Amy Dickinson joined Chicago Tribune in July 2003 as the newspaper's signature general advice columnist. “Ask Amy” appears in ...

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Amy Dickinson

Amy Dickinson

Ask Amy

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 Ask Amy: When should you tell the kids about a previous marriage?

Ask Amy: When should you tell the kids about a previous marriage?

January 29, 2015

Dear Amy: My husband and I married in our mid-30s after we both had a number of serious relationships. My husband was married for a few years and divorced before we started dating.

  • Ask Amy: Roomie's infidelity drives friend up the wall

    January 28, 2015

    Dear Amy: I recently found out that my roommate cheated on his girlfriend with one of our co-workers. He did this two times!

  • Ask Amy: When the affair leads to marriage, is it right to celebrate?

    January 27, 2015

    Dear Amy: One of my female family members — unmarried and in her 50s — recently disclosed to our large family that she has been having an affair with a married man for 30-plus years. They met while she was in college (he worked at her university), and he has one adult daughter. He is in his 70s.

  • Ask Amy: Abuser and abused might meet at family wedding

    January 26, 2015

    Dear Amy: Five years ago a male cousin sexually abused a younger male cousin. This was a horrible time for our family. Eventually the perpetrator admitted his guilt and was incarcerated until he turned 21. The two families have attended several mutual family events over the past few years. Things have been cordial, but cool.

  • Ask Amy: Wronged husband wants to tell the other wife

    January 25, 2015

    Dear Amy: My wife and I are separating after 13 years of marriage. A few months ago she said she was unhappy. Then I learned she had formed an "emotional and spiritual connection" with a married man from church, someone I know and whose children play with our children after church every Sunday.

  • Ask Amy: Crowdfunding requests create conflicts for readers

    January 24, 2015

    Dear Amy: Today I received an email from my 28-year-old nephew, a young man I like very much. "Thomas" recently married his longtime boyfriend. I attended the wedding, gave a generous gift and received a lovely thank-you note.

  • Ask Amy: Granddad shares theories about fearful teen

    January 23, 2015

    Dear Amy: My almost 13-year-old grandson stays overnight at our house and always wants his grandmother to sleep with him because he is "afraid." He promised to stop asking for her to sleep with him when he turned 12 but has not kept his promise.

  • Ask Amy: 'Gender fluid' identification brings on fashion fits

    January 22, 2015

    Dear Amy: My 16-year-old daughter identifies as "gender fluid." Sometimes she dresses traditionally feminine, and sometimes she dresses more traditionally masculine and asks her friends to refer to her as a "he."

  • Ask Amy: Sham wedding makes faux out of friends

    January 21, 2015

    Dear Amy: A friend of 15 years had her wedding this past fall.

  • Ask Amy: Friend's electric car jolts longtime friendship

    January 20, 2015

    Dear Amy: I have a friend of about 40 years who has an expensive electric sports car. When he visits me, he parks it in the driveway blocking my wife and son from moving their cars and, most annoying, he insists on plugging into our electricity to recharge his car.

  • Ask Amy: Annual post-holiday party is a cringeworthy mockfest

    January 19, 2015

    Dear Amy: My fiancee and I have been arguing about a party her mother hosts annually just after the holidays. This gathering is called "The Letter Reading Party." Guests bring their favorite letters/holiday cards from "friends" who update "friends" with what's new in their lives. Topics range from children to siblings, parents, family pet, work, etc.

  • Ask Amy: Parents of small child need a date night

    January 18, 2015

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for six years. We have a 3-year-old daughter. We both work full time.

  • Ask Amy: Man wonders if co-worker is gay, wants to contact him

    January 17, 2015

    Dear Amy: Many years ago, I had a sexual relationship with a man. After we had been involved for about a year, he told me he had a girlfriend. We both got married to members of the opposite sex. That was a few years ago.

  • Ask Amy: Single woman wonders why she picks duds

    January 16, 2015

    Dear Amy: I'm a single, childless woman in my early 30s who seems to always attract the wrong men, and I keep wondering how to break this pattern.

  • Ask Amy: Mom seeks antidote for holiday blues

    January 15, 2015

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married eight years and have 6- and 7-year-old sons. We got married when we were in our 40s and, with the exception of my father who lives several states away and is in good health, our parents have either passed away or are in extremely poor health.

  • Ask Amy: Bridesmaid's mom would like to crash the bash politely

    January 14, 2015

    Dear Amy: Is it ever OK to attend a wedding ceremony if you're not invited?

  • Ask Amy: Family takes a Christmas ride into sickness

    January 13, 2015

    Dear Amy: My family drove six hours to visit family members over Christmas.

  • Ask Amy: Parents' attachment treads on tender territory

    January 12, 2015

    Dear Amy: My 21-year-old daughter broke up with her boyfriend of four years, "Bradley," about six months ago. It was the right decision for her and she has moved on.

  • Ask Amy: Family table manners are grossly inadequate

    January 11, 2015

    Dear Amy: My husband and I just hosted another family meal and, once again, I am dismayed by the complete lack of basic manners and courtesy from various adult family members.

  • Ask Amy: Boyfriend is blocked from social media account

    January 10, 2015

    Dear Amy: My serious girlfriend has a social media account. She refuses to include me in her group and has blocked me from having access to simply look at the site.

  • Ask Amy: Wife wonders if she should curl up and dye

    January 9, 2015

    Dear Amy: I have been married for 17 years, and for the past year I have stopped coloring my hair. Last week my husband told me that he is not attracted to me anymore — mainly because of my hair color.

