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

by Abigail Van Buren

Recent Divorcee Is Surprised by Affair With Younger Man

DEAR ABBY: My wife of 45 years has an older sister who is a nasty, narcissistic bully. She has treated my wife and our family like dirt for years, yet my wife continues to tolerate it and refuses to hear of any negative comments about her sister from me.

Because of the way she has behaved, I do not want any contact with my sister-in-law. I am at a loss, though, as to how to keep the relationship from causing trouble in my marriage. Why do bullied people refuse to see their abusers for what they are? -- DONE WITH IT IN MINNESOTA

DEAR DONE WITH IT: It's lack of self-esteem. Bullied people somehow think they deserve the ill treatment they are receiving. Your wife may come from a background where abuse was normal. If you prefer to avoid your sister-in-law, that is your privilege. However, as long as your wife accepts the status quo, nothing will change.