Ask Amy

  • 'Friends with benefits' relationship has few benefits

    'Friends with benefits' relationship has few benefits

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been on/off for the last five years. During the time we were apart, he had another girlfriend. I didn't know about her. He and I maintained a "friends with benefits" relationship during our breaks. After I became pregnant with his child, I found out that they were...

  • Gift-giving imbalance causes holiday stress

    Gift-giving imbalance causes holiday stress

    Dear Amy: My husband and I get along very well with his parents, but spending time with them around gift-giving holidays can be extremely stressful. My in-laws give my husband's siblings much more in the way of gifts than they give us, both in monetary value and quantity. This is very hurtful for...

  • Family affected by Las Vegas shooting not receiving support

    Family affected by Las Vegas shooting not receiving support

    Dear Amy: My son-in-law was shot in the thigh during the Las Vegas concert in October. Fortunately, he is now OK. I belong to a religious congregation of around 35 families. One of the women in my congregation and I are also part of another (affiliated) group. At a meeting of the group, I mentioned...

  • Widow is happy alone, tired of ambush fix-ups

    Widow is happy alone, tired of ambush fix-ups

    Dear Amy: I feel my situation is more common than most folks are aware of. Let me explain: I'm a 48-year-old woman. I was widowed six years ago. I have no family left (our children are now adults), and I am lucky to be extremely close to my in-laws. Here's the problem: About two years ago, my in-laws...

  • Spouse worries about wife's sudden mood changes

    Spouse worries about wife's sudden mood changes

    Dear Amy: I don't know what do to anymore. My wife of 16 years, whom I love dearly, is not the same person I married. She is prone to mood swings and goes off on our two children or myself at any moment over the smallest things. Just when I think that things are improving, another episode occurs...

  • Parent refuses to let others post kids' photos

    Parent refuses to let others post kids' photos

    Dear Amy: What is the etiquette on taking photos of other people's children and posting them on social media? I am the mother of two small children. The first time I encountered this issue was when my oldest was 2 and my youngest was a few months old. We attended a family function and a guest at...

  • Sister worries about including felon in holiday

    Sister worries about including felon in holiday

    Dear Amy: My youngest brother spent about six years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young woman he met at a bar. While he was in prison, we exchanged a few letters, but I did not go to visit him. He expressed remorse for what happened, and was receiving counseling in prison. ...

  • Housecleaner sometimes needs extra funds

    Housecleaner sometimes needs extra funds

    Dear Amy: The woman I have employed to clean my house for several years has a very difficult life. She's a hard worker, does a beautiful job and is completely trustworthy. But, like so many people in her situation, her financial situation is extremely precarious. I pay her very well and am generous...

  • Wife's presence in the dojo leads to trouble at home

    Wife's presence in the dojo leads to trouble at home

    Dear Amy: My wife of nearly 20 years and I are headed toward divorce unless the dynamic of our relationship changes. This is made all the more difficult by the fact that we have a 12-year-old son and are currently living overseas. We hit a rough patch a few years ago when I came to believe that...

  • Pack rat husband leaves wife feeling smothered

    Pack rat husband leaves wife feeling smothered

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for seven years, and I care for him deeply. When we got married, I sold my house and he kept his as a rental, because he wanted the rental income. We bought a larger house than I wanted, but he wanted acreage and a detached garage. I did not realize...

  • Good guy is punished for good deed

    Good guy is punished for good deed

    Dear Amy: Several years ago my supervisor, "Mary," asked me to help her move to a new home. I was happy to assist her with my truck to load up boxes and furniture, etc. When we finished with the move, Mary asked if I wanted an antique hall "clothes tree" as a thank you for my helping. She said...

  • Holidays bring up painful challenges

    Holidays bring up painful challenges

    Dear Amy: I am currently separated from my husband of less than a year, due to some pretty serious rage and respect issues that snowballed immediately after we wed. My husband has voluntarily enrolled in a 52-week domestic violence course and is committed to recovery and discovering how to be compassionate...

  • Cultural differences make holidays challenging

    Cultural differences make holidays challenging

    Dear Amy: My in-laws are first generation immigrants from an Asian country and, while they are very kind people, some of their traditions around the holidays tend to be morbid and difficult to explain to my young son. They insist on setting places at the dinner table for deceased relatives and...

  • Young video game addict reaches out for help

    Young video game addict reaches out for help

    Dear Amy: I am 13 years old and addicted to video games. I would wake up early in the morning and just play on the weekends until they asked me to stop. It has gotten to the point where my mom has bought a safe to keep the controllers in. I have gone through her desk desperately and found the key,...

  • Cancer diagnosis necessitates 'grief circles'

    Cancer diagnosis necessitates 'grief circles'

    Dear Amy: I've recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and have focused my emotional bandwidth on my family, my health and curing my cancer. I have a huge support system that includes family and friends. One of my close friends is having trouble coming to terms with my diagnosis, as well as...

  • Girlfriend's jealousy might be justified

    Girlfriend's jealousy might be justified

    Dear Amy: Around two years ago, after I had broken up with my girlfriend, I started going by myself to a live music venue. I started running into a woman I used to know. (Years ago, I had been interested in her, but she had a boyfriend, and I dropped it.) She and I got along well. Her boyfriend...

  • This couple is in for a wedding 'Groundhog Day'

    This couple is in for a wedding 'Groundhog Day'

    Dear Amy: Should we relinquish control of our wedding if we aren't paying for it? My husband and I got married last month. It was a small, intimate wedding with just our close friends and family. It was a one-of-a-kind wedding that was very unique to us. We loved it. My mother-in-law, though, wasn't...

  • Partners tussle over drunken mother

    Partners tussle over drunken mother

    Dear Amy: My partner and I have been together for almost three years. Over the course of this time, I've come to know his family (and he, mine). While I understand that no one is perfect, it seems to me that my partner's mother has had it in for me since we met. Every time I go home with him, she...

  • Boyfriend's mom won't meet girlfriend

    Boyfriend's mom won't meet girlfriend

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year, but I haven't met his mom yet. We're both in our mid-20s and currently live near our parents. This is a tough situation because his mother suffers from an undiagnosable condition that has left her homebound and unable to perform many of...

  • Parents should help their kids be media savvy

    Parents should help their kids be media savvy

    Dear Amy: I need some advice to guide our children in this electronic world. My husband and I have four children, ages 9 through 15. Recently, our 12-year-old son was riding home on the school bus and a classmate showed him some salacious pictures that upset him. He wasn't sure how to get out of...

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