  • Ask Amy: Apartment life comes with the stomp of little feet

    January 8, 2015

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been living in our apartment for the past three years and generally enjoy it. However, the couple that lives in the apartment directly above us have custody of the husband's two children (elementary age) every other weekend.

  • Ask Amy: Newlywed hates his wife. What next?

    January 7, 2015

    Dear Amy: I've been married for two weeks and frankly I hate my wife. She is completely lazy, and pays absolutely no attention to me.

  • Ask Amy: Son should be sent packing with a roll of quarters

    January 6, 2015

    Dear Amy: My two adult kids live at home with my husband and me. Our son is 25; our daughter is 23. Both are college grads with good jobs. They make more money than I do.

  • Ask Amy: Adoptee finds birth family, encounters denial

    January 5, 2015

    Dear Amy: I am a female adoptee in my 40s. I was raised by a great family but was always curious about my roots.

  • Ask Amy: A wedding shove forces a dilemma

    January 4, 2015

    Dear Amy: About a year ago, my sister got married in a wonderful elaborate ceremony.

  • Ask Amy: Mom worries that ex-con brought a weapon home

    January 3, 2015

    Dear Amy: My mother-in-law, who lives with my husband and me and our 18-month-old daughter, has reconnected to an ex-boyfriend from over 30 years ago. Initially, she kept the relationship a secret.

  • Ask Amy: It's hero time for this alienated dad

    January 2, 2015

    Dear Amy: My 18-year-old daughter has barely communicated with me in four years, since her mother and I divorced.

  • Ask Amy: Bounced around girlfriend should bounce out of relationship

    January 1, 2015

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost four years. I have given up job opportunities and graduate school opportunities to move around the country for him and his job.

  • Ask Amy: Friend worries about how to report a crime

    December 31, 2014

    Dear Amy: My friend recently confided in me that she was date raped when she was 15 and had to go to the hospital because she was infected with herpes and had bruises on her wrists. She also said that another girl was also raped by the same guy when they were in school together.

  • Ask Amy: In-law relationship might never be friendship

    December 30, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband is the youngest of three brothers, and we were married last of the bunch.

  • Ask Amy: Family could spike volleyball to pay for school

    December 29, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a mom of four children. I've been divorced for three years. It is in my divorce agreement to pay for half of my children's extracurricular activities, and there are a lot of them — volleyball in particular.

  • Ask Amy: Open email brings out the 'worst' in marriage

    December 28, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married almost 10 years. We have weathered "better or worse," but what about worst?

  • Ask Amy: Wife drunk texts, then claims 'foul'

    December 27, 2014

    Dear Amy: I need your perspective.

  • Ask Amy: Young woman has a bad case of 'baby fever'

    December 26, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a 20-year-old woman who has graduated from college. I have a full-time, wonderful job and am in a new relationship with a much older man.

  • Ask Amy: Husband's long-ago flirtation now haunts wife

    December 25, 2014

    Dear Amy: Quite some time ago, before we were married (but when our relationship was serious), my husband engaged in a flirtatious weekend with another woman in our social circle.

  • Ask Amy: Dating couple has relationship in a virtual rut

    December 24, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am 24 and have never been in a "full" relationship, but I have dated quite a bit. I live in a small rural town, which makes it difficult to meet new people, so I decided to try online matching.

  • Ask Amy: Secret Santa gift exchange gets staffed out

    December 23, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year. We feel like we are very serious about one another. His older siblings and their spouses do a long-distance gift exchange each year. It originally started out at $50, but last year it increased to $100. Each person sends his/her gift requests to everyone in the group and names are pulled at random and secretly assigned by one sibling's secretary.

  • Ask Amy: This season, give more than your receive

    December 22, 2014

    Dear Readers: Many of us have pulled our candy cane sweaters out of mothballs and are now deep into the most satisfying aspect of the holiday season: attending and hosting holiday events, gorging on gingerbread men and eggnog, and letting the glitter of the season release us from December's gloom. This is a time to celebrate and to give, and, in the spirit of the season, I present my annual round-up of organizations readers should consider supporting.

  • Ask Amy: Cousin is waiting for Grinch's heart to grow

    December 21, 2014

    Dear Amy: How do you deal with family over the holidays?

  • Ask Amy: Terrible boss causes revolving door at the office

    December 20, 2014

    Dear Amy: My department at work is on its sixth boss in three years.

  • Ask Amy: Millennial 'robot' ponders next phase

    December 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a millennial, first-generation college graduate from a dysfunctional family. I assumed when I went to college that things would somehow be easier, but they weren't. Looking back, I guess it was a killer combo of burnout, lack of support/mentorship and unresolved issues.

  • Ask Amy: This year, put a "Book on Every Bed"

    December 18, 2014

    Dear Readers: This is one of my favorite days of the year because this is the day I get to step out from behind my desk and advocate — simply and sincerely — for literacy. I choose this particular day because it is my mother's birthday. She was a reader, writer and teacher, and I can think of no better way to honor her memory than to ask other readers to participate in the "Book on Every Bed" project.

  • Ask Amy: Daughter's boyfriend not a good match for parents

    December 17, 2014

    Dear Amy: Our adult daughter is intelligent, but her choice in a boyfriend has us worried.

  • Ask Amy: Woman should fold up her rainbow flag slowly

    December 16, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a 65-year-old divorced, professional woman. I have a great career, a teenager at home and three other children who are grown up and living on their own.

