Direct Answers – Barrel of Apples, Crying Over You

Barrel of Apples

My older sister and brother cut me off if I don't agree with them. Most of my life, I've known this and kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself.

Five years ago my sister cut me off because I told her I only had four days to get together during the holidays. So two years later she sends me a letter, expressing how jealous she is of me because I have a good job, happy family and a nice house. But she has all those things, too. I did not respond. It's always something with her, and I'm tired of her head games.

My brother has always been a bachelor, going from one woman to the next. He prefers much younger women. Five years ago my son went to visit and my brother was mean to him, even cruel. I did not confront him; I just didn't put my son in that position again.

My brother travels abroad. His last girlfriend said he goes to prostitutes and brothels and forwarded emails and photos as proof. Again, I kept my mouth shut.

After he split with her, he decided not to get a place to live. He decided to travel to family members and friends' houses, staying up to two months at a time. I call it his I'm-taking-advantage-of-you tour.

He called a week before Christmas saying he was bringing his latest young girlfriend to my house. I told him no. He got irate and sent me a long email saying I'm a horrible person and he will never talk to me again.

I can live happily not being abused any longer, but because of what happened with my brother, our 79-year-old mother has little to do with me. It's sad. At the same time I'm emotionally exhausted trying to keep peace in this dysfunctional family. Any suggestions?

~ Kerry

Kerry, we have one suggestion. Celebrate!

Your sister didn't have anyone to abuse at the moment, and she missed abusing you. She was willing to say she was jealous of you even though you know she was not. She should have apologized to you, but you know she never will.

Fortunately, you said no. And your brother? He doesn't belong in your home. Again, you said no.

In the real world, when a victim says no, the abuse continues. In the best of worlds, the victim says no and the abuse stops. In a perfect world, the victim says no and the abusers say, "I'm cutting you off."

You are living in the perfect world.

The only problem is your mother, who plays minion to the other two. Don't change what's right to please her. It's a small price to pay for sanity.

The apple is delicious, once you cut out the rotten spots.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Crying Over You

I've been dating a wonderful girl. We never argue, we never fight. I could see her being the one. The only issue is compromise. I always end up doing whatever she wants just to stop her crying.

Example. For the last six months I talked about going to a particular restaurant on my birthday. Many times she joked we would only go there on my birthday. The day arrives, and she cried at the thought of going there.

It's not a bad restaurant, but she doesn't like their style of food and she's a picky eater.

I want to make her happy, but for once I'd like to have something my way.

~ Glen

Glen, you never fight, but she cries to get her way. That is her fight. She cries to end the argument.

Perhaps you think you don't understand the hidden cause of her tears, but that isn't it. She learned as a child to cry to get her way, and she's been doing it ever since.

Tell her either the tantrums stop, or she needs to find another shoulder to cry on.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.

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