De­serted sis­ter dou­bly an­gry af­ter brother aban­dons wife

Pawtucket Times - - AMUSEMENTS - Jeanne Phillips


When my chil­dren were small, my hus­band left me. He mar­ried the other woman the day af­ter our di­vorce was fi­nal. It was the worst thing that has ever hap­pened to me, and I suf­fered greatly in the years that fol­lowed.

Re­cently my brother did the same thing to his wife of many years. I find my­self feel­ing very an­gry and hurt that he would do this. He said it was wrong when it hap­pened to me, but now he ex­pects me to sup­port his de­ci­sion to aban­don his wife. He also ex­pects me to be­friend his new wife.

I can’t help but iden­tify with his ex. My heart goes out to her, and I’m fu­ri­ous with my brother and his new wife. Am I wrong for feel­ing this way? Must my loy­alty to my fam­ily over­ride my prin­ci­ples?


DEAR LOYAL: That you would iden­tify strongly with your former sis­ter-in-law isn’t wrong; it is nor­mal un­der the cir­cum­stances. Not know­ing how close your re­la­tion­ship is with your brother, I can’t de­cide for you whether blood is thicker than wa­ter. But I can cer­tainly un­der­stand your dis­taste at the idea of be­friend­ing the woman he cheated with.

Which­ever you de­cide to do, con­tinue to be kind to your ex-SIL. She needs all the emo­tional sup­port she can get now that your brother is co­zily en­sconced in his new love nest.


I have been car­pool­ing with an­other mom for about a year. I pick her kids up from the bus stop and take them home. We help each other out, but I do most of the car­pool­ing be­cause of “Kathy’s” work sched­ule.

Be­cause my daugh­ter “Chris” turned 16, she will be driv­ing to school once the weather im­proves. I told Kathy we have to dis­cuss the car­pool sit­u­a­tion. By law, Chris will be al­lowed to have only one non-fam­ily mem­ber in the car. She can­not take Kathy’s daugh­ter to and from school be­cause Chris will be tak­ing her best friend.

I feel ter­ri­ble about it. I am a rule fol­lower and don’t want to put my daugh­ter in an il­le­gal sit­u­a­tion. I be­lieve I have given Kathy plenty of time to fig­ure an­other way home for her daugh­ter. I’m not sure why I feel so bad and am los­ing sleep over this. Am I wrong?



DEAR CAR­POOL­ING: You have been a good friend to Kathy, but her daugh­ter is her re­spon­si­bil­ity, not yours. You are mak­ing Kathy’s prob­lem your prob­lem, and that IS wrong. Now turn over, go back to sleep and let her solve it.

I’ve of­ten won­dered what hap­pens to peo­ple with an im­me­di­ate prob­lem that you are un­able to an­swer in print in a timely man­ner. For ex­am­ple, a bride with an up­com­ing wed­ding, or some­one try­ing to de­cide where to spend Thanks­giv­ing or Christ­mas. Do you write them out­side of your col­umn?


DEAR JUST WON­DER­ING: Yes. Time-sen­si­tive ques­tions are of­ten dealt with separately, apart from my col­umn.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Good ad­vice for ev­ery­one — teens to se­niors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To or­der, send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)


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