“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Oct 8, 2013
DEAR AMY: I have three older half-brothers (we share a father but I have a different mother).

About a year ago one brother threatened to expose something personal about me on Facebook. The thing that he threatened to expose wouldn't really have bothered me, but he clearly thought it would. After that I had no contact with that brother.

Recently our father had a heart attack. I was the only one of my siblings who did anything for my parents during this time. I live two hours away and I'm a full-time college student; I had to drop everything so I could be at the hospital and drive my mother back and forth.

I realize that my mother is not their mother and it's my job to see to her needs, but I was infuriated that my brothers hardly did anything for our dad at that time. I was the one who was there for him nonstop at the hospital and afterward.

I feel a lot of resentment. They don't treat me like a sister. I hate that I'm the only one who really takes care of our dad and that I'm left out of other family events. I want to pretend that it doesn't bother me, but I do feel bad.

I had nothing to do with our father divorcing their mother and then marrying mine, but I feel like they blame me somehow. I would like to just let it go, even though I feel like I've been punched in the stomach.-- Invisible Sister

DEAR SISTER: If your half-brothers are substantially older than you and were raised in one household as a unit (for instance, if they lived with their mother, versus being raised along with you), then this would definitely have an impact on how they view the sibling relationship with you.

Your gender also makes a difference -- especially when it comes to caretaking. Obviously there are exceptions, but parental caretaking duties tend to fall to women. In leaving you to take care of your father, they are treating you exactly like a sister.

Nothing will change without you at least trying to communicate about it. Don't pretend this doesn't bother you. Your father can also have an impact. He should model inclusive treatment, fairness and gratitude -- and expect his sons to do the same.

DEAR AMY: I have been married for more than 40 years to a man who has been physically and verbally abusive. Recently I reconnected with a man I have known for 50 years.

He is no longer married, and we have talked almost every day for months. It is as if we have never been apart.

We have talked about my leaving my husband and the two of us marrying. He has said he will take care of me. He says that what's his will be mine and he makes me feel great.

My husband is constantly telling me I'm stupid and he is tired of me. I am torn as to what to do.-- Torn

DEAR TORN: You should leave your abusive marriage, but not in order to jump into a relationship with someone else. You should leave the marriage so you can be free of it. Do your best to set up an independent life -- and not enter into yet another marriage where you are dependent and have so little control. Give yourself time to get to know this other man outside of the pressure exerted by your current situation.

DEAR AMY: "Grateful for the Gift" was wondering how to go about returning a hand-knit sweater to his long-ago ex-girlfriend.

I think you should have counseled him to have basic manners. He received a meaningful gift from someone who wanted to give it to him. Returning it to that person is simply a way of repudiating the spirit in which it was given, and insisting that the person return to that time period, and try to disclaim any value that it had.

It doesn't sound like a sincere act on his part, and I think it's in poor taste.-- Regular Reader

DEAR READER: This effort was obviously manipulative. You make a great point. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Oct 8, 2013
1- They let you be the care-taker because you're the only one without a job!

2- Go for it. You're old, do what makes you happy.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#3 Oct 8, 2013
L1 & L2. "I begin witht he premise that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this"

Soren Kierkegaard

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Oct 8, 2013
1 Actually amy was very good, and the only thing to add it to tell that girl to get some therapey to deal with the family dynamics, and to realize that she does NOT have older brothers.

2 Yes, by all means, run off and do this. You will either wind up buried in a ditch or worse.

3 Yes, the guy was bonkers.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Oct 8, 2013
I begin with the premise that LC it a nut job, and discount anything she says as the blathering of a lunatic.
loose cannon wrote:
L1 & L2. "I begin witht he premise that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this"
Soren Kierkegaard

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: Sounds like they are not close to their dad. Regardless of the reason, given this, I think your expectations of them are unreasonable.

LW2: Leave the jerk, but I wouldn’t jump right into another relationship right away.

LW3: That guy sounded like a nut job. Amy’s advice should have been to start taking his meds.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: Previous to getting ill, where was your dad in all this? Allowing you to be left out of family events? Didn't you confront him at that time?

You can say something to the brothers about help with caretaking, but I feel it has to be backed up by your father or they will completely disregard it.

LW2: From the tone of this letter, I think it is completely unrealistic to expect the LW will be able to follow this advice. She's got to be almost 60; I'm sure she feels like she does not have that much time left to be happy and deserves it after putting up with a bunch of cr*p for 40 years.

That saying, my advice would be to not completely enmesh yourself in this person, emotionally and financially, so that when he turns out to be psycho, you can leave.

LW3: Funny, I don't recall Amy saying this guy was being "obviously manipulative" the first time around. So much for obvious.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Oct 8, 2013
L1: Give up. Thye'll hate you even more when your dad dies and leaves everything to your mom, who then will leave everything to you.

L2: Sigh. how about you just try being alone? Even in your 60s.(Good advice from Amy.)

L3: yawn.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Oct 8, 2013
Also: Team squishy for LW1.

Brooklyn, NY

#10 Oct 8, 2013
L1: Race nailed it in post 4.....she has no brothers. Simple.

Plant City, FL

#11 Oct 8, 2013
1: That's sad. Bet their mom poisoned them about your mom and you're getting the richochet.

2: I processed the first sentence and realized this woman has been abused longer than I have been alive. Who does that? We get one life--not to crap it away.

How abusive will he be if he finds out about the affair?

Marina, CA

#12 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: For openers, the one brother who threatened to expose personal information about you on FB is a worthless, immature jerk. Only you know if the other 2 have any redeeming qualities. But being angry with them is a waste of energy. I agree with Race and Red. Forget about them. Create a family of friends who value and appreciate you.

LW2: You've been physically and emotionally abused for 40 years? You need to leave 39 1/2 years ago. You'll be better off whether or not you get with your old flame.

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