Dear Abby: Sister can’t watch as brother’s bullying wife calls the shots

Dear Abby: My brother has been married for 11 years to a woman who is very controlling. She’s 32, he’s 38, and they have two kids.

She has all the traits of a bully. She decided if, when and how they got married, whether to have kids, when and how many. She also decides what he wears and what friends he has. She doesn’t allow him to socialize with his friends, controls his work schedule, home schedule, etc. When things don’t go her way, she yells and screams.

I’m afraid this unhealthy relationship is beginning to affect their kids. I hate to see him taken advantage of. What can I do or say to him to help him be more assertive? Or should I talk to her instead? – Concerned Sister

Dear Concerned Sister: You can’t wave a magic wand and make someone who isn’t assertive be assertive. Nowhere in your letter did you mention that your brother has confided that he’s unhappy with his wife running things. If he does, suggest he talk to a psychologist for tips on how to change the dynamic in his marriage. If not, you should stay out of it.

Dear Abby: I am a man in my 70s. I want to be married. I have never been, but I have always wanted the experience of a wedding.

The bulk of my life has been spent acquiring five graduate degrees beyond high school. I have terminated several long-term relationships and had two failed engagements.

Is there any hope for a wedding for me before my Maker calls? – Forlorn in the U.S.A.

Dear Forlorn: You may yearn for the experience of a wedding, but have you considered what responsibilities may come afterward? Weddings are expensive, but divorce can be even more so. I find it interesting that you would ask this question without mentioning that you had a particular love interest in mind. Until you figure out why you have a history of failed relationships, I do not think you should rush to the altar. Throw a nice party instead.

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 $7 to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.