Life Advice


Health & Spirit

The family trip turns into a cat roundup

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My partner and I recently traveled abroad with her family.

We are all adults. We spent six days with her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law.

We both knew that there would be the usual frustrations associated with spending time in close quarters with her enmeshed family.

We stayed in vacation rental homes, where each couple ...Read more

Wronged wife doesn't want to beg ex for contact

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I separated a while back because he had an affair and left me for another woman. He hasn't seen or spoken to our sons in over a month.

What should I do? Must I contact him and beg him to speak to his kids?

I don't want to do that. It shouldn't have to be up to me to reach out.

I feel that if he cared he would contact ...Read more

Crowded vacation house leaves some exhausted

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Each year, my extended family takes a big trip with four generations -- The Grandparents, The Parents, The Kids and The Grandkids.

There are 15 of us, including spouses, in The Kids group. The Parents and The Grandparents make all the arrangements. We're simply told where and when.

The Parents find a large house to rent. The ...Read more

Engaged couple wants to exclude family from wedding

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have recently gotten engaged.

Growing up, my narcissistic mother physically and emotionally abused me. I was held to a much higher standard than my younger sister.

This led me to take out my frustrations on my sister -- verbally, and also through manipulation.

I didn't speak much to my family as a teenager, left the house for ...Read more

Emotions roll when the ex gets married

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My ex-boyfriend is getting married. We broke up only five months ago. We had stopped being intimate for a year before we broke up. That was a big problem for me. Plus, he smoked and drank and could not hold a job. He also has a terrible temper.

I am 62, and was married once before. He is 54, and has been married twice before. After we...Read more

Older husband is eager to father a child

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband of almost 40 years would like to (somehow) father a child.

During our first year of marriage, I had a hysterectomy, and so early on we realized I couldn't give birth to a child.

At various points throughout our marriage (mainly in our younger years), we talked about possible surrogacy, but he always dropped the matter.

...Read more

DNA results reveal secret half-sibling

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My wife (who is 64) recently discovered a new cousin, "Meg," (also in her 60s) through DNA testing.

Meg lives in a different part of the country and although they have not met in person, they communicate via social media and email, and have since become close friends.

My wife's uncle, at the time of his affair with Meg's mom, was ...Read more

Wife's assignment gives husband writer's block

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: For almost 30 years, I've been married to an eloquent, thoughtful writer whose every written word is carefully chosen. He turns mundane subjects into interesting reads.

He's smart and funny; he's a great person, husband, and father.

Before Christmas, he asked what I wanted. I said that more than anything, I wanted him to write down ...Read more

A bully's behavior must be dealt with

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: One of my dearest friends, "Susan," is married to a man many of the people in our group don't enjoy. I tolerate him, because I love her.

"Bernie" talks at us instead of to us, monologues, and interrupts a lot.

My friend has told me privately that he's verbally abusive to her, but she loves him, so she lets it slide. I've managed my ...Read more

Ex needs to break-up a second time

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I was in a two-year relationship with "Tiffany" that ended over a year ago. I created a dishonest situation with her. I take full responsibility for my actions and continue to feel horrible about it.

After the breakup, we didn't talk for a month. When we did meet up to talk, she asked me to help her and her children from a previous ...Read more

Toxic in-laws endanger allergic family member

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have an extremely severe food allergy.

I carry an EpiPen; I've been hospitalized multiple times because of exposure to this allergen.

My husband explained this to his parents when we started dating.

Since then, most meals we have shared at their house have had very limited options for me. They manage to find a way to add the ...Read more

Lonely woman gets catfished on social media

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I'm a 65-year-old, married woman with grandchildren. I live with my husband.

I love social media. I suppose it's because I'm lonely for attention.

I meet young guys on social media and develop strong feelings for them.

I don't think myself as a flirt, but I have compassion for these guys going through hard times.

Is my way of ...Read more

Professor wants to be rid of racist books

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a retired college professor who did years of research about American slavery and slaveholders.

I own a set of very racist 19th-century books that were part of my research.

It is now time for me to reduce the size of my library, but I am afraid to sell these books because, given the mood in our country today and the rise of white...Read more

DNA disclosure might unlock family secret

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My mother conceived both my brother and me using a sperm donor. This information was never kept from us, and my mother has spoken openly about it throughout our lives.

My stepdad adopted us, making us his legal children.

Recently, I was discussing taking an ancestry test and my mother revealed to me that her sister, my aunt "Grace" (...Read more

Survivor of family dysfunction seeks closure

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a man in my 60s, happily married for 31 years. We have two wonderful young-adult sons. I am also estranged from my elderly parents and my one younger sibling, a brother.

I grew up with an alcoholic, physically abusive father, and a cold, distant and critical mother.

My father whipped me with his belt. Something as simple as ...Read more

Overwhelmed parent wants to mend broken family

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: All five of my now-adult children were adopted. The youngest two are bio-sisters and came to us when they were four and five.

These sisters have always struggled, and we were in and out of counseling as they grew up.

They have accused us of abuse (not true).

They both have substance abuse issues, and have exhausted their brothers ...Read more

In-laws are too self-focused to notice pregnancy

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I are really frustrated with his father and his father's second wife, who came into the picture when all the children were adults. We have been trying for almost a decade to connect and make getting together more bearable. It's not working, and I'm ready to throw in the towel.

Amy, they just refuse to engage with us! My...Read more

Friend's final request creates a burden

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My childhood best friend, "Lynn," died after a long battle with colon cancer. She asked me to spread her ashes in Ireland, off of cliffs that we once visited together on a vacation. She asked me this the last time I saw her, and I was completely stunned, but agreed. She died a couple of days later.

That was nine years ago.

Lynn never...Read more

Neighborly peace might require fence and a camera

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I recently bought a house.

Our new next-door neighbor had been close friends with the man who had owned our house for 30 years.

This neighbor was used to trespassing on our property all the time.

We do not want this.

During home renovations, whenever we had workers at our house, he would come over and tell them how ...Read more

New parents are locked in power struggle with in-laws

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I'm 36 years old and have recently had my first and (most likely) only baby.

My baby means the world to me. For now, we've opted to have his daddy take a year off of work to take care of our little dude.

My mother-in-law is complaining that my husband isn't "sharing" our son with her. She seems to think she can send us away from our ...Read more


Social Connections


Lisa Benson Hagar the Horrible Mutts Bizarro Arctic Circle Mike Du Jour