Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

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As Americans get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, here are a few posts from Thanksgiving pasts to help get you in the mood for pumpkin pie, turkey, and political arguments with extended family:

“My Boyfriend’s Sister Is Ruining Thanksgiving”

“How Should I Deal With Racist Family on Thanksgiving?”

“My Boyfriend Made Thanksgiving Plans Without Me”

“I’ll Be Alone for Thanksgiving”

“My Holiday Houseguest Stinks!”

“Will His Estranged Mother Ruin The Family Get-Together?”

“My Father-in-Law Is a Bigoted Jerk”

Have fun, everyone!! 🙂

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Every year we go to my in-laws’ for Christmas, and unless I put my foot down, we usually go for Thanksgiving too. If we don’t go for both of these occasions, my husband throws a fit and will go to work unless I decide to go to his parents’. This year has been a very hard year for me. My son will be turning 18 and I wanted to spend the holiday with just him, my husband, and daughter. Also, a few weeks ago my dog passed away and I’ve been distraught. I expressed that I wanted to avoid any family drama as I’m never made to feel welcome by my mother-in-law anyway. My husband does not have my back and has made it impossible now to enjoy the holiday because I was adamant about not going to his mother’s. He also never tells his mother I don’t feel welcome; he thinks I should basically deal with her cold treatment towards me. Please help. — Tired of Cold Treatment for the Holidays

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Happy weekend, everyone! What are you all up to? My weekends usually start on Fridays, one of the two days both my kids are in school (until 2:30, which means this is the first time in seven years I don’t have a child home in the early afternoon!), and I’ve been trying to take advantage of that time by enjoying the city more than I’ve been able to since becoming a mom. I squeeze in as much work as I can during Joanie’s naps in the first half of the week and on Thursdays when she’s in school all day so that on Fridays I can go do stuff I’m not able to enjoy as well with kids in tow. Yesterday I went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney, which I highly recommend. And then last night, I started watching an Andy Warhol documentary, but it’s four hours long and I fell asleep before it was even half over. Maybe I’ll try again tonight.

Drew is at a friend’s kid’s bar mitzvah in New Jersey this morning and I am internetting and cleaning house at the moment while the kids watch a movie. Then I hope to convince them to accompany me on a couple errands plus a stop at the playground. Tomorrow is family day at the Guggenheim for Jackson’s school, which means we get in free and there are a few workshops for the kids (plus there’s an exhibit there I want to see). But I anticipate much arguing over going, which I probably won’t have the patience to deal with, and so I will likely see the exhibit on one of my aforementioned kid-free Fridays. (And I can even get a free ticket from Jackson’s school for people who couldn’t make it to the museum for Family Day, so how cool is that?)

Hey, by the way, since Thanksgiving is next week already (!) and many of you are, or soon will be, starting your holiday gift shopping, I wanted to remind you that any time you make a purchase through my amazon affiliate link (see the widget in the side bar), I get a small commission. Those small commissions really add up, especially this time of year, and help keep this site running. So thank you in advance for your continued support, and have a great weekend!

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Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

Michelle Obama is on a publicity tour promoting her new book so we’re lucky to have a few Michelle interviews and articles to enjoy this week, like:
Michelle Obama left her job so her husband could be president. Now it’s her turn to shine. The Obamas’ “seesaw marriage” could be a model for modern relationships.”

And: “Michelle Obama is Still Optimistic.”

And: “Michelle Obama on Her Relationship With Barack Now: ‘We are finding each other again. We have dinners alone and chunks of time where it’s just us — what we were when we started this thing: no kids, no publicity, no nothing. Just us and our dreams.'”

Related to yesterday’s column, maybe: Your Mother’s Romantic Past Affects Your Own Dating Adventures

Why I’m Going Back to Work Even Though I Get Paid Less Than Childcare Costs

Actress Ann Dowd from The Handmaid’s Tale on What It Was Like Not Finding Success Until Her Fifties

If You Like a Guy, Tell Him. Only Then Will Women Be Free

15 people reveal the best marriage advice they ever received from their parents

“The U.S. teen pregnancy rate has plummeted to a third of its modern high. When this decline started, in the 1990s, it was widely and rightly embraced. But now some observers are beginning to wonder whether an unambiguously good thing might have roots in less salubrious developments. Signs are gathering that the delay in teen sex may have been the first indication of a broader withdrawal from physical intimacy that extends well into adulthood.”

— Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex? Despite the easing of taboos and the rise of hookup apps, Americans are in the midst of a sex recession.

Why female pleasure must be at the heart of sex education

9 Breezy Responses to Those Awkward Family Holiday Questions

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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I am hoping to revisit the topic from “From the Mailbag: “It’s Wrong to Go to a Wedding Without Your Significant Other.” My situation brings a unique twist to the topic and I am desperate for non-biased advice.

My husband, James, and I separated in 2017 for about seven months and he even filed for divorce, but we decided to reconcile and have been together ever since (about 14 months). We are not living together but we are a couple, and both of our immediate families know that we are together and working through our problems. (I am very close with my entire family and he has continued to be a part of our family life — he doesn’t really speak to his family except for his mom and dad.) Although my family has been extremely supportive, his mom has made it clear to me that she doesn’t want us together. (I hurt her son deeply and he told her everything which I understand, but I’ve also been working all year to reconcile with her as well.)

Long story short, he still lives back at his parents’ house and his mom is very controlling. She opens his mail, makes decisions for him without telling him, etc., so I was not terribly surprised last Thursday when he sent a text that his cousin’s wedding was that coming weekend and I clearly wasn’t invited. I was at the house a few nights earlier and nothing was said about it. His mom simply told him Thursday night that they were leaving the next day after work for his cousin’s wedding (about a three-hour to four-hour drive away). I don’t know who I am mad at more: her for not telling her sister and niece to invite me or James for not standing up to his mom for me.

I expressed how upset I was about this to him multiple times and in multiple ways. The way I see it, if I am not welcome there, how could he disregard my feelings and go anyway just to make his mom happy? I would never go somewhere he is not welcome and, furthermore, would never allow my family to exclude him from anything!

Do you still think it was OK to leave the other half at home or am I standing on solid ground being this upset (to the point where I am ready to walk away after this – it feels like my breaking point)? I accept that James’ mom will never feel the same way about me again, but she shouldn’t deliberately come between us and he definitely shouldn’t allow it! How do I stay with someone who won’t put me first ahead of his mom? How do I have children with a man who won’t stick up for me? — Ready to Walk Away

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