Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Recommendations to heal a wounded soul

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I think it really helps to talk about it, write about it, sing about it and shout about it. Get exercise, be creative, spend time in nature, nurture your friendships if you can and find ways to allow the world to take care of you.

Dear Amy: My husband and I rent out our second bedroom to my husband's younger, 30-year-old cousin, "Bradley." He is a generally nice guy, but he is seriously immature and financially irresponsible.

He started off with a well-paying job where he could easily pay his expenses, but he did not like the job, so he quit.

He has a new job now, but it is at much lower pay and he cannot afford anything. We've allowed him to delay paying rent for a few months until his finances are back on track, so he lives for free. He bums food off of anyone he can. If not us, then he goes and asks his friends or neighbors to buy him dinner.

He seems fine with this and has no interest in looking for better work or a new job.

He was a moocher before, but now it is out of control. We cannot afford to financially support him the way we do.

My husband has agreed to kick him out in a few months, if he can't get it together. As much as "Bradley" annoys me, I would feel guilty kicking him out because he has nowhere else to go. He has been jumping from house to house for years, asking people if he can live with them. No one wants him to move in with them now because they know how he is. What should we do?

-- Worried

Dear Worried: At this point, you really can't blame "Bradley" for his behavior, because -- it works! Look, he started out paying his way, and now he has you supporting him. He might be a sharper tool than any of you realize.

You and your husband need to develop a backbone, and realize that your enabling is not helping. In fact, Bradley has taken a serious backslide since coming to live with you, and is now less functional than before.

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