DEAR NATALIE: My sister is going through a horrible divorce and is having major money issues because of it. My husband and I have a big house with an in-law suite. We told her she is welcome to live with us while she works through everything financially. I expected she would be here for a year. Well, it’s been about two months and I have this suspicion that she is trying to sleep with my husband. Actually, not so much a suspicion as he told me she basically threw herself at him the other night when I went to bed and they were hanging out. I know he would never cheat on me, but I am infuriated with her. I want to kick her out. My husband said she’s a mess and was drunk when she hit on him. He feels bad for her. Well, I don’t. Drunk or not, she knew what she was doing. What do you think I should do? – BOOZE NO EXCUSE
DEAR BOOZE NO EXCUSE: Sis has got to go. I would not want anyone in my house that was disrespecting me or my marriage. You have to confront her about this and make it very clear that this behavior is not only unacceptable, but incredibly hurtful. How could she try and break up your marriage when hers is falling apart? What did she think would happen in this situation? Even if she apologizes, she can’t be trusted. You opened your home to her and this is how she repaid you? She can live with someone else – at least for a while. Take a break from this nonsense. You don’t have to put everything on the line for someone who cares so little for all that you’ve built. Once someone shows you who they are, it’s almost impossible to unsee it. Family or not, she has no right to treat you this way and needs to go.
DEAR NATALIE: My best friend and I are both turning forty this year and she hasn’t been feeling very well for a long time. We thought she had Long COVID symptoms and she’s been visiting a lot of doctors trying to get to the heart of the matter. Well, one doctor she saw has diagnosed her with a terminal illness and claims she doesn’t have much time. She is beyond devastated and so is her husband. She married just a few years ago and has a beautiful baby girl. She asked me the other day if she dies sooner than later if I would make sure her daughter “doesn’t forget her.” I lost it. I was so upset and we both just sat and cried for hours. I don’t know how to help her. She keeps saying she doesn’t want people pitying her. She doesn’t want to “feel” sick. I have no idea how to support her. I love her husband, too. He’s so wonderful and I’m heartbroken for him, as well. Any ideas on how to be there without making her feel worse than she does? – BROKEN HEARTED
DEAR BROKEN HEARTED: My heart goes out to you and your friend’s family at this incredibly challenging time. My mom was a nurse for many years and she never liked it when doctors would quantify a patient’s life because she said she “saw miracles every day.” So while we don’t want to live in denial, remember that people defy the odds all the time and there is power in positive thinking. When you are around her, be that for her. Be that joy, that love, that enthusiasm for living. It doesn’t mean you have to force activities on her. It just means make the moments count together. If she can walk, go for a little walk around the block. Take her to a park or green space with the baby so she can play in the grass while you sit and watch her together. Cook her favorite meal or order in while you watch your favorite show or movie together. Ask her if she wants to record anything special for her daughter to watch in the very far future. Talk to her about her fears and her life. Let her just be with you in silence. And don’t be afraid to cry. To laugh. To just be present together. The reality is none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. When you are faced with your own mortality, everything becomes heightened. Embrace that space. Acknowledge the fear but move through it to the other side, where there is nothing but the moment. And be there with her.
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