Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Sister in Law's Big Mouth Is Used to Bad Mouth Family

DEAR ABBY: My brother "Pete" is married to "June," an opinionated big-mouth who never has a kind word to say to anybody. She frequently berates Pete and other members of our family. This behavior is disturbing to the entire family, especially to our mother.

My other brother, "Seth," was sentenced to prison on drug charges. Our family has suffered a great deal of pain because of Seth, but we have found strength in our unity and have remained supportive of him. June, however, never misses an opportunity to express her hatred for Seth. She's completely insensitive to our feelings. Although she's Pete's wife, I don't consider her a sister-in-law because she does not behave like a member of the family.

I would like to write her off and never have any contact with her again, but I worry that it would upset my mother and Pete, and they don't need any more problems.

Abby, can you please advise me how to deal with June without starting a lifetime family feud? -- HAD IT UP TO HERE

DEAR HAD IT: Yes. Take June aside and tell her that the family needs her support right now, and to knock off her negative remarks about Seth because they are hurtful and not appreciated. If that doesn't put a stop to it -- tune her out or limit your time with her.