Dear Annie: I know a father who sexually abused his daughter for five years. I only recently discovered this when she finally went into therapy and told me what happened. He spent a month in jail and has a criminal record for public indecency. Even though this was 30 years ago, her family remains angry and shocked. The father is now 60 years old and remarried and lives with his new wife in a town a half-hour away. His new wife has grandchildren, but has no idea that he is a sex offender. I don’t know what to do. Do I let his new wife know about him? – Dilemma
Dear Dilemma: It would be best if your female friend were the one to inform her father’s new wife that he could be a danger to the grandchildren. And yes, the wife should know. The man’s age and the fact that it happened 30 years ago does not mean he is “cured.”
Dear Annie: I question your advice to “Upset in Ohio,” whose husband’s brother left his wife for another woman. She wondered whether they should attend the brother-in-law’s wedding. You told her to go, but not to stay too long. I think it’s far better to risk alienating him than his ex-wife and daughter. “Upset” should tell her brother-in-law that they have plans that day and then take the ex-wife and daughter to dinner and a movie. – M.C.
Dear M.C.: We understand the desire to forcefully show disapproval, but we don’t think it is wise to alienate a brother-in-law when “Upset” and her husband say they wish to maintain a relationship with him. Staying for the ceremony but not the reception will send the same message without being as offensive.
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