Dear Abby: Man tries to throw perfect formal dinners, worries when he fails

Dear Abby: Man tries to throw perfect formal dinners, worries when he fails

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my wonderful husband, “Alec”, for five years. It’s a second marriage for both of us. We raised our children alone and waited until they were out of the house to form a relationship.

My problem is that Alec plans events and then gets stressed because the house or the food isn’t perfect. My idea of ​​an event is: My family comes and we enjoy each other’s company. We usually do potluck and everyone helps clean up. My husband’s idea of ​​an event is that we are the hosts and everyone sits down for a formal dinner.

I hate that! Why would I spend all my time serving my family and cleaning up after them instead of enjoying BEING with them? In his defense, Alec does most of the planning and hosting for his events because I refuse to kill myself making sure everything is “perfect”. But even though he does most of the work, he’s obviously irritated all the time, and at the time of the event, we barely speak.

These events aren’t fun for us, and the visiting family notices the tension, so it’s uncomfortable for them too. I just want to enjoy my family, not impress anyone. Our house is always presentable. It’s not like I invite guests into a mess. To hear him speak, you’d think we had rats running around.

I tried to discuss it with him, and he said, “My mother was a perfect hostess. She made everyone feel comfortable, waited for them, etc. You know what? I don’t care what his mother did. That’s how I entertain, and I’m not going to kill myself and then have a miserable time. Am I unreasonable? — STYLE DIFFERENCE

DEAR DIFFERENCE: Remind your husband that families have their own traditions. If he wants to entertain his family in style, he has every right to do so – and they probably expect it. However, he has no right to impose his style of entertainment on your family because it’s not fair to you or them. Because you’re not going to change it, compromise by dividing the entertainment – you’re doing yours, and he should be doing his.

DEAR ABBY: I have an aversion to hugs. My mom told me that even as a baby and toddler, I didn’t like being held or rocked to sleep. I just wanted to be put in my bed. Since I’ve been like this all my life, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. I let the family I am close to take me in their arms if they wish.

My problem is friends or acquaintances who consider themselves “hugs”. Their right to cuddle seems to outweigh my right not to. When I tell them I don’t want a hug, they insist on the issue. For the past two years our country has been through a pandemic and we’ve been advised to stay six feet apart – but even then they still want to.

People: If you’re a “hug”, PLEASE realize that not everyone appreciates that. Always ASK first, and if someone says no, respect their right not to be hugged. Abby, are you okay? — RETAINED IN WISCONSIN

DEAR HOLDER: Yes. Some people are averse to having their personal space invaded. No one has the right to touch an acquaintance if they are told not to.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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