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earth designThis is a site all about relationships, and one of the most important relationships any of us has is with our planet. And, y’all, it’s a pretty dysfunctional relationship at this point. We are abusing it, arguably beyond repair. But if we act quickly and smartly, we can at least slow down the effects of our abuse and mis-use. In honor of Earth Day today, and inspired by friend Jeramy Zimmerman who started sharing planet-saving tips on Facebook this month, here are 22 easy things — Easy! — you can do to help save our Earth. On their own, they may not seem like a lot, but if each of you committed to doing even a few of them, let alone all of them, we could have a big impact.
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Beauti of India

I am a 38-year-old female in a wonderful relationship with my fiancé for the last 4 years. We live together in Melbourne, where we bought a house, and are planning to get married next year. I have no complaints about my relationship with him and am quite happy. The trouble is that I am an only child, and my parents, both in their 70s, live  in India, and I see them for just a few weeks every year. I also have a 6-year-old god-daughter who is the light of my life and is very close to me. Of late, she has been missing me a lot and asking why I can’t live closer to her. It breaks my heart to think that I am missing out on her childhood and am also not there to support my parents.

My partner’s situation here is quite different. He has two young children from previous relationships and doesn’t wish to leave the country until they are 18, which is understandable. He also has a 93-year-old father and a mentally-challenged sister, who live just up the road from us, whom he visits often. Unlike me, he is one of eight children.

I often feel torn between my life here and wanting to be with my family. This is something my partner doesn’t understand. Every time I try to talk about my feelings he takes it personally, accusing me of not loving him and not having affection for his family. This I find unfair and it hurts my feelings, considering I lived with him in his father’s house for two years to look after them and his children share their lives with us. As a result, I can’t talk to him about this matter anymore.

I definitely feel torn between my life here and my family back in India. I know that in 10 year’s time, I will deeply regret not being there for my parents and missing my god-daughter’s childhood. This bottled up feeling is making me very unhappy, and the fact that I can’t share it with my partner is making me resentful. Any words of advice? — Torn Between Two Worlds

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Warning: the following column contains rape themes that may be a sensitive topic for some readers.

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Mad at Brother” whose brother blamed their sister for her marriage falling apart after her husband refused to believe she was sexually assaulted at a party. “I can’t believe he’s blaming our sister for what happened at the party and actively encouraging her husband to do the same. I’m mad that he’s not supporting our sister as she tries to own her mistakes and deal with the rape.” Keep reading to see how everyone is doing now.
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Recently, my girlfriend and I split up (amicably). Since then, I’ve written sweet notes to her, praying she’s alright and telling her how much I missed her and her son, and telling her we could fix our issues and move forward. I’ve never cursed at her before and still haven’t now. With old girlfriends, when they left, I would be angry. Not this time. I’ve been extremely sweet and so on.

She follows me on Instagram and has yet to delete all our pictures. She has told me she does that with her exes. She deletes the past. I’ve backed off still because I don’t want to feel needy and cast a shadow. But she’s actually arranged the photos so they are together — three in a row here and so on…it actually looks quite cute, with tag lines that say “how to make your girlfriend melt” and screen shots of my text messages. The pictures are of us kissing, holding hands, my band on stage with me singled out and so on.

My question: is she ready to stop this? We stopped speaking about nine days ago. I told her I would allow her some time for her to think. She’s never had pictures of her exes, and her pictures on Facebook and Instagram go back a number of years. She also has tagged posts on Facebook of sweet things I did up for her.

I want this girl back. I don’t want to analyze everything. I haven’t talked to her in days. But today I sent her sunflowers, because I would call her “sunflower.” The note attached said:

“My garden is empty without my sunflower.
I love you and I will wait.
If you only knew.

P.S. I miss my best friend.”

The only reason it said “if you only knew” is because, before I told her I loved her, I would whisper that in her ear. That was my way of saying it, without saying it. When she found out what it meant, she cried of happiness because she felt the same.

I don’t want her thinking I’ve forgotten her. Is she moving on? Or is she just stuck in a limbo? —Missing my Sunflower

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We went to a farm today in Queens — the oldest running farm in New York state, I think. We fed goats (and sheep and an alpaca). Now I’m tired, which has as much to do with chasing my little animal around the farm as it does with hitting the vino a little too hard last night with a friend of mine. And it wasn’t even that much wine — we split one bottle and then each had one additional glass. And that was over the course of like 3 1/2 hours. But I sure as shit was hungover this morning, which seems unnecessary, cruel world, if you ask me. This is 37, you guys.

Anyway, I will take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter or Passover or 4/20, if that’s your religious holiday of choice. We are participating in an Easter egg hunt tomorrow, and then on Easter Sunday our friend Mary, who is an amazing cook and an even better candy-maker (I can’t wait until she’s ready to start selling her stuff so everyone can try some), is having us over for an Easter lunch. Other than that, I hope to get some good rest this weekend. My seasonal allergies are kicking in and all I want to do at the moment is sleep, sleep, sleep. Good night.