Dear Abby: I have a brother I can’t seem to get along with. I visited him recently for a cookout, and it wasn’t good. He argued with his wife, shattered a glass, tried to fight me, and talked about extremist topics — all in front of his young kids. I worry about his three boys and want to talk to him about getting therapy.
We work together. Although we have different shifts, I see him and his team daily at meetings, and our teams are already polarized. How can I confront him without making our careers suffer? He is not receptive to confrontation, and it may cause a serious rift. — Frustrated Brother In The South
Dear Brother: Could your brother have a drinking or drug problem that would account for his volatility, or has he always been this way? Political differences are one thing; shattering a glass and becoming violent during a cookout is worrisome. Have you talked to his wife about how long this has gone on? His behavior could present a danger to her and the kids.
Because there are differences between your team and his at work, the person who should “referee” is your supervisor; what’s going on isn’t healthy for the business. Your brother is entitled to his political opinions, but if he’s a danger to others, there should be an intervention. If he raises a fist to you or his family, the police should be called.
Dear Abby: This woman, whose husband died last year, has been texting my husband. I know he initiates the messaging most of the time. He also deletes her messages.
Our husbands grew up together but kept in touch only twice a year. They would call each other on their birthdays. Now this woman and my husband text daily. She’s lonely, and he thinks he needs to “console” her.
Well, I don’t like it! I can’t stop it. If I say anything, he gets defensive. To me, that’s a sign of guilt, and deleting messages is another sign of guilt. He has to have his ego stroked. He’s a classic narcissist, and it’s his way or the highway. — Angry In The East
Dear Angry: The widow keeps texting your husband because he encourages it. The conversations have gone beyond “condolences,” or he wouldn’t delete the messages. In this situation it’s important you take steps to protect your investment in your marriage.
Gather all of the financial information you can and have a private chat with a lawyer about what your rights are as a wife in your state. Once you have done that, confront your narcissistic spouse and tell him you feel what’s going on is a threat to your marriage.
Tell him you want it stopped immediately, and the two of you must get marriage counseling. Perhaps once he realizes there could be a stiff price to pay for his “condolences,” he may see the light.
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