  • Ask Amy: Wedding bells compete with bouncing balls

    December 15, 2014

    Dear Amy: My fiance and I are planning to get married over Memorial Day weekend. It'll be a relatively small family-oriented affair — held in the same location as my father's memorial last year.

  • Ask Amy: Annual excursion to house run by cats terrifies parents

    December 14, 2014

    Dear Amy: We have a family situation that comes up every year during the holidays. My son and his wife have no kids. Their animals are treated like their children.

  • Ask Amy: Divorced mom struggles by parenting halfway

    December 13, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am divorced and have two young children. Their father and I share equal custody. I have had a boyfriend for a year. He has a young child of his own and we all live together as a blended family. This man is kind, sensitive, supportive and loving — everything my ex-husband was not.

  • Ask Amy: Bouncing husband wants to bounce back to ex-wife

    December 11, 2014

    Dear Amy: I was married over 40 years. My ex-wife and I had numerous problems throughout our marriage. I left several times but always went back. The last time I left, I filed for divorce.

  • Ask Amy: Drunken threesome a bad idea

    December 10, 2014

    Dear Amy: My best friend came to my house last weekend after her breakup with her boyfriend. She brought a bottle of scotch.

  • Ask Amy: 10-foot pole required for friendship mess

    December 9, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have two friends who happen to be cousins to each other — "Carmen" and "Angela." Angela has been dating her boyfriend, "Jose," for about three years. She talks about marriage.

  • Ask Amy: Unfaithful husband wonders if he is terrible

    December 8, 2014

    I wouldn't put your villainy up there with Hannibal Lector, but yes, you're fairly terrible.

  • Ask Amy: If he can't walk down the aisle, stepfather might walk away

    December 7, 2014

    Dear Amy: My daughter is getting married next year. I am very happy for her and don't want to interfere with her plans, but I am really afraid that she won't ask her stepfather (my husband) to walk her down the aisle.

  • Ask Amy: Making ends meet is easier with the right kind of help

    December 6, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm 63 and just barely survive on Social Security.

  • Ask Amy: Long-ago incident has girlfriend in its grip

    December 5, 2014

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have a healthy relationship. However, there was an incident when we first started dating that I haven't been able to forgive.

  • Ask Amy: In an intimate partnership, what is private?

    December 4, 2014

    Dear Amy: I frequently read in your column about people snooping into their partner's email or texts and how that is a breach of privacy. I disagree.

  • Ask Amy: Boyfriend fears that dreams will come true

    December 3, 2014

    Dear Amy: I've recently had multiple dreams where I cheat on my girlfriend.

  • Ask Amy: Girlfriend ponders prospects with pot-smoking partner

    December 2, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a (more or less) straight woman in a relationship with a man 10 years older. We've been together for more than a year, living in the same house (with housemates). He is mature, compassionate, sweet, and supportive in many ways. He had some experiences in his teen years that he feels have scarred him, including going to prison for a naive one-time experience with selling drugs.

  • Ask Amy: Facebook 'unfriending' bewilders cousin

    December 1, 2014

    Dear Amy: My cousin has unfriended me on Facebook, and I'm wondering how to react. I saw him two weeks ago at a reunion, and I did my best at least three times to engage him in conversation. His answers were monosyllabic, and he didn't ask me any questions in return.

  • Ask Amy: Man resists the call for a clean slate

    November 30, 2014

    Dear Amy: My guy "T" and I are in our 50s. We have been dating almost a year. I love T very much. He is very loving and giving. However, he is stubborn when it comes to change. One change in particular is a roadblock in our relationship.

  • Ask Amy: Intrusive parent wants to act as son's HMO

    November 29, 2014

    Dear Amy: Our son is in his late 20s. He is a successful professional. He is brilliant, good-looking, witty and admired by all. The problem is, he is about 20 pounds overweight and has not visited a doctor for a physical in over two years. He has not seen a dentist, dermatologist or ophthalmologist!

  • Ask Amy: For grandmother, Asian recognition morphs into profiling

    November 28, 2014

    Dear Amy: My daughter-in-law is white and is married to my son, who is half-white and half-Asian.

  • Ask Amy: Neighbors' teen son wanders at night. Should they tell?

    November 27, 2014

    Dear Amy: The teenage son of our neighbors is a sweet boy, involved in school sports and neighborhood activities. In the last several months he seems to be sneaking in and out of his house to meet friends who wait for him in various cars parked in our cul-de-sac.

  • Ask Amy: Partner competes with porn for attention

    November 26, 2014

    Dear Amy: I met my boyfriend in my first year of college. No other man had ever treated me with such respect. At first our physical relationship was great!

  • Ask Amy: College grad returns home to a hoarder

    November 25, 2014

    Dear Amy: My mother is a hoarder. I have had a tumultuous relationship with her all my life. I recently had to move back in with my parents (I'm 21) post-college.

  • Ask Amy: Widower hopes to move from grief into healing

    November 24, 2014

    Dear Amy: My wife of 33 years recently died from breast cancer. Since then I have not changed much in our household because I have been busy tending to my wife's affairs (which are almost complete). I live alone and I have memories at every turn.

  • Ask Amy: when couples split, who gets each ex?

    November 23, 2014

    Dear Amy: A couple very close to my husband and me split up recently due to repeated infidelity on her part. The impact of this split has been heartbreaking to us and our other friends.

  • Ask Amy: Young relative does a poor job at home repair

    November 22, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a single middle-aged female. I live alone, work full time and do various DIY projects around my old house.

  • Ask Amy: Sister's gossip creates rift between siblings

    November 21, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have a sister who has been mentally ill for 44 years, with schizophrenia. She is not able to work and has been on welfare. I have helped her out for the past 25 years.

