How can I change the dynamic in our relationship? It doesn’t seem to have progressed since we were kids. -- UNDER ATTACK IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR UNDER ATTACK: The dynamic in your relationship hasn’t changed since you were kids because your brother never stopped being a bully. He calls you boring when you don’t take the bait because he considers belittling you to be a form of entertainment. You can’t change him. If you point out what he’s doing, he will deny it and blame you for being “too sensitive.”
You can, however, understand his childish motivation. Ignore him as much as possible and focus your attention on your nieces since that’s your only reason for going over there anyway.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my partner for six years. She is 14 years older than I am. We get along great and have a wonderful relationship.
‘’Marsha” and I live in a small Southern city. She is well-known and politically active. While everyone knows she is gay, they rarely realize I’m her partner because I look much younger. We are often approached with, “Oh, is this your daughter?”
How are we supposed to respond? Marsha and I work in the same place, so it happens there, too. It’s awkward. Any ideas? -- AIN’T MY MAMA
DEAR AIN’T: Because Marsha is a public person and it’s no secret she’s gay, when the two of you are asked if you are mother and daughter, Marsha should reply, “No, she is my partner.” (And ask them to spread the word.)
TO MY CHRISTIAN READERS: I wish each and every one of you a very merry and meaningful Christmas.