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Tuesday, June 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dear Annie: Hurtful comment by family member

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I care for my brother-in-law, “Steve,” but both he and his wife, “Tracy,” are a tad egotistical – your classic know-it-all types, the kind of people most can handle only in small doses.

Here’s some back story before I get to the matter at hand: My husband and I didn’t always plan on having kids. Honestly, our son was a surprise. Steve and Tracy always planned on having children. My mother-in-law, having three sons and always wanting a girl, was hopeful for a granddaughter one day. Steve also strongly wanted a girl. Shortly before our son was born, my husband got a promotion and job offer, which resulted in our moving from Connecticut to Washington state. Although it was best for us financially, it’s been hard being away from our family members, who rarely get to see our son.

About a year ago, my mother-in-law posted a picture of Steve and his little girl on Facebook. A relative commented on how awesome it is that she became a grandmother twice in one year. Steve, knowing that I would most likely see this, commented, “She’s going to like our kid better, though.”

I tried not to take it too seriously at first, saying something along the lines of “Hey, that’s not nice!” He responded, “It’s just a nice change after so many boys all these years.” The more I’ve thought about it the more annoyed I’ve became. Whether he was joking or not, I think it was a completely unnecessary and rude thing to say. And truthfully, I don’t believe it was a joke. Steve was not a fan of the idea of our moving so far away, so I’m sure that was a factor in the comment he made. Regardless, we’re talking about a child, and I think it was a lousy thing to say.

I’ll admit that I’m very sensitive and I have trouble letting things go. My issue is now that we live across the country and we don’t get to visit home that often, our time with people is limited and precious. I personally have no desire to see Steve and Tracy. I would never stop my husband from seeing them, but I want no part of it.

Should I say something now or let it go? – Hurt in the PNW

Dear Hurt: I’d tell you to try to let it go – to realize that his attitude is his own problem, to make peace with his pettiness and move on, satisfied with the knowledge that you’re in the right – but the fact is you’re going to be thinking about this. If it’s already stayed under your skin for a year, it’s likely to be lodged there for the rest of your life, so I think it would be well worth trying to talk it out. Enlist your husband as an intermediary. Try to begin from a place of understanding and common ground: “I know you probably meant this as a joke, but it really hurt my feelings.” Open up a dialogue about how it’s hard for you to be so far away and how the distance is something you don’t take lightly. If Steve and Tracy are as egotistical as you say, it may not be enough to bring them back down to earth – but I have a feeling you’ll feel better for having tried.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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