I do think you should keep your mouth closed. The reason you and the other spouses weren't invited may have been the cost involved. If it wasn't, then Mama may have wanted her "brood" around her and no one else.
You say you and your husband have been married 25 years. That would make you a military wife. By definition, military wives are resilient and independent. If you feel you will be at loose ends while your husband is with his mother and siblings, I suggest you and the other "excluded spouses" plan some activities together to pass the time. If you all like each other, you could have a ball.
Later, when the time is right, you and your husband could plan a private getaway just for the two of you.