Q. My husband’s sister “Kelsey” filed for divorce a few months ago. Her new guy has a DUI and lost his license. He has a child from another relationship, doesn’t work, and rents a room from his brother. Kelsey has been paying for his plane tickets so he can visit her.
Kelsey told me she was filing for divorce because she couldn’t deal with her husband’s child from his first marriage. Now she is jumping into another relationship with the same setup. She is convinced that “it’s different.” Her parents are unaware that Kelsey is planning to move two states away to be with him after she graduates.
A. Kelsey sounds immature and reckless. Unless Kelsey has sworn you to secrecy, we see no reason not to inform your in-laws of her plans. Welcoming her into your home is up to you. If you have young children, you might want to keep her at a distance. But the more you disapprove of the boyfriend the more she will defend him. It often can be more effective to overwhelm him with kindness.
Q. What are your thoughts about the practice of notifying friends by e-mail of the death of a loved one, and recommending places to contribute in memory of the departed.
A. Like it or not, e-mail has become one way people now notify others of everything. And while it may be less appropriate than a phone call or handwritten note, it’s certainly more private than posting it on Facebook. Family members and close friends should still be told of a death with a personal call. Others can be informed in whichever way gets the news out in the most timely manner.
Suggestions for charitable donations and conveying condolences would be in a newspaper death notice and are therefore acceptable in such an e-mail.
Q. You suggested to “Roommate,” whose 13-year relationship was lacking intimacy, that her husband get his testosterone levels checked. Why is it that when men don’t want sex, it’s because their hormone levels are off, but when women don’t want intimacy, it’s because the relationship needs work?
You would think researchers would be looking for a physiological reason for women’s lack of interest. Not once has any doctor recommended that I get my hormone levels checked.
A. You must not be a regular reader of this column. We’ve done countless letters on women and their hormone levels. The best advocate for your health care is you. If you think your hormone levels are off, don’t wait for your doctor to suggest it. Insist on being tested. And researchers are indeed trying to find a pill for women that equals Viagra for men. Not there yet.