Dear Abby: My brother-in-law cheated on my sister two years ago. He was caught by the private eye his lover’s husband had hired. My sister took him back and has been trying to be “the good wife,” but he has never really seemed to be sorry.
My problem is I can’t stand him. When we get together as a family, I know I’m supposed to be civil and respectful, but I ask myself, “Why?” I love my sister and the children. The holidays are coming. I’d like to ask him if he’s faithful now, but if I did, I know he’d only lie. Can you offer me some advice?
– Holding A Grudge in St. Cloud, Minn.
Dear Holding A Grudge: Yes. For the sake of your sister and the children, please resist the urge to make things more difficult by confronting your brother-in-law. Asking him about his fidelity status would embarrass him and possibly terminate their participation in any visit. Because your sister is trying to make her marriage work in spite of the hurt her husband has caused, the kindest thing you could do for her and the children would be to make the reconciliation as easy as possible. Tempting as it may be, please don’t stir the pot.
Caught in middle
Dear Abby: I’m a 10-year-old girl whose family is divided. My dad brought me up, and I love him. However, my aunt hates him. I don’t really know why. They rarely talk to each other anymore. My mother died a few years back and my dad took custody. I want to stay neutral, but I don’t know who to trust.
– In The Middle in Missouri
Dear In The Middle: Not knowing your father or your aunt, I can’t decide this for you. If your aunt makes you feel torn between her and your dad, then what she’s doing is wrong. It’s OK to love both of them. While I agree that you should remain neutral, your father is the person who is raising you, and he deserves your love and loyalty unless he proves he cannot be trusted.