DEAR MISS MANNERS: A rather odious problem: My sister-in-law posted something on social media that was quite disturbing. She made a disparaging remark about my brother, which referenced their intimate (or lack thereof) relations and made a shocking and vulgar comment about my brother in that regard. Several family members saw the posting, one of whom asked her to remove it, which she did.
My brother does not know about this. He doesn’t use social media, and no one wants to tell him. I think he should know, but I can’t bring myself to tell him, and I’m not sure if I should.
Can you advise me? Should one of us tell him about this unfortunate event? If we tell him, I doubt he will be able to forgive her. I know I can’t. I’m about to make a trip home (I live in a distant city). I’m looking forward to seeing my brother, but I really don’t want to see my sister-in-law, and I’m not sure how to deal with this. Please let me know what you would do.
GENTLE READER: Stay as far away from the situation as possible. Miss Manners insists that no good can come from being the messenger here. Especially since the posting has since been taken down, there will be trust issues on all sides if the family accuses his wife of something that he can no longer witness himself, and that she can always deny.
It will be far easier -- and less expensive -- for your brother to engage in a lasting fight with his relatives than with his wife. If your brother does, at some point, find out and chastise you for not alerting him, you can rightly tell him that you thought it was none of your business. And alert your sister-in-law in kind.