carolyn hax

Carolyn Hax: Brothers at odds over same woman

 

Dear Carolyn: Our oldest son, “Jay,” lived with a girl I’ll call “Stephanie.” He and our youngest son, “Sean,” were the best of friends and went everywhere together.

Jay and Stephanie didn’t work out, and she broke up with him. The breakup was pretty rough on Jay, and he wanted Sean to un-friend Stephanie and not hang around with her anymore. Sean refused and the two of them fell out over it.

Fast-forward two years, and now Sean has started to “see” Stephanie as something better than just a friend. He has told me he wants to have her move in with him. I have told him what I believe will happen if he does: All hell will break loose

I understand there is nothing to be done for affairs of the heart, but couldn’t he have chosen another girl? My wife and I are at our wits’ end trying to figure out what to say and what position to take on this.

St. Louis Dad

Clearly the easiest thing for all of you, even Sean, would be for Sean to break up with Stephanie and live happily ever after.

Just as clearly, that’s an outcome you don’t have the power to choose; you have already requested nonetheless; and Sean has already rejected.

Plan B time. To start, look at the angle you and Jay took from the beginning. Both of you reflexively blamed Sean. He’s the one who didn’t drop Stephanie out of respect for his brother, and he’s the one who, as you noted, “had to pick this one.” Have you ever asked yourself, though: Why couldn’t Jay himself be the bigger man, and recognize that his wounded feelings didn’t — and don’t — give him the right to ask his brother to surrender a friend?

If it so happens that Stephanie is using Sean for her own ends, then my only advice here is for Sean: Break clean of everyone for a while to get your bearings again. Barring that, my advice is for you, to consider that Sean’s reason for maintaining his friendship with Stephanie was more compelling, more worthy of support and celebration, than Jay’s reason for asking him to end it.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • Cook’s Corner

    Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

    Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

  •  
Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

  • The Edgy Veggie

    Edgy Veggie: Eggless ‘Egg Salad’

    This must be the egg industry’s favorite time of the year. There’s Easter eggs, egg-rich Easter cakes and cookies, Easter brunch omelets, casseroles and eggs Benedict (eggs atop English muffins and in the Hollandaise sauce). Eggs also play a big part at Passover. They’re on the Seder plate and in matzo balls, kugels and Passover desserts. Eggs, though, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for cholesterol avoiders, allergic folk (eggs are among the top eight food allergens) and vegans. Plant-powered egg alternatives mean we still get a place at the holiday table.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category