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Dear Dr. Robert,

I am a 28 year old man, have been happily married for 5 years now. Recently my wife and I have encountered difficulties with an out of family female. This other girl is 20 years old, in college and has been a family friend for quite some time. She has over the years developed an addiction to self injury. Her family past in not so good having been through a divorce, her mother dying of cancer and being molested by a step parent. She loves us very much and must communicate with each of us individually every day. Personally I receive emails, calls, etc. from her. My wife talks with her every night.

The young lady refers to me as her big brother but I'm wondering if there might be something else developing there as well as on my part. I know the correct thing to do, but with a SI personality you can't just say goodbye. You never know what they might do. So my question to you would be how do we handle someone like this, and do you think, in your expert opinion, that I need to be cautious with this individual? Her being beautiful has not helped me in trying to evade this situation. I most certainly would appreciate hearing from you on this matter. Thank you for listening. Jon

Dear Jon--

If you find it necessary to continue your relationship with this young woman, I suggest that you get some professional help aimed at dealing with your sexual attraction to her without unduly jeopardizing your marriage. Of course you need to be cautious with her since your feelings are already, as you know, putting you in a vulnerable position. You should also, I imagine, begin to discuss with your wife, as frankly as possible, your feelings for this young woman, and ask for your wife's help in handling them. If you think it would help, you might like to share this letter with your wife.

Be well.

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