Mocked by boyfriend’s brother



Dear Carolyn:

I just spent the weekend in the company of my boyfriend’s brother, who mimicked/mocked me, belittled almost all my actions, and made fun of my chronic health condition. My boyfriend says this is just “George’s sense of humor,” and that I should ignore it and not be so sensitive. I experienced this as abusive, and believe my boyfriend should have spoken up on my behalf, even by calmly stating, “That’s enough, George.” My solution is to limit my participation in future family gatherings, which bothers my boyfriend. What do you recommend?

— Mocked

Being single. Sounds like an upgrade.

I’ll elaborate, but I hope you don’t need me to.

(1) Your boyfriend didn’t stand up for you while his brother treated you like dirt. That’s grounds enough for dumping your boyfriend.

(2) Your boyfriend found a way to blame you for it, not his brother, by calling you “too sensitive.” What other bad things that happen to you are going to be your fault over the course of your lives together? It won’t stop here, guaranteed.

(3) Your way of standing up for yourself against jerk brother is to avoid jerk brother. And look who your boyfriend is annoyed at: not his brother! Nope, he’s annoyed with you.

Run, run, run. The family that created a mean-spirited George also created your boyfriend, and that usually leads to one of two outcomes: Your boyfriend is determined and careful not to be mean-spirited, knowing too well its emotional costs; or your boyfriend is mean-spirited, too. This guy has just given you ample evidence he’s the latter, at least under pressure, which is when you least want that to be turned against you.

Hi Carolyn:

I’m finalizing the guest list for my wedding. My friends since high school are acrimoniously divorcing, and by my understanding it would probably not be a good idea for both to attend. Do I have to pick whose friendship I want more, and only invite that person? Invite them both, tell them both, and see who shows up (and take that as a sign of who wants MY friendship more)? Or invite them both, say nothing, and let them figure it out?

— Friend

Invite both and let them figure it out. Do not treat this as a sign of which one wants your friendship more. It’s not fair to test people’s emotions like that, and the problems between them are not about you.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Syndicated Advice Columnist
Advice Columnist Carolyn Hax takes your questions and tackles your problems.
Carolyn Hax

Latest posts by Carolyn Hax (see all)