Dear Amy: I am 35; my “fiance” is 40. We have been engaged for 11 years.
My question is not about why we haven’t gotten married.
I am wondering why his father has not made any attempt to make me feel welcome, even after so many years of us being together.
Almost every weekend, his father comes over and picks up my fiance. They then go back to his dad’s house to hang out for the majority of the day.
Even the simplest greetings are met with blank stares. He completely ignores my presence! Amy, I can’t even get a “hello” out of the man.
My partner always says, “Just give him time.” Then he changes the subject.
My family has gone out of their way to make my partner feel welcome, because they know that I love him and he is a part of my life.
I just don’t understand why he hasn’t done anything to remedy the situation. Or why I have not gotten a valid reason for his father’s choice to completely alienate me, even though he welcomed his brother’s psycho girlfriend into their lives with open arms.
Am I wrong for wanting to be accepted by his family?
And if not, then to at least be given a reason as to why I’m not accepted?
Left Out Woman
Dear Left Out: You aren’t wrong to want acceptance from your partner’s family — or anyone.
However, you and your “fiance” (to use your quote-marks) are extremely passive in your response to it.
Your 11-year engagement might be a clue that you two are extremely similar when it comes to your passivity (and patience). Being similar does not mean you are well-matched, however.
“Give him time” is an elastic concept to your man. Glaciers have melted faster than he seems to move.
This problem should call up larger questions for you: If this man has been rude to you for over a decade, why haven’t you called him on it? And why hasn’t your guy?
Also, would you spend part of every weekend hanging out with someone who was mean to the person you loved, even if your hang-buddy was your parent?
As passive and patient as you have been, this might be the moment for you to consult your sundial and say, “Time’s up.”
Dear Amy: My older brother is getting married this summer, his second marriage.
He practices a very conservative Christian belief and told me that because I am a gay man I am a sinner and will go to hell in the afterlife. His children told me that they pray for my salvation.
For my entire youth he abused and tortured me physically, emotionally and sexually.
We are both in our 60s now and for most of our lives have had very little contact.
I don’t want to go to his wedding. My mother is putting a lot of pressure on me to go.
The thought of going to the wedding makes me anxious and angry.
I don’t want to see him or his family, but I feel guilty not supporting my mother. What should I do?
Dear Confused: Do not give in to your mother’s pressure. Understand with compassion that she may be hoping to heal the rift between you and your brother, but, unless she has also urged your brother to atone for his behavior and ask for forgiveness, any contact should be up to you.
Stay calm, and offer to help your mother by asking a friend or family member to accompany her.
Dear Amy: I was a bit disturbed by your advice to “Accused of Desertion,” who decided to fly home alone after their partner tested positive for COVID.
What I think was missed entirely is the fact that a close contact of someone who is COVID positive — even if they themselves have had a negative test — may still be infected and putting others at risk by getting on a flight.
I know that public health guidance has been confusing and inconsistent, but the current CDC guidance is to defer travel for at least five days after last contact with the infected person, and test at that time.
I would implore anyone who is unable or unwilling to isolate or quarantine at their destination to rethink air travel for now.
An Exhausted Physician
Dear Exhausted: Thank you for the clarification and advice. And thank you for the hard work trying to keep people healthy and safe.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.