Best of Dharma – Flowers in the Attic


Hello everyone!

Dharma is on vacation this week, making it a great time to re-visit some the Best of Dharma!  Here’s one stood out because of the complexity of the relationships involved… have always wondered how this turned out…

Make sure to weigh in on the poll at the bottom!

Dear Dharma, 

I recently left the town I grew up in to go and live with my father, whom I haven’t had in my life as a steady figure for some time now.  My mother passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer and I was emotionally exhausted and looking forward to a fresh start. So off I went to join my dad, his wife and her son.

Boy oh boy – I totally didn’t see this coming! My step-brother (who is 24 and just home from college) is smokin’ hot.  I’m talking throw me against the wall and ravish me HOT! I can’t even begin to describe all the dirty things I want to do to him. I can totally tell he feels the same way.

Through the past few months he and I have bonded and discovered that we have a lot of things in common. Despite the extreme sexual tension between us we’ve kept things at a healthy distance. I mean, technically we’re family now, right? What would our parents think? This must be the universal cruel joke. Of course I meet the perfect guy like this!

My dad and his wife fight constantly; I doubt they’ll be together much longer. Dad is always working and my step-mom keeps taking off travelling.  This leaves the two of us at home alone quite often. He and I have been talking about the possibility of taking things further.

Is it wrong to go ahead with a relationship with this delicious piece of man candy?


Oh Snap!

Dear Snap,

First off, I’m terribly sorry for the loss of your mother.  Eff cancer, seriously…

Before I really start, I’m just going to highlight some of your language, if you’re okay with that.  “Smokin’ hot”, “throw against wall/ravish me”, “all the dirty things I want to do”, “extreme sexual tension”, and my personal favourite, “delicious piece of man candy”.

And now I start.

So… you suffer a terrible loss, you are wrenched out of your familiar surroundings, you’re in a new town with a dad you don’t know very well, and his family who are strangers to you.  When you arrive, you discover a whole lot of friction between your dad and his wife and are surrounded by constant fighting. At a time when you need comfort, love and stability while you grieve, your dad makes himself unavailable to you, as does your new step-mom.

Oh but wait, who’s that over there?  Yay, it’s hot step-brother!

I’m going to throw it out there that maybe, just maybe, your emotions are all over the place and your judgement is skewed.  It’s a possibility, right?

Now, let’s go back to your language, which you can see is strictly sex.  Wait, I’m sorry, you did throw in a weak line about having a few things in common.  My bad.

I think you’re hurting and you are trying to find a salve, a distraction from the pain.  Something that is exciting and forbidden and a little bit dark (seriously, have you read any V.C. Andrews?).

But, Snap, I really don’t think this is a good idea right now.  The sex would probably be really great in the short term, yes, but the amount of damage and strife caused within your family would last the long term. Is it worth it?

I think you need to focus on healing and doing what you went there to do – start over.  If you need to go out and have a few drinks and a one night stand (NOT with your brother) to get it out of your system, then so be it.  Maybe you just need to short circuit your whole system with some hot physical connection and a really good cry in order to start moving past all of this (why do I feel people staring at me with mouths wide open right now?).

Sex can be therapeutic, can’t it?  Just not with someone who brings the whole family along.  We’re not looking to add complications here, we’re looking to work our way through them…

Maybe down the road, once time has worked it’s magic and you’re in a better place, and your dad and his wife are no longer together and the label of step-brother has been removed… if you’re still in touch and there’s still a connection, I say sure, give it a go so you don’t spend the rest of your life wondering.

But until then, my answer is no, it’s not in your best interest to go ahead in a relationship with this delicious piece of man candy.  (I just wanted to type those words again.)



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Categories: Advice, Family, Relationships


  • gemma471 says:

    uhm – yeah.this will end in tears unless you pump the brakes RIGHT NOW. maybe you are both looking for a safe haven in the storm (both living in a house with high conflict and instability) but this will only confuse things down the road.

  • Jackie says:

    This sounds like something straight out of a Jerry Springer episode. Next we’ll need to find out if he’s really the father….. oh wait! She’s not pregnant. Nevermind!

    Seriously, my words of wisdom are if they have the words brother, sister, mother, father or cousin in their title STAY AWAY!

    I agree with Dharma, once he no longer has the step brother title go for it. And bonus, Imagine it does all work out…. how pissed would your seperated parents be now that they are the inlaws?

  • Awesome write-up. I’m a regular visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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