Los Angeles Times

Not a healthy relationsh­ip

- Send questions to Amy Dickinson by email to ask amy@amydickins­on.com.

Dear Amy: I am in a relationsh­ip with a man my age. We share many interests and values. The problem, I believe, is his lack of respect for me.

I want to be communicat­ed with in a way that shows love and kindness. He says he respects me but his behavior does not demonstrat­e it. He yells, is critical and is impatient with me.

I’m confused. He says he wants to be in this relationsh­ip (we’ve lived together for over a year) but acts poorly, and while I am not perfect and do yell back (and feel terrible about it), I also believe I am protecting myself, albeit not in the best way.

If you know anything about battered wife syndrome, do you think that I have it? Is it me, or is he an abuser?

Oregon Woman

Dear Oregon: Battered wife syndrome is classified as a serious condition triggered by psychologi­cal and/ or physical intimate partner violence.

Based on what you say, you are in an unfulfilli­ng and chronicall­y upsetting intimate relationsh­ip with someone who treats you badly and who, according to you, compels you to defend/ retaliate, followed by periods of you feeling “terrible” about your own behavior.

The way I see it, part of the time you are being treated badly, and part of the time you are treating yourself badly. That’s a lot. It is also a symptom of abuse.

You’ve asked for an objective opinion about who is at fault. You don’t cause your boyfriend’s behavior. His behavior is his responsibi­lity.

In my opinion, neither of you seems to love you enough. You can’t force him to love you more or to love you differentl­y.

You can love and respect yourself more, and one way to do that would be to exit from this unhealthy cycle and unhappy household.

Dear Amy: My younger brother is in the Navy. We have always been very close. I worry that he is spending his money in ways that are not always in his best interest.

I regret not investing more of my own income when I was his age, and I’ve tried to talk to him about the importance of holding some money back for your future, but he still exhibits a specific behavior that concerns me.

For instance, his girlfriend’s dad needed a new phone, so my brother went out and bought new phones for him and his girlfriend, and then gave her father his old one (which was only a few months old).

This behavior concerns me because I know he doesn’t make a ton of money. Do you have any suggestion­s for how to talk to him about this without seeming too “parental”?

Concerned Brother

Dear Brother: You should attempt to discuss your brother’s financial future without harshly judging his current choices.

What you can do is reflect on some of your own choices, especially sharing some of the mistakes you made earlier on.

Service members sometimes face unique financial challenges. Militaryon­e source.mil is a website with content regarding personal finance as it applies to service members (do a search for ”personal finance”).

Read through some of the articles and recommenda­tions, designed specifical­ly for members of the military, and pass this informatio­n along to your brother.

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