Dear Abby: My younger brother is 25. Three or four months ago he got out of a six-year relationship. He is now dating his former boss, a woman who is at least 15 years older than he is. As far as I know, I’m the only one he’s told.
I recently asked him how the romance was going and he told me things are great. He also said he’s worried about how to let the rest of our family know about this new relationship. Do you have any advice I could give him about revealing something that’s sure to shock some members of our family?
Worried Older Brother
Yes. Tell him all he has to do is bring his new love interest to the next family gathering. (You can be in charge of supplying the smelling salts.)
Dear Abby: My husband and I completed construction on our retirement home five years ago. Even though we’re not retired, we were able to move in. We are now 31/2 hours away from family.
We have repeatedly invited family members to enjoy our hospitality at holiday or vacation time. Some of them have taken us up on the invitation at least once. However, one of my brothers has never been here.
We have a lovely log cabin on a lake, and it can accommodate ALL family members for a gathering. Our relatives cite the long drive as the reason for staying away, while they think nothing of taking a hunting or fishing trip nearby.
I have stopped asking. My mom thinks I should continue extending invitations. Truthfully, it is a lot less work and expense to NOT host. Who’s right?
You are. By now your relatives are well aware that they are welcome. Continue to invite those who have accepted and reciprocated your hospitality, because it should be apparent that the ones who have declined are not interested. And explain that to your mother, who long ago should have stopped telling you what to do.
Dear Abby: Have you or any of your female readers experienced this medical phenomenon with their male partners? When I open my mouth to speak, I can literally hear my husband’s ears slam shut! Repeating everything seems to be a side effect for those of us living with someone with this disease. Does anyone know of a cure?
Tired of Talking to Myself
Alas, I can’t answer from personal experience because every time I open my mouth to speak, my husband rushes forward to catch the pearls of wisdom I’m spewing. However, I suspect that what you’re experiencing may be a widespread phenomenon that happens when any woman suggests something her spouse doesn’t want to hear. Readers, what do you think?
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.