Posts tagged ‘brother’

August 7, 2008

Another letter to the “other woman”…

by Rod Smith

“Please, wake up and smell the coffee before you get burned. Your present relationship is based on cheating and delusion all round and it can only end in hurt. The man is a cheat: cheating on his wife and family, he’s cheating you out of weekends, holidays, and other more fulfilling interests and relationships as you hang around “in case” he calls. He’s also cheating himself. Divorce, broken homes and devastated kids who’ve gone off the rails when mom and dad split, don’t make for much happiness.

“Furthermore, the forbidden fruit tastes so sweet now in its early bloom has a nasty habit of leaving a very bitter after-taste when the relationship crashes. Most married men don’t leave home for the ‘other woman.’ Come on – is this what you want out of life? I hope that you’ll realise that you don’t deserve to be fitted in when he can sneak away from family commitments.

“You are in my thoughts and, though we’ll never meet, I’ll be praying that you find a good, solid, lasting, fulfilling relationship with a man you prizes you for your lovely self and has no other hidden agendas in his life.” (Shortened)

December 30, 2007

I have a problem sibling….

by Rod Smith

“I have a problem sibling. My sister and I spent four long years not talking, much to my mom’s distress, and many other years bickering. We made up, mostly for my mother. It didn’t seem fair to me that I had to humble myself and beg her to let things go (even though the whole thing was almost entirely her fault) but I did it for the sake of family harmony. My children wanted to see their cousin (her son). We are now on speaking terms, but because of distance we only see each other once a year. She drives me crazy, but for that one short visit I just suck it up and smile.”

Congratulations. You are no doubt stronger and wiser for your humility and your enduring acts of reconciliation. As a result of your efforts your mother is potentially less anxious and your children get to see and know their cousin: everyone, including you, appears to gain.

It is not who caused the issue or the division that is as important as who is strong enough to facilitate the healing.

Besides, let’s remain aware: it takes at least two to tangle! (No, I did not mean to say “tango.”)

November 20, 2007

Our brother (almost 60) has ADHD….

by Rod Smith

“Our brother (almost 60) is the youngest of four siblings has ADHD. He treats his family like dirt but his friends with respect. Even our mother (in her eighties) does not get his respect or attention. He confesses undying love for her then ignores her. He will lend money to all his friends but not his family. Hides behind the ADHD label and blames it all on this. He wants us to do right by him but never ever does the correct thing with us. If mother or a sister is in the hospital he does not visit. Family is always pushed aside to make way for wonderful friends. He will not see psychiatrist or get help. What can we do? We still love him but he is always right and we are wrong no matter what. His wife supports everything he does. How should we respond? We know he can never change. Please help us. My mom is devastated.” (Letter edited)

This is probably a character issue, and not a matter of your brother’s diagnosis. I hereby give you permission to relinquish your role as your brother’s change agent, and the family’s scum-half, or quaterback (depending on where you are reading this!). Give it up. Let your mother and siblings deal directly with him. Get out of the way! Playing “piggy in the middle” is never much fun for piggy.

November 5, 2007

Sleeping arrangements when brother visits with his girlfriend…

by Rod Smith

“I don’t know what to do. My brother (25) and his girlfriend (24) are coming to stay for a few days. They live together (and are not married). My children (boys who are 6 and 7) know they are not married and I don’t know if I should let my brother and his girlfriend stay in the same room. We are Christians and do not support living together and I am not sure what kind of message this will send to my children.” (Shortened)

If you judge your brother your attitude toward him will send your children a stronger, more memorable and negative message than any memory each boy might retain of an uncle’s sleeping arrangements.

I’d suggest you fall on your knees and thank God you have a brother who wants to visit your home, and allow your adult brother and his adult girlfriend to decide where they’d like to sleep – even when visiting your home.

Your children are likely to remember how you love their uncle more than they will remember where anyone slept!