DEAR AMY: Over a year ago my brother and I got into an argument over politics and we both said some things we should not have said. I had purchased tickets to see a band with him for his birthday but did not want to go with him. I dropped the tickets off at his house with a note saying I no longer wanted to go. A year has passed and I feel bad about the way I handled this situation. I recently reached out to reconcile but have not received a response. I wrote an apology and followed up indicating life was too short to be angry for too long and that I was sorry for what I said -- but I have not had any response. Should I just leave this alone now and wait, or should I continue to try and reconcile? I want to get back to the way it was but I'm not sure if he is willing.
DEAR BROTHERLY: The key ingredients in reconciliation are: Fully acknowledging your own behavior (without justifying or rehashing the elements that drove you to it), saying you are sorry and asking for forgiveness. If you have done these things, be patient.
Then contact your brother casually -- by phone or text -- and ask him to hang with you. If there is an errand you can run, or a task you can perform (perhaps for another family member), ask him if he wants to join you. Sometimes it's a little easier to ease back into a relationship through a shared activity.
DEAR AMY: Last weekend my boyfriend told me while we were showering that he was leaving me for a man he met on the male hookup app Grindr. That man happens to be my neighbor. My boyfriend proceeded to move out that morning, and he keeps coming around, trying to be "friends." I tried to be cordial at first, but then one night he tried kissing me and I pushed him away. Now I just want to be left alone, but because he's living with my neighbor, I see him almost every day in passing, and when I do, I feel hurt. I don't want to have to hide in my home out of fear of seeing him. Do you have any suggestions on how I can cope with this new reality? It is one I've never experienced before.
DEAR SAD: This JUST happened. You need to take your recovery on your own time -- not his. There is no need for you to be friends with someone who has betrayed you in the most heinous fashion. If you feel anything for him, it should be pity. After all, he has to occupy his own empty shell.
In the meantime, avoid him (without hiding out); alter your schedule so you don't overlap. Get together with other friends who can understand, commiserate and comfort you. Do not jump into a rebound, but give yourself plenty of time to recover.
DEAR AMY: I am responding to the letter from "Stressed Out of My Mind," whose husband works the night shift and doesn't feel he has to share responsibility for caring for their two young children. Your advice was spot on. She needs to let him experience what her day is like and what it means to be a father, up close and personal. When our firstborn was an infant and I was home on maternity leave, my husband came home, took one look at the sink and said, "I just don't understand how you can be home all day and not get the dishes done." Shortly after that, with his support and encouragement, I signed up for a course that meant being away weekends for eight straight weeks. Week No. 2, I came home, took a look at the sink and said, "I just don't understand--" I did not get to finish that sentence because he knew where I was headed! My taking that course was probably the best education my husband could possibly have gotten in what it takes to raise a child. One day spent with an infant is priceless!
DEAR BECKY: Amen, sister.