DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for a few months and are expecting our first child. His father passed away about a year ago. His parents had been married 33 years when he died.
A few weeks ago, we told my mother-in-law we were expecting our first child. After a joyous moment and some conversation later about children, she brought up my husband's half-brother, someone I didn't know existed! My husband then said, "I thought we weren't supposed to talk about him." She told him my father-in-law had reached out to the half-brother before his death to make amends (she'd had no knowledge they were in contact), but while she was cleaning out his wallet she found a picture of him.
Abby, I'm confused now about how to discuss this with my husband because I would love to know more details about his half-brother. I don't know how old he is, or what happened (i.e., infidelity). Evidently, he lives close to us. We might have met before. My husband nor anyone in his family mentioned this person, ever! Should I just leave it alone, or should I probe some more to see if I can get more information? -- PERPLEXED IN INDIANA
DEAR PERPLEXED: It appears the existence of this half-sibling is the skeleton in your husband's family closet. If I were you, I'd be careful about rattling it. Ask your husband if he's willing to share what he knows. If he is interested in pursuing more information, offer to help him. But unless he is, I do not advise starting to dig.
P.S. Because the father reached out to make amends, the half-brother may try to contact his siblings. But don't count on it.