Dutiful Sister writes:
My favorite and only brother and I have always been close, for over 25 years now. We laugh and treat each other with a lot of respect. My issue is that he can’t ever seem to communicate through voice mail and text message, he just gets me one syllable if I’m lucky. I know he talks to his girlfriend all the time, constantly responding to her. I do my best not to pester, but I feel like I’m last on his list. Should I bug him about this?
I would say you probably need to tone down your jealousy before you have that sit-down because, honestly, you’re kind of giving me a “Flowers in the Attic” vibe. I don’t know if it’s because you’ve been watching way too much “Grey’s Anatomy” or what, but I’m not sure why you feel the need to be so close to your brother who obviously has his own priorities going on.
The other thing I’m going to get real about is questioning what you hope will change between the two of you when you confront him. Do you think he’ll be receptive to it and will magically include you in all of his plans? Do you think he’s about to get married and you’ll get to be his best man? Or is the real hang up here that you don’t seem to have a life all your own?
You say this male-identified brother in your life is a good man. So what are you so suspicious of? Is it because in this one instance he’s not perfect? And how exactly do you know that he corresponds with his girlfriend all the time? Do you think hacking someone’s Facebook is a harmless thing to do? Well, an invasion of privacy restraining order might have something to say about that.
All in all, I think unless you want to damage the structure of your relationship (like so many sixth-grade balsa wood bridges), you should consider just letting it be and enjoy your brother for who he is and the relationship he has with you now. And if you feel like bringing this up again, may I suggest a repeated listening to “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation?
Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru
Nacho Buddy writes:
So he says I’m his buddy, and we’re both guys and we’ve been covertly having sexytimes for two years now. I’ve never really been happier. I feel listened to; he remembers things I say. The sex is amazing, but he says he’s not gay, has a girlfriend and all I am is a “buddy.” He says he’s only gay in bed and his asexual girlfriend is cool with us. I feel like I’m the only one in this relationship. I mean, we flirt and talk on the phone and he sends random messages saying that he thinks of me. I want to be completely happy with what we have. Am I selfish not to be?
Woah. You’re not being selfish. You’re being gaslighted, and even if the sex is phenomenal, it’s not worth it to be in a partial relationship. It sounds like you’ve fallen head over heels for this guy who wants his life easy. He can be gay without any of that social nastiness sometimes associated with coming out. He doesn’t have to deal with feelings.
But there’s a glimmer of hope. I see that you’re fighting for yourself and I admire that. What activities do you share together? What activities or hobbies do you pursue without him? Become proficient more in those areas and begin to break away from the things that this yahoo and you mutually love.
I’m not saying it will be easy, because it won’t be easy. You’re in an abusive relationship with a man who refuses to acknowledge you. It’s easy to forget sometimes that emotional abuse can be just as potent as physical abuse, and this man has you so twisted around you might as well be a delicious Hanover pretzel.
You deserve so much better than the Donald Trump you’re seeing. You deserve an Elizabeth Warren, Gabby Giffords or even John Lewis. You deserve to hold hands when you’re walking down the street or to fight over Netflix. You deserve to eventually have conversations about who’s going to the PTA meeting this time or whether Keanu Reeves is a vampire or not.
Don’t forget, sex isn’t everything. Even phenomenal sex needs something behind it, or it turns from waking reality into a sort of Girth Brooks fantasy—and even he stopped doing porn to get married eventually. What are you worth to yourself, Nacho? How much are you actually willing to give up in order to be sexually satisfied? Because if that answer is everything, it’s not the right one.
I hope one day you find real love and that that sex is even more fantastic than the sex you’re currently having with a friend.
Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru