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This week in the forums we’re discussing:

Not wanting to have sex as often as my boyfriend

Afraid of Commitment

Tired of fighting

“Should I Tell My Mom I’m Moving Out?”

My little brother is such an idiot

birth control / IUD anxiety

Baby/pregnancy talk (there’s something in the water)

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

We live in a lovely town in the northern New England area about two hours away from my sister’s family and three hours away from my aging parents. I’ve been married for almost eighteen years and have three daughters in elementary and middle school. I am extremely close with my sister; we are in business together and our husbands are BFFs who go backpacking together on several trips per year. She also has three kids around the same ages as mine. My parents have decided to put their house on the market and move north to live near me. They are in their early 70s, are eager to retire, and would like to be near their grandkids as they get older (and be near family in case of medical issues, of which there are none yet).

My sister and her husband would also like to move to be near me and my parents, but the problem is my husband. He is refusing to allow my sister to move into our school district because he is uncomfortable with having so much family around. He feels he would be boxed out of his own family and he feels my sister and her family would be taking over the life we’ve made here. A few notes to add: My husband had a stroke during a planned open-heart surgery this past summer (heart defect he was born with) and the after-effects of the brain injury make him extremely argumentative, angry, resentful, rigid, and sometimes downright nasty and cruel. It’s been a hellish nine months. He’s been back at work since three months post-surgery (he owns his own wealth management firm – very type A) but is obviously under a lot of pressure to “be back to normal.” He’s doing really well in his recovery but only focuses on what he’s lost. We have a roster of therapists and are doing every kind of treatment possible to help him heal. We haven’t lived near any family for over fifteen years (I had three kids in three years, which was really stressful with no family close by to help and my husband working really long hours during those years).

I am at the point where I know I need to be available to start helping with my aging parents, and I would love to have my sister nearby as well. She and I are best friends as well as business partners, and we have a dream of taking our business to a much higher level (we’re nutritional consultants and want to grow our business into a larger scale holistic practice). My husband doesn’t support our business at all. He feels he’ll be smothered by my sister and her family, that all we’ll talk about 24/7 will be our business, and that our kids won’t have their own friends because her kids will usurp ours and keep them from having their own social circles (our two oldest are in the same grade). My sister’s kids all play different sports than mine and are into different activities. My husband’s firm is a one-hour commute from home, so we don’t really see him during the week.

I’ve supported my husband through job changes, law school, moving to two different states for his work/school, and starting his own business, and I have never once told him NO. He comes from a highly toxic and dysfunctional family and so his experiences have made him not able to see the value of having family nearby. Selfishly, I feel like I’ve been supportive of his career and life decisions and now would like him to do the same for me. However, my husband has threatened to divorce me if my sister moves here, and he has threatened to send our kids to private school forty-five minutes away just to keep the cousins from attending the same schools. I don’t want my marriage to dissolve, and I just have no idea what to do.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. PS: Yes, I am seeing a therapist, and we have been seeing a marriage counselor. — Wanting My Sister Close


Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

My husband and I have been married for 55 years. My mother-in-law, who died when she was 99, never liked me. She had two children later in her marriage, so her daughter is 20 years younger than my husband. The daughter, my husband’s sister, was brainwashed by her mother to believe that I was a terrible person. My MIL turned many family against me, which caused me great grief. My husband is 83 now and has had many illnesses, including cancer (twice) and triple bypass surgery. We have three grown children, including one daughter with a mental illness who lives with us.

After all these years, no one in my husband’s family has ever sent him a get well card or asked how he is. Then, all of a sudden this past Christmas he receives a Christmas card from one of his sister’s daughters who is 29 years old. She has never met my husband. They live far away in another state. The card is addressed to “Uncle John” with a picture of her 3-year-old little girl. Now, I know her mother most likely told her to send the card only addressed to my husband, and I felt hurt and angry. So, I sent a card back from ‘Uncle John and Aunt Becky’ and wrote a note about how pretty her child is, etc.

Now my question is: If next year she again sends a card only addressed to “Uncle John,” should I respond the same again? I write all the cards. My husband doesn’t do the correspondence. My instinct tells me his sister is bored and is stirring the pot a little to “get to me.” I’ve experienced MANY pot-stirrings in the past and, after my MIL died, I thought I could finally relax. I’m angry at myself at my age to let this bother me, but I don’t want to start playing games again. My husband is ill again and enough is enough. This niece is very active and has a very good life and she is by no means trying to establish a relationship with her uncle. I look forward to your advice. — Aunt Becky, for the Record

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Wendy’s Weekly Picks,” is a feature in which I’ll highlight stuff I like or recommend in the worlds of fashion, gift ideas, home decor, makeup, websites, entertainment, and recipes. Of course, many of the stuff I link to will be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support! Here are my favorite finds this week:

My good friend Mary, the candy-maker behind Milis handcrafted caramels, has a couple of new springtime caramel flavors just in time for Easter: Sparkling Pastel Marshmallow Kisses, and my favorite, the candy-coated chocolate eggs. They’re sold in 6 and 12-piece boxes and would make a perfect hostess gift at your Easter brunch in a couple weeks.

Along with the Easter theme, how cute are these for the brunch table?

Have you heard of Stitch Fix yet? It’s a personal style and shopping service that sends a box of clothes and accessories right to your home every month (or however often you specify). You fill out a profile where you list your sizes, your style preferences, and how much you want to spend on various items, and a personal stylist handpicks five pieces of clothing and accessories for you to try (in the comfort of your own home). You buy what you want and send the rest back. There’s a $20 styling fee, but that can be applied to the cost of anything you end up buying. And if you buy all five items, you get 25% off your purchase. I haven’t tried it yet myself, and, although they do have maternity clothes, I think I’ll wait until after I have the baby and am back at my normal size (I’m sort of cheap about buying clothes I’m only going to wear a few weeks or months). But at our NYC meetup on Friday night, Lianne was wearing the prettiest top and scarf, both of which she got through Stitch Fix, so I’m excited to get my first box later this year. This is a perfect service for busy women who don’t have the time to go shopping for themselves.

Speaking of shopping, there’s a “last call” sale at Neiman Marcus, with markdowns on jewelry and watches up to 40% off and sunglasses up to 50% off. I like these earrings a lot, and these fun sunglasses, this lariat necklace, and this trendy ring that I’ve been seeing everywhere lately.

Gap is having a big sale through the end of the day. Purchase $100 worth of stuff, get $45 off with code “HURRY.” Here’s $100 worth of stuff (that you can get for $55!): this shirt ($20); this tee ($14); these jeans ($49); this thin leather belt ($20).

These are the dishes we own from Anthropologie and I LOVE them and we get compliments on them any time we have guests over. But I also love these and these and these. So pretty!

Jackson’s babysitter, who watches him three mornings while I work on the site, is on vacation this week, which means I’ve had to find a few activities to keep Jack independently occupied and entertained for an hour or two while I get some stuff done. Well, thank god for this, which we picked up at Target yesterday, and has already provided hours of fun, these Water books that have remained a favorite for well over a year, and this recently re-discovered book that Jackson loves mostly because he is so obsessed with writing letters (seriously, he will happily spend an hour or two writing letters over and over and over in a notebook or random pieces of paper or whatever he can find to write on).

I just read this book, North of Normal, last week, which I’ll talk about more in a few days. For now, I’ll just, woah. Woah, woah, woah.

Last week, on our way home from Jackson’s first dental appointment (and, yes, we were about a year late on that), we had a few minutes to kill before his favorite hot dog spot opened for lunch, so I dashed inside the maternity store a few doors down and found this tunic on sale for about $30 and walked out wearing it, happy to finally have a fourth item to add to my rotation of tops that currently fit. The brand is Everly Grey and it looks like there’s a whole line of really cute maternity wear if you happen to be in the market.

I’m 33 years old and I’ve been seeing my 48-year-old boyfriend for four months. At first he called frequently and we would spend lots of time together, but he recently moved his 17-year-old daughter in with him so that he could be a full-time parent and that has changed our relationship. He says she has issues with putting off schoolwork so he has to stay on her. This and her extracurricular activities seem to take up all his time now. Additionally, I have not met any of his friends, family, or his daughter yet. Even worse, he doesn’t call and show attention like he did in the beginning. I’ve talked to him about it, and he said he sees a future with me and would try harder. I’ve been thinking I should wait another month to see what happen, but I’m having doubts. Do you think it’s worth hanging on to see what happens and, if so, what should I do to try to save the relationship? — Having Doubts

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