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.
DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Second Love, Pleasant Plains, Ohio," the second wife who described her in-laws displaying pictures on their walls of her husband and his first wife, while relegating pictures of him and her to the albums, struck a chord with me.
My fiancee has a "family pictures wall" with all her family members including her late husband. He was a dashing fellow. She displays his police badges, awards, and his folded casket flag on her mantel. Does this bother me? Not in the least! I am her LIVING companion for the remainder of our lives. That she will be buried with him in the military cemetery is OK by me. I will be buried in the same cemetery, although not beside her. That's also OK by me.
Abby, they met and married in Vietnam when they were both Army nurses. They shared 23 happy years together. With God's blessing, I hope to share as many more with her. She is a jewel without price! -- TED BENDER, SAN ANTONIO
DEAR TED: And you, my friend, are the platinum band to hold such a jewel. Your compassion and understanding are precious indeed.
DEAR ABBY: I am newly married, and I just found out from a friend that my husband's ex-fiancee has a tattoo on her behind with his name. Everyone in this small town knows about it, because he bragged about how "cute" it was.
My friend says the girl has offered to have it removed since he has married someone else, but she can't afford it. My husband paid to have the tattoo put on, and I think he should give her the money to have it removed since he can well afford it.
He reads your column faithfully, so I think he will listen to you better than he would to me. -- NEWLYWED IN DECATUR
DEAR NEWLYWED'S HUSBAND: I agree with your wife. It's time to put the tattoo behind all of you. Since you paid to have it put on your former fiancee's derriere, ante up for the surgery to remove it. That should put an end to it.
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