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Sister finds it difficult to cope with her divorce

Dear Bunmi,

My younger sister has been on her own since her husband left her for his pregnant and much younger mistress. They had no children, so I’m happy for her to join us on my birthday which I always celebrate. She lives in another state and usually stays a couple of days. The problem is, she always drinks too much and ends up crying and showing herselfup.

Last year, she made a pass at my son’s 22-year-old best friend, and it took the two of us to get her away from him and up to bed. When she finally left for home a few days later, I found two empty brandy bottles under her bed. No wonder she was off her head. My next birthday is in a few weeks and she’s already indicated her wish to attend. Now I pray she gets a better offer for that date!

Lara, by e-mail.

Dear Lara,

It’s unlikely she’ll get a better offer, so be prepared, because she’s coming! First, you need to find somewhere to hide all the booze you’ll need for the party. If you think she’ll bring some with her, make some excuse to get into the bedroom when she’s unpacking, grab the bottles and say, ‘thanks, you’ve brought the brandy!’ Since she’s your sister, and you obviously care a lot for her, don’t you think it’s better that she’s behaving badly in your house and not in any godforsaken pepper soup joint where someone could easily take advantage of her?

She’s only acting this way because she’s lonely and hurting. Try talking to her, and telling her how worried you are. We all need a good shoulder to cry on from time to time. If she feels she can let it all out, then maybe she won’t resort to booze. If you see her drinking, take her aside and say it might be a good idea if she had some exotic juice instead as it’ll be more difficult if you leave it until she’s actually drunk. She won’t be lonely for ever.

When she’s back on her feet, the problem may well cure itself.


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