Dear Annie: My 64-year-old brother has refused to talk to my 86-year-old father for nearly 10 years. When our mother died, Dad married a nice Christian widow. He then sold the family home. He and his new wife built a new one in another town.
My brother still thinks Dad should have split the sale profit with his children since half the house belonged to our mother. As far as I am concerned, Dad was not obligated to do this. By law, my mother's assets passed to her surviving spouse, which means Dad owned the house outright. He lives solely on his Social Security benefits and needed the money.
My brother has had multiple sclerosis for 30 years. He and his family struggled financially, and my parents gave them a lot of money over the years to keep them afloat. For my brother to want more is shocking. My other siblings and I don't feel entitled to any of Dad's money.
My brother's children are grown. When his daughter married four years ago, he didn't invite Dad to the wedding. She is expecting a child, and Dad learned about it through other family members. He is deeply hurt by this. Dad's health is starting to deteriorate. He has tried to make contact with my brother several times, to no avail.
My siblings are ready to give up. Our brother spends no holidays with us and doesn't get in touch for any reason. I suggested Dad leave him alone. There is nothing he can do at this point. Do you agree? If not, what do you suggest? — Puzzled in Indiana
Dear Indiana: How sad that your brother is willing to abandon his family over money. After 10 years, it's doubtful he will rethink his sense of entitlement. We suggest you keep in touch on a Christmas-card level, sending birthday wishes once a year, keeping him updated about Dad's health. He may not respond, but it requires only minimal effort and leaves the door open should he ever change his mind.
Dear Annie: Is it OK to tell a woman that her husband had a three-year affair? I have ample proof because the Other Woman happens to be a dear friend of mine.
The husband is the most selfish person I have ever met. If it were me, I would absolutely want to know. However, I understand that not all women are like me.
The Other Women would rather not speak up, although she would tell the truth if asked. However, I believe that ship has sailed. The wife once had suspicions, but her manipulative husband managed to convince her otherwise. So, should I tell her or not? — Unsure in Miami
Dear Unsure: Some women can live with the illusion that their husbands are faithful even if they suspect otherwise, but having the truth shoved in their faces makes them angry — not with the husband, but with the messenger. You obviously don't like this man and would enjoy seeing him suffer, but the news would mostly hurt his wife. If there is a chance she has contracted an STD from her philandering husband, she should be told. Otherwise, please stay out of it.
Dear Annie: My heart goes out to "Lonely in New York," the 70-years-young lady who would be happy kissing, hugging, cuddling and having a sex life. I am in a similar situation with my wife.
You should put the two of us together, thereby solving two problems at the same time, without either of us having to leave our marriages. How about it? — Lonely in Kelowna
Dear Lonely: Sorry, but we don't run a matchmaking service. And there are inherent risks in connecting anonymous readers with each other. Please find a better solution to your problem than cheating on your wife.
To our Jewish readers: A happy and healthy Passover.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.