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home : columns : dear harriette November 29, 2020

9/30/2020 7:55:00 AM
Boyfriend hits gym -- with his ex

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went through my boyfriend's phone when he was asleep because I felt like he was acting suspicious. I know my boyfriend, and this day he just wasn't being himself. He would lean away from me with his phone and kept it out of sight from me as much as he could. He's never done that before. So when I had a chance, I looked, expecting to see him doing something like buying expensive sneakers he didn't want me to know about.

To my surprise, I found text messages that he had gone to the gym with one of his exes. I woke him up to confront him, and we argued to the point where I just left. He keeps calling me, but I don't know what to think or feel. I won't stand for him lying to me. Should I just leave now? -- Not Standing for It

DEAR NOT STANDING FOR IT: Your approach was extreme. Waking up your boyfriend to confront him about what appeared to be an indiscretion could only end in an argument. If you care about him, talk to him. Find out what's going on. Let him state his case. Find out what he wants in your relationship. Decide what you want. You can get over an indiscretion if you both decide to work on it. Staying in a standoff will get you nothing. Talk it out and make a decision after that.

DEAR HARRIETTE: There is one thing you did not consider in replying to the woman whose mother has Alzheimer's and inherited all of her grandmother's estate. Relatives were harassing the granddaughter, who is responsible for her mother's financial affairs, to give the money to them instead.

I suspect the grandmother may have left everything to the daughter with Alzheimer's because she knew how expensive her care could become as the disease progresses. My guess is that those vultures will never be happy even if the money is shared with them. If the granddaughter wants to share what is left of the inheritance after her mom is gone (assuming there is anything left to share), she can deal with it then, but the first priority now should be caring for the one to whom it was left. -- Word to the Wise

DEAR WORD TO THE WISE: Thank you and all who chimed in on this conundrum. Families often squabble viciously over the dollars and belongings that loved ones leave behind when they die. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the woman who is only trying to take care of her mother while staying connected to her family.

You and many others wrote in to warn her about how costly Alzheimer's care can be, even if you do have good insurance. Further, the life span of a person with Alzheimer's can be long, meaning resources will be needed over time. Perhaps it was the grandmother's understanding of her daughter's potential road ahead that made her leave her estate to her singularly. The granddaughter's job is to take care of her mother and do her best not to be too distraught by the words and actions of other family members.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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