Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friendship fracture breaks up the