DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 10 years, and he treats my family and friends very different compared to how he treats his own.
A few months ago, my sister called me at 9 p.m. She was driving through on her way to Florida with her 7-year-old daughter and had been trying for an hour to find a hotel at that point. We were only 40 minutes away, so I told her she could stay the night with us. When I told my husband afterward, he flipped out because I didn't ask his permission first.
I have never invited anyone to stay with us before. My family lives far away, but I didn't think it was a big deal to extend the invite because he constantly tells his family and friends they are always welcome. Today he informed me his son is coming to stay a week with his wife and 6-month-old (two weeks from now!).
Am I wrong to feel that if there is a rule, it should apply to both of us, and he should have asked me first? — HOUSE RULES IN FLORIDA
DEAR HOUSE RULES: No, you're not wrong. Because your husband is such a stickler for "asking permission" before inviting relatives to stay, that same courtesy should have been extended to you.
House rules are supposed to be followed by everyone who lives in the household. There seems to be an imbalance of power in yours. Be smart. Talk with a licensed counselor about how to deal with your husband because unless you do, you'll spend the rest of your life playing second fiddle to a controlling, emotional bully.
DEAR ABBY: One of my longtime friends has become extremely religious. I have nothing against religion, but I am non-practicing, although I do believe in something greater. My problem is, now whenever we talk, text, Facebook page and Skype (with our children), everything is about God, religion, how He has a plan for us, etc.
I don't want to offend her, but my son and I do not need to constantly hear about her religious beliefs. My husband and I are raising our son to be a kind, honest person, but are letting him choose what religion (if any) he wants to be a part of when he grows up.
Although we now have only a long-distance friendship (I had to move away), this has put a strain on it because I haven't said anything. What should I do? How should I handle it? — NON-OBSERVANT IN ONTARIO, CANADA
DEAR NON-OBSERVANT: The woman means well, so don't be defensive. But do speak up and tell her — nicely — that while you understand religion has become an important part of her life, you would prefer she leave the subject out of your conversations.
Unless trying to convert people is a part of her religion, she will respect your wishes. However, if she doesn't, you will have to decide whether it's worth the annoyance to continue this long-distance relationship.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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