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Dear Ann Landers,
My husband's mother passed away four years ago. His father remarried not long after, but my husband hasn't taken to his stepmother very well. He never speaks to her unless he absolutely has to. Although there never has been an argument or a fight between them, the tension is obvious, and it is uncomfortable for everyone. About two months ago, I had a long talk with my father-in-law and let him know that his son wanted a closer relationship. The minute I opened my mouth, his wife jumped in, made all kinds of accusations and stormed out. I admit I might not have been very diplomatic in my approach, but I figured it was best to be honest and lay my cards on the table. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to do. I have apologized to his wife for being so frank, but I cannot change the way I feel. Now, the woman avoids us completely, and I think she is persuading my father-in-law to do the same. I am afraid I have made things worse, and now, I want to make the situation better. Any ideas? -- Lost in Louisiana

Dear Louisiana,
It is said that distance lends enchantment, and in this case, I recommend it -- for a while, at least. Maintain contact, but don't rehash the argument. Let the situation cool down. Don't try to butter up the woman or be obsequious. Just be pleasant. Ignore the past, and let time do its work. Lonesome? Take charge of your life and turn it around.



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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:


Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquillity of a lovely sunset."
-Ann Landers