He Says, She Says: Handling the "Fat" Question, Your Spouse's Relatives, and Friendship Woes

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Wife vs. Husband's Relatives

My husband's teenage niece acted like a feral cat to me at the family get-together. Not only did he not come to my defense, but he says I'm overreacting because I said I wouldn't speak to her again till I get a proper apology!

She Says: Stick to your guns. Rude is rude, and you deserve an apology. (Be sure she knows exactly what you're mad about, though. Random teenage sulking doesn't count as an affront.) A kid who's allowed to be offensive is a kid whose family never bothers to confront her. If you're cast as the meanie, so be it. In a few years she'll be grateful that someone expected her to act like a civilized human being.

He Says: Let's face it: The response time to a teenage girl's social infraction is as quick as her hair check in a mall window. And you gotta realize that your husband is very unlikely to make any waves with his relatives, no matter how inappropriate their behavior. So just pick up the horn and say that you won't be coming to their next bash until Ms. Hormonal-Rage-in-a-Belly-Shirt says she's sorry -- and means it!

Continued on page 3:  Taking Sides


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