Dear Amy: My only sister and I have never been close, possibly due to a six-year age difference and by having grown up in an extremely alcohol-fueled and abusive home.
In adulthood, we went our separate ways and rarely had contact with one another. Recently she moved to the same city in which I live so I reached out to her to try to rekindle our relationship.
During our visit, she confided to me about a big decision she and her husband are facing. I cautioned her about rushing into the decision. I learned later, by reading about this conversation on her blog, that she felt I had tried to “shame her” and that I had stuck my nose into her business.
I was quite surprised and hurt by her reaction and interpretation of that conversation. I asked her to refrain from specifically referring to me in her blog posts. I am an extremely private person and find it deeply offensive and disrespectful that she would write something so accusatory about me and publish it for the world to see.
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She didn’t respect my request. I have given up, as she clearly has no interest in respecting my wishes. I stopped all contact with her (including unfriending her on Facebook).
I find it frustrating that she has continued to mention me in a few posts since, by making statements such as “certain family members refuse to let things go.” She has referred to me as a bully.
Was I wrong to have asked that she not make specific reference to me in her blogs? How could I have handled things differently and what advice do you have for me going forward?
– Stonewalled in the Rockies
Dear Stonewalled: We live in an era of social sharing, where people sometimes use social media to wound others -- either through outright malice or through thinly veiled references.
You asked your sister to stop writing about you, but she thinks that she is writing about her own life. And now, even asking her to stop brings on another mention. Stop reading and reacting.
Moving forward, I hope that you each get professional help to cope with the ongoing relational fallout of growing up in a household where boundaries weren’t respected. I interpret her behavior (and perhaps your reaction) as a symptom of growing up in an alcohol-fueled and abusive home.
Dear Amy: I’ve been with this guy for over a month. He makes me happy and I love him but he is still active on the dating site where we met. He lied to me about it.
At the beginning of our relationship, I saw him all the time, but I now hardly see him anymore. I know he loves me but he keeps accusing me of talking to other guys when I’m not. I have to tell him everywhere I go and what time I get back.
I don’t want to lose him. I’ve just got a strong feeling he is talking to and seeing other girls. What should I do?
– Feeling Lonely
Dear Lonely: Let’s recap. You have known this guy for a month. You say you love him, but you hardly see him. According to you, he accuses you of seeing other people; he tracks your movements and makes you check in.
Pay attention to his behavior. If what you say is accurate, he is telling you -- loud and clear -- who he is -- a controlling guy who preys on your insecurity to isolate you and keep you off balance.
This is the opposite of love. You should exit from this relationship. Please, read the “Red Flags” section on the website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline: thehotline.org.
The Hotline now has an online chat function, so you can communicate directly with a counselor.
Dear Amy: “Concerned In-Laws” were worried that their son-in-law was too slovenly for a job promotion. He should be told: “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”
They should find a way to get this message across to their son-in-law. It will make all the difference.
– Been There
Dear Been There: Solid, classic advice. Thank you.
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