DEAR ABBY: I am 37 years old and have one older brother who is 39. When we were growing up, our family was very close, but something happened when my father passed away eight years ago. Within a few years my mother remarried. Soon after, my marriage to an abusive man fell apart.
My brother decided to support my ex-husband and held me responsible for not giving him a "second chance." This hurt me deeply. When my mother recently divorced -- her husband wanted the divorce -- again, my brother took the husband's side. My brother's wife is a born-again Christian and doesn't believe in divorce, no matter what the reason.
My mother is heartbroken and so am I. I always looked up to my brother. I wish I knew it was his wife's influence and not his choice. He promised our father on his deathbed that he would take care of us. Not only has he walked away from us in our time of need, he has sided against us. I have tried talking to him, but it doesn't work. Is there anything I can do? I still love my brother and always will. -- SNIFFLING SIBLING IN TEXAS
DEAR SNIFFLING: If talking to your brother hasn't helped, there is nothing more you can do. I don't know whether his identification with other men is so strong that it colors the way he views you and his mother -- or whether he is unable (or unwilling) to keep his deathbed promise and can't face either of you. However, the reality is that you and she will have to rely on yourselves. Love him if you wish, but don't count on him for anything.