  • Ask Amy: How do you know it's time to leave an abusive relationship?

    November 20, 2014

    Dear Amy: I need advice, real bad. I'm 19.

  • Ask Amy: Not for kids: Childhood sex takes hefty toll

    November 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a 40-year-old woman with a brother two years younger.

  • Ask Amy: Repairing this home calls for stealthy DIY

    November 18, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been married to a great guy for over 40 years. We are both retired. We have a lovely home and he has done a lot of the repairs and remodeling. I am proud of what he has done.

  • Ask Amy: Wife's snooping uncovers his gal pals

    November 17, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for 30 years. During this time he has had platonic friendships with other women. I have always been fine with these friendships because I knew the women and he always told me whenever they met for lunch or drinks.

  • Ask Amy: Host in search of a blessing

    November 16, 2014

    Dear Amy: My partner and I are fortunate to have many wonderful friends of diverse religions and backgrounds.

  • Ask Amy: Adolescent needs help with bully brother

    November 15, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a 13-year-old boy with sibling troubles.

  • Ask Amy: Conservative wife controls husband's movie choices

    November 14, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm at a loss on how to move forward with my wife (it is a second marriage for us both).

  • Ask Amy: Stepdaughter lacks life skills to thrive

    November 13, 2014

    Dear Amy: I raised my three children to be self-sufficient and polite.

  • Ask Amy: Farmer father and son plow old ground

    November 12, 2014

    Dear Amy: My father and I have a rather skewed relationship. It feels more like employer and employee than father and son.

  • Ask Amy: Mother's daily check-ins bother fiancee

    November 10, 2014

    Dear Amy: My fiance and I have been together for three years; I have a 5-year-old from a previous relationship and we have a 1-year-old together.

  • Ask Amy: Daughter wonders if her dad is her father

    November 10, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm very confused about what to do. When I was 16 my late mother told me the man that was raising me was possibly NOT my biological father.

  • Ask Amy: Thanksgiving Q brings on TMI

    November 9, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am close with my 42-year-old cousin. She is in a serious relationship with a 52-year-old man she has been dating for six months.

  • Ask Amy: Pushy play dates challenge people pleaser

    November 8, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 10-year-old daughter, "Amber," has a good friend, "Hannah." They play well together, and are extremely bright and creative. Over the past few months, they have started having more frequent play dates and sleepovers on the weekends and this is where the problem begins.

  • Ask Amy: Woman dreads playing Santa on Christmas Eve

    November 6, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband and I are discussing Christmas Eve plans. Normally, his extended family comes to our home.

  • Ask Amy: Man insists on biological child to create family legacy

    November 6, 2014

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I are in our 50s. We have known each other for 15 years, but started dating two years ago after my divorce (my boyfriend has never married).

  • Ask Amy: After aunt's attack, niece should retreat to the high road

    November 5, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have a very wealthy aunt and uncle to whom my husband I have recently grown close. We moved to their area last year. They have been very generous in helping us get settled. We go out to dinner with them once in a while, or visit at their home (they sometimes come to ours, but seem uncomfortable there).

  • Ask Amy: Hubby receives rejection as 20th anniversary gift

    November 4, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been planning a four-day weekend getaway with my wife to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We have school-age children and work full time. We decided we owed ourselves a little enjoyment on a milestone anniversary.

  • Ask Amy: Fear of "scorn of society" belongs in a novel

    November 3, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am in my 50s. Five years ago my wonderful mother died. She was gorgeous, funny, smart, a gourmet cook. She and I talked on the phone — sometimes several times a day. I miss her very much.

  • Ask Amy: Mother worries about daughter's bi-guy

    November 2, 2014

    Dear Amy: My almost-25-year-old daughter is involved in a live-in relationship with a 36-year-old man who professes to be bisexual.

  • Ask Amy: Drunken party leads to violence, kisses, confusion

    November 1, 2014

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I hosted a party. We consumed lots of alcohol. My boyfriend was drunk and started fighting with his friend. He was abusive toward me. He took my hand and punched himself with it, and I began to cry.

  • Ask Amy: Pot addiction holds family in its grip

    October 31, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband of five years is addicted to marijuana. We have an 8-month-old daughter.

  • Ask Amy: Dad worries son's life might go to pot

    October 30, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 18-year-old son started college this year. He has a part-time job and is paying for a new car to drive to school 30 miles from home. He lives at home, but makes bad choices by smoking pot!

  • Ask Amy: Long distance doesn't quiet voice of doom

    October 29, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am having trouble communicating with my mom. I moved to California when I was 18 (my parents live in another state), and I started from the bottom and made a name for myself here.

  • Ask Amy: Woman treats friend like a spare tire

    October 28, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a woman in my late 20s. For several years, my friend "Terence" has always been there for me. He has helped when I've gone through breakups, when my mother had cancer and when my house was vandalized and all my stuff was stolen.

  • Ask Amy: Long-ago abuse haunts survivor

    October 27, 2014

    Dear Amy: My sister's ex-husband tried to molest me from the time I was 11 years old until I was 17. It never went beyond forced kissing and touching, and I never told my parents or my sister because I was afraid that my father would literally kill him.

  • Ask Amy: Woman dreads telling parents she's pregnant

    October 26, 2014

    Dear Amy: Recently my husband and I decided we wanted to have another baby. A few days ago we learned that I'm pregnant.

  • Ask Amy: Life is perfect, but the toddler must go!

