Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Brother-in-Law's Back Problems Seem Conveniently Timed

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband is always defending his “little” brother, “Paul”, whenever I or his mom complain that it always seems like Paul’s “back problems” flare up whenever we could use a hand with some manual labor. My husband, who has bad knees, ends up taking it all on, so Paul doesn’t have to.

The last time my in-laws needed to get shoveled out after a major snowstorm, Paul said he was having a flare-up and couldn’t help. So my husband, my 70-year-old father-in-law, and I moved the two feet of snow out of the driveway and off the front walk. It took us nearly three hours, and the next day, my husband woke up with a knee the size of a grapefruit, while Paul was posting snowboarding shots on Instagram.

I so wanted to show the pictures to my in-laws, but that would just make things worse, at least for my mother-in-law.

I want to tell my jerk of a brother-in-law off, but my husband doesn’t want me to. Don’t you think I have a right to? I just hope my mother-in-law lets him have it. --- STEAMED SIL

DEAR STEAMED SIL: While I don’t blame you for being angry, I’d let your mother- and father-in-law handle this one. Flaunting photo evidence of their son’s apparent selfishness would probably only hurt them.

Your husband knows how you feel, and hopefully he’ll change his mind and say something directly to his brother that gives him a clear idea of how much he lets everyone — especially his parents and big brother — down.

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