Dear Short Answers: After 25 years of marriage my parents recently got divorced. That was bad enough but I have also found out secrets about my dad that I never knew. He was married and had a kid before he met my mom. And he might have even been in jail although I’m not completely sure. Should I confront my dad with this information and see what he says? When I see him it’s almost impossible not to mention it. What do I do? — Tearing Me Apart
Dear Tearing: Ask him anything you want but if you want an honest response (as opposed to just venting) don’t be confrontational. Be clever.
Goodbye to that
Dear Short Answers: My brother and I are at odds. He is 60 and I am 52. Our mother is 81 and, even though she still lives on her own, my brother yells at her all the time and tells her she is stupid. He insists that she run everything she does by him and if she doesn’t, he says she is stupid. If Mother asked for my opinion and she goes with mine over his, then he is mad at me. Now he says I have no business sticking my nose into anything with Mother and that he does it all and I do nothing. I do a lot of things for my mother, but whatever I do, he says it is wrong. I told him I don’t think I need a brother that is so hateful. Do you think I am being unreasonable? — Little Sister
Dear Little Sister: Your brother is an angry, abusive man. Have as little to do with him as possible.
This, too, shall pass
Dear Short Answers: A single woman with two children recently moved into the house next door. To say that she has large breasts is an understatement. And she isn’t embarrassed to show them off. My husband (who is well past 60) has been ogling them since she arrived. He is constantly peering through our kitchen window into her house trying to get a glimpse. I don’t worry about anything happening — he is twice her age. But I am concerned that he will humiliate himself. I would die if she called the police and reported him as a Peeping Tom. How do I get my husband to stop before he does something stupid? — Nervous Nellie
Dear Nellie: Unless he brings out a telescope or high-powered binoculars, we don’t think you have anything to fret about.
The way it is
Dear Short Answers: I was seeing someone for six months who just walked away without a word, overnight. How do I get closure or try to make someone understand how hurtful it is to end things that way? — So Hurt
Dear S.O.: So sorry. It’s not important that THEY understand — it is important that YOU do, so that you are more careful with your tender heart.