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Dear Abby: Ring presented at engagement ceremony is unhappy surprise
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Ring presented at engagement ceremony is unhappy surprise

DEAR ABBY: When my then-boyfriend asked me to marry him, he didn't have a ring ready, but I happily accepted his proposal. We were in our late 20s and had been dating for almost 10 years. He then took me to the jewelry store so I could select one to my taste and liking (within budget). We took a picture of the ring, and he told me he would bring his mother back to the jewelry shop with him so she could help with the price haggling.

A week later, he told me he had made the purchase and we both couldn't wait for our engagement ceremony as we took the next step in our relationship. On that day, to my surprise, the ring he put on my finger wasn't the one I had selected. However, in front of his family, my family and probably 40 guests, I pretended nothing happened.

I wasn't happy at all and told him later, in private, that it wasn't the ring I chose. His answer was, his mother thought this one would look better (in my opinion, cheaper and tackier) than the one I liked and that I was overreacting. I told him that had he not taken me shopping, I would have appreciated any ring he bought. He brushes me off when I try to discuss it. Why did he take me and then disregard my opinion? Am I overreacting, Abby? -- FOOLED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR FOOLED: You are not overreacting. Your fiance's mother had a lot of nerve. She apparently rules the roost and chose that occasion to assert herself. Worse, it appears her son values her opinion over yours. He owes you an apology.

If this happened recently and you are not yet married to this prize, the two of you should consider making a return trip to that jeweler. Hopefully, this scenario won't be repeated with the selection of the wedding rings.

DEAR ABBY: My husband was a drug addict 18 years ago. It was a very hard time for us; he went through rehab and we almost divorced. Fast-forward: He has been doing well, and we still have our problems, but he hasn't used heavy drugs for 17 years. To calm his anxiety, he just has an occasional drink or uses CBD oils.

My sister-in-law told me last weekend that my sister told our son (who was 17 at the time) about my husband's drug issues when he was younger. We always kept my husband's past quiet, feeling that we would have that conversation with our son eventually, when we were ready.

I'm furious that she told him. I am so upset I am afraid I'll explode and ruin the tenuous relationship I have with her. Also, my husband will probably want to disown her for this betrayal. What do you suggest? -- BETRAYED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR BETRAYED: If your sister knew you wanted to keep this from your son until he was older, she did betray your trust. Once you have calmed down, talk to her, ask if what you were told is true, and if it is, why she would do such a thing. Once you have all the facts, your husband must be told the cat is out of the bag so the two of you can decide whether you want to continue a relationship with this sister. And because a predisposition toward addiction can run in a family, have that long-overdue talk with your son about it.

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DEAR ABBY: Every year for the last 15 years or so, my husband's sister has sent us a huge box of homemade cookies for Christmas. My husband is from a large family, and she does this for each family. I know it involves a great deal of time and effort on her part, and she sends them via priority mail, which means an additional expense.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 38 years. Our two children are adults now. Our older son has had the same girlfriend for 11 years, but my in-laws still won't accept her because they aren't married, so they don't include her in some family functions. How can I let them know in a nice way that she is family to me? Even my husband doesn't regard her as family.

DEAR ABBY: My wife recently came back from a gold/silver/coin merchandiser event and told me she had sold an old U.S. $5 gold piece (for probably less than it was worth). I was hurt, not only because I have a coin collection and would have been interested in knowing about and seeing the coin, but also because she didn't seem to understand how disappointed and hurt I was.

DEAR ABBY: I am a nurse in New York City. My boyfriend lives in Philadelphia. During the height of the pandemic, we didn't see each other because I worked on a COVID unit and contracted the virus. His sister became very controlling and kept urging him not to see me, which brought me great pain. I was extremely lonely, and for months, the only people I saw were my co-workers.

DEAR ABBY: Recently, I kindly and lovingly gave my daughter some feedback on how she berates her husband in front of my 8-year-old grandson. I told her I didn't want him to grow up thinking that's how we treat the people we love. To make a long story short, she said that if I wanted to estrange myself from her, I had succeeded.

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