DEAR NATALIE: My father-in-law has always been a difficult person to deal with. He is in the early stages of dementia and has become even more challenging to be around. On top of this, he needs a different level of care and we aren’t yet in a position to move into a supportive living space. My sister-in-law (who lives out of state) thinks that he should live with us. My husband agrees, but I am hesitant. He has never liked me and with his dementia, he is often mean to me. I want to be a team player, but I’m not ready to give up my life to take care of him. My husband thinks I am being selfish. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think this is fair to me or to our three children. What do you think?
DEAR DIFFICULT TIMES: Families can be hard to navigate as is – but throw in a devastating disease like dementia and emotions can run even higher. I don’t know what your financial situation is – or your father-in-law’s – but maybe there is a middle ground here. Would he qualify to be at an adult care facility during the day? What does his insurance cover in terms of care? You may have some hard decisions to make in the future. If he were to live with you, can your sister-in-law and her husband chip in financially to take some of the burden off of you? Would you be able to utilize a care facility at some point? What does that timeline look like? If you knew he was going to live with you for one year (as opposed to indefinitely) would that make this easier? Having a plan and working with a social worker on this may help. You also need to have a heart-to-heart with your husband if you haven’t already about how you are feeling. Let him know why you are hesitant, how you worry this will impact you and your family, and what you are both willing to do to make this work.
DEAR NATALIE: My friend, Samantha and I, are both in our friend Kara's wedding. Samantha had been dating this guy, Steve, for about a year. They recently broke up and I have always had a crush on him. I know he will be at the wedding because he is in the groom’s party. It didn’t seem that serious between the two of them. I want to ask Sam if she doesn’t mind if I ask Steve out. I talked to Kara about this and she begged me not to do anything that would create drama on her special day. I’m not trying to do that, I just think weddings are a great place to meet guys! What do you think? –SAM, STEVE and ME
DEAR SAM, STEVE and ME: Hard pass on this one. I agree with Kara 100% that this will do nothing except cause unnecessary drama (and potential tears!) on her special day. Why does it have to be him? Why does it have to be at the wedding? This was your friend’s ex-boyfriend. They didn’t date casually, they were together for a whole year. That means something and it should be respected. If nothing else, let the sheets cool before you jump right into this. And why limit yourself to Steve, anyway? Scope out the scene at the wedding, there could be a much better match for you – that is unencumbered! – right under your nose.
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