Her brother’s keeper

Joey Garcia

My brother attends college out of state, but his girlfriend goes to school locally. They haven’t seen each other for a year but they both say they are into the relationship. She wanted to go to a concert with a guy friend of hers, and asked my brother how he felt about it. He was completely cool with it. I was at the concert too, and saw her dancing with her guy friend. It definitely was not cool. I told my brother she was all over the guy, basically having sex with her clothes on. He didn’t believe me, and he told his girlfriend what I said. She called me a liar and told him that I was jealous of her and her friends. I am not jealous. I am really mad because his girlfriend is basically lying and making me look bad. My brother is coming home soon and she’ll be at our house a lot this summer. What should I do?

Accept that you did the right thing, but that’s no guarantee of a positive outcome to any situation, unfortunately. So commend yourself for cluing your brother in to what you saw. Whatever he does with the information you offered is his business.

Don’t take his denial personally. Don’t worry that he doesn’t trust you enough to embrace your story. Focus on being proud of yourself for sharing difficult news with someone you love.

If you had chosen to remain silent, it’s likely that the secret would have eaten away at your serenity. It might also have influenced how you treated your brother’s girlfriend. Of course it still could, but at least now he knows why the tension might exist between you and his girl. You should also try to be kind to her. After all, you only caught her dirty dancing. It’s inappropriate, yes, since she’s committed to your brother, but on the scale of relationship screw-ups, it’s not seriously scandalous. At least your brother and his girlfriend can bounce back from her lapse in judgment.

Don’t be too disappointed in your brother. His attachment to his girlfriend doesn’t allow room for a story that differs from the way he views her. That’s not a lack of affection for you. It’s the preferential treatment that most people give their partners. I do think that her response reveals trouble. By attacking you, instead of admitting to dirty dancing with her friend, she reveals a character flaw that needs healing. She has work to do. Her behavior won’t change without dedicated effort.

I’ve been really stressed working and going to college and that’s made me look at my friendships differently. I feel like guys come between me and a lot of my female friends. I invited one good friend to go to a party with me. She said she would, then canceled and went to the party with a guy we both know. Another female friend and I went to a birthday party together and she left me at the party to go home with a guy she met there. What is up?

You’ve employed stress and a busy schedule to inspire a life review. That’s worthwhile. Now, shake out what and who is important to you. A true friend reveals herself to you, contributes to your life and is honest. A true friend is also consistent, so you know you can rely on each other and build trust in the relationship. Look for those qualities, or the possibility of building those qualities, in current friendships. If you don’t have meaningful friendships right now, be patient. It’s sweeter to grow into a strong friendship with yourself than to continue in relationships that don’t contribute to your life or personal growth.

Meditation of the week
“Is what we wish the soul of what we are?” asks a poem by Chico poet George Keithley. Are you transforming your wishes into realities?

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