Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband and I both graduated from West Point in 2012. We were married in 2014, and things are so far, so good with our careers and our marriage. Or so I think.
We both dated other people while we were in college. I admit, I still had a couple of boyfriends back home in California. When I became serious with my husband, my family quickly adjusted and accepted him, but his family is the complete opposite! They are still in love with Lori, one of his previous girlfriends. My mother-in-law constantly calls me by her name.
Ms. Vicki, this is where I need your advice: My mother-in-law's birthday in in February. My husband and his sisters (who are still in love with Lori too) are giving my mother-in-law a big birthday party. Guess what? Lori and her husband are invited because my sisters-in-law are good friends with her.
I know Lori, but she and I have never been friends. We are all West Point graduates. I feel disrespected hearing about Lori from my in-laws all of the time. My husband tells me that I need to stop being so sensitive and get over it because he married me, but I don't think Lori and her husband should come to the birthday party.
This has me so stressed out that it's all I can think about. Am I wrong to skip the party if Lori will be there? I admit that I am a little self-conscious because I still have some baby fat to get rid of, and Lori has her tight, fit body from college. She is continuing her career, and I'm considering becoming a full-time wife and mother.
I will accept any of your advice.
-- West Point Rivals
I think what's beneath the iceberg here is what's at the end of your letter. Could it be that you are a little jealous of Lori? Lori is tight, fit, cute and she's progressing in her career. You feel like your life is at a standstill while you are trying to get rid of excess weight from giving birth and deciding on your life's course.
You have to understand that you are human, and it's normal to have these feelings. Don't be so hard on yourself.
I wouldn't want my husband to be around any of his exes either -- especially if they are cute and fit. But if they are overweight, unfit and unattractive, then I wouldn't really mind.
Listen, I definitely think it's disrespectful for your in-laws to call you by Lori's name. The next time it happens, you should gently correct them by saying your name and tell them that it makes you feel like an unwanted daughter- and sister-in-law when they do this.
Regarding the party, I can't make you go. You are an adult and you can do as you please. However, I think you should go, especially if your husband is going. Let me know what you decide to do.
-- Ms. Vicki