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Ask Amy: Midlife crisis tears family apart

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

When the “crisis” moment arrives (sometimes prompted by a death in the family, a landmark birthday, children about to leave the nest, or job frustration), a person at midlife looks around, sings the old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?,” and decides that a pumped-up body, a younger partner, or a new toy in the garage will fix everything.

To quote a moment from one of my favorite movies, “Moonstruck,” the wise wife looks at her philandering husband and declares: “Cosmo, I just want you to know that no matter what you do, you’re going to die, just like everybody else.”

Yes, sometimes people who leave in the throes of a midlife crisis do come back. Sometimes, their partner no longer wants them.

But rather than concentrate your energy on your husband’s behavior and choices, I hope you will take a long look at your own life. Deal with your grief and the profound loss and change. Yes, cope with your anger and give yourself the release of forgiving him if you can. Understand that his behavior does not negate the happiness of the 20-year family-building phase of your own life. Quoting Peggy Lee again: “If that’s all there is, my friend, then let’s keep dancing…” I hope you will choose to “dance” again.

Dear Amy: I have a very friendly dog that I walk through my neighborhood daily.

I have constant issues with two people giving her more snacks than I would like them to.

 

I try to keep my pup on a somewhat healthy diet, but when I say, “Please, only give her one or two snacks,” they just ignore me and give her more and more.

I have one woman that comes across the street with a whole bag!

I am trying not to be mean, but I am ready to get a little nasty.

I need a way to get them around to seeing my point of view. Please help.

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