Dear Miss Manners: My wife and I live on opposite coasts from our son, his wife and their toddler son. For many years now, my wife and my son haven't been on the best of terms, although both are almost always civil toward each other.

As a result of this underlying tension, they sometimes send photos of our grandson (via email and social media) just to me. This means that, if I want my wife to see and enjoy those photos, I need to forward them to her. This makes her feel bad, for obvious reasons. Either that, or I sometimes feel that I just need to do nothing and pretend that I didn't get the photos to spare her the anxiety.

I'm thinking I should email my son and daughter-in-law and insist that they include both of us on all future photo sharing. Is this called for? Is there a better way?

Yes. Reconcile them.

Miss Manners fears that sending that email will upset the delicate balance that has so precariously been created. And that your proposal will drive the two further apart — or worse, exclude you from getting the pictures, as well.

Facilitating a conversation between them — without using your grandson as bait — seems far more practical. After all, as you might emphasize to your son, the child will soon be old enough to form his own opinions, and your son will not want to be on the negative end of them.

Dear Miss Manners: When my mother died after her third battle with cancer, we held a visitation the night before the memorial service for two hours, plus a third hour the following day, before the service. There was also a luncheon.

I am very hurt that none of my in-laws attended. Not my mother-in-law or father-in-law, nor my husband's sister, his brother or brother's wife. No one. They never sent a card or anything.

My husband made sure they knew where and when the services/visitations were. In my mind, there is no excuse for not supporting their son/brother and his family. When my friend asked my sister-in-law which visitation she was going to, she said, "I don't do funerals."

It's not about her! Ugh.

I'm trying to move on and forgive them, but I'm not sure I can without confronting them about it. Am I completely out of line? Or are they really that selfish?

The latter, it seems. Not “doing” funerals is a particularly charming touch. Ugh, as you would say.

Miss Manners sees nothing wrong with holding on to a bit of resentment by way of a somewhat chilly reception next time you meet. If asked what the problem is, you may answer, “Our family was so disappointed that none of yours were able to attend any of my mother’s services” and leave it at that. If an apology is issued, accept it — even if it includes selfish, unseemly or grammatically questionable excuses.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website,

2019, by Judith Martin