    October 25, 2014

    Dear Amy: I recently joined a wonderful family when I married a great man.

  • Ask Amy: Girlfriend bothered by boyfriend's nude habits

    October 24, 2014

    Dear Amy: I've been dating a guy for two months. He is funny, smart, drop-dead handsome, generous and really good to me.

  • Ask Amy: Should this optimist stay with her depressed partner?

    October 23, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a single mother of three‎ who has been dating a single father of three, on and off, for just over a year. We both have good careers.

  • Ask Amy: Father-son estrangement needs a hero to heal

    October 22, 2014

    Dear Amy: My grown son (32) has chosen to not speak to me for the past five years. We live in the same town.

  • Ask Amy: Parents worry about addicted daughter's weight gain

    October 21, 2014

    Dear Amy: My adult daughter, 23, suffered a bout of severe alcohol dependency two years ago. She went through rehab successfully, and today she remains sober.

  • Ask Amy: Dating couple ponder part-time parenting

    October 20, 2014

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been dating for 31/2 years. When he was 20 his casual girlfriend became pregnant and had a baby. His daughter is now 7, but the child's mother is controlling and wouldn't let my boyfriend see his daughter alone.

  • Ask Amy: Sister balks at spending money on dough

    October 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: My sister asked me to purchase a frozen cheesecake, cookies or pretzel dough from my nephew for his school fundraiser.

  • Ask Amy: Wife's rages worry husband and child

    October 18, 2014

    Dear Amy: My wife of 11 years started transitioning into menopause a few months ago.

  • Ask Amy: Woman wants to leap into blended family

    October 17, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been dating a father of three children for about six months now. I love him and his children, and I am moving in with him this month. I really want to be involved in his children's lives and have us become a family. I get along with his kids, and I feel like they have accepted me.

  • Ask Amy: Husband plays games; marriage is the loser

    October 16, 2014

    Dear Amy: Recently I got a phone call from a local video game store advising me that my husband had won a new game console from a store contest.

  • Ask Amy: Wife says husband can have a girlfriend. Why?

    October 14, 2014

    Dear Amy: My wife and I have been happily married for over 20 years. We raised two terrific sons. We get along great and laugh a lot, but over time her interests have evolved. We used to play sports, but now she goes exclusively to the gym. At home she watches TV several hours a day, including football all weekend. She constantly has her laptop on and has a smartphone in her hand while watching TV (I'm fairly certain she has obsessive-compulsive disorder).

  • Ask Amy: Family rift has deep roots; mom wants closure

    October 14, 2014

    Dear Amy: The last time I spoke to my adult daughter was five years ago.

  • Ask Amy: Sibling rivalry over who can contribute less

    October 13, 2014

    Dear Amy: I graduated from college in May and moved back home. My dad hasn't been working, and my older sister — who lived at home rent-free for three years — has started to pay for our home phone bill.

  • Ask Amy: Uncle wants to be sugar daddy for college student

    October 12, 2014

    Dear Amy: I started college this year. For a gift, my uncle wants to set up an account for me at his credit union and give me a debit card. He wants to reward me for working hard and wants to give me the flexibility to have some fun in college.

  • Ask Amy: Cousin or brother? Siblings search for answers

    October 11, 2014

    Dear Amy: My father had several affairs, left our family and remarried another woman. We have confronted him about his sins, but he acts as though he has done nothing wrong.

  • Ask Amy: Should kids amuse themselves with tech during adult events?

    October 10, 2014

    Dear Amy: Scenario: Grandsons, 7 and 5, at a restaurant or a party with no other children to talk to and nowhere for them to play.

  • Ask Amy: It's time to live your 'second life'

    October 9, 2014

    Dear Amy: As I've entered my later golden years, I often think about mistakes I've made during my life — people I've wronged, people who have wronged me, poor financial decisions I've made, things I should have done (but didn't) and things I shouldn't have done but did.

  • Ask Amy: Soccer mom deplores abusive sideline "coaching"

    October 8, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a proud soccer mom of two children. My husband coaches their teams. I love watching my children play and my husband coach.

  • Ask Amy: Partner and parent feels like punching bag

    October 7, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm the punching bag in a relationship with my common-law spouse. We have three children (ages 4, 2, and a baby).

  • Ask Amy: Teen worries that parents' fighting is not healthy

    October 6, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am 15 years old. My mom and dad have always fought a little bit, but recently it has gotten really bad.

  • Ask Amy: Brother balks at bridal honor

    October 5, 2014

    Dear Amy: In three months, my sister is getting married (for the first time). She is 40 (I am 33), has waited her entire life to meet a great man and seems to believe she has done so.

  • Ask Amy: Sexual harassment claim throws bombshell into marriage

    October 4, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been married for over 20 years to my husband, who is a university professor. Recently he has been accused of sexual harassment by a graduate student, who lives in another city.

  • Ask Amy: Job applicant has audacity of hope

    October 3, 2014

    Dear Amy: I was recently fired from my job for chronic tardiness. I've worked at this business for four years, and though I knew my lateness was seen as a problem by my boss, it was still a surprise to be fired.

  • Ask Amy: Remarriage brings out bad feelings

    October 2, 2014

    Dear Amy: I was recently married to a wonderful man. This is a second marriage for both of us. Our first marriages were difficult and lasted more than 20 years.

  • Ask Amy: All kids need to know the 'facts of life'

    October 1, 2014

    Dear Amy: What is the right age to tell a girl about her period and the "facts of life"?

  • Ask Amy: College student's behavior is soooo high school

    September 30, 2014

    Dear Amy: My first week in college I met "Christy" and "Ally," who were friends in high school. They have rooms next to each other in our dorm.

