My sister and her husband are living on disability pensions; my sister manages all their accounts and is worried that they don't have enough money to live on, and that large amounts go missing each month.
I know why the money’s missing. Her husband told me that he goes to massage parlours twice a week! Should I try to convince him to go less often?
I don't think I should tell her because he was caught going to a prostitute once, and promised my sister he wouldn't do it again. Yet, she’s worrying herself sick about money.
- Bad News Bearer
If you think you can convince your brother-in-law of anything, then convince him that his secret forays are going to blow up his marriage.
Eventually, his wife will follow the money trail, or him, and feel so betrayed that no amount of massages will soothe him or the mess he’s created.
Since he trusts you, show compassion for whatever’s driving him (perhaps his disability has affected his sense of manhood), but explain that he’s risking all.
He’d do better to talk to his wife about his need for counselling and together try to find an affordable therapist.
Twice-weekly “massages” are a stolen, expensive escape, not a solution to his problems.
I’m a professional accountant working away from home (Saudi Arabia) for extended periods of time. I’ve been doing this for a year.
My wife and two sons, ages 16 and 11, aren’t here. I visit them every two months for up to ten days, and we have fun together. But when I depart, I feel sad and confused about whether what I’m doing is right.
My wife says she also feels unmotivated, sad, etc.
I’m 49, she’s 38.
Financially, we’re comfortable as we own our house, have decent savings and could easily subsist on interest. However, work back home isn’t guaranteed; if I quit my job abroad it might be difficult to find one back home.
I’m certain that my wife is faithful because of the way she behaves when she sees me, and her emails to me reflect affection and love. I can’t bring my wife and kids to where I am for many reasons.
What can I do?
- Distanced in Saudi Arabia
Start packing and email your family the good news.
Your sadness and confusion comes from straining the most precious connection a family can have, without the compelling reasons of financial need.
Your decision shouldn’t be based on fears of potential infidelity, it should be about the normal needs of your sons, your wife and yourself, for companionship, bonding, and daily contact.
Many families who must live far apart – due to fighting wars, seeking refuge or dire economic reasons – would envy your ability to go back home and take time finding a job or starting your own business.
If you stay, the extra money you’re earning may ultimately cost you more, emotionally.
My step-son uses my house as a pit stop – he eats everything in the fridge, leaves his dishes in the sink, showers and leaves behind his laundry for me, with no thanks.
His father is so happy he comes by that he won’t let me say anything.
Leave the laundry. Shop for extra food.
Next time he visits, show interest in him – sit and chat with him when he’s eating. Then, ask him to clean his dishes.
And show him how to use your washing machines, in a friendly way.
Both your step-son and his father are bound to appreciate you more.
My boyfriend of one year had two close female friends and I was uncomfortable because he’d liked one for a long time, and they both called/visited daily. He reduced their contact but I suspected that one still visited; he confessed that they sometimes talk on the phone when I’m not there.
Now the one he liked is going to the same school as him! She's WAY prettier than I am.
I feel the only way for me to stop being paranoid is to break up with him, but I don’t want to.
By labelling yourself and acting, ”paranoid,” you give him a reason to see female friends behind your back.
Being at school with her may result in their occasional contact; but it doesn’t have to mean he’s cheating on you, unless you push him away.
Your insecurity is your enemy, not the girl, since he’s already chosen you.
Tip of the day:
Don't snitch on bad behaviour, try to influence change.