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Husband’s brotherly love is an issue

Q: My husband seems to put my brother on a pedestal. It’s getting tiresome. I am not particularly fond of my brother due to many years of him beating the crap out of me when we were kids. My husband has a man-crush on him because of the most superficial things (he’s a lawyer who drives a motorcycle, he travels a lot, etc.). How can I tell my husband that he’s not all he seems? And why am I so resentful of this?

A: It makes sense that you’d bristle when the person you’ve chosen to live your life with waxes poetic about the person you’re looking forward to never, ever living with again. But what is your brother like now, outside of the motorcycle jacket/court docket/frequent flyer trifecta? Has he turned into a better person? Have you ever talked to him about your complicated relationship? Opening up the lines of communication with him – and giving him the chance to become more of the man your husband adores rather than the child that you despised – could be really good for all of you.

Q: I’ve lost weight due to major changes in my diet and a commitment to the gym. Is it wrong that I also want validation? Some people who haven’t seen me in a while will comment positively, but my co-workers and family haven’t said much. I know they don’t notice the changes as much since they see me a lot, but more encouragement would be nice. What’s a girl gotta do to get a high-five here?

A: It could be that your closer friends and family are (rightfully) more concerned with who you are than what you look like, and they are trying not to overfocus – even in a positive way – on your appearance. But improving your health is something to celebrate. Like a customer at Chipotle, you need to spell out what you want. Try this: “Hey, not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been working hard on my health lately. I wanted to tell you I hit my latest milestone – it feels good to share it with you.”

(Andrea Bonior is author of “The Friendship Fix.” For more information, see drandreabonior.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @drandreabonior.)

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