DEAR ABBY: My brother-in-law cheated on my sister two years ago. He was caught by the private eye that 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 or a changed man.
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
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.
DEAR ABBY: My beautiful wife and I were a team for many years. She was the brains and I was the brawn. She took care of business matters, taxes and household duties. I did the repairs, vehicle upkeep and took care of the lawn and our garden. She was a computer whiz, while I remained computer illiterate.
As we advanced in age, I made preparations for my demise. I had everything perfectly planned. Then the unexpected happened. My wife died suddenly. I was devastated. Then I realized I was also totally lost.
She had gone completely paperless. I had no knowledge of anything. Some things were filed in the computer and others in the filing cabinet. I didn't know her email address, any account numbers and no passwords. All business transactions stopped completely, and my credit rating plummeted.
It has been a year since her death and I'm still trying to get everything corrected. Please remind your readers that the word "assume" can be a real meanie.
- Somewhere in Texas
DEAR SOMEWHERE: What a sobering letter. Usually the surviving spouse is the wife who was left in the dark. I'm glad you wrote, and I hope your letter will be a wake-up call to couples about sharing information.