Life Advice



Grieving seems tougher with outside help

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dreams after loss can be so upsetting. I hope you realize that this is not unusual. Your mind is struggling to comprehend the incomprehensible. I would urge you to open the door and let your father walk through your dreams. Your dreams may help you to find new ways to say goodbye.

Otherwise, draw inward -- if you want to. Go easy. Go slow. These next weeks, you may struggle to concentrate. You will always be looking for your keys. Tell people: "I'm sorry, but I can't talk right now."

Be aware that your aunt is struggling, too. Perhaps connecting with her in some small but real way could help both of you. Is she having dreams, too? You might ask her.

The world may feel muted, muddy, and murky right now. Your frustration is creating a sharp edge to your reactions, but now is the time to be gentle, especially with yourself.

Dear Amy: I have a close friend whom I adore. However, her husband mansplains for hours on end. He's knowledgeable, but never stops and never includes me.

When I'm there for dinner, I'll sit and listen to him talk for about 15 minutes, then get fed up and leave the room (there are other people in the room) -- usually to go into the kitchen to help. When I do, he gets up and follows me, continuing to talk.

My friend recently told me that she does not appreciate his lecturing. I didn't respond. What should I do, aside from avoiding their boring dinner parties?

Should I take him aside and tell him what I think, even though there are usually other people around?

-- Tired


Dear Tired: Your friend's husband might lack the ability to read social cues. He may not decode your real message when you walk away, but might respond to a blunt but polite, "Bert, sorry to interrupt, but I'd like to ask Cynthia about her trip this summer."

Your friend (his wife) should deal with this on her own behalf. When she mentions this to you, you should be honest. Encourage her to step up and do something. He might have Aspergers, ADHD, or another issue contributing to this behavior. Identifying can be a game changer, even in adulthood.

Dear Amy: "Hurt" described his sexting addiction. You attacked him and blamed him for his addiction. People can get addicted to sexting and online porn, Amy. You should do your homework.

-- Upset

Dear Upset: I do understand that people can have sexual addictions, but I believe this is probably quite rare. Others use the addiction label to describe their own compulsions or choices, and well -- sometimes I have to use my own judgment to call 'em like I see 'em.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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