Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Childless couple vows to end friendship over kids

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I hope you will be honest in your reaction: "When you joke about or threaten our friendship over the issue of having kids, I don't know how to react. What are you really trying to say?"

Dear Amy: My husband and I both had previous marriages (we met after our divorces).

When he divorced (after 32 years of marriage), he told his family that he did not expect them to cut off contact or disown his ex.

We have now been married for almost 24 years, and my husband's sister still invites his ex to every family function.

At one event, my husband and I were sitting on the couch when his ex-wife walked by and his sister said, "Oh, I need a picture of you with (her son)."

She didn't take photos of her son with his uncle (my husband). She always gushes over the ex at every turn, while hardly acknowledging my husband or myself.

What do you think of a sister continuing to invite her brother's ex-wife to every family function, 23 years later? She invited her to their mother's 90th birthday party, which I can understand, but this woman didn't just show up and pay her respects -- she stayed all evening, and other guests asked us why.

-- Sloppy Second

Dear Second: It seems that your husband's sister prefers his ex to you (and perhaps your husband), and she is conveying this, not just through these invitations, but through her behavior toward you.

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You cannot control her invitation list, but your husband should honestly tell her how you two feel about her social slights when you are all together.

Dear Amy: I was shocked at your outrageous and sexist comment in your response to "Unsure," when you suggested that she, a woman, should "quietly stick to your own knitting." What year do you think this is?

-- Disgusted

Dear Disgusted: I've heard from many women who were outraged by this phrase.

This is a very old and well-known idiom, and it is not used in a gender-oriented context. It merely refers to someone attending to their own expertise. In fact, I heard it this week applied to NFL players, few of whom (I assume) actually knit.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)



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