My younger sister has always been reckless with money, while I was a good saver and cautious spender.
I paid my way through university, now own a condo, and have a good job. She lived with our parents until age 30, with no savings and no fixed employment.
Then she moved in with a wealthy older man who takes care of her financially. They constantly purchase high-end electronics, luxury cars, and have extravagant vacations. She’s still unemployed.
Recently, she’s made comments that it’d be nice if we could all vacation together, but that I probably couldn't afford it.
True, I cannot afford to keep up with her lifestyle. However, these comments are hurtful. I’m jealous of her since I worked very hard to get where I am financially, and she’s had everything handed to her. Should I say how I really feel? I don't want to cause a rift, but I'm unsure if she realizes how hurtful her comments are.
You both made choices; both got what you wanted. The rift is there, growing through your jealousy and attitude, so she’s likely equally hurt that you judge her.
She’s taken huge risks as a dependent. Meanwhile, you’re secure in your lifestyle.
It’s very common that two siblings differ in style and choices. Often, one sibling purposefully finds their unique place in the family, for attention or approval, by being different.
Rise above jealousy, be proud of what you’ve achieved. But also take your sister’s comments at face value: Yes, you’d love to have time with her… ask, Is there something you two can do that is affordable for you?
My daughter, 38, always struggled with her weight, has previously dieted successfully, but now has become obese. She’s a wonderful stay-at-home mom, seeming happily, married to a wonderful guy. They’re devoted sports parents, often sitting in the stands, volunteering, too.
I hesitate to make critical comments though they eat way too much junk food and avoid exercise altogether.
I’m so worried about future serious health problems like diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, etc.
What can I do, if anything?
Sad, Caring Mom
Be the caring Mom who just “helps,” offering her some free time to get out with friends, join an interest group, whatever she chooses (it can spark self-interest).
She knows the health risks. But she won’t confront her obesity until SHE feels the need.
I lost my mother 15 years ago when I was quite young. My father passed five years ago. My husband had been wonderful helping me through depression.
Recently, I lost my brother, who I was very close to when younger. This time, we had other things going on - buying a house, a parent was cheating.
I had to put my grief on hold. Now things are settling down, but I get made to feel it’s too late to grieve for my brother. I now only have my husband's family. I feel so alone and not understood.
Grief can strike anytime after a loss, and often causes past losses to re-surface painfully, too. You’ve had to handle a lot of stress along with these losses. Get to a grief counsellor and don’t try to deal with all these events on your own.
Organizations like Bereaved Families can suggest grief counselors in your locale, and also have support groups. Faith groups and some hospices can also refer you to support groups. Being with others who’ve experienced death of someone close, helps normalize your feelings, and models how compassion helps you adjust.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s no longer attracted to his wife who rejects erotica (May 27):
Reader – “Eroticism is found through “eros” or love. Lovers/long married couples too exhausted to make love one night, can fall asleep in each others’ arms with dreams of the next night.
“The next morning welcomes a kiss on the neck and caress of a body part knowing that tonight will be special. Through the intimate dance of a couple embracing love, commitment, and respecting each other, and their relationship, eroticism can be developed and nurtured.
“It sounds like the husband has a sexual relationship with himself, stimulated by pictures in his head of other people’s sexual relations.
“That makes him a lousy lover, and a husband who’s sexually and intimately abandoned his wife. Women generally want the real thing - a lover who’s present, loving, sexually aroused, and arousing, and strives to pleasure them.”
Tip of the day:
Rise above the jealousy that causes rifts between siblings.