Dear Annie: My husband and his brother are very close. Too close. “Chris” calls his brother every day, sometimes twice a day, and talks for an hour or more each time. Whenever we go out, it is to his brother’s house two hours away.
Recently, Chris and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We reserved a room in a nice hotel, which just happened to be near his brother. Shortly before we arrived, his brother called to say he’d meet us at the hotel and take us out to dinner for our anniversary. This was a nice gesture, but we had already made other plans, which we then canceled. After dinner, his brother came back to the hotel and spent most of the evening with us. In the morning, we immediately went to my brother-in-law’s, where we spent the next few days. I was really upset.
Chris insists his brother was being nice and I am being selfish and jealous. He says families should celebrate together on anniversaries. I think it should have been a private time for my husband and me. Am I overreacting? I am still upset. – Coming in Second
Dear Second: You are not overreacting. Chris and his brother seem quite enmeshed, and that relationship is more important to him than the one he has with you. But we don’t understand why it has taken you 50 years to decide it bothers you. At this point, it may not be possible to change your husband’s behavior, although you might discuss it with him and see if he would be willing to make anniversaries private celebrations – for your sake.