Life Advice



Parents are upset over mess of their own making

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

No more tuition. If he is skipping classes, then he isn't ready for college. Then he will have plenty of time to work a 40-hour week, just like everybody else, and rent a room in someone else's house, where there might be real consequences for damaging property.

If you want to be extra nice, you could kick in for his car insurance, but other than that, he will have to establish his own goals, and see what it's like to be in charge of his own life.

And you need to let him.

Dear Amy: My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Rather than answer constant phone calls, we chose to send out a regular summary via email.

This very personal and sensitive notice was sent only to family members and close friends.

Imagine our horror when we learned that a good friend of ours had forwarded one of these updates to the president of an organization my husband belongs to.

She instructed them to forward it to all organization members, and they did! This friend also said she would forward regular updates.

The "friend" said she did it because so many people in the organization care about us. We are having great difficulty getting close to forgiveness.

Would most people forgive this easily? Can you help us get rid of our anger and learn to forgive? -- Want to Forgive


Dear Want to Forgive: Must you forgive this person so quickly? What she did was an outrageous violation, and she seems to have justified it, rather than apologize and ask for forgiveness.

Work on releasing your anger. Punch a pillow or two. Hold hands and breathe deeply. Your anger keeps you in a tough place, right when you need your strength and resilience.

Don't give her more of yourself than she deserves to have.

Tell her, "We're having a tough time recovering from the way you chose to violate our privacy. We'd appreciate an apology." Strike her off all future group communication. Add a coda to your regular emails, saying, "Please do not share this information with others."

Dear Amy: Thank you for your reasonable reaction to "Mama Bear," who didn't want her father-in-law to ask her 15-year-old son to fetch a beer for him. Bringing beers to my grandfather was about as close as we ever got. I actually have happy memories of him sitting with the ice chest just out of reach. -- Not Damaged for Life

Dear Not Damaged: Has it occurred to you that your grandfather stationed himself "just out of reach," in order to get you to fetch for him, promoting this connection? That's my theory.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)




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