Dear Abby: My husband and his sister had a rough childhood in foster care. They lost contact for 10 years. She found us on Facebook and was desperate to know if she had found her brother or not. My husband ignored her. He isn’t sure he ever wants to rebuild their relationship.
If he doesn’t want her in his life, that’s fine. But I couldn’t live with myself if I ignored her, too. I just want her to know she can stop looking and wondering if her brother is alive. So I told her. She was grateful to have some closure and know he is doing well, and reassured me that she wouldn’t contact him again unless he reaches out to her. Even if they never talk again, I think she deserved to know she had found him.
Now I feel guilty for going behind my husband’s back and meddling in things that aren’t my business. But I can’t imagine spending my whole life searching for a family member when someone could have been honest and given me peace of mind. Did I make a terrible mistake, and should I come clean to my husband about what I did?
– Feeling Guilty in Georgia
Dear Feeling Guilty: You failed to mention the reason for your husband’s lack of willingness to reestablish a relationship with his sister. Now that she has found you, she can follow his whole life, unless you block her. Whether you made a terrible mistake remains to be seen. If the sister contacts your husband again, you will have to tell him what you did. He may have wanted to protect his privacy. As long as she doesn’t, I think you should keep your mouth shut.
Child needs to grow up
Dear Abby: My 18-year-old daughter has finished school. She wants to take a gap year and work to save enough to travel overseas. The problem is, she’s so eager to get away from home that she wants to move to another city to work.
I advised her that staying home and working will allow her to save more to travel. Otherwise, she would have to pay for food, accommodation and transportation, with little left over to save for travel. She could not understand why I wouldn’t pay her rent or support her. Am I being unreasonable by saying she should pay her own way if she moves out?
– Mom in Johannesburg, South Africa
Dear Mom: If anyone thinks an attitude of entitlement is strictly an American problem, your letter should banish that notion. What you told your daughter makes perfect sense. If she wants independence, she should accept responsibility for living that way.
Continue the dialogue with her, though, so you can understand why she wants to move
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.