My brother has confessed to me that he likes dressing up in his live-in girlfriend’s clothes when she’s not home. Lucky for him, she travels a lot for work.
I’m not sure what to do with this information. He says she doesn’t know. I’m a woman in my mid-20s and I think I would know if someone was trying on my clothes. I know how I fold my clothes, and put them away in my drawers and closets. I would assume everyone does.
I think she knows something but doesn’t know what to do or say. Should I talk to her?
Secrets with my sister
No. It’s not your place to call out your brother on behaviour he’s shared with you confidentially. Especially since he isn’t causing any harm to anyone or anything.
My suggestion would be to talk to your brother and encourage him to open up to his girlfriend. On a practical level, he is using her things and she may not want him to; or she may ask him not to touch certain items. She has that right.
And on another level, she may not want to continue a relationship with a man who enjoys wearing women’s clothing. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with his behaviour – but it’s a decision she should be allowed to make for herself.
The longer he hides it from her, the more it will feel to him like a dirty little secret when, in reality, there should be no shame.
My father has decided to move back to the city where I was raised, and now live with my husband and three children. My mother passed away over 10 years ago. My father stayed in their house and continued working until his recent retirement.
Now that he’s home more, he doesn’t like being in that house. Too many memories and it makes him sad. I’m happy to have him closer, so I was on board with the move. He’s a wonderful grandfather to my children and he and my husband get along quite well.
The move is imminent so there is a lot to discuss, plan, and organize. My kids are off school for the summer, so I have taken some time off work to be with them, and help my dad with his big move. He’s found a cute house walking distance from us, which I thought would be great for the children as they get a bit older and more independent.
My concern is that my dad is calling both me and my husband multiple times daily. About half of those calls are move-related; the other half are about nothing. My husband doesn’t want to be rude but he can’t be bothered at work every hour, nor can I.
How do we explain to Dad that we love him, want to help, will be there for him, but not all day?
Your dad sounds nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, and sad. This is a big deal! He’s selling the house he and his wife lived in together and moving away from their local life. Fortunately, he’s moving somewhere familiar where he will also find memories in the streets.
But to be widowed, retire, and move is a lot! Be kind and patient with your dad. But absolutely explain to him that unless it’s important, for the next week or two, before you go on vacation, you won’t be able to take his calls between the hours when you’re at work. At the same time, when you or your husband go on your coffee or lunch breaks, check in with him.
Once he’s settled, his constant neediness will also settle.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman bothered by her recently retired husband (May 23):
Reader – “I lived in Japan for many years and Japanese women had a phrase for men like that. It’s more common in Japan because there are still more stay-at-home wives compared to here (in Canada). Husbands hover around their wives after retiring and mess up their decades-long routines.
“The term was ‘sodai gomi’ which meant they were like leaves falling off trees in the fall which stick to the bottom of your shoes when you go outside. Very difficult to get rid of no matter how hard you shake your leg.”
Lisi – “Sodai gomi” literally translates to “large garbage.” According to my research, it is very difficult to dispose of large unwanted items in Japan due to lack of landfill space.
Calling your husband sodai gomi indeed means something hard to get rid of.