Do I have to invite him this year?
Monday, November 14, 2022

Here’s the latest installment of “Dear Therapist,” the column in which the psycotherapist Lori Gottlieb answers reader questions. Did someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up here.

An illustrated fox drooling at a thanksgiving table (Bianca Bagnarelli)

Dear Therapist: My Brother-in-Law Is a Thanksgiving Freeloader

I have a situation with my brother-in-law. My husband and I have been married for 25 years, and his brother has been mostly single until recently. Because their parents are no longer alive, I have always made a point to include my brother-in-law for every holiday and have also included any girlfriend he has had at the time. He has come to my parents’ house out West, our vacation home down South, and our home here in the East. All he has been required to do is show up and take part. He has never had to cook, plan, or prepare anything.

Right before the pandemic, he met a very nice woman who has a son the same age as mine. But he has made no effort to invite us to spend time with them. I just assumed that he was busy with his new family and gave him space. But now I think that we were just a placeholder until he had what he considered a family of his own. I feel very used.

Read the full article.

Most Popular on The Atlantic