Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parent worries about drug-dealing partner

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Torn: Yes, you should lay down a non-negotiable regarding providing housing for a drug dealer. If you could look at your own choices with total clarity, you might see that your decisions have, in some ways, been as fateful as your daughter’s.

You don’t say if she has a profession or ambitions to continue with her education or improve her life. It is possible that she has never had to face the actual consequences of her choices. She knows that you will continue to provide housing and financial assistance, regardless.

Because there are children involved, you should do everything possible to protect and support them. During this man’s incarceration, you should start to wean your daughter off of your support, perhaps by raising her rent gradually. Maybe you could watch the children while she increases her work hours. (If she is working hard to support her family, her self-esteem will improve, and she will feel the pressure of having a partner who does nothing to contribute to the household. She might also choose NOT to have more children until she can support them.)

She risks the safety, welfare (and possibly custody) of her children if she creates an unsafe environment in the home. When her partner is released, he should stay elsewhere.

Dear Amy: My mother is adamant that the two sons of her recently deceased second husband attend his military funeral. One son, “L,” is a convicted sex offender.

My mother remarried when her and her new husband’s children were adults in their 20s — three children each.


L sexually abused his brother’s daughter, my brother’s daughter and his own daughter, and he exposed himself to my daughter.

All victims were tweens. When he sexually abused his daughter’s friend, the police arrested him. His prison term ended last year.

My mother’s late husband championed the offender, saying he “earned back his trust” without ever saying how. He insisted that we all welcome him back into the family. My mother has bought into this under the heading of “Christian forgiveness.”

Frankly, I do hope the best for the offender — I want him to live a productive life and to NEVER HURT ANYONE AGAIN. I am not out for retribution. I just need him to never be in my life. His actions broke a trust that cannot be mended. His membership to the family terminated when he abused our most vulnerable.


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