DEAR ABBY: I left a manipulative and abusive marriage after 18 years. My parents fully supported my decision. When I became engaged to the wonderful man who is now my husband, my mother and many other family members told me that second weddings were "not important" and I should have just gone to the courthouse.
I had a very small wedding. Even my parents didn't get us a gift. Mom wouldn't help with planning, either (my husband and I paid for everything), and said I didn't deserve gifts for a second wedding. All totaled we received five gifts from 50 guests. I didn't expect anything and was grateful for what we got, but the assumption that this marriage wasn't important because it is my second hurt me very much. Am I wrong for being so deeply hurt? -- HAPPIER NOW IN THE SOUTH
DEAR HAPPIER: You stated that your first husband was manipulative and abusive. Is that also true about the household in which you were raised? I can understand why you would be hurt and offended by what your mother said. It was cruel, dismissive and unnecessary. In fact, it was so tactless I cannot help but wonder if it was calculated to hurt. If this is typical of her, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship, protect yourself and step back. Remember, your best "revenge" is your happy marriage.