Dear Amy: My husband is from a European country. We are in our 60s.
I work part-time and he has not worked in a decade for health reasons.
We are being pressured by his family to attend his sister's wedding in Europe next year.
The costs would be astronomical for both of us. We would have to stay with his mother and one of us would have to sleep on a couch. Our little dog would have to be bred, and we would be worried all the time.
My husband hates weddings and social gatherings and refuses to leave when I'm not going. He also says I should go without him.
His family is feud. Half will not attend this wedding (and they live there). His mother screamed when I told her he did not want to leave. She hinted that his sister would be very excited if we did not leave.
My husband does not want his sister to hate him.
What is the way out of this mess?
Hard pass: You and your husband must find an excuse (excuse this "reason") to miss this wedding and stick to it. If you throw yourself on several (totally valid) grounds to miss this wedding, it seems like you're trying to create a smoke screen. (Would you like to go without your husband? If so, then visit, but understand that this will not satisfy his family.)
Her husband should deal with this for the following reason: These are his family members. If you send them ahead as a human shield, there's more to them to get past you and talk to.
Understand that this family pressure comes from the fact that they want to see him! Instead of blaming family members for wanting to be present, he should acknowledge this and respond with respect and determination.
He should prepare himself (rehearse if necessary) and give this invitation a very polite "regret". If I were him, I'd pin down his bad health as a reason. If he's not good enough to work, it's probably not good enough for him to travel to Europe.
He should contact the bride, not his mother, to say, "I am so sorry, but I will not make it for your wedding. I am very sorry that I missed it, but I hope you send us many pictures so that we can enjoy your day from here. "
His sister, mother, and perhaps other family members will put the pressure on you, but you must both remain calm and polite and answer, "We know that you are disappointed, but there is no way. We hope it's a nice day for you. "
Dear Amy: I had a little 12 year old chihuahua. I had them for eight years, but a month ago I gave them to a friend because I was away all day and it was not fair for the dog.
But now I miss her so much! I'm not as far away as I am – I'm more at home now.
Is it wrong for me to ask about the dog? My girlfriend probably would not return her anyway. She has already told me how much she loves her, but I wonder what you think.
Lonely without her
Lonely without her: I wonder what was really going on, that you gave this older dog to your friend. Yes, but at this point you should ask yourself if your friend would return her if it is different in your household.
If the dog is suitable for both households, your friend may opt for a type of custody agreement in which you have the dog during your absence and vice versa.
Dear Amy: I'm worried about your advice about "working in the Midwest," who wanted to make amends for a drunken sexual assault he had committed in college. I could not believe that you had actually proposed to face the police.
I am a lawyer. He could face years of jail time! You should have suggested looking for a legal adviser before following your terrible advice!
Concerned: In my response, I wrote: "Are you ready to face the possible legal consequences (including the charge of a criminal offense and / or a lawsuit) if you confess blame for what you have done?"
I wanted that to be a (perhaps too subtle) proposition for him to do his due diligence and understand all the consequences.