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    Advice Columns
    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Wife has no plan to join family business

    DEAR ABBY: My husband's family won't stop asking me when I'm going to quit my job and work for my husband. My mother-in-law worked for my father-in-law at their small business for pretty much her whole career. My husband recently bought his dad's business, which is going really well.

    I have been ambitious in my own career, and I'm climbing the ladder at my corporate job. I adore my husband and we are both extremely proud of each other's careers. My salary equals what his company pulls in for revenue. We agree that I'm going to follow my own career path and that it would negatively impact our lifestyle if I quit my job.

    How do I politely say to people that I'm not quitting my job without sounding like an unsupportive wife or full of myself?

    — SURE OF MY DIRECTION

    DEAR SURE: Assume that your in-laws mean well when they ask that question. When they inquire, smile and reply that you have no plans to retire, and your husband is in full agreement that you should continue on your career path. Then change the subject.

    DEAR ABBY: A woman I've known and been friends with for 40 years has gradually changed. She has developed some health problems, and whenever she calls me, all she talks about are her ailments and treatments.

    When we manage to discuss other things, she turns the subject to her political views, which are different from mine. I try to be noncommittal or change the subject, but it's getting harder and harder. I now cringe when I see her caller ID.

    She has other friends, so I don't know why she dumps this stuff on me. I feel our friendship has run its course, and I'd like to end it with as little pain as possible. How can I do that?

    — USED UP IN FLORIDA

    DEAR USED UP: That shouldn't be too difficult. The next time you talk and she raises the subject of politics, speak up and tell her you not only don't agree but plan to vote for the candidate from the opposite political party. I'll bet she drops you like a hot potato.

    DEAR ABBY: I have been slowly slogging through grad school, one course per semester. And now, after four long years, I'm finally going to graduate. I work in the industry I'm going to school for, and I'd like to invite some of my co-workers out to dinner to celebrate. While I'd love to foot the bill for everyone, I'm not financially able to do so.

    How can I tactfully word the invitation so everyone knows I'm inviting them to a dinner, not treating them to one? I don't want anyone to be embarrassed due to assumed expectations.

    — READY TO CELEBRATE

    DEAR READY: A "formal" invitation may not be the way to go. Because this will be a casual no-host affair, there might be less confusion if you simply call your co-workers and explain you'd like to get together if they're interested in celebrating with you.

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