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Dear Abby: Brother’s rap sheet is exasperating

Dear Abby: My brother is older than I am and has been in and out of prison. He has stolen my things and pawned them.

I am married, and my husband and I are expecting our first child. We live in a time zone several hours behind the one my family is in. I am now receiving phone calls at 4 a.m. from collection agencies in search of my brother. He has been writing bad checks and leaving my phone number as a contact number.

I’ve learned the identity of his probation officer, and I’m on the fence about whether I should tell her what he is up to. My dad is furious with me for even considering it because “brothers and sisters don’t do that to each other.”

Honestly, I am fed up with this “blood is thicker than water” mentality when it comes to my brother’s wrongdoings. He is now including my family in his schemes, and I won’t stand for it any longer. What should I do?

– Little Sis in the USA

Dear Little Sis: There are no excuses for what your brother has done. If his father had given him a dose of tough love while he was a minor, he might have stayed on the straight and narrow instead of landing in the pokey.

Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for protecting yourself and your family. Blood isn’t thicker than water when abuse is involved, and your brother’s behavior qualifies.

Contact his probation officer. With luck, when the collection agency calls again, you will be able to give them your brother’s “cell” number.

Wife’s weight loss unsettling

Dear Abby: Last year, I had bariatric surgery. Since the surgery, I have lost a significant amount of weight, but I still have a lot to go before I reach my goal. In the beginning, my husband was supportive and seemed proud of my weight loss. But he is no longer as physically interested in me now as he was when I was considerably larger.

I recently found several photos of larger women on our computer. Now, I’m wondering whether he’s looking for my replacement or just has a “thing” for bigger women. Should I say something to him about this apparent desire for larger women?

– Slimming Down in Washington

Dear Slimming Down: If you feel that your weight loss may have negatively affected your marriage, you should absolutely talk with your husband about it. Frankly, he should have discussed it with you before you made the decision. Bariatric surgery is a major operation. It is life-changing and should not be taken lightly.

As I see it, you have taken a giant step in a positive direction healthwise, and I hope that nothing will interfere with it. If you and your husband have trouble discussing this, please do it with the help of your doctor or a licensed marriage counselor.