DEAR ABBY: I recently Googled my brother-in-law to see if I could find his birthdate, which I had forgotten. When his name came up, so did some information I wish I hadn’t seen.
He’s a convicted sex offender (rape) who has served time. I am assuming my sister knows about his past. But what if she doesn’t? I don’t want to say anything to her, because if she already knows, she’ll be upset that I now know. If she doesn’t know and I tell her, I’m afraid she may blame me for messing up a good thing.
Should I talk to him and ask him if he’s told her? Or should I leave things alone and let things play out naturally? I was shocked by the revelation because it doesn’t fit the man I know. — SHOCKED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR SHOCKED: Are you 100% sure the information you found is about your brother-in-law? If it’s true, the revelation that there is a felon in the family (and for rape, yet!) would shock anyone. Talk to your sister. Explain that you forgot the date of her husband’s birthday and what you discovered. It’s entirely possible that she knows about his past. But if she doesn’t, direct her to the site from which you got that information, because she’s entitled to know.
DEAR ABBY: My grandson is 30. He lives at home with his mother and father, both of whom are retired. He doesn’t have a job, nor is he actively seeking one. The only so-called job he ever had in his life was as a security guard at a college museum, working some 20 hours per week.
He is healthy but seems to be content to continue living off his parents. They sent him to college, and he says he has a degree. His mother has told me she would never kick him out of the house. I think he should be forced to get a real job. His resume would be pathetic, but I believe if he stays on this course, he’ll never be self-supporting. What do you think? — REALISTIC GRANDPA IN FLORIDA
DEAR GRANDPA: I think you are correct. Your grandson is not a self-starter and, thanks to his parents’ “generosity,” he will never find the motivation to become independent. Nothing will change until his parents realize they need to encourage their son to grow up and leave the nest.
DEAR ABBY: My middle-aged daughter and her family have been estranged from me for several years, including the last year of her father’s sad battle with dementia. I am told my grandson has been taught to refer to me as “The Devil,” although I don’t know why.
Recently, her husband (my son-in-law) emailed me a list of possessions from my home that they now expect to have. My late husband’s wedding ring was included on the list. What would you say to the demands for items from an adult child with whom you have no relationship? — OUT OF THEIR LIVES IN VIRGINIA
DEAR OUT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your husband. As to what “I” would say in response to these grasping relatives, I wouldn’t dignify their demand with any response at all.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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