Dear Abby: Sister-in-law is burned by knowledge of man’s philandering

Published 9:08 am Sunday, May 16, 2021

DEAR ABBY: My husband works out of town with his brother, who is married. While I’m not close to my sister-in-law, I like her just fine.

My problem is, my husband keeps sharing with me that his brother is unfaithful while he travels, and I have actually overheard him on a call with my husband trying to show my husband nude pictures of other women. I cannot express how much this boils my blood. It’s not only from the perspective of someone who has been cheated on before (not by my husband), but also that his brother’s bragging with photos shows he doesn’t respect ANY marriage or relationship. I feel stuck with deciding whether I should share this information with my sister-in-law, or if it would be overstepping some kind of boundary where it’s not my business. Because I don’t talk with her often, I’m afraid I would just cause drama where I shouldn’t have put my nose. But I believe she’s a good wife and mother, and I feel awful and burdened by the knowledge that her husband isn’t faithful to her.

Email newsletter signup

Should I keep this to myself and rely on “karma” to one day reveal his transgressions, or should I give her the information I have? (It involves no hard proof except my husband’s word and what I overheard.) My husband thinks I should keep quiet and says he would be uncomfortable being put in a position to “out” his brother. — TEMPTED IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TEMPTED: Your brother-in-law is a conscienceless, immature braggart. “Karma” won’t protect your sister-in-law from syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and HIV, to name only a few of the STDs her husband has been exposing her to. Tell her it’s important she schedule an appointment with her doctor to be tested for all of them. Isn’t that what you would want if the situation were reversed?

DEAR ABBY: I have two adult daughters. One of them is self-centered and refuses to give any gifts for my birthday or for Christmas, even though she very much likes receiving them.

If this is her position, then I suppose that’s OK because I don’t need much, and it’s really the thought that counts. I enjoy giving gifts, but I feel like I’m being taken advantage of.

This is exacerbated by the fact that, in the past, I have bailed her out of some sticky situations. I know that’s a different issue — and I have set boundaries for that — but this gift thing has frustrated me twice a year for the past 10 years, and it’s time for a better plan. Help, please. — GOOD DAD IN OREGON

DEAR DAD: If the situation was fine, you wouldn’t have written to me about it. I believe in communication. Have a long-overdue talk with your daughter. Showing thoughtfulness isn’t supposed to be a one-way street, which is what your daughter has made it. More important than a tangible item is the thought behind it. From where I sit, if she doesn’t bother to call or text you on these special occasions, I think your generosity has been taken advantage of.

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 $8 (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.)