My fiancé lost his parents many years ago. His older sister is like a mother figure in his life.
I make great effort when it comes to his sister, always there for her whenever she needs someone to depend on or a shoulder to cry on.
Recently, my fiancé and I hit a rough patch which we’re trying to work on.
His sister and I had plans to go out but, due to the situation, I cancelled.
When asked if I'm okay, I said, “not really.” She replied, “okay.” She didn't bother to comfort me!
I felt that was really cold. I understand that she didn't want to get involved. But, the least she could do was give me some words of encouragement.
I sent her this message: “You really know who’s there for you when you're at your worst.”
She tried to call me several hours later but I've withdrawn. How should I treat this situation going forward?
Staying offended doesn’t help your feelings about the “rough patch,” nor your relationship with his sister.
Her return phone call signalled that she got your point and wanted to talk.
Just as a mother would, she has to support her brother emotionally, and was likely unsure of what to say to you that wouldn’t be disloyal to him.
Holding a grudge over her hesitancy is wasted deflection from the real issue of how to repair this rough patch.
She’s not the problem.
My sister's only daughter passed away suddenly in her early-30s, after a multi-year battle with cancer.
My sister had been her only grandson's primary caregiver (he was age eight, then) for those years while his mom was frequently in hospital.
She’d moved to a different city with them, to help her daughter and grandson, and returned to her own husband and home infrequently.
My niece had been separated (not divorced) from her husband, since she was diagnosed.
I believe he “couldn't handle her sickness” and saw his son very infrequently.
He was usually unemployed and living with his parents.
Since shortly after my niece’s passing, he’s refused to let my sister or brother-in-law or any of his wife’s close friends, see the child.
We’ve learned how much the boy misses everyone, from the infrequent times someone on the ever-changing “approved list” is allowed to talk to him.
My niece didn't have a will. She kept a diary of her husband’s electronic abuse and threats all those years. Her lawyer was preparing divorce papers.
Suggestions, legal or otherwise would be most appreciated. It seems a bad parent is still more legally likely to retain custody than loving grandparents.
This is a heart-wrenching story, as are so many from people who’ve been denied visits with their grandchildren.
Even more so, since the boy lost his mother as well as his loving grandmother/caregiver.
While the father has parental rights, the courts in most jurisdictions do not prefer a “bad parent” to loving grandparents.
The guiding principle in court cases is to act “in the best interests of the child,” which considers many factors.
Based on where you live, and the specific laws there regarding access and visitation with grandparents, as well as custody issues, your sister likely has a good case.
She needs a lawyer experienced in family and child issues including the most recent laws regarding grandparents’ rights.
Readers with helpful suggestions from their personal experience in this area are welcome to write brief accounts.
I’m often asked my age, in both professional and social circles.
I didn’t mind so much when in my 20s. Now, I’d rather not share personal details as I approach my 40s.
I’m grateful that I look young enough to confuse people, but I think it’s intrusive to ask.
However, it still gets asked, sometimes indirectly, but also point-blank.
It’s especially awkward socially because brushing off the question seems to make things immediately awkward.
That’s when, inevitably, I disclose my age, which I later resent. How to handle this situation?
In professional encounters, such as a job interview, it’s hard to avoid giving a direct answer but can be tried through stating your years of previous employment, your education, etc.
However, in social situations, you can simply avoid answering with, “I don’t consider that a polite question.”
Then, quickly head off awkwardness by changing the topic (something complimentary is a good ploy).
Tip of the day:
During relationship difficulties, focus on your main problems, not small grievances with others.