Life Advice



Father-in-law wants to issue premarital warning

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Do I have an obligation to warn my future son-in-law about my daughter's mental illness?

Let me explain: I have been married to her mother for over 20 years. My wife could be the poster child for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. She has all of the classic symptoms (verbal abuse, constant blaming, hypercritical, shaming, public ridiculing, and physical battering.)

To say that the past 20 years has been a living nightmare would be a huge understatement!

Our only daughter, who is due to marry a very decent guy, is a perfect clone of my wife.

She demonstrates ALL of the abusive behaviors, exactly like my spouse.

I know what kind of a marriage this young man is headed for and I feel guilty not saying anything.


Most people don't realize that this behavior is a form of mental illness and the person/behavior will never change.

Do I owe him a more complete explanation?

-- Worried Future Father-in-law

Dear Worried: First, let's do you. Your married life has been a nightmare. You have been verbally and physically abused. I urge you to find a way to exit this relationship safely. You should not be a martyr to your wife's disorder.


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