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

by Abigail Van Buren

Law Enforcement Officer Feels Judged by Some in the Family

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been together since we were 16, married for 25 years. Her parents took me in as a teenager, and her family has been my family ever since.

I'm the kind of person who loves everyone equally. I will bend over backward for someone in need and have done so for my wife's family many times.

Over the last few years, my wife's brother, nephew and niece have turned against me. They've called me controlling, hateful and racist. I am none of those. I am, though, a law enforcement officer and a Christian. My wife's brother is a convicted felon, and her niece went to one of those anti-everything colleges.

This has created a rift in the family and caused my wife and me to feel hated and isolated, which has ruined family gatherings and holidays. How can I fix this? What can I do to help them see me for who I am, instead of their biases based on my religion and occupation? -- REALLY NOT LIKE THAT

DEAR REALLY NOT: There is nothing you can or should do to erase their biases. From your description, you have done enough good deeds for your in-laws to have shown them the kind of person you are.

You have mentioned only your brother-in-law the felon and his radicalized daughter. Where does the rest of the family stand on this? If they are joining in and allowing you to be isolated, quit trying to impress them. Instead, spend your time with people who like, understand and accept you for who you are and don't look back. Your brother-in-law and his kids will come looking for you as soon as they need something else from you, but when they do, I sincerely hope you'll resist the temptation to buy your way back in.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Religion