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DEAR ABBY: My wife has been working as a teacher's assistant. Several years ago, she was assigned a teacher, "Mrs. Smith," and has been with her ever since.

My wife has had some critical things to say about other teachers a couple of times. The superintendent always rules for the teachers because they went to college. Mrs. Smith knows this and berates my wife constantly. My wife won't go to the principal because he always sides with the teachers.

I so want to say something to this teacher, but I won't because it's my wife's job. I need to help her without causing trouble in the heat of the moment. — SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND

DEAR HUSBAND: You should not involve yourself in your wife's difficulties with this teacher. The teacher to whom she is assigned has been creating a stressful and hostile working environment. It's time for her to have a frank conversation with that teacher and tell her she is not happy with the way she's being treated. Perhaps she could ask to be assigned to another classroom. If that isn't feasible, because your wife is unhappy, she should look elsewhere for employment.

DEAR ABBY: My recently married daughter and my husband had a stupid argument before Sunday dinner six weeks ago and haven't spoken since. I love my daughter very much and want to see her, but she refuses to come here as she feels her dad owes her an apology.

She and her husband were late (as usual) for dinner, and my husband (who is ill and not sleeping well) just lost it and she burst into tears. I felt for both of them. Neither of them ate dinner, and neither one spoke. They have texted each other, but haven't seen each other. It's stressing me out big-time.

Sunday dinners have been put on hold, and my patience is wearing thin. I think they're both in the wrong and need to talk, but neither will make the first move. Any ideas? — MOM & WIFE TO THE STUBBORN

DEAR M&W: May I be frank? Your husband was not feeling well and, in addition, was sleep-deprived. That he may have been more sensitive than usual is understandable. He was certainly within his rights to point out to your daughter and her husband that their habitual tardiness is rude and inconsiderate. They were long overdue in hearing it.

Your daughter and son-in-law owe him — and you — an apology. Support your husband and hope your self-centered daughter matures enough to admit they were wrong and apologize. In the meantime, please make plans with other folks for Sunday dinners, which will give you less time to brood.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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Jeanne Phillips
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