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.
DEAR ABBY: The other night I had to go to the ER for severe knee pain. After being seen and released, I called my son to come and pick me up. It was 11:30 at night. Neither he nor my daughter-in-law answered the phone! The next day, his wife told me they have full-time jobs. (Both work at the hospital.) My grandson said his mom isn’t mad at me, but I feel so hurt. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — NO RESPONSE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NO RESPONSE: This unfortunate event should be a lesson for the future. Have a talk with your son and daughter-in-law. The three of you need to come to an understanding about what should happen in the event you have a medical emergency. This includes not only who should provide transportation but also what kind of supervision you might need. You should also have an advance directive in place that includes who should be contacted — in case you are unable to speak for yourself.
DEAR READERS: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without my sharing the traditional prayer penned by my dear late mother:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Have a happy and safe celebration, everyone! — Love, ABBY
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.