ABBY: Innocent Internet Search Reveals Shocking Secret | Lifestyles



DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren


DEAR ABBY: I recently Googled my brother-in-law to see if I could find his date of birth, which I had forgotten. When his name popped up, some information that I wish I hadn’t seen popped up as well.

He is a convicted sex offender (rape) who has served his sentence. I guess my sister knows her past. What if she doesn’t? I don’t want to tell her, because if she already knows, she’ll be upset that I know now. If she doesn’t know and I tell her, I’m afraid she’ll blame me for ruining a good thing.

Should I talk to him and ask him if he told him? Or should I leave things alone and let things happen naturally? I was shocked by the revelation because it doesn’t match the man I know. — SHOCK IN THE SOUTH

DEAR SHOCKED: Are you 100% sure that the information you found relates to your brother-in-law? If true, the revelation that there is a criminal in the family (and for rape, again!) would shock anyone. Talk to your sister. Explain that you forgot her husband’s birthday and what you found out. It’s entirely possible that she knows about his past. But if she doesn’t, direct her to the site you got this information from, because she has a right to know.

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DEAR ABBY: My grandson is 30. He lives at home with his mother and father, both retired. He does not have a job and is not actively looking for one. The only so-called job he ever had in his life was as a security guard at a university museum, working about 20 hours a week.

He is in good health but seems content to continue living off his parents. They sent him to college, and he says he has a degree. His mother told me she would never kick him out of the house. I think he should be forced to get a real job. His curriculum vitae would be pathetic, but I believe that if he continues on this path, he will never be independent. What do you think? — REALISTIC GRANDFATHER IN FLORIDA

DEAR GRANDFATHER: I think you are right. Your grandson is not independent and, thanks to the “generosity” of his parents, he will never find the motivation to become independent. Nothing will change until his parents realize that they have to encourage their son to grow up and leave the nest.

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DEAR ABBY: My middle-aged daughter and her family were away from me for several years, including the last year of her father’s sad battle with dementia. I was told that my grandson learned to call me “the devil”, although I don’t know why.

Recently, her husband (my son-in-law) emailed me a list of the possessions in my house that they now expect to have. My late husband’s wedding ring was on the list. What would you say to article requests from an adult child with whom you have no relationship? — OUT OF THEIR LIFE IN VIRGINIA

DEAR OUT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your husband. As for what “I” would say in response to those greedy relatives, I would not honor their request for any response.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Abby shares over 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby”. Send your name and mailing address, and a $16 check or money order (in US dollars) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling charges are included in the price.)

(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])


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