Life Advice


Health & Spirit

A stranger's suggestion brings on DNA dilemma

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have an 11-year-old son who is adopted.

A total stranger approached and suggested to us that getting DNA testing would be a wonderful gift. He went on and on about what a loving gift this would be. (My son does not look like me, so this man correctly assumed he was adopted.) I found this quite outrageous.

Amy, we know who his birth...Read more

Out-of-wedlock pregnancy leads to family secret

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I got pregnant 37 years ago. The father and I were in our 20s and engaged to be married, but he dumped me when I refused to have an abortion. He and I tried to reconcile a couple of times, but it was always contingent on me "getting rid of the kid." He didn't care how -- I could leave our son with relatives -- but there was just no ...Read more

The 'kids' reject Dad's new marriage. What now?

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a 52-year-old divorcee who recently married a wonderful 62-year-old widower.

We are very happy except for one thing: Before we married, my husband's grown children (37and 35) attempted to stop us.

His son was very happy and supportive initially, but his daughter apparently influenced the son to change his mind. Neither attended ...Read more

Partner wants musician to abandon his 'childish fantasy'

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have been with my boyfriend for more than six months now. He is the sweetest and greatest man I have ever dated, and I want to spend my life with him.

I make more money, have a great home and I'm an extremely independent person. Because I followed this path and am a few years older (29 vs. 26), I am concerned that he won't ever "...Read more

Mother raised the kids to be independent. Now what?

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have always tried to raise my two children, now 17 and 18, to be independent. They were allowed to make a lot of their own decisions -- for better or for worse (although I, of course, gave them guidance when they needed it).

Guess what? It worked! Now they don't need me or choose to be with me for more than 10 minutes a day, in ...Read more

Home DNA test yields heartbreaking surprise

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I decided to do a DNA test for fun.

It turns out that my father and I don't share DNA.

I knew my mother had an affair back in the '50s, but I thought the affair was after I was born.

We had a relationship with the other family; the husband and his wife were very dysfunctional alcoholics and I went through school with ...Read more

Why watch videos where nothing happens?

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I was on my husband's phone recently and saw that he had been watching videos featuring lots of different women: Women who were doing things like folding towels, pretending to give haircuts and sometimes just whispering. Nothing sexual, just long videos of really nothing happening.

I didn't know what to make of it, so I asked my ...Read more

Mentor accused of misconduct disappears

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Recently, a close mentor of mine was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in the '90s. The accusations (many of them quite graphic) were made public in a national and highly respected publication.

I was absolutely devastated. He is a relatively high-profile figure, and I looked up to him. Within 24 hours of the public ...Read more

Extended family wonders how to embrace transgender member

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am one of six adult siblings. We gather once or twice a year in a low-key kind of way to stay connected and catch up.

My brother "Tom," his wife and three adult children stopped attending these events a couple of years ago. This left us perplexed.

Recently Tom's son (my nephew) shared with the family that he was gender-...Read more

Life with a hoarder has become a nightmare

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I are in our mid-50s. We were married four years ago. We are both highly-educated professionals.

My husband bought his parents' home almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately, he is attached to the decaying belongings left by his parents and other relatives that lived in the house.

He promised me before I moved in that we ...Read more

This 'Mr.' wonders how to become 'Grandpa'

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have three grandchildren who address me as "Mr.," and not as "Grandpa."

Although it is true that I was not in their lives growing up, I was not a bad or cruel influence.

A few years ago, I sent a Christmas gift (a large check) to one of these grandchildren, and I quickly received a nice thank you card, but it was addressed "Dear Mr...Read more

Tenancy causes relationship tension

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My boyfriend "Wally" and I bought our first home together 10 months ago. Three months ago, his friend "Bart" moved into our guest room.

Three weeks later he had furniture delivered. More is in the basement. Bart is self-employed (he buys and trades stocks) but has been traveling overseas off and on. When I broach the subject of ...Read more

College student worries about abuse allegation

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a 21-year-old college student. I've been friends with a fellow student named "Rob" for the past three years. I have never known Rob to be anything but a kind and trustworthy person. For the past two years, Rob has been dating another student at our college, and their relationship seems very healthy.

Last night, while scrolling ...Read more

Husband shoulders family's financial worries

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My wife and I are in our mid-60s, married for 14 years. We have two teenage children, and I have three adult children by previous partners. Our marriage is totally committed, wonderful and fun.

I worry about money all the time. We both have secure jobs that pay well; we're comfortably middle class in a university town. We face car ...Read more

Emotional affair partner wants 'normalization meetings'

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Over the last few years, my marriage has felt stagnant and unfulfilling.

About a year ago, I grew close to a friend and colleague (he is single), slowly at first, but then becoming more and more intimate. There is mutual sexual attraction and we share many of the same intellectual and cultural interests.

We both knew I was in no ...Read more

Child's nightmare reveals daytime anxieties

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I was awakened at 3 a.m. by my 4-year-old crying out for me.

When I went to his room, he was sobbing about having a bad dream. I asked what happened and he cried, "I was killing daddy!" He was hysterical. I asked, "How were you killing him?" He responded, "With a Hot Wheels track." I didn't push further, in fact, I kind...Read more

Live-in partner doesn't want boyfriend's kids

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Do I have a say if I don't want my boyfriend's two children to live with us?

I am childless at the moment (going to college), and do not want this to affect my budget.

I am supportive, and he has joint custody. I just cannot commit to being a full-time mom to other children when I don't even have my own.

I know what I signed up for,...Read more

Grandmother wants to 'school' son and wife

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I went to visit our oldest son and his wife. They have three children, ages 6, 9 and 11. The youngest girl screams at the top of her lungs when she does not get her way. She also hits her mother when her mother tries to correct her. The oldest child baits the others to stir up trouble. The son hits his sisters with ...Read more

Musician still suffers from long-ago rejection

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Many years ago, I started a musical group with two members of my extended family. We were good! One day out of the blue, "Keith" said, "I don't want to do this anymore," and quit. This broke my heart.

A short while later, I found out that he had joined another band and had taken our one remaining band member with him; this new group ...Read more

Survivor of childhood abuse continues to struggle

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I'd like to know how to get over a lifetime of embarrassment. I was raised by self-absorbed and often cruel parents. Both of them took delight in humiliating me as a child. My father would stand up at my birthday parties and tell jokes about me in front of my friends. He would make fun of me until I cried, and then laugh at me.

While ...Read more


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