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My Brother Is Dating an Awful, Evil Woman 

Dear Athena,

I have a brother who is dating someone so completely awful and evil, and I hate her. She talks shit behind his back. She is manipulative and tries to keep us away from him. She is also into drugs and a bad influence on him. They've been together on and off for a while, and it sucks. She stalks his exes and makes anyone who cares for him uncomfortable. It feels like she has full control over him, and I don't know what to do. He says she is his soul mate, but I want my brother back.


Trying to Save My Brother

Dear Trying,

All you can do is tell him how you feel. And then you have to let him figure it out.

I know that is so hard to do. You're his sibling, and you love him and feel you know what's best. But, sadly, your love for him might not change things. In fact, there's a good chance it won't.

When you talk to your brother, be gentle but specific. Don't just call her names; cite examples of how and when she's been manipulative, and explain how you feel he's changed since they got together. Let him know that you have his best interests at heart, and ask to hear his point of view. You might not know the full story.

You can take it a step farther by saying that you can't support his relationship with her and will keep your distance as long as she is in the picture. Just know that this approach could backfire: He might choose her, and you'll lose your brother — for a while or even for good. Even if he understands your concerns, he may not be ready to let her go.

So many of us are afraid to tell family and friends how we feel about their choices in life. Is it our business? Do we have a right to share our opinions? The risk of losing someone over this kind of confrontation is upsetting. But what kind of relationship do you have if you aren't honest? How can you let someone you love fall victim to a toxic "soul mate"?

Staying silent does neither of you any good. If you were in a similar situation, you'd want him to be there for you, right? To reach out if he thought you were in danger? Be the loving sibling you'd want him to be, and hopefully he will see the light.



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