Dear Abby: I’m hoping you can help me with this situation. I have been married for 13 years but never told my family that I got married. I now want to divorce my husband, but I don’t know how to approach it because he holds it over my head. Please help. I have fallen in love with someone else and need to divorce my current husband and move on, but I don’t know how to tell my family. — Stuck in the Midwest
Dear Stuck: Obviously, you and your family aren’t close. What is he holding over your head? The fact that you were married? Your family can’t miss something they have never had — in this instance, a relationship with the spouse you hid from them. So although they may be disappointed that you withheld the information, don’t expect them to grieve his “loss.”
You didn’t mention how long you’ve been involved with this other man, but you should not rush into another marriage. Perhaps this mess will teach you how important it is to live openly and honestly and not sweep things — like a husband — under the rug.
Dear Abby: Crazy question, but a serious one. Christmas is coming, so please answer quickly. When carolers come to the door, what’s the polite response to them? Where we live, it’s usually bitter cold and snowy. Do you stand out there on your porch, just keep the door ajar, invite them inside, serve them hot chocolate, coffee?
I’ve been ill at ease for years, and although it’s a tradition that seems to be falling by the wayside, I’d like to know what you have to say about it. Thank you so much. I enjoy reading your column. — Marcia in Eastern Washington
Dear Marcia: All you need to do is give the carolers a heartfelt “thank you” for their efforts. While one might be tempted to offer them a hot beverage — coffee or tea — a milky drink is not good for a performer’s throat, and it also might cause them to have to make frequent pit stops on their route, which would be counterproductive.
Dear Abby: Recently a family member, an ex-sister-in-law, sent out invitations on Facebook for her retirement party. A week after everyone had accepted, she posted that in order to attend, guests would have to buy a ticket for $50. I find this very tacky.
It’s not so much the $50, but the way it was presented. This woman was a professional with a great job. She has a large home and drives a luxury car. When I asked other family members and friends how they felt, for the most part they agreed with me. Needless to say, I will not be going. What do you think? — Appalled Out West
Dear Appalled: I think that, under the circumstances, you should inform your former sister-in-law that since you received the invitation your plans have changed, so you will be unable to attend after all. And when you do, don’t forget to wish her well in her retirement.
Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or at dearabby.com.