Life Advice



Ask Amy: Toxic daughter poses danger to family

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a woman in my 40s, and my father’s captive “pal.”

My older brothers live in other states. I live 30 minutes from my parents, who still have “empty nest syndrome.”

My father calls me his “pal” and we go fishing or to car shows and things like that. However, when he wants to pull rank on me, he is overbearing.

I get tired of switching gears and walking on eggshells.

Last month he was in my apartment and saw a prescription bottle for medication and relentlessly demanded to know what it was for. A few weeks ago, I helped him work on a project and he decided to badger me about going to church.

How can I get him to ease up on me and make some friends of his own?

– Tired

Dear Tired: It is unlikely that (at his age) your father will change. You can, however. Dealing with aging parents is a dance. Boundaries should be drawn and maintained, but tolerance is also called-for.

Let him know that if he wants you to be his “pal,” you’d like him to treat you like one.


Dear Amy: I am disgusted that you endorsed “polyamory” in your column! Marriage is between two people. Period.

– Disgusted

Dear Disgusted: I did not endorse polyamory; I published a question about polyamory and quoted an expert in my response.

I personally believe that polyamory is not an optimal family system for children (too many people/parents, potentially creating too much drama), but when it comes to how adults conduct their own relationships I see polyamory as a relationship choice and try not to judge how consenting adults choose to live.


(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.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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