Q: During my wedding reception a month ago, one of the guests (a friend of my mom’s) poured a glass of water on the DJ’s laptop because he felt the music was too loud and he wanted it shut down. My husband was furious and asked the guest to leave. The incident was blamed on too much alcohol, and it ruined the rest of the evening. Many guests were upset and left.
The man ended up paying the DJ to replace the laptop and sent us a note of apology for his behavior. My question is, must we send a thank-you note to him and his wife for the wedding gift they gave us? What the man did was unforgivable. In many ways he spoiled our day. Mom thinks I should “do the right thing” and thank them for the gift. It wasn’t his wife’s fault, so I am thinking of addressing the note to her only. Is that OK? — Wedding Day Survivor
A: I know of no rule of etiquette that forbids addressing the note only to her. However, when you write the note, word it this way, “We want to thank you and ‘John’ (or ‘your husband’) for the (gift), and we’ll think of you when we use it.” That way you will have thanked them both for it, and your manners will be above reproach. And if you prefer to avoid them in the future, you’ll get no argument from me.
Q: I am in the process of a divorce from my husband, who cuts himself. Recently, he had an episode that resulted in a 72-hour hold for evaluation in a hospital. This is more than I can handle. My fear is finding him dead one morning. He says he loves me and wants to work things out, and he promises to stop (he’s promised before). Am I being selfish for wanting out? — Selfish in Sacramento
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A: Promising to stop self-harming behavior is not enough. Unless your husband is willing to get the necessary psychotherapy it will take for him to keep his promise, nothing will change. As it stands, I don’t think it’s selfish to want to escape from a situation in which you are helpless. The question is, if your husband is willing to get the help he needs and shows he is following through, would it have any effect on your decision to divorce him?
Q: My daughter has been living with her boyfriend for three years with no promise of marriage. She is 37, so we have advised her very little. The problem is, she wants us to continue treating him as family at gatherings and celebrations. Her father, sister and I are uncomfortable with this. On her most recent birthday, we were hoping he would give her a ring, but he gave her a snowboard.
We think he is leading her on and has no intention of marrying her. We no longer feel comfortable treating him like a member of our family. Are we right? — Looking Out for Our Girl
A: What you were hoping your daughter’s boyfriend would give her for her birthday is irrelevant. I understand that you would like your daughter to be married, but it is possible that she and this man are comfortable with things the way they are. If you start to freeze him out, you may alienate not only him but also your daughter, so I don’t recommend it.
You appear to be confusing the boyfriend’s unwillingness or inability to make a formal commitment with some kind of rejection, which may not be the case at all. Some couples live together longer than this before heading down the aisle.