DEAR ABBY: When my children were small, my husband left me. He married the other woman the day after our divorce was final. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and I suffered greatly in the years that followed.
Recently my brother did the same thing to his wife of many years. I find myself feeling very angry and hurt that he would do this. He said it was wrong when it happened to me, but now he expects me to support his decision to abandon his wife. He also expects me to befriend his new wife.
I can’t help but identify with his ex. My heart goes out to her, and I’m furious with my brother and his new wife. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Must my loyalty to my family override my principles? — Loyal to a Point in Mississippi
DEAR LOYAL: That you would identify strongly with your former sister-in-law isn’t wrong; it is normal under the circumstances. Not knowing how close your relationship is with your brother, I can’t decide for you whether blood is thicker than water. But I can certainly understand your distaste at the idea of befriending the woman he cheated with.
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Whichever you decide to do, continue to be kind to your ex-SIL. She needs all the emotional support she can get now that your brother is cozily ensconced in his new love nest.
DEAR ABBY: I have been carpooling with another mom for about a year. I pick her kids up from the bus stop and take them home. We help each other out, but I do most of the carpooling because of “Kathy’s” work schedule.
Because my daughter “Chris” turned 16, she will be driving to school once the weather improves. I told Kathy we have to discuss the carpool situation. By law, Chris will be allowed to have only one non-family member in the car. She cannot take Kathy’s daughter to and from school because Chris will be taking her best friend.
I feel terrible about it. I am a rule follower and don’t want to put my daughter in an illegal situation. I believe I have given Kathy plenty of time to figure another way home for her daughter. I’m not sure why I feel so bad and am losing sleep over this. Am I wrong? — Carpooling in Ohio
DEAR CARPOOLING: You have been a good friend to Kathy, but her daughter is her responsibility, not yours. You are making Kathy’s problem your problem, and that IS wrong. Now turn over, go back to sleep and let her solve it.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve often wondered what happens to people with an immediate problem that you are unable to answer in print in a timely manner. For example, a bride with an upcoming wedding, or someone trying to decide where to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas. Do you write them outside of your column? — Just Wondering in Harrisburg, Pa.
DEAR JUST WONDERING: Yes. Time-sensitive questions are often dealt with separately, apart from my column.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.