I dread every scene with the family of my boyfriend of three years. He's the youngest of five.
The eldest brother ignores my existence entirely. If his mom sees me acting not right by my boyfriend, she’ll say she wishes he’d date his high-school ex, because she was much skinnier, prettier, etc., than me (true).
I spend every holiday with them now because if we go with my family, I’m described as controlling and evil.
This all started when he became vegetarian after meeting me (I didn't care if he ate meat, and I don't make a big deal about just eating what I can when I’m with them).
But they endlessly "tease" (it can get mean) over it.
I want to see my boyfriend on the holidays and it helps him withstand the abuse if I'm there to shoulder some.
What can I do help make it better?
After three years of dating, you should be asking, What can your boyfriend do? What is he willing to do?
If you live together, how often do you have to accompany him and endure their meanness? If you haven’t become an independent couple on your own, why not?
This family is hard on both of you, and unlikely to change much. You two need to decide more than just how to get through the holidays.
And you have to consider whether he’s ever going to stand up for you.
I go to an all-girls high school. I met “X” during my first year but didn't like her then. She was different, an attention seeker, and she caused chaos.
The following year, we became friends. Four years later, we took the same classes since we both wanted to be in the medical field and became very close.
I felt myself changing. I couldn't stay a day without talking to her and she gave the most comforting hugs during hard times.
I hated myself during these times because my heartbeat would automatically speed up when I'm with her.
She's such a flirt and it disgusts me whenever I swoon over HER enchanting smile.
There were times I felt stupid for being in love (Eww) with her and I just can't help it anymore!
I'm not a lesbian because I do have crushes on boys too, but no guy has ever made my heart beat like she does.
I need to focus on my studies to achieve my dreams. How can I do that when I'm experiencing forbidden feelings that disgust me? What should I do?
It’s not uncommon for teenagers and even adults to have same-sex crushes, or ambivalence about their sexual identification.
It’s only “disgusting” to you because of fear. You’re terrified that your feelings define you, when you haven’t yet defined yourself, sexually.
And you have biases that have been ingrained in you by others, but with no experience or understanding of your own.
This girl is a dear friend. Don’t blame her for your feelings.
Your eventual comfort level with your sexual identity – whether straight or lesbian – will become clear. You may discover it through experimentation or become sure within yourself, in time.
Feelings of attraction aren’t “forbidden,” but if they overwhelm you, consider talking it out with a professional counsellor.
There’s no shame.
Focus on your studies, as the more you learn and the closer you get towards goals, the more confident you’ll feel about yourself, whatever your choices.
FEEDBACK Regarding the female friend behaving inappropriately around the writer’s husband (Oct.27):
Reader – “Do not ignore warning signs. It happened to me when my best friend of 20 years began behaving similarly.
“What resulted was an emotional affair which ripped apart two long-term marriages.
“She’s developed a relationship separate from yours with your husband and he’s participating.
“Rather than addressing her own marriage, she’s fishing for another relationship.
“Don’t try to explain away or ignore this developing situation. The more contact she has with your husband, the more discussions of your relationship that they have, the more peril your marriage is in.
“An emotional affair is MUCH more damaging to a marriage than a one-night stand.
“Insist that your relationship with her, and his relationship with her, both end - at least for now. You and your husband need to go to counselling to work through how this has gotten to this point.”
Tip of the day:
In a nasty family situation, the direct relative must stand up for his/her spouse.