My husband and I have been together for years but have been married for only a couple of months. Our relationship couldn't be better.
The problem is his grandmother. She is hypercritical and judgmental. She has never liked me and doesn't think that I am good enough for her grandson. She is always talking badly about me behind my back and saying that I'm a bad influence on him.
I have a high-school education. I work full time and go to college and I have never been into drugs or partying. Around my family and me, she acts like she's okay with me. My family adores my husband.
The real problem is that my husband and I just found out that we are going to have a baby and we couldn't be happier. His grandma doesn't think that we should have a child because it will make it harder for my husband to realize what a mistake he made and leave me.
I know that we did everything backward by today's standards by finishing high school, getting married and finding our own place first before starting a family, but we're traditional people.
I have heard from other members of his family that she has said she doesn't want to have anything to do with our child. This really bugs me and I know it hurts my husband that she acts this way, but we just don't know what to do. I don't want this to put a strain on our relationship or our family.
Your decision to finish high school, get married and establish your life before having a child means that your family will start out strong. That's a good thing.
If your husband's grandmother is hypocritical enough to treat you decently when she is with you, then be glad. It sure beats the alternative. If your husband's other family members report back negative comments that she has made, then you should ask them to stop telling you about these comments, because knowing her opinion doesn't help you at all.
Your husband should take the lead with his grandmother and tell her that he is starting a family and that he has every intention of remaining in it. Then you and he should go about your business, swallow your annoyance and keep moving forward. His grandmother will come around when it comes to your baby. Babies tend to have that effect on people.
Were you off the mark with your response to the husband whose wife didn't want him to attend her reunion with her. I went to my wife's 20th reunion and it was one of the worst nights I have ever spent.
I felt like an anchor that she was dragging around as she met her old friends, and every sentence started with "Do you remember when" or "I wonder what ever happened to so-and-so." After about 30-45 minutes of agony, I excused myself and spent the rest of the night in the bar with another misplaced husband.
When my 40th rolled around, I told her that I was going -- alone. I said that I wouldn't subject her to the miserable time she forced me to endure. She wasn't exactly happy, but when everyone that we talked to told her the same thing about not knowing anyone and feeling very out of place, she reluctantly said okay.
I came back after having a wonderful time seeing and catching up with people I hadn't seen or spoken to in 40 years and thanked her for letting me do it my way. I also told her of the spouses who sat alone at tables or stood silently by as their "better halves" talked about the "old days" and reminisced about the glory days of high school.
My wife's 40th will be coming up next year, and unless hell freezes over, she'll be going by herself.
Many reunion spouses shared your perspective. The difference between your account and the original letter was that this husband didn't seem to trust his wife's reasons for asking him to stay away. My thinking was that she should have offered him the option of attending her reunion and being bored senseless.
Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
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