  • Ask Amy: Teen's hospital tantrum sickens grandparents

    September 29, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 87-year-old husband suffered a life-threatening medical problem. Two of our granddaughters — ages 22 and 17 — visited his hospital room. When he inquired about the 17-year-old's school performance, she melted down — crying and yelling, "You always put pressure on me!" — and ran from his room.

  • Ask Amy: Vacation expense question should be asked outright

    September 28, 2014

    Dear Amy: Next month I am going on vacation with a friend and we are staying at my family's vacation home. Since there will be no hotel expenses and many of our meals will be supplied by my family, I am wondering if it would be appropriate for me to expect my friend to pick up the expense of the rental car.

  • Ask Amy: Sleepy student's girlfriend a nightmare

    September 27, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am at university and value my sleep. Along with caffeine, sleep helps me get through the day. I find sleep relaxing, pleasurable, and frankly, a human necessity.

  • Ask Amy: Grandmother frets about questions following divorce

    September 26, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am 65; my husband is 67. We have been married for 13 years. Now we are divorcing. He will be leaving our state after the divorce, when he retires, and won't be returning.

  • Ask Amy: Neighbor needs to childproof her driveway

    September 25, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have three teenage boys. We have lived in our upper-middle-class suburban neighborhood for 20 years.

  • Ask Amy: Marijuana use a dealbreaker for this former toker

    September 24, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am "old school" when it comes to this particular situation, and I am sure I will get flamed by other readers if you publish this letter.

  • Ask Amy: Unemployed couple want fancy wedding

    September 23, 2014

    Dear Amy: Our son recently got engaged. He is 26 and after spending eight years in college, he did not get a degree. He and his fiancee (an only child) live with her parents.

  • Ask Amy: Parents of cyberharassment victim seek advice

    September 22, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 25-year-old daughter briefly dated a man she met in church last December.

  • Ask Amy: Buried feelings resurface over long-ago cheating

    September 20, 2014

    Dear Amy: I married my girlfriend when we were 17. She was pregnant. We have been married for over 25 years. Our marriage has been happy and successful.

  • Ask Amy: Statute of limitations on dating a friend's ex has passed

    September 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: My best friend of 35 years dated a guy for over a year — over 10 years ago.

  • Ask Amy: How to heal after an affair? Apologize, to start

    September 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband of 34 years had an affair with a co-worker, lasting for a year. He has had at least one other affair that I know of.

  • Ask Amy: Foster parents struggle with questions after loss

    September 18, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been foster parents to a sibling group of three young children for the past year and a half.

  • Ask Amy: Breakup paves bumpy path for devastated man

    September 17, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am in my 30s. Last year my fiancee broke up with me. Afterward I did absolutely everything to make her see that was not the best decision for us. I was blindsided and feel it was my fault that I let this breakup happen.

  • Ask Amy: Husband's habit puts marriage at risk

    September 16, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have been married for almost 10 years and have caught my husband with various forms of pornography. Recently I found out he has been getting erotic massages and calling "fantasy" phone lines. I'm devastated because he has betrayed my trust and our wedding vows.

  • Ask Amy: Blended family experience is not a smoothie

    September 15, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband has two children from a previous marriage. I have an 8-year-old daughter from my marriage (her father died). My husband and I also have a 1-year-old child together. I have worked very hard trying to create a family together.

  • Ask Amy: Toxic, bickering parents worry young adult

    September 14, 2014

    Dear Amy: My parents are in their late 60s and early 70s, and to say they "bicker like an old married couple" would be a huge understatement. It feels as though every other word that comes out of their mouths is full of hate for each other. Every little thing either does annoys the other to the point of yelling and screaming. My father is disabled, and I, 23, still live at home to help him with day-to-day stuff, taking care of the house, etc.

  • Ask Amy: Wife goes through 'change'; husband is left behind

    September 13, 2014

    Dear Amy: When we were dating, my wife was the sweetest woman in the world. She didn't make a move without asking me.

  • Ask Amy: Dorm room nudity worries boyfriend

    September 12, 2014

    Dear Amy: I attend a small college in Wisconsin. I live in a dorm. My girlfriend lives in the same dorm on a different floor.

  • Ask Amy: Dad worries about kids' media habits

    September 11, 2014

    Dear Amy: My wife and I have three great kids, ages 9 to 15. We live in an affluent community where most kids have "smart" devices and all manner of video game options at home. I am not against technology, but when my kids had free time this summer, their first choice was to either watch movies or entire television series online — or play video games. If left unattended, they can remain glued to their screens for hours.

  • Ask Amy: Granddaughter with Cinderella status should ditch the castle

    September 10, 2014

    Dear Amy: My son had a daughter when he was 19. Although he did not marry the child's mother, his daughter lived with him 50 percent of the time.

  • Ask Amy: Niece terrorizes and bullies entire family

    September 8, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 13-year-old niece, "Heather," is a beautiful girl. I love her but I don't like her. She has a bad attitude toward everyone. She lies constantly and is extremely disrespectful and obnoxious.

  • Ask Amy: Humiliation leads to unhealthy rumination

    September 8, 2014

    Dear Amy: A year ago I attended a sports event with three other men, one of whom I had never met. As we chatted, waiting for the game to start, this stranger commented on my appearance in a degrading and humiliating way.

  • Ask Amy: Is it ever OK to judge a friend?

    September 7, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have two friends of over 20 years who have decided it is OK to date married men. The women are in their 50s, unmarried and with no children.

