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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Woman’s long-held opinion of brother-in-law comes out

by Abigail Van Buren | May 13, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My sister and I have always been close. She’s married to a man I’ve always thought is domineering and arrogant. I also suspect that he’s emotionally abusive from things she has confided over the years. These include days of the silent treatment, refusing to celebrate her birthday because he doesn’t believe in it and discouraging her from taking a job she was interested in. He refuses to go to counseling and says whatever problems there are between them are her fault. I hold my tongue and try to tolerate him because she has chosen to stay with him.

He recently participated in a marathon and was connected to us and others on social media so we could follow the two-day event from start to finish. After a day of constant “dinging” on my phone, I found his need for attention over the top and stopped following. My sister was upset. She said she was embarrassed and hurt and asked why I stopped. I told the truth.

Now our relationship is damaged. I apologized and tried to smooth things over, but she’s now fully aware of my true feelings about him after seeing and hearing how he has treated her over the years. Should I have “kept the peace,” as my dear departed mother always said, and continued to keep my mouth shut, or should I have been honest about my feelings? — Protective Of Sis

Dear Protective: Because you say you and your sister are close, I am surprised you held your tongue about her husband’s behavior for so long. You did nothing wrong by tuning out of the marathon updates. You should not have been expected to be held hostage for two days because your brother-in-law’s ego needed bolstering. You were honest with your sister and, in my opinion, did nothing that requires an apology.

Dear Abby: My partner and I have been in a long-distance relationship for about a year. After some casual social media stalking, I learned he still lives with his ex-boyfriend, in spite of the fact that he always complains to me about his “roommate,” whom he never refers to by name.

We also made a commitment to phone each other at least once a day. For the past three weeks, there are times I haven’t heard from him at all, despite seeing him active on social media. It’s to a point where I stay awake late hoping to hear from him. Should I approach him about this, or is this just the end to the “honeymoon phase”? — Waiting By The Phone In Canada

Dear Waiting: Not only is it the end of the “honeymoon phase,” it may also be the beginning of the end of the romance. It appears your “partner” isn’t as eager to contact you as you are to hear from him. Long-distance relationships can be challenging, and you may be happier if you find someone local.

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 P.O. Box 69440,Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


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