COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987
March 29, 2017

My Family Is Bleeding Me Dry

Hey, Bonita…

I recently got back in contact with my nephew who lives outside of Atlanta. He's my brother's son, and his mom never liked me or anyone in our family. Now my brother has moved on, and our side of the family is back on good terms with the kids. It's great! But they are so needy. My nephew and his sister are always broke and begging us for for money. He works full time, but she doesn't work at all.

I have worked hard to get everything I have, and I'm always ready to help a family member in need, but every week they ask me for $20 or $40 or to pay an entire bill for them, and I just can't do it. I don't really have the money, and also, my nephew has a terrible attitude and gets really loud and angry when I put my foot down and say no. I want them both to just stop asking, but I'm not sure I can handle the tirade my nephew will unleash. I'm happy to have him back in my life, but not like this. How do I tell them to back off?

Frankly, you set a bad precedent by ever giving them money in the first place. Greedy people ask for an inch and take a mile, and your nephew sounds greedy, as opposed to poor. If he works full time, but he's still asking you for money, then that means he's spending his own money all wrong.

Under no circumstances should your nephew be yelling at you for not giving him money. That is incredibly disrespectful, and shows his selfish nature. Tell them both to back off by pointing out that you can't support them. If they're impressed by your car or phone or clothes and assume that you have tons of disposable income to throw around, explain to them how that is not the case. Tell them about your lease agreement or your Marshall's addiction—whatever it is that you do to put across the air of affluence. Explain your truth to them, and hopefully they'll be receptive and respectful.


My husband refuses to go down on me. I give him toe-curling head every time we have sex. I'm getting angry and am thinking hard about either stopping sex with him altogether or getting a divorce. I have not had satisfying sex in over two years.

Two years is a very long time to put up with bad sex. Using the word “refuses” implies that you have spoken to him about it and he just won't do it under any circumstance—no way, no how. I have to say, that's pretty immature behavior for a married adult man who I assume gets most of what he wants in bed. His refusal to step it up for you shows a serious disregard for your general happiness and state of well-being. I mean, he married you, and he won't go down on you?

My initial advice would have been to talk to him about it, but you've already done that. So now it's time to let him know you're not happy, and your happiness is more important to you than calling yourself his wife, as it should be. If you stop having sex with him altogether, I'd say your marriage is pretty much over anyway, so let him know that the entire relationship is on the line here. He might respond by gaslighting—saying you're overreacting, accusing you of being shallow or unloving for wanting to leave him over sex. But you're allowed to require good sex in a relationship, whether he agrees or not, and staying in an unhappy relationship is a surefire way to destroy it forever.

Relationships take work from all involved, and this is work that he needs to do to keep your marriage strong. If he doesn't want to do the work, he shouldn't be in a relationship.

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