We became friends in school, developed a relationship, and were together for more than six years.
We broke up because she had to move away. It was hard on both of us. We stayed in touch awhile, but life got in the way.
Four years ago, she returned. I was very happy to see her, we talked a lot.
My brother, who’s six years younger than me, talked to her at a dance event, a lot. He even asked her to dance before I could.
They danced repeatedly. I was badly hurt and very jealous.
When they finally stopped dancing, he bought her a drink. She and I talked for a bit, but then he returned.
They exchanged phone numbers. My heart was breaking. I couldn't get a word in between them.
The next day they'd become Facebook friends, liking each other's posts and commenting on them.
Then my little brother came to see me and asked if it’d be okay to ask her out. I was silent. Shocked.
He said that she and I weren't together anymore and were just friends. He admitted that he’d already asked her and she said Yes.
A friend of mine saw them someplace kissing.
They’ve both talked to me together and she even spoke to me by herself about this.
But I can't accept it.
After six months, I knew things between them were serious. It's been especially tough seeing them together on holidays and family events.
They recently celebrated one year and found a place to move into together.
I need help dealing with this matter.
The Older Brother
Yes, you do need help and you’re wise to know it.
Find a counsellor, vent about how hurt you are, how you feel it’s unfair, how you’re angry at them both but particularly your brother.
An experienced counsellor isn’t your family or your friend.
He/she knows you’re hurting and how to help you take a step back from standing close to the fire – which you’re doing to keep the pain going.
You don’t really want to accept what’s happened. You think it says negative things about you, like maybe she didn’t think you were right for her.
But the truth is, their union has nothing to do with you.
It’s about them and about timing and changed circumstances.
A counsellor is someone with whom you can argue back and ask more questions.
Most important, she or he can help you learn ways to put this behind you and move forward in your own life.
What matters now… is You. And that you can still find happiness in your life, once you accept the reality of the present and work on your own future.
I have Power of Attorney (POA) for my father who lives in long-term care due to impaired mobility and possible dementia.
He also has depression and anxiety, and a history of abandoning my mother (they’re presently married).
His memory’s recently improved with medication adjustment.
He’s asked me to initiate divorce proceedings against my mother and questioned his remaining in long-term care.
My plan is to show him the financial realities of divorce and him living independently, hoping that’ll dissuade him.
But is it my place to do so? Should I give him more autonomy?
Talk to his medical/psychological team.
Then take that information to a lawyer to discuss your POA and whether you should be initiating the divorce he’s suggested.
Trying to make this decision alone is too big a responsibility.
FEEDBACK Regarding the writer who expressed concern for her husband’s erectile dysfunction (May 31):
Reader – “I suggest checking for Sleep Apnea as there’s a very strong correlation between them.
“Studies have shown that sleep apnea treatment improved erectile dysfunction (ED) symptoms in all test subjects to varied degrees. “About 40% of men were able to return to normal sexual function.”
“A quick Google of “sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction” will reveal this information.
“I’m hoping your column helps spread the word to those afflicted and their health practitioners.”
Reader #2 – “A prominent, likely cause of erectile dysfunction in young men is exposure to porn from their teenage years and on.
“Dr. Norman Doidge, on plasticity of the brain, cites many studies that link the vulnerability of brains of post-pubescent boys to pornographic imagery.
“Habitual exposure and porn addiction are linked with changes in the brain that can affect erectile function.”
Tip of the day:
Venting to a counsellor can help you learn to accept reality.