DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I am so hurt, and need your help. My sister just recently stole from my family. And it's WHAT she stole that hurts -- my son's birthday money, on his birthday! I don't know whether I should cut her out of my life and not let her come around anymore, or not. She's done this before, but never to this extreme. She always brings trouble around. I'm supposed to be breaking a cycle, not continuing it. Please help me. My heart and brain tell me opposite things. Should I let her keep coming around, stomping all over my heart? I feel I'm at my breaking point with her. We're all she has, and she does this to us. -- Hurt Sister, Winnipeg
Dear Sister: Cutting off a family member completely hurts on both sides. So set definite limits. You can see her outside your house for lunch, dinner, movies. Be clear you're treating, if she has no job. It doesn't make sense to lay you and your family open for more thievery. If she has a key, demand it back from her. Don't let her have time to go make another key or believe her if she says she, "Umm, lost it." Change the locks to be completely safe. Don't ever invite her to your place for parties where she could fleece everybody. Most importantly, encourage her to get counselling for her problem and a job if she doesn't have one, and in a place where she doesn't handle money. Is she in need -- in trouble with gambling, drugs or loan sharks -- or is she just jealous of your family and what you have? Try to find out the source of all this. She is begging for discovery and confrontation when she steals so obviously. Tell her, "I just want to know what this really about, so we can try to fix it." You might be surprised at what comes out.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am crazy about cuddling, but my girlfriend only likes it leading up to sex. Afterwards, she's off to do things around her apartment -- like she's energized. I want to clasp her to me and hold her close until we fall asleep. I'm exhausted by feeling very loving towards her. I roll over alone and feel a little sad after making love and the feeling of resentment is building. Last night I lost it and told her she was "the best quickie in town" and went home. I have texted her apologies. She won't pick up her cell. I don't know what to do because I need her to change if we get back together. Can she change? -- Lonely Cuddler, Winnipeg
Dear Cuddler: She can change a certain amount, and maybe cuddle with you for 15 minutes after sex. But some women are jostled awake by the experience and have a spate of energy right after making love where they need to buzz around the place. Men, if they have been doing more of the "work" are often tired out and ready for a cuddle and sleep. This relationship may simply not be a fit for you. As for what turned out to be your parting shot, that was a mean way to tell her you need more cuddling after sex. She may be feeling you aren't the right choice for her anymore, either. That's one of the advantages to not marrying everyone you fall for. These are the kinds of things that show up later in the relationship when people have stopped over-achieving, and start being themselves again.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org