DEAR ABBY: My brother-in-law, "Dave," has twice kissed me passionately when my sister was not around. I made light of it and pushed him away. The third time it happened was when he came to my house to do a little repair job for me. That time he also grabbed my breast. I exploded and told him off.
Later on, Dave called and said he was going to come back to do some other things that needed attention. I told him he was not welcome in my house and that I'm furious he would do such a thing. He apologized and said he hoped I could forgive him.
I am so angry! I no longer want to be in his company. I also don't like that I have to keep his behavior a secret from my sister. I haven't told anyone, and it is keeping me up nights. Please help. - FUMING IN FLORIDA
DEAR FUMING: Your mistake was in not setting your amorous brother-in-law straight the first time he made a pass at you. Because you didn't, he thought his advances were welcome.
Now that you have made plain to him that you're not interested, you will probably have nothing more to worry about. But you are wise not to have him over unless your sister is with him.
I don't blame you for being angry, but do nothing until you cool off. The question then will be whether to tell Sis that her husband behaves inappropriately and how you know.
DEAR ABBY: I recently moved back to my home state and in with my grandmother to get away from my abusive husband. I have also filed for divorce. I love my grandmother dearly, but when it comes to the divorce or the therapy I go to weekly, she is not understanding and constantly brings up what he did to me.
I believe she's frustrated because I'm in therapy and she doesn't see a reason for me to go. She thinks "if it's not talked about, then it never happened." I have tried to explain to her that I can't just let go of what he did to me and my son. How can I make her understand that I'm trying to heal wounds that aren't visible from the outside? - TRYING TO HEAL ON THE INSIDE
DEAR TRYING TO HEAL: Your grandmother may come from a generation in which therapy was something to be ashamed of. A way to help her understand the importance of what you are doing would be to invite her to a session with your therapist, let her air her concerns and let the therapist explain to her why it is important that you work this through to become healthy again. This must be very uncomfortable for you, and you have my sympathy.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a teenage girl living with my mom, who is a single parent, and my younger sister. We have struggled financially, but we mostly live a relatively comfortable life, and Mom owns her own home.
However, she constantly says things to me and my sister like, "We're so poor," or, "We're going to live under a bridge," even in public. We have asked her to stop several times, but she doesn't care that we are upset and embarrassed. How can I get her to stop? - EMBARRASSED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Rather than ask her to stop, don't you think you should approach her privately and ask why she is saying it? She may be joking, but her concerns could also be a holdover from when her financial situation was less secure. Please do it. Her response might be educa- tional.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.