When Siblings Disagree: Caring for an Elderly Parent Amidst Family Discord

Dear Liz,

I have four siblings, we are all in our 50’s. My mother passed away 40 years ago. My father is now 85 with Alzheimer’s for the past 7 years. I am the youngest of the four and my father gave me his health directive 8 years ago. Now that I have become my father’s legal guardian, my eldest brother has taken the role to be the “overseer” of me and reports on me to attorneys and a trustee of my Dad’s trust, in fact insisting that I report to these people on a regular basis every email, every call, every issue. Continue reading

Moving Beyond Resentment: Finding Peace after Being Wronged

Dear Liz,

I took care of my cousin’s son (was awarded emergency temporary custody).  I took him to all his appointments, provided for him, did everything to get his SSI benefits back, raised him as my own with my SSA money.  His mom decided she wanted him back and turned my life into a living hell.  SSI said they couldn’t give me my money after finding he was disabled in my name, but they gave his mom his check after I gave him back to her.  She even used him for the income tax season. Continue reading

What is a Relationship?

Dear Friends,

Over the last few months, I’ve received a number of questions about relationships, all of which shared a common theme:  one person appears to be 100% invested, while the other is not.  I’ve heard from a number of women who are upset and confused, because while their partner is professing his love, he is also questioning the relationship.  I’ve heard, “he needs to treat me better” and “we love each other, but we’ve started to fight Continue reading

When a Relationship Begins with Lies

Dear Liz,

I recently (in the past month and a half) started a “relationship” with a boy older than me. We weren’t official, but we were intimate and he acted like he cared about me. Today I found out he had lied to me about so much. From having a girlfriend, kids, to his race. I told his girlfriend and she was so grateful for me being honest with her. I messaged him after to ask him some questions I had. He’s talking about how he feels about himself and I can’t help but care. Should I just drop him and run because of all the lies? Or should I try and be friends? It hurts me to not try and help someone who is in pain. Continue reading

A Compromising Photo, Betrayal, and Humiliation

Dear Liz,

A few months back a (male) friend obtained a compromising photo of me. He sent it to a friend because he was promised to be paid for it. He swore up and down that he deleted the picture and I would be given the money for it. I never expected to be paid for this, but he was a friend I trusted at the time and chose to believe the picture was deleted. Fast forward a few months. I’m at a party talking to a different friend who blurts out, “he didn’t delete the picture.” I learned he’d saved it and been showing people and bragging. When I confronted him he of course denied it. I told him how angry and embarrassed I was and have since cut off all ties to him.

My question for you is how do I cope with this embarrassing event? I realize there is not much to be done in terms of erasing all that has happened, but how can I get past it and trust people who claim to be friends? What can I do to heal the wounds this has given me? Continue reading

Boyfriend’s Past Trauma Hurting Current Relationship

Dear Liz,

I am at a crossroads because I am about to graduate, I have job interviews lined up, I have one more month living so close to all my best friends, and my boyfriend and I are super committed. Everything on that list is so exciting- except my boyfriend. I would say a vast majority of the time we’re together he is AMAZING. Friends and family adore him, he respects me and he’s sensitive toward my emotions. But, he has had awful trauma in his life that he has not sorted through. So this results in attachment issues and violence. He is hesitant to support anything that I plan for post-grad because he is scared I will move too far away from him, he’ll lose me, etc. It’s frustrating- but we have had very open communication about it and I do not see it as a deal breaker…on its own. As for violence, he is not violent toward me. However, when he gets near alcohol he becomes very aggressive toward other men- especially when he sees them as a threat to our relationship. This came to an “all time high” when I had to bail him out of jail for fighting recently. Violence is a HUGE deal breaker for me- we’ve talked about it, it continues. However, he was in a very dark place when he met me, and he has come out of it, but I feel if I leave him he will slip back to drinking, drug abuse, and failing school a month before grad. I am so conflicted. Help me? Continue reading