Dear Abby: I want Dad at my wedding but not Mom, who mistreats me

DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old woman who can’t seem to forgive my mother. For many years I have felt that she doesn’t like me. Every time I have tried to talk to her about it, she has done the old switcheroo and accused me of being ungrateful and uncaring. The day my horse died she excluded me, and then called an hour later to tell me she had put my mare down.

I am at the point that I no longer want to be around her because, in her eyes, I can’t do anything right. I feel like any invitation from her is fake or last-minute, especially for family gatherings.

This leads me to the subject of my wedding: My fiance and I agree we don’t want her there because of how she has treated not only me, but him as well. We sent out the invitations and invited my dad, who is my hero. So, guess who now has hurt feelings? NOW she wants to talk to me.

Abby, I do not want to talk to her unless my fiance’s mom, “Shelley,” is there as a buffer. Mom won’t talk like she usually does to me if Shelley is there. I’m not comfortable seeing or talking to Mom alone, which I have expressed. The problem is, this hurts my dad, which hurts me, too. How do I make nice without disrespecting myself in the process? — IN A MESS IN MONTANA

DEAR MESS: How much “nice” do you want to make with your mother? Are you willing to invite her to the wedding when you see her (with Shelley)? If your parents are still together, do you expect your father to show up without her? I doubt that’s likely to happen.

You have some grown-up decisions to make regarding your special day. Bite the bullet. Invite your mother and, if necessary, seat your parents in “Siberia.” After that day, you will not be obligated to see or speak to her again.

DEAR ABBY: After 30 years, I’m considering filing for divorce. My husband has always had anger problems, which I’ve put up with all this time. I’m not sure I want to go on dealing with this issue for the rest of my life. What stopped me before was our two children. I was afraid to be a single mother because my mom was a widow with four children, and I saw what she went through financially and emotionally without a husband.

Now that my children are grown and on their own, there’s nothing stopping me but fear of not being able to support myself. My husband makes more than I do, and I have bills I need to pay. If I rent an apartment, I’m not sure I can swing it. I know the first step is to find a lawyer and discuss my options, but I’m afraid my husband will beg me to stay, which he has done in the past. Please help me decide what to do. — MAYBE READY TO GO IN INDIANA

DEAR MAYBE READY: I’m glad to offer you a suggestion. Talk to an attorney now and find out what your options may be if you don’t stay with an abusive, bad-tempered husband. Once you know where you stand, you can then decide whether your husband’s begging is enough incentive to spend the rest of your life being treated the way he has treated you.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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