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Battle scarred teen wants to fix family's fighting

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: What are the best ways to fix family arguments? Everyone in my family fights, yells, and says hurtful things. People in my family want to banish other family members and they stop talking to them.

Every single day is a battlefield where people get stressed and tired of the drama. I worry that this is tearing the family apart.

My ...Read more

Woman Sees Herself As Abuser After Couple's Stormy Breakups

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: After reading some of your columns concerning abusive, controlling relationships, I realize that I am in one, but not in the way you assume. I am the abuser.

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. Most of the time it's great -- we have similar interests, and we're both not afraid to speak our minds, which makes ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 5/30/2016

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Readers: When we asked you to try your hand at a gender-inclusive piece for Independence Day, we also received several poems that seemed more appropriate for Memorial Day. Therefore, we have decided to print two of them on this occasion. We think they both express moving sentiments.

"Gold Star Mother" by Gene Nelson, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

...Read more

Very Sad & Confused

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

During my 10-month engagement we've had a couple of bumps in the road and seen a couple's counselor. Recently we have come to a crossroads. He can be overly sensitive -- a carryover I'm sure from his childhood. This can result in arguments where he is wounded by something that SHOULD ...Read more

After a false accusation, aunt now wants to move on

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: A while back, an heirloom necklace of mine went missing.

The only person to visit me recently had been my adult niece. I asked my niece why she took my necklace, and told her to return it immediately.

My niece kept denying she had even seen my necklace. I was furious with her for lying to me.

I went to the police and pressed charges...Read more

Man's Long Fingernails Are Touchy Subject For Girlfriend

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I am a 65-year-old widow and recently started dating a 66-year-old man. I really like him and enjoy his company. However, one thing about him drives me up a wall. He has long fingernails on both hands. He is neat and tidy and otherwise well groomed. I am quite sure he is not a coke user (which some have suggested could be the reason)....Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 5/29/2016

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Because the cost of living is so high around here, I now rent bedrooms in my home to a couple of young adults in their 20s. It's almost impossible for them to go out on their own.

Everything is fine about this arrangement, except my renters do not clean their rooms. They throw all of their things on the floor, including dirty dishes...Read more

Cruel Mother

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My daughter, an 18-year-old about to graduate from high school, is in a serious and loving relationship with a young man who will be 18 himself this month. He goes to school full time and works full time, and they spend much of their free time together.

I found out today that his mother has designated his bedroom for his ...Read more

Sister's demands for apologies test relationship

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My sister often shares that she is upset about things I said or did years ago -- sometimes decades ago.

Her pain is real, but I honestly don't remember the events she is referencing.

These are often small interactions -- for instance, that I didn't lend her a sweater 23 years ago.

I'm not comfortable apologizing for something I don'...Read more

Teen's Friendship With Older Man Draws Fire From Parents

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old daughter, a junior in high school, is still living at home. She has befriended a 51-year-old man at her first job (a burger place). We have told her that although she is kind to be friendly with him at work, we feel it's inappropriate to do things with him outside of work. She's now upset with us and claims we don't ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 5/28/2016

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: In the past five years, I have attended 14 weddings (several were expensive destination weddings), hosted seven baby showers, four bridal luncheons, six wedding showers and purchased 36 presents for various friends and relatives.

My son is gay. Thankfully, he and his wonderful partner of 11 years were finally able to legally marry ...Read more

Conflicted, again

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am the letter-writer from the Oct. 22, 2015 column (http://wapo.st/1QUi2dz). I wanted to say thank you for responding and give you an update.

His mom died last fall. I did what you advised, I was there for him and supportive of him regardless of how we defined what "us" was.

...Read more

Family of alcoholic enables after mother's death

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My father is a 70-year-old alcoholic and gambler who refuses to accept help.

My mother kept him in "check" for 50 years, but she died last year.

Being of the "old school" generation, she did everything for him, down to tying his shoes.

Now that she is gone, he expects the entire family to just pick up where my mom left off. He ...Read more

Give Thanks On Memorial Day During Moment Of Remembrance

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: Americans are at their best when they unite around a noble purpose. On Memorial Day, that purpose is the National Moment of Remembrance. On that day, all Americans are asked to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time to honor our fallen.

In 1971, No Greater Love, a patriotic organization, was founded by a woman named Carmella ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 5/27/2016

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: There is a couple that socializes with us and our friends. They constantly drop hints that their adult children (living at home) should be invited to our events. They say things like, "Becky would really enjoy coming to your house. She loves the way you cook." Sometimes they just show up at the door with their adult children and say,...Read more

Childless Couple

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

What do people really want to hear when they ask when my husband and I are going to have children? When I say we don't plan to, the next question is, why not? Do I tell them it was a tough decision to make and one I find myself struggling with but know to be the right one? That we can barely keep ourselves afloat financially or...Read more

High school student worries about friend's cutting

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have a friend, "Morgan," who I found out has been cutting herself. Morgan has struggled with depression since she was young. She seemed to hit her rock-bottom this past summer. She started cutting her arms with kitchen knives and scissors, including at my own birthday party.

At first she said it had been an accident, but as I saw ...Read more

Mom Objects When Kids Are Made To Pay For Roughhousing

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: We visit my in-laws two or three times a year. During our most recent visit, my kids (ages 12 and 14) were roughhousing with their cousins and accidentally slammed a door, which resulted in a broken frame. Their grandpa had asked them to stop, which they apparently didn't do.

Now, three months later, my in-laws are visiting us, and ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 5/26/2016

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Until two years ago, I thought we had a loving family, even though my husband and I are divorced. We have two grown children in their 50s.

Two years ago, my son asked me to co-sign a college loan for his child. When I declined, he said he was "done with this whole family," and has not spoken to any of us since.

I live several ...Read more

Trusted Friendship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I recently confided in a good friend some personal news, and told her not to tell anyone. I didn't think trusting her was a problem, as she has confided in me numerous times in the past and I have kept her personal stories to myself.

Within a few days, she had told two other friends. ...Read more