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by Abigail Van Buren

Incarcerated Man Sends Unseemly Letter to Sister-in-Law

DEAR ABBY: Our brother-in-law made a terrible mistake and is now serving time. My younger sister, "Tess," and I have visited him on a few occasions. We support him by listening and have told him that although he made a horrible mistake, he has to move forward.

Well, something happened that has put a damper on things. This brother-in-law sent Tess a letter, and in it he confessed to her that he had a dream, and she was in it. It wasn't a horrible letter, but I believe it was very inappropriate. He alluded to the fact that it was a sexual dream.

Tess has asked me if she should let our older sister, "Jane," know what her husband wrote. Jane has been through so much, so I told Tess it would not be a good idea to disclose it and add to her misery. Tess says it isn't fair to her to have to swallow this pill for the sake of not making waves. She feels Jane should know what kind of man her husband is. Abby, Jane knows exactly what kind of man she has. Part of what he did wrong was have a cyber affair.

Should Tess inform Jane that her husband has been inappropriate? She now refuses to visit our brother-in-law and has basically written him off. Please give me your opinion and advice. -- TORN UP OVER THIS IN TEXAS

DEAR TORN UP: Tess is right. It appears incarceration hasn't discouraged your brother-in-law from writing inappropriate material to inappropriate recipients. Tess should not be discouraged from informing Jane about what her husband has done and showing her the letter, if it is still in her possession. Jane has a right to know. Please respect that Tess needs to distance herself from this troubled individual and his fantasies, and don't encourage her to visit him again. In light of what's happened, I'm not sure you should either.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce