Life Advice



Ask Amy: Facebook posts create relationship problems

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

A gentle and respectful "heads-up" (to her) is in order, and then you should back off, adjust your settings (both metaphorically and on Facebook) and stop reading her posts.

(September 2011)

Dear Amy: My dad's politics are at odds with the rest of the family.

He keeps sending us extreme and hateful articles. We keep asking him to stop, but when he drinks too much (which is almost every night) he will send us articles with messages like, "You won't be so hard on me after you read this factual article" (which it isn’t).

I've asked him to stop sending me any political emails, but then he won't talk to me for days.

Sometimes he won’t remember sending me anything (because of his drinking) and his feelings are hurt because he has no idea why I am so hard on him. I try to take the high road, but I also will not let him bully me. What can I do to keep him from upsetting me, outside of cutting him out of my life?


– Desperate Daughter

Dear Daughter: You think this is about offensive or unwanted email, but I think this is about your father's drinking. You claim his drinking is excessive enough that he does things he doesn't remember doing, then his feelings are hurt when you (or others) react to his actions.

You should automatically delete his messages to you, or have email from him sent directly to your "spam" folder for you to review periodically.

Has anybody in your family urged your father to get help to stop drinking? You can anticipate denial and/or belligerence when you do, which isn't much different from how he relates to you anyway.


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