Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't let rude sister-in-law make your life miserable

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm just recently married to a great guy, but his family, who I thought liked me, have changed a bit after learning that I had an eating disorder a year ago. I am in ongoing treatment. The worst reaction has been from my husband's oldest sister, who says we shouldn't haven't gotten married, that I am sick and not getting better fast enough, and that she may never speak to us again. We eloped, had planned to do so and told everyone five months prior, so her anger surprised me. At a recent family function which she begrudgingly came to, she completely ignored my husband and I. There is another function coming up. I'm anxious. We've tried to reach out to her in the past as we want to talk things out and see what has caused her to be so hurt and angry. She refuses. I don't know what to do! I feel like I've split up a tight-knit family. My husband refuses to call her before the function to see if things can be hashed out beforehand. I feel like it'd be better if I don't attend the gathering, so it's less tense for everyone, but that angers him. Please help! -- Desperate to be Accepted, Our of Town

Dear Desperate: Well, isn't that woman rude! When you're chasing after someone trying to beg acceptance, it's wise to slam on the brakes and think about the object in front of you. If this critical woman ends up in your close circle, it's going to make you nervous for a lifetime. It's time you did some critical thinking about her. And, why does her good opinion matter to you more than it matters to her own brother? Take back your power by stopping the chase. Part of eating disorder struggles are usually power issues. Don't let this woman, or anyone in that family, have power over you anymore. If the sister-in-law wants to be around you, SHE can apologize for her rudeness and make overtures towards you. Go to the function proudly, on your husband's arm with your head up. By the way, it's up to him to talk to her about her problem, not you, just as it would be up to you to talk to one of your siblings if they were being rude to your new husband.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've just read the letter (about) unbearable body odour. It is not only the underarms that smell, but more hidden places that are much more "odoriferous." A daily shower is a must, but the person must also change all his/her clothing frequently and launder it often. Odours cling to clothing, especially to synthetic fabrics. Also, some illnesses cause excessive, odorous perspiration. -- Wanting To Help, Winnipeg

Dear Wanting: A product called Amaze with a baby on the label (an added stage in washing baby diapers) can help unlock odours that have become part of synthetic fabric in clothing, sheets and pillowcases. Also, visits to dentists and doctors can help find the sources (usually treatable) for unusual odours that come from breath, stomach, body cavities and feet. Some odours are indicative of disease, so it's important to check things out medically. As for feet, summer is coming. Some people think shoes will cover the odour of pungent feet, but the smell drifts up if shoes gape at the instep. Sandals are a wise choice for casual wear.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2012 D4

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