DEAR ABBY: My oldest brother, "Harry," has been dealing with drug and alcohol issues for more than 30 years. While I am not wealthy by any standards, barring any major catastrophes, my wife and I will be comfortable in our retirement.
Harry's adult kids are having problems taking care of him, and they, as well as my other adult siblings, seem to think I am "harsh and callous" for not helping.
What they don't know is that, as a child, Harry sexually abused me, and when I was in my 20s and in the military stationed overseas, he slept with my (now ex-) wife. What they have also conveniently forgotten is that a few years ago, I gave Harry several thousand dollars' worth of equipment to start a business. Instead of starting the business, he sold the equipment to buy booze and drugs.
Am I being too harsh? If not, how many of the details should I reveal to let the family know why I feel so little compassion? -- FED UP IN TEXAS
DEAR FED UP: Perhaps it's time you got it ALL off your chest. Considering everything that has transpired, I don't think you're being harsh or callous by not chipping in. And I see no reason why you should remain silent about the way you have been sexually and financially abused by your brother.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband for 17 years -- married to him for 10 -- and we still have our ups and downs.
Two years ago I was drinking a lot. We separated for a few months, but still slept with each other occasionally. My husband ended up sleeping with a co-worker and got her pregnant. I was devastated; however, we worked it out and stayed together.
But it's no longer the same. He tells me he loves me all the time, but sometimes I feel he's not happy with me and wants to be free. It's hard for me to trust him because he's still working with her.
My husband tells me he doesn't see her that often because he works in a warehouse and she's in the office. But it still makes me feel insecure.
How can I make things the way they used to be, before all of this? -- HURT IN SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
DEAR HURT: You can't make things the way they used to be because they are not the way they used to be. Rather than dwelling so much on the past, you should focus on the fact that your husband made his choice when he reconciled with you. If he didn't really love you, wild horses couldn't have dragged him back to you.
DEAR ABBY: I have known this man I'll call "Jesse" for 11 years, but I feel like I really don't know him at all. I have asked many people this question, but no one can give me an answer. Why would a man always answer a question with a question? -- JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION
DEAR JUST: A person who always answers a question with a question is someone who wants to avoid giving a straight answer.
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