Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

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

Daughter struggles with self-esteem at college

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My beautiful, talented, intelligent and sensitive daughter just started college after taking a gap year. She is so happy in school, however, she has never had an official boyfriend and feels she never will have that kind of relationship because, somehow, she believes she is flawed. This couldn't be further from the truth, and no matter...Read more

Grieving dad wrestles with his rage

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I lost my beloved wife to cancer four years ago. Her death was devastating for me and my three children.

We are all working through our shock and sorrow. My goal through all this upheaval has been to maintain a stable household. I want my kids to feel like the home they love and remember is still here for them whenever they return. ...Read more

Wife wonders why gift-giving is her job

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for four years. Even before tying the knot, I noticed that his family always contacted me regarding details for birthdays, get-togethers, celebrations, etc.

I am bombarded with messages from his mother, aunts, grandmother and cousins asking if we will be participating in gift exchanges, to please ...Read more

Abuse survivor can't handle family questions

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am the youngest in my family; my siblings are older by many years. Years ago, I found out that my father had a history of abusing girls. At a family reunion a couple of years ago, one of my older nieces asked me about my father -- apparently she was one of his victims.

The reunion became an annual thing, and she keeps trying to talk...Read more

Friend wants to intervene with overweight kids

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My wife and I are on a friendly basis with a couple who have two children under the age of 10.

Both of these adults are seriously overweight. The mother has stated, in fact, that she knows she is a "big girl," which (of course) is her business.

The problem is that the bad eating habits of the parents are beginning to affect the ...Read more

Security system catches dog-sitting scofflaw

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Over the past dozen years, a friend of mine has volunteered to stop by the house to let my dogs out during the day while I am at work.

This friend works from home and when out running errands, stops by to see the dogs. In return, I have provided the family with a purebred dog from my breeding program (I breed and show dogs as a hobby)...Read more

Volatile aunt makes niece rethink wedding invite

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My aunt has a long history of being volatile with the family. She runs very hot and cold. I have very fond memories of her when I was a child. As a young adult, she has been generous toward me.

However, I also know many of these memories have hidden plot lines in which she has bullied my mother (her sister).

About three years ago my ...Read more

Sibling wants coming-out guide for 'Modern Family'

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Earlier this year my youngest brother "came out." The fact that he is gay isn't exactly shocking, but it's something we are all still adjusting to. He is the youngest, so he is spoiled, and acts very emotional when he doesn't get his way.

Some months back he informed me that he was seeing someone who is twice his age. I am ...Read more

Nurse and cop put in a dating shift

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a nurse. I started dating a police officer seven months ago.

We like each other and are getting along. We are both working full time and going to school.

He lives two hours away from me. While we talk on the phone daily, he only wants to see me once every six or seven weeks.

I asked him if we could see each other once every ...Read more

Man fathered a child; now dreads the DNA knock on the door

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am a male in my early 70s. I made a terrible mistake when I was 16 years old: I got my girlfriend (also 16) pregnant.

Both sets of parents were supportive and arranged for my girlfriend to enroll in what was at that time referred to as an unwed-mother's home. At birth, the child was immediately placed for adoption and went to a ...Read more

Close family wants to confront alcoholic brother

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: We have a very large and extraordinarily close family.

We are pretty sure that one of the brothers is an alcoholic. We've seen him get in horrific arguments, start fights and belittle his companions when drunk.

When he's had too much to drink (usually at night), he likes to write long nasty emails to various people that he feels have...Read more

Cat ladies prefer cats to family members

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My sister-in-law says she is very allergic to cats. She lives six hours away from my Mom. My sister and I have cats and bring them with us when we visit our mom.

My sister-in-law asked us if we could put the cats behind a gate or upstairs when she and my brother visit.

We believe that our cats are our family members. We refuse to put...Read more

Sister feels on the hook for weekend visits

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: One of my sisters and her husband live two hours from me and my husband. There are events in our town that my sister and her husband like to attend.

When they want to attend an event here, they ask if they can spend the weekend at our house. The number of times they want to stay with us keeps increasing to the point where it's about ...Read more

Pot smoking dad wonders if he should in front of the kids

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am the father of a boy and a girl, ages 9 and 11.

I live in Colorado, and smoke marijuana. I did not start smoking regularly until it was legal here.

My kids do not know that I smoke pot, but they are not stupid -- my eyes may be red, or the smell may linger when I come in from smoking in the garage. I do not smoke in the house or ...Read more

Husband loves wife, but is 'in love' with another

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband had an affair with another woman for more than six years. We've been married more than 25 years and I'm sad to say that we haven't had sex for almost 20 years.

He says this other woman is the love of his life and he will never not love her. He's also said that he loves me but is not "in love" with me. Amy, what does that ...Read more

Celebrate the giving season by donating

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: In the spirit of this "giving" season, I present my annual roundup of charitable organizations readers should consider supporting.

Your donation may go further at a small local nonprofit than at a large charity. I reserve much of my own donation dollars for local organizations that give within my community of need. This year I ...Read more

Teacher's death triggered abuse accusation

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: A few years ago, one of my former school teachers died suddenly and unexpectedly.

We were all surprised and saddened by this occurrence.

I recently posted a memory about him on the anniversary of his death.

Not too long after, a former classmate reached out to me asking me to call her. She informed me that the teacher had molested ...Read more

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