  • Ask Amy: Mother-in-law's visit is not the Maine attraction

    September 6, 2014

    Dear Amy: My husband's parents left our hometown and moved to Florida 20 years ago when my three kids were babies. Now that my father-in-law has passed away, my mother-in-law comes to visit every summer for a month.

  • Ask Amy: Heartbroken dad ponders 'Ozzie and Harriet' divorce

    September 5, 2014

    Dear Amy: My 44-year-old daughter, who has been married for nearly 22 years to a wonderful man (my opinion), has just announced that they plan to divorce.

  • Ask Amy: Wife is rude toward husband with dementia

    September 4, 2014

    Dear Amy: My father-in-law has an early form of dementia and tends to repeat himself frequently. The stories he tells about the good old days or his trials and tribulations at work (he has a part-time job) are very familiar to the family.

  • Ask Amy: First responders respond to emergency query

    September 3, 2014

    Dear Amy: Now that many residences no longer have home phones with the number listed in a phone book and through 411, how do first responders contact a parent or loved one in case of an emergency?

  • Ask Amy: Nephew is a My Little Pony kind of kid

    September 2, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have a 5-year-old nephew who is starting kindergarten. He is a fantastic little boy who likes "boy" things like cars, but he really likes many "girl" things like Barbies, Minnie Mouse and My Little Pony. He is the most interesting 5-year-old boy I know.

  • Ask Amy: Grandmother worries about emotional child

    September 1, 2014

    Dear Amy: My grandchildren (a boy age 4 and a girl, who is 6) stay overnight with me once a week. Last night while putting them to bed, my granddaughter was chatting and the conversation led to her feelings.

  • Ask Amy: Mom doesn't take daughter's calls

    August 31, 2014

    Dear Amy: My mother and I agreed on a day and time to chat each week. I work during the week, and mom has been retired for many years and is living alone.

  • Ask Amy: Man should leave abusive marriage

    August 30, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am 75 years old and very sad. I have been married for 39 years. It has been very rocky.

  • Ask Amy: Boyfriend wants girlfriend to lose weight

    August 29, 2014

    Dear Amy: I've been dating my girlfriend for nearly two years. We live together and love each other. The problem is that we have very different ideas about fitness.

  • Ask Amy: Son camps on floor while visiting dad

    August 28, 2014

    Dear Amy: My sister is recently divorced. Her ex has moved in with the woman he had an affair with and is living with her and her three sons. I am concerned about the living arrangements her ex-husband has for my 10-year-old nephew when the boy is with him for his parental visitation.

  • Ask Amy: Woman wonders about dating disclosure

    August 27, 2014

    Dear Amy: I am a bisexual woman. I have a date coming up soon with "James," a guy I'm very interested in dating.

  • Ask Amy: Parental breakup takes a toll on adult daughter

    August 26, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a young woman in my 20s. I live some distance from my parents, but we have always been a close family.

  • Ask Amy: Woman worries as nephew becomes niece

    August 25, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm a wife and mom of five sons under the age of 8.

  • Ask Amy: Dinners on the deck are a free-for-all

    August 24, 2014

    Dear Amy: We have dinners on our deck and serve the meal buffet-style. Guests are served first, and I finish up by covering the dishes with plastic wrap after I have my plate filled.

  • Ask Amy: Baby-sitting grandma puts freedom before safety

    August 23, 2014

    Dear Amy: I have a concern about how my mother-in-law baby-sits my toddler son.

  • Ask Amy: Introvert struggles with sharing

    July 19, 2014

    Dear Amy: Due to family issues stemming from my mother's death, I have severe trust issues with people. I don't like getting close to people because everyone I grew up with has either abused me in one way or another, lied to me about major things (such as the identity of my own father), or broken me down using my mother's death as ammunition.

  • Ask Amy: Farmer's dirty hands bother girlfriend

    July 4, 2014

    Dear Amy: I'm in a long-term relationship with a man who lives on a farm. He's wonderful, but he has some rough edges, most of which I'm OK with. The one thing I can't accept (and he seems to think it is just silly quibbling) is his dirty hands and fingernails.

  • Ask Amy: Mom disses dad in front of kids

    June 20, 2014

    Dear Amy: My wife and I have been married for more than 25 years. During that time we have had our share of marital issues, mostly related to our finances.

  • After dinner, they grapple for the check

    November 4, 2012

    Dear Amy: My girlfriend is great. Her parents are very prosperous. Whenever we go out to dinner, my girlfriend's father lunges for the check and won't let us pay. I swear I try to get it but don't want to create a scene.

  • Sudden estrangement may be sign of domestic abuse

    November 3, 2012

    Dear Amy: My husband and I are heartsick over a request from our son to refrain from having any contact with him or our daughter-in-law. They have been married for five years, and we feel we have always been kind, generous and supportive of them.

  • Grandfather holds the secret to his sadness

    November 1, 2012

    Dear Amy: More than 50 years ago I met a girl, and we started dating. A few months later she told me she was expecting a baby, but she said the child wasn't mine. We got married and had two more children and a nice life but divorced after 15 years.

  • Aunt's concern may stretch boundaries

    October 31, 2012

    Dear Amy: My brother-in-law is a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder. He has three young-adult children. Their mom died when they were young. They have put up with years of his raging at them and putting them on pedestals.

  • Girlfriend needs to lose her boyfriend's weight

    August 4, 2012

    Dear Amy: I have been dating my girlfriend for three years, and I really love her. We get along in all aspects of our relationship. Our relationship stills feels fresh. I do think she is beautiful, too, but in the last year or so she has started to gain weight.

