Dear Amy: My husband is from a European country. We are in our 60s.
I work part time, and it has not worked in a decade of health problems.
We are being pressured by his family to wait for his sister's wedding next year in Europe.
The costs would be astronomical for both of us to wait. We would have to stay with our mother, and we would have to sleep on a couch. Our little dog would have been kenneled, and we would be worried the whole time.
My husband hates weddings and social gatherings, and is refusing to go unless I go. He also says I should go without him.
His family is feuding. Half will not wait for this wedding (and they live there). His mother was yelling when I told him he did not want to go. She implied that his sister would be extremely upset if we do not go.
My husband does not want his sister to hate him.
What is the way out of this mess?
Hard Pass: You and your husband need to excuse (sorry, make that "reason") to miss this wedding, and stick with it. Piling on various (completely valid) reasons to miss this wedding makes it seem as if you are trying to create a smokescreen. (If you want to go to your husband? If so, then wait, but understand that will not satisfy his family.)
Your husband should be dealing with this, for the following reason: These are his family members. Sending you out ahead as a human shield just creates more opportunities for them to bulldoze you.
Understand that this family pressure is enough that they want to see him! Rather than blame family members for wanting his presence, he should acknowledge this, and be respectful and firm in response.
He should prepare himself (rehearse, if necessary), and give a very polite "regret" to this invitation. If I were he, I would be anchored to his poor health. If it is not enough to work, then it is likely to be in Europe.
He should contact the bride – not his mother – to say, "I'm so sorry, but I will not be able to make it for your wedding. I'm very sorry to miss it, but I hope you will be able to see us here. "
His sister, his mother, and perhaps two other people, will answer the question: "We know you are disappointed, but there is no way around this. We hope it's a beautiful day for you. "
Dear Amy: I had a tiny 12-year-old Chihuahua. I had her for eight years, but I'm here, because I was gone all the time.
But now I miss her so much! I'm not away as much as I was – I'm home more now.
Is it wrong for me to ask for the dog back? My friend would definitely not give her back anyway. She has already told me how much she loves her, but I'm wondering what you think?
Lonely Without Her
Lonely Without Her: I wonder what was really going on that you surrendered this old dog to your friend. Aim, yes, at this point, if things are different in your household, you should at least ask if your friend would give back.
If the dog seems well adjusted to both sides, your friend might opt for a joint venture, where you have the dog during times when she is away, and vice versa.
Dear Amy: I am concerned about your advice to "Working in the Midwest," who wanted to make amends for a sexual assault he committed in college. I could not believe that you actually suggested he should turn himself into the police!
I am a lawyer. He could be facing years of jail time! You should have suggested you seek legal counsel before following your terrible advice!
Concerned: In my answer, I wrote: "Are you prepared to face the possible legal consequences (including being with a crime and / or sued) for admitting guilt for what you've done?"
I wanted to make a suggestion (perhaps too subtle) for him to do his due diligence and understand all of the consequences.