DEAR ABBY: Our family is worried about my brother. Ever since he met and married his wife, he has changed.
There was a “surprise” baby. Access to the baby is limited — even my parents, who visit only once a year, must schedule an appointment at least two days in advance. My brother now rarely leaves the house.
He has begun questioning my parents about their will. He is asking to be bought out of the family business, which he had previously stated numerous times that he absolutely loved being a part of.
Abby, I know you typically say to stand aside and offer support if asked, but some of his decisions, like wanting to leave the family business, will have serious negative impacts on the whole family. Is there anything we can do?
— CONCERNED BIG BROTHER IN WASHINGTON
DEAR BIG BROTHER: Your brother’s wife appears to be very controlling. Is he all right? I ask because you wrote that he has always loved the family business.
Because his request to be bought out will affect everyone, all of the principals — including your brother — should meet with your attorney as well as your financial adviser to discuss what that will mean for all of you.
If this is being caused by your brother’s wife, do not allow her to isolate him. Assure him that you will always be there for him regardless where his path may lead.
DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school in a long-distance relationship. My boyfriend, “Grant,” and I live two states apart and have visited each other several times.
We met three years ago, when Grant was 19 and I was 15, and became friends through banter online. However, he had a girlfriend and we were nothing more than friends. I developed feelings, but he did not reciprocate because I was underage.
Later, after he and his girlfriend broke up, I told him how I felt and we became a couple. That was 10 months ago.
Grant asked me to move in with him next year, and I have decided to do so. His college tuition and housing are paid for, and he wants to help in paying mine while we pursue an in-person relationship.
Some of my relatives know about my decision, but the two family members I live with do not. They are very serious and old-fashioned in their beliefs and do not respect my relationship in any way.
I’m not sure how to tell them about my decision to move 900 miles away to a state where neither Grant nor I have friends or family. I’m looking for any advice possible.
— BIG PLANS IN INDIANA
DEAR BIG PLANS: I’m glad you are seeking advice about this because I have serious reservations about what you are planning.
If you move in with Grant (as generous as his offer may be), you will be denying him and yourself an important aspect of the college experience. This is a chance for each of you to complete your education, as well as grow and define yourselves as individuals.
Both of you will meet new people and develop interests apart from the other, which is both challenging and healthy. Please do not deny yourself or Grant this important experience.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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