  • Monster-in-law insists on baby name

    July 30, 2012

    Dear Amy: I cannot deal with my monster-in-law. She's bossy, antagonistic, and gossips about my personal business far too much. As much as I try to care about her, my dislike for her has been surfacing more and more.

  • Bachelorette bridal bells ring like ka-ching

    May 12, 2010

    Dear Amy: I'm a bridesmaid for an old friend this summer, and she has chosen a three-day destination bachelorette party.

  • Parents perplexed over snarky teen

    March 1, 2010

    Dear Amy: I'm at a loss as to how to deal with my 16-year-old daughter and to teach her how to "play nice." She is stunningly beautiful but lacking in sensitivity and social skills needed to get along well with her peers. At her school, she acts rudely toward others. Her humor toward her friends reeks with sarcasm and can be very hurtful. She will only talk to a few people.

  • Paying for pizza poses problems

    February 28, 2010

    Dear Amy: My 16-year-old son and his friends get together every now and again at one another's homes to play video games or watch a movie.

  • Book club reads Sartre’s ‘No Exit’

    February 27, 2010

    Dear Amy: I have been a member of a book club for the past few years. Recently, the composition of the book club has changed. My close friends have moved away and new members have joined the group. The problem is that I work with all the people in the group and am their boss.

  • Office Santa delivers blue Christmas

    February 26, 2010

    Dear Amy: I'd like your take on a situation at work. It is customary in our firm for bosses to give their assistants holiday presents at the end of the year. These gifts can range from hundreds of dollars in cash to significant gift cards, jewelry, etc.

  • Office ogler concerns co-worker

    February 25, 2010

    Dear Amy: In an effort to build team spirit, our office had a group outing. My friend, an administrative assistant in the firm, had a meltdown, cried and panicked about the group activity we were going to do.

  • Expectant parents need their Z’s

    February 24, 2010

    Dear Amy: I am 8 1/2 months pregnant with my second child. I am a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately, my pregnancy is causing me to snore. My husband wakes me up throughout the night to tell me to stop or get me to change positions.

  • Abused dad should take the kids and leave

    February 23, 2010

    Dear Amy: My sister has been emotionally abusing her husband for years. Recently, I learned from my brother-in-law that she has started to physically abuse him by slapping, biting and punching him. She expects my brother-in-law to meet unrealistic expectations, and when he does not meet them, she lashes out at him.

  • Granny's a nanny, so pappy protests

    February 22, 2010

    Dear Amy: My mother is a beloved member of our family.  Everyone who meets her loves her instantly. Because mom is so great and such a fun person to be around, whenever I or one of my siblings travels with our families, we will often invite mom and pay her way so she can join us.  

  • When abuse won't stop, it's time to leave

    February 21, 2010

    Dear Amy: I have been married for nearly 41 years.

  • Nursing home worker crosses the line

    February 12, 2010

    Dear Amy: My mother and " Barbie" started working in a nursing home more than 25 years ago and are good friends.

  • Father, bride tussle over wedding bill

    February 11, 2010

    Dear Amy: I have a 30-year-old daughter who just finished a short-lived marriage to a useless alcoholic. Within a few days of the ink getting dried on the papers, she announced she is engaged to a really nice guy (he is).

  • Texting friend needs to get the message

    July 24, 2009

    Dear Amy: I have a good friend who is very nice, very thoughtful and very dependable. Whenever anyone needs to reach her, my friend is just one text message away. But that is just what seems to be the problem—she is always reachable and her phone is always there, ringing off the hook with text messages.

  • 'Open' relationships don't work unless both parties are happy with the arrangement

    July 5, 2009

    Dear Amy: For the past few years, I have been in a long-distance, long-term but "open" relationship.

  • Wife excluded from party planning

    June 23, 2009

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for almost two decades.

  • Irish teen's friends try to mimic dialect

    June 18, 2009

    Dear Amy: Both of my parents are Irish immigrants, so I've been raised saying things like "me coat" and calling my mother "Mum."

  • Parents out of money and patience

    June 5, 2009

    Dear Amy: Unbeknownst to us, our 23-year-old daughter ran up a large credit card debt in her last year of college, which she attended on an athletic scholarship.

  • Phone ringing off hook for teen son

    June 2, 2009

    Dear Amy: My son "James" goes to a special school for kids with disabilities. He has a learning disability but is very nice looking, competitive in sports and, most of all, a very nice young man. That is how he was raised.

  • Visiting elderly parents a tedious task

    May 29, 2009

    Dear Amy: My partner and I have a problem dealing with his elderly parents' lack of social skills.

  • Wife's friendship swayed by business deal

    May 25, 2009

    Dear Amy: My husband and his business partner, "Greg," had a friendly parting of the ways a little more than a year ago. We live in a small community, so we see Greg and his wife, "Pat," fairly often.

  • Not a mom, not 'happy' again on Mother's Day

    May 17, 2009

    Dear Amy: Another Mother's Day has come and gone and I still don't know how to deal with the "Happy Mother's Day" greeting I get when I go to a store.

  • Tight budget no reason for couple to start food fight

    May 10, 2009

    Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for six years.

  • Fiance's shyness could be a disorder

    May 8, 2009

    Dear Amy: My fiance and I are shy people and we often just stay to ourselves. When I am around his family and friends, I leave my comfort zone and I appear warm, friendly and social even though I'm nervous. When he is around my family he is very quiet, answers questions with a "yes" or "no," and doesn't make eye contact.

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