Dear Abby:

My boyfriend of five years, "Brian," has asked me to marry him. We are very much in love. We're in our early twenties and still live with our parents. The only problem I have is with Brian's dad, "John."

My parents would cringe if they met Brian's dad, and they would never approve of my marriage. John is rude, cheap, arrogant, ignorant and a drunk. He refuses to listen to the opinions of others and is oblivious to anyone's needs but his own. He also cracks crude sexual jokes at inappropriate times.

John has informed Brian and me that he will be inviting his friends to the wedding and gave us a list -- all the town drunks.

Abby, I do not want this man ruining my wedding. I don't even want him there. I don't want my family to meet him -- ever. I'm afraid they'd judge my future husband unfairly because his father is such a jerk. Is there a polite way of telling him he's not invited?

Don't Want to Be His D-I-L in Illinois

Not really.

And whether you can avoid him for your entire married life depends on how your fiance feels about his father.

If you're serious about marrying Brian, I urge you to prepare your family in advance for what's coming.

The safest course of action would be to have them meet before the wedding.

You and your future husband should not be judged by the actions of his father.

Confidential to Desperate in San Diego: Please go to a teacher or school nurse and tell him or her what you have written to me. I agree, you need a second opinion. Your life could depend upon it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2002, Universal Press Syndicate