Dear Prudence: My brother molested me. Should I help him fight new sex-abuse charges?

Help! My Brother Molested Me But Wants Help Fighting New Sex-Abuse Charges.

Help! My Brother Molested Me But Wants Help Fighting New Sex-Abuse Charges.

Advice on manners and morals.
Feb. 28 2013 6:15 AM

Echoes From the Past

My brother molested me when we were kids. Should I help him fight new sex-abuse charges?

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I were married last May 11. My new brother-in-law is now engaged, and we are thrilled, although we do not know his fiancée very well. They have picked dates for both their engagement party and their wedding: May 11 this year and next year. My husband and I were taken aback that they picked our wedding date. I know we don't have rights to it, but when my brother-in-law sent us an email regarding the dates, he did not even mention that it had been our wedding date, and he was my husband’s best man, so he should know. My husband sent him an email back that it probably wasn't the best date but we would make it work if nothing else could be considered. There is no indication my brother-in-law is looking to change the dates. My husband and I are confused as to what we should do. We know an engagement party can be skipped, and we will skip it because it's our first wedding anniversary. But skipping a wedding is a different story. What would you do?


Dear Miffed,
Since my husband and I generally remember our anniversary a few days after it’s passed, I’m not even sure what you’re asking me. I don’t know how to break this to you, but until Congress recognizes Melissa and Curt’s Wedding Day as an official holiday, no one else in the world cares when you were married. Your brother-in-law is not doing this to screw with you. I’m sure if you threatened to pull out his toenails he wouldn’t be able to tell you what the date of your wedding was. Your self-regard is running up against another thing I dislike: the endlessly drawn-out wedding. I think it’s ridiculous to have two major celebrations a year apart (and innumerable ones in between) to mark a life milestone. But it’s absurd that you would skip the engagement party, let alone a wedding, because you and your beloved need to exchange gifts in private. What you two do is celebrate after you get back from your brother-in-law’s events. You also keep quiet about the enormous sacrifice you both are making in delaying those dinner reservations. But thank you for reminding me to write down our anniversary date so I don’t forget it again this year.



Dear Prudence,
I’m a man in my early 30s. I eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Due to a combination of facial structure and pigmentation, my eyes look tired even when I'm well-rested. I am somewhat insecure about this but have mostly accepted it as unchangeable. However, I get at least one comment a day about how tired I look. Someone in my department seems particularly dismayed by it, expresses her shock frequently, and has even suggested (in front of an audience of colleagues) that I start wearing makeup. Obviously her obnoxious comments are over the top, but I find the more general unsolicited input just as rude. What is the best way to respond to these comments? I want to say, "Oh, thanks, yes, I look awful! Your powers of observation are unparalleled.”


Dear Baggy,
Have you ever had anyone say to you, “You look like you’ve been punched in the eye”? I have. Just the other day the checker at the supermarket handed me the receipt and said, “Now go home and get some rest.” Which is better than the usual, “You look so tired!” I believe I personally keep the concealer industry afloat. You could discuss this option at a department store cosmetic counter, but looking as if you're wearing makeup would be worse than what you're trying to fix. However, since you acknowledge this tired look bothers you, I think you should see a cosmetically oriented dermatologist. There may be some creams or zapping treatments that could make you look more rested. Otherwise, just smile and dismiss the remarks: “I’ve got Dad to thank for the baggy-eye genes.” As for your colleague, you do need to take her aside and say you’ve heard more than enough of her concern about your looks, you don’t want to ever hear it again, and you sincerely hope this is the last time you ever have to have this conversation.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.