Life Advice



Young adult must keep debt, and dad, at bay

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Welcome to adulthood. We have T-shirts.

You need to initiate this conversation. Here is some sample wording: "Dad, I love you. I'm grateful to you for many things. But this has got to stop. I'm not giving you any more money. I wish you wouldn't ask for it, but even if you do, I'm going to say no. I'm not going to discuss my finances with you. I'm on my own now. I'm responsible for my own bills. This behavior of yours is hurting our relationship. Do you understand?"

Repeat this as many times as it takes. Expect him to attempt to manipulate you further.

Your father seems to have gotten himself into a major jam. Your mother should investigate and/or force him to disclose why he is insolvent. But you are not the solution to his problems.

A great rule to follow when repeatedly "lending" people money is to convey to them, "When you repay the money I've already lent to you, I will consider lending you more." This neatly spells out the arrangement, lending credibility and transparency to further transactions.

Dear Amy: I'm recently retired, after working full time for almost 50 years. I've been a caregiver all my life, including extensive caregiving for my parents, who are challenging and narcissistic. My husband and I both come from extremely large families and we've lived out of state for many years. We have struggled to get home to attend to family matters.


Neither families were/are understanding or supportive of the challenges brought on by distance. I've raised three children, one of which has a disability. I am now caring for my granddaughter four full days a week.

I've always been a people pleaser; however, I'm feeling spent. It's like I've deposited into ATMs all my life but have never received any withdrawals.

I still want to do for others, but in some situations I find myself withdrawing.

I feel bad for my husband because he's losing his caring, compassionate, helpful, and hard-working spouse to someone he doesn't know. And I feel bad because what has always come naturally to me is no longer satisfying.


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