DEAR AMY: I made a stupid joke about my husband in front of his friends and co-workers. I did it innocently, but my husband was humiliated.
Now all his co-workers are making fun of him at work. He is furious with me and feels that I don’t love him.
I know disrespecting him in front of his friends like that was a careless thing to do. He says he isn’t sure if he will ever be able to forgive me for what I did. He asked me if I really want to be with him, and I do!
He feels I betrayed him and ridiculed him because I don’t care about his feelings. We have been married for 17 years and have two wonderful kids. I am truly sorry, but I’m not sure how to fix this. -- Heartbroken
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Even though you admit that this remark was careless and stupid, you should at least recognize that doing this was also extremely hostile and humiliating.
Things said in jest are often more revealing of a person’s true intent than the jester is willing to admit. Your husband may be making this assumption. And because he is being razzed at work, this comment of yours has legs.
All the same, if you have apologized and asked for forgiveness, your husband should make an effort to release his own anger over this and meet you halfway.
If you find you two can’t successfully get past this (if he continues to bring it up or retaliates in a way that is out of proportion), you should meet with a professional counselor. You may have some serious issues to work out, and that’s definitely no joke.
DEAR AMY: My husband and I got married a little over a year ago. His sister never gave us a wedding gift, nor did she offer any explanation on why we didn’t receive one.
I was a little hurt and confused at the time — after all, I wouldn’t dream of attending a wedding without giving a gift — but I tried to move past it and decided it wasn’t worth rocking the boat.
Fast forward one year. My husband’s brother just got married. His sister gave this brother a wedding gift, and a quite sizable one at that.
Now I’m very hurt. The weddings, including any expectations of her, were virtually identical (it’s not as if ours was out of town and theirs was not). She has a good relationship with both of her brothers.
My question is, is it ever okay to give one sibling a wedding gift and not the other? -- Confused Wife
DEAR CONFUSED: I receive so many queries about gifts that a person could easily think that we are a greedy, gift-obsessed society.
And maybe this is true, but aside from any monetary value a specific gift might hold, a gift is an important symbol. It conveys affection, appreciation and respect.
You and your husband have been skipped over and neglected. I agree that this is wrong.
He is the person who should handle this with his sister. All he needs to do is to say to her, “I’m a little embarrassed to bring this up, but I’m confused because you gave a wedding gift to our brother and his wife but not to us. Was this deliberate? We are very confused about your intent.”
DEAR AMY: Your reply to “No Vacation” was spot on. This mom wrote about a sulky teenager who was refusing to go on the family vacation.
We waited for our oldest child to graduate from a two-year college program before we went on our “final” family vacation. What a difference those two years made in terms of maturation and pleasant companionship, not to mention appreciation!
Teens do grow up, and if we give them the space they need to come around, they become very pleasant people. -- Been There in Syracuse, N.Y.
DEAR BEEN THERE: Teens balk and sulk because they don’t know how else to handle the prospect of their eventual separation from their family — at least, that’s the way I interpret this behavior.
Remember this, parents: They don’t want to be with you because they don’t want to part from you!
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