Life Advice



Bride Gets Giddy Over Wedding Gift

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I have a friend whose son was taking a job across the country after his wedding. She hosted a bridal shower since many of us had met her future daughter-in-law and her parents didn't live nearby. We were asked to give our best marital advice and bring a gift. Since I wasn't married and I had a custodial job, I made a list of everyday products and what they could be used to clean.

At the wedding reception, the bride came to me and gave me a hug. Then she told me that mine was the best gift because she didn't know how to clean very well. That's one gift that could be used again and again and passed down for generations. Plus it's something that made me feel good. -- Still Feeling Good

Dear Still Feeling Good: What a wonderful example of how thoughtfulness and creativity can go a long way. Many people experience stress or anxiety over the financial cost of attending a wedding -- from travel fare to hotel reservations to wedding gifts, not to mention separate occasions altogether like bachelorette parties and bridal showers. Your thoughtfulness and your pride in your work are shining through in your gift, and the bride clearly appreciated the personal touch. Well done!

Dear Annie: My husband and I just moved from Ohio to South Carolina for better weather. We also went from a tiny house to a big, beautiful home.

My in-laws always threaten to move in with us and they think it's funny. I can't stand them. I loathe them. They are alcoholics, and when we lived in Ohio, my husband would go to their house every weekend and drink heavily with them.

Since we've moved, my husband hasn't gotten drunk, which I appreciate. When they come to visit, is it wrong to ask them not to bring liquor to our house and to ask them to stay at an Airbnb or hotel instead of with us? The thought of them being here with us makes me cringe. I should also mention that our lives and relationship are much healthier and happier without them around. Please help! -- In-Law Annoyance


Dear In-Law Annoyance: It sounds like this move has brought nothing but good things to you and your husband, and protecting that peace is important. Through honest communication with your partner, it can be done.

Discuss your in-laws' upcoming visit together and figure out the best way to approach setting boundaries with them. It's your house, which means your guests should abide by your rules -- in this case, no booze. Suggest to your husband that they secure alternative accommodations, but host them for outings, dinners or other visits while they are in town.

Navigating family dynamics like this can be tricky. The keys to success are honesty and open communication with your husband. If you two are on the same page, it will be much easier to keep the peace with your in-laws.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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