Life Advice



Ask Amy: Spouse sees marriage consumed by differences

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Lost: I wonder if you have ever described this pattern of your friendship’s ups and downs to “Marcia.” It might inspire her to see more clearly how her relationship with “Brad” impacts the rest of her friendships.

She is criticizing the men you see because deflecting is the easiest way for her to cope with the impact of her choices. She withdraws because she has low self-esteem, she is embarrassed, and she cannot face you. Brad might also be pressuring her to isolate from you.

When a loved-one is embroiled in an abusive relationship, the fallout is depressing, as well as exhausting.

I hope you will see through her negative behavior, and simply try your very hardest to be compassionate, patient, and supportive. Urge her to see a counselor. The National Domestic Violence Hotline ( offers a number of helpful suggestions for ways to support someone in an abusive relationship.

Dear Amy: “Concerned” reported that her very close friend had recently suffered the loss of her own dear friend, a married man who Concerned suspected was more than “just a friend.”

You encouraged Concerned to dive in and try to figure out the nature of this relationship. Amy, it is none of her business!


— Upset

Dear Upset: “Concerned” was genuinely worried about the extreme grief her friend was experiencing over this recent death. She reported that her friend seemed to want to talk about the nature of the relationship. Because of that, I encouraged Concerned to remain open and available to discuss it, without judgment.


(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.)

©2020 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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