Dear Queenie,

  My parents got divorced a long time ago because Mom had an affair with another man and chose to go with him instead of Dad.

  After that Dad met a nice woman and they got married and are doing very well, while Mom has not. She is always complaining about how well-off they are while she has problems paying her bills. Now she has asked me for money but I can’t afford it and anyway it’s her own fault for trying to live like Dad and his wife on her much smaller income.

  Queenie, I don’t want to insult her, but what can I do?—Worried daughter


Dear Daughter,

  Try to persuade your mother to get professional counselling – psychological, to help her get over trying to keep up with her ex-husband’s lifestyle; and financial, to help her learn to live within her means. But do not lend her money, as you probably will not get it back, and do not give it to her outright, as that will only encourage her to continue on her rather self-destructive path.