DEAR ABBY: I have a brother I can't seem to get along with anymore. Sometimes he's OK, but most of the time he's not. I visited him recently for a cookout, and it wasn't good. He got into an argument with his wife, shattered a glass, tried to fight me out of the blue, and talked about extremist topics -- all in front of his young, impressionable kids. I worry about his three boys and want to have a serious talk with him about getting some therapy.
The problem is, we work together. Although we have different shifts, I see him and his team almost daily at meetings, and our teams are already polarized. How can I confront him without making our careers suffer? He is not receptive to confrontation, and it may cause a serious rift. -- FRUSTRATED BROTHER IN THE SOUTH
DEAR BROTHER: Could your brother have a drinking or drug problem that would account for his volatility, or has he always been this way? Political differences are one thing; shattering a glass and becoming violent during something as mundane as a cookout is worrisome. Have you talked to his wife about how long this has been going on? His behavior could present a danger to her and the kids.
Because there are serious differences between your team and his at work, the person who should logically "referee" is your supervisor or boss; what's going on isn't healthy for the business. Your brother is entitled to his political opinions, but if he's a danger to others, there needs to be an intervention. If he raises a fist to you or his family, the police should be called.