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Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I married when I was in my early 20s and stayed married for four years. It has been five years since my divorce. We had no children, and I haven't had contact with my ex. The problem is, my family won't stop bringing him up. My sister is being married soon, so they constantly discuss my wedding.

I didn't live near my family before the divorce, so they don't know how bad my marriage really was. I didn't tell them because I don't think it's their business. They didn't like him, but they don't know all of my reasons for getting divorced.

I recently moved back to be near my family, which I regret now because they can't let go of my past. I have changed a lot in the time that I lived away from them. I worked my way through college and dealt with a genetic, life-threatening health issue (hospital stays included), all without their support. Since then, I have focused on my career, my health, self-care and my happiness.

I have told my family I don't appreciate their constantly bringing up my failed marriage and my sister's wedding all the time, but they continue to do so. Am I overreacting? How do I establish boundaries with them about this? As of now, I'm spending less time with them in order to stay focused on my life goals. -- KEEPING THE PAST IN THE PAST

DEAR KEEPING: You shouldn't blame your relatives for something they don't know -- specifically, the fact that your marriage was much worse than they realize. This is wedding season, your sister's nuptials are fast approaching, and it's only natural that the subject of weddings -- present, future and past -- comes up. Remind them that your marriage is a sensitive subject.

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