DEAR ABBY: My brother and his husband are getting ready to file for divorce. Before they do, however, they are embarking on a very expensive trip to Italy. It was paid for before the divorce conversations started.
When they travel, I fly into the town where we both grew up, watch their home and dogs and spend time with old friends. Because of the difficulties facing travelers at this time, I like to come into town a few days early, in case there are any delays with my flight, so none of us has to worry about the dogs being alone.
I arrived last night. My brother left for the weekend to spend time with his new gent, and my brother-in-law has invited his new gent over for dinner tonight. My concept of etiquette demands that I be friendly and welcoming of these new people in my brother's and brother-in-law's life. However, it is awkward.
Yes, I know divorce happens. But my brother-in-law is just as much a part of my family in my eyes as my brother. Are there any rules or thoughts regarding these new relationships as marriages end and new relationships begin? -- SUPPORTIVE SISTER IN ARIZONA
DEAR SISTER: Your brother and his (almost) former husband appear to be handling their soon-to-be dissolution in a civil manner -- VERY civil, if they're taking a pre-divorce European vacation together. If they part as friends, your chances of maintaining a friendship with your (almost) former BIL are better.
Keep an open mind and be gracious when you meet the new man in your brother's life. Avoid gossip, cross your fingers and hope for the best for everyone. That's all you can do. From the tone of your letter, I am sure you can handle this, Sis.