Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Father and son engage in demolition derby

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

The way out for you is to adopt total detachment. I'm going to provide two phrases which will help you:

"That's too bad," and, "You'll figure it out."

Don Jr. says, "Dad won't look for a new car!" You say, "That's too bad."

Don Jr. says, "My father is using me!" You say, "You'll figure it out." That is the extent of your commentary or involvement.

If you simply refuse to get wound up about this, this father-son relationship will either continue as it is, or the son will finally set some limits. Either way, you will gradually stop caring.

Dear Amy: I came to the U.S. almost 20 years ago. I have a niece who lives on the opposite coast -- a six-hour flight from where I live. I am her only relative in the U.S.

Last year, she got married to a nice guy at the courthouse. My sister and husband came to the ceremony from overseas. We were informed and invited two days before our annual overseas vacation. We could not go to the wedding.

This year, my niece had a reception. Again, my sister informed and invited us less than a week before the reception and right before we went on vacation. This vacation, like the one last year, was planned months in advance. Both my husband and I work, so we had to request leave, buy air tickets, etc.

We were not given a good or clear reason of why we were not invited to these events in a timely way so that we could attend. We have helped our niece with school, jobs, visas, dating, etc., because we are her only relatives in this country.

Should I reach out to my sister, her family, and my niece about this?

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