Brother chooses to cut off contact after mother’s death

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

DEAR ABBY: My brother, who I will call “Alan,” has cut me off. We each received 50% of our mother’s estate, as specified by her will. Our respective inheritances amounted to a considerable amount of money. Alan thinks I stole $8,000 from him. This is both untrue and impossible.
Alan spoke with the only remaining relative of our generation, our cousin “Jay,” who subsequently contacted me and told me Alan will never speak to me again. This is terribly painful.
Alan has been using medical marijuana to deal with back pain, and his habit has taken over his life. I believe it has distorted his mind. He’s also living with a woman I believe is his enabler.
I have my theories as to what is actually going on, but I have no proof to back up my suspicions. What would you advise in this situation? Is it redeemable? I miss the close relationship we once enjoyed, but I can’t compete with the drugs. – DISILLUSIONED IN OHIO

DEAR DISILLUSIONED: I find it peculiar that cousin Jay was the person who delivered that message to you, rather than Alan, which would have provided an opportunity to defend yourself. Have you actually tried to contact your brother and been rebuffed? If you have done so, and have really been accused of grand theft, consider defending your reputation with the help of an attorney and accept that your brother chooses to remain estranged from you.
DEAR ABBY: I am a single man in good health. I’m intelligent, friendly, funny and have been told by more than one woman that I don’t look my age. But I do have one exasperating personality trait. I can’t tell whether a woman is just friendly or romantically interested in me. I have no clue. None.
I met a very attractive single woman, relatively close to my age, a couple years ago. Over time, she has seemingly become more enthusiastic about saying hello to me when I visit her workplace to deliver items every week. She always smiles when we speak to each other. Conversations have gone from short and clipped to longer and more personal. I like her very much.
How can I tell if a mature woman is flirting with me or just being personable? She often works small compliments about me into our conversations. I want to ask her straight out if she is flirting, but if she says no, I’d be very embarrassed. I need your good advice. – CLUELESS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR CLUELESS: If the woman didn’t like you, she would keep those conversations short and strictly business. Do not ask her if she is flirting. DO ask if she’d like to have lunch sometime because your conversations are always too short. If she says yes, you will know your interest in her is reciprocated.
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