Question: I am a 22-year-old woman dating a guy whom I love more than anything in the world. About a year and a half ago, I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have not told him about it yet. He knows that my credit is not good at all, and I don't know how to tell him the whole story. His hope for me (and mine for myself) is to get as much of it paid off as soon as possible.
I want to marry this man and have a life with him. I can tell him everything about me but this. I know it is my fault and can't blame anyone else, but I guess I just need someone to tell me to either dump this man so that he can get on with his life with someone in a better situation than I'm in, or just tell him and let him make the decision.- Salt Lake City, Utah
Dr. Laura: I never believe that people who keep their weaknesses and faults secret have any real intent on changing. They are too busy trying to look better so that they can get what they want. This is an issue of character, not money. If you are willing to learn more about your impulsiveness, irresponsibility, lack of discipline, etc., then you will share the truth with him and solicit his help and support in your journey. Otherwise, it's just more of the same: Do whatever it takes to get what you want at the moment (money or love). Your life will be better if you commence to mature and grow.
Question: My husband had a lengthy affair that was often in a foursome with his brother and my brother-in-law's common law wife. After the affair was over, I was unsure how I was going to relate to my brother-in-law the next time I saw him.
I voiced my concern to my husband on our way to a family gathering. He feels his brother is not guilty of anything, and I am to act as if nothing happened. I was not to feel hurt or disrespected, as it was all my husband's fault and not theirs. Outwardly, I thought I put on a class act. Inside, I was torn to pieces. In your humble opinion, what is the healthy way to relate in this kind of situation?
- Pontiac, Mich.
Dr. Laura: Because someone appears to stop a behavior (group and private sex with this other woman) doesn't mean that they've taken responsibility, are truly remorseful and willing to do what it takes to repair the damage, or have committed to never repeating the act or similar ones.
It also doesn't mean that their character has changed one iota. Because you have decided to "keep him," and because he wants no confrontation with his brother (obviously a more important connection to him than you), you have given yourself no choice but to acquiesce and "eat it." Frankly, my dear, that he was willing to make a social party out of betraying you is something I'm astonished that you've forgiven.
Question: My wife and I are expecting our fifth child next month; we have three girls and one boy. We have been having trouble coming up with another girl's name we both like. I like a name that happens to be the name of an old girlfriend. My wife likes the name but feels that I would think of my old girlfriend every time I think of my daughter. I think this is silly. I know you will give us an unbiased opinion. By the way, the name happens to be Laura.
- Santa Barbara, Calif.
Dr. Laura: I think that any name you folks give your child should be one of joy and not represent any old hurts. Let's have each of you make a list of 10 names you really like. Where you both list the same name . . . that's it! I vote for Deryn. (That's what I would have named my Deryk had he been a she.)
Question: Help! My mother is a recovering alcoholic, seven years sober. My older sister called me this morning to inform me that my mother has started to drink again. What is the right thing to do? My mother has always told us that her sobriety is not our concern. Additionally, she helps my little sister with her 2-year-old girl, and I don't want anything to happen to her or to my nephew, whom she watches a few hours a week also.
- Norfolk, Va.
Dr. Laura: I think you need to help your younger sister with baby-sitting.