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Annie’s Mailbox: Don’t accept in-laws’ guilt trip

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I live 15 minutes away from my in-laws and see them often with my wife and children. The problem is, when my own family visits from across the country, my in-laws feel they should be included in the festivities and become offended if we neglect to invite them to anything.

I have tried to explain that time with my family is precious. I want my daughters to get to know my parents better. I can’t seem to make my in-laws understand I’d like some space when my family visits, and I am beginning to resent their selfishness. We spend the majority of holidays with my in-laws, and my parents never complain. The situation seems to get worse every year. Is it asking too much for my parents to get some private time? – D.

Dear D.: Of course not, but you have to be firm and your wife has to support you. The next time your parents are scheduled to visit, your wife should make it clear to her parents that they are not to horn in on her in-laws’ time with you or the children. You should invite them to share one event, but that’s it. If they get offended, it’s their problem. Don’t let them guilt you into capitulating.

Dear Annie: “Desperate in Pennsylvania” asked about a click in her throat. She may want to get a CT scan to rule out Eagle’s syndrome, where an elongated part of the temporal bone of the skull contacts the adjacent anatomical structures.

Patients usually exhibit unilateral neck pain, sore throat or tinnitus (ringing or clicking in the ears). Sometimes the physician can palpate the tip of the styloid process in the back of the throat. If she is diagnosed with Eagle’s syndrome, treatment is a surgical procedure called a partial styloidectomy. Hope this helps. – Dentist in Hawaii

Dear Hawaii: Thanks for the suggestion. We hope “Pennsylvania” will check out all the possibilities.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net.
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