Dear Abby: Fiance’s sister is center of the family’s attention

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DEAR ABBY: I am marrying the most amazing man next year. We have been together for six years. I have always gotten along with his family and know they will be great in-laws. However, as time has gone by, I've noticed that they cater more and more to my fiancé's older sister. She's nearly 30, but she acts like she's 13.

When she has an argument with her spouse, she calls my fiancé and makes it sound so dramatic that he drops everything and runs to her rescue. Invariably, it turns out to not be as bad as she was saying. She also talks so badly about her spouse to her parents that I feel embarrassed for him. If she's sick or home alone (her husband travels for work), she sleeps at her parents' house with her infant son instead of staying in her own home, which is a town away.

Her family does everything for her — things that a capable adult should do for herself. Many times, my fiancé and I have been on a date or spending time with each other, and then his sister calls and he leaves me to cater to her. It hurts my feelings when he does this.

I know family is important, and I'm not saying he shouldn't help his sister. I have talked with him about this on multiple occasions, but he doesn't seem to understand or isn't interested in talking about it. Am I being unreasonable? Is there anything I can or should do to feel otherwise about it? How do I cope with my feelings about this? — ANNOYED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR ANNOYED: What concerns me about your letter isn't that your fiancé goes running to his sister's side when he gets one of her emergency calls. What troubles me is that when you tell him something bothers you, he isn't interested in talking about it.

If Sissy and her husband feel it's safer for her to spend nights with her parents when he travels and the parents welcome her, I see no reason why you should be critical of her for it. However, that your fiance would cut short a date or some other activity you are involved in together strikes me as over the top if it isn't a true emergency.

As I see it, you can either accept this as part of their family dynamic, or rethink marrying into that family, because they are not going to change — and once the parents pass on, Sissy may need her brother more than ever.

DEAR ABBY: I dated a guy long distance for eight months. Whenever he was in my state for work, I'd go see him. Two months ago, he suddenly ghosted me! Two days prior to that, everything was fine. We texted and had a wonderful phone conversation. I'm at a loss. At first I was sad about it, but now I'm angry. I want answers, which I know I probably won't get. What do you think happened? — LEFT HANGING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR LEFT: Long-Distance Guy may have met another woman and ghosted you because he wasn't man enough to be upfront about it. Another possibility is that he was never available in the first place. This is why long-distance relationships can be risky unless you know the person well, and why it's a safer bet to focus on someone local.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

  photo  Jeanne Phillips