DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together for 19 years. He wants to get married, but I keep putting it off. I haven't done it because I can't get over something his mom did to me more than 10 years ago.
I was close with her. She convinced my boyfriend's mom that I was sleeping with a friend of theirs, which was a lie. She and her DIL came to my house, screaming at me and ordered me to let my boyfriend go so he could be happy and find someone else. I was so stunned I just said, "Fine!" and told them to leave. My boyfriend was furious. When she realized it wasn't true, she apologized. I was more hurt than mad because of how it was handled. Am I being selfish and stubborn? — STILL HURT IN FLORIDA
DEAR STILL HURT: You are neither selfish nor stubborn. You are foolish. If you think you are punishing your boyfriend's mother by refusing to marry her son (for 19 years!), you are mistaken. It hasn't affected her at all. I do think you are overdue in finding a way to bury the hatchet with the woman whose mistake was in believing everything she was told.
DEAR ABBY: Before my husband and I married, we were regaled with stories about the antiques that would come to him because he is the eldest son. We spent many long weekends across the country taking care of the in-laws' "honey-do" lists, and my mother-in-law often told us this-and-that item would be ours someday.
Well, guess what? They turned around and gave every single one to my brother-in-law. Yes, I realize it's their privilege to dispose of their property as they wish. But how do we reconcile feeling used? Am I out of bounds because I expected their promise to be honored and remembered? I no longer care to be around them or hear their empty promises. I feel they defrauded my husband by promising tens of thousands of dollars' worth of silver and furniture, and then handed it all to his brother. Any advice? — SLIGHTED IN LOUISIANA
DEAR SLIGHTED: Ask your in-laws politely why they promised the heirlooms to you and your husband and then gave them to his brother. If they planned to follow through, it should have been put in writing in case something unexpected happened. Unless there is something you didn't include in your letter, what your in-laws did was terrible. In the future, it would be understandable if you were less at their beck and call when their "honey-do" list needs attending to.
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