Can I cut out my brother?
Dear Annie: I spent my early childhood years with a loving foster family, and today, at age 75, I have a great relationship with my foster brother.
I lived with my biological family from age 7 until I left for college. I have one biological brother, and long story short, we are not close.
Today, I can hardly stand him or his family. He brags incessantly. He’s thoughtless, snobby, self-centered, condescending, materialistic and does nothing for anyone unless there is something in it for him. He and his wife seem to take pleasure in hurling insults at our children and their families and asking rude, intrusive questions.
My husband, children and I want no contact with him or his family. We stopped initiating contact with them several years ago. We didn’t make any “proclamation;” we just stopped contacting them, and they didn’t seem to notice until recently.
We have not answered their calls and don’t want to. We feel we should, at this time in our lives, not have to deal with them. And yet, maybe I should speak to my brother, at the very least. I have no idea what to say. Since this man does not listen to my remarks, it will have to be brief.
But again, we want no relationship with these people. — No Contact Wanted
Dear No Contact: Ghosting a date is one thing, but ghosting your own brother?
Bottom line is that it’s not fair to cut him out without an explanation. Tell him the ways in which you feel hurt by his behavior. If he cares enough to listen, perhaps the two of you can visit a family therapist to get your relationship back on track. If he doesn’t, then your children are probably better off without the insults and intrusive questioning.
Dear Annie: I want to start online dating again. I’m a 32-year-old woman who has a history of online dating, and in my profile, I was always honest — maybe too honest — about myself. The problem is I have a speech impediment. Some say it sounds like an accent with a mixture of Elmer Fudd. My pronunciation of certain words is horrible. My question is, should I put that I have a speech impediment on my profile or wait till a match gets to know me more and then tell them?
When I used to date, I would mention it in my profile, and I would always attract the wrong guys: guys who will take advantage of my biggest insecurities and the judgmental type, too. A part of me wants to be honest upfront, but then the other part feels they need to gain my trust first. I’m feeling torn on what to do. Any advice? — Speed Bump in My Speech
Dear Speed Bump: Your dating profile doesn’t need to be an exhaustive picture of yourself. Instead of thinking about what you should include, think about what you want to share about yourself with a potential match. There are countless qualities and experiences that define who you are, and your speech impediment isn’t one of them.
Most importantly, remember that the right guy for you will only care about what you have to say, not how it sounds when you say it.