Family's cruelty to pets cass doubt on couple's future

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DEAR ABBY: My fiance, Jamie, and I have been together almost four years. Everything was fine until we hit a major roadblock.

I was raised to love animals. Jamies parents are the polar opposite. I have always kept my cool when I heard stories about his father abusing animals. I asked Jamie to talk to his parents and let them know how I feel. He never did.

Just before Christmas we were over there for a visit, and his mother told a horrible story about his dad killing a pet rabbit. I couldnt control myself any longer; I burst into tears and yelled, Your father is a horrible man!

We left that night, and I told Jamie I could never go back. He needed to make a choice: a wife who could be a part of his family or me. He chose me at least thats what I thought.

Jamie recently asked me if I had calmed down and could put this in the past. I dont think I can. How can we have a life together if I dont want to be a part of his family?

APPALLED

DEAR APPALLED: The answer is you cant, because you and Jamie have very different values. His fathers behavior is sadistic, and his mother appears to feel that killing a pet is normal. Your fiance might like to think that all this can be smoothed over, but what happened at Christmas was your glimpse at the future. My advice is to end it now, before you wind up joining a clan whose sensitivities and values are so different from your own.

DEAR ABBY: I am grieving the death of my beloved mother. She was in her late 80s, and her friends who are still living were loyal in attending the visitation or the funeral, or sending a card.

However, my friends were absent and unresponsive, and it has left me feeling puzzled and deserted. I have always sent cards and responded to their family losses. Where were they in my time of need? Are they still my friends or not?

I must add that during the last year I went through a nasty divorce, and my former wife and her parents conducted a smear campaign against me. However, at the funeral, my former in-laws were in attendance. What do you think of this?

DESERTED

DEAR DESERTED: Its possible that your former in-laws showed up simply to pay their respects to someone they had known and presumably gotten along with for a long time. As to the friends upon whom you counted for support, and who were absent in your time of need, you are asking the wrong person. You should ask them why they ignored your mothers death, and if they consider themselves still to be your friends. Its not a rude question. Youre entitled to an answer, and hearing the truth might be empowering.

DEAR ABBY: Several years ago I had a mastectomy. Whenever I tell people this, invariably the first question they ask is, Which side? Initially I was caught off guard and, without knowing what else to do, Id tell them the answer. Then they would stare at my chest!

I dont know what possesses people to behave that way. Its absolutely none of their business and its very offensive. Id love it if you would pass the word along. Thank you!

SURVIVOR

DEAR SURVIVOR: Consider it passed. Readers, if someone tells you she (or he) has had a mastectomy, remember that personal questions can be an invasion of privacy, and keep your glance no lower than the jawline.

Good advice for everyone teens to seniors is in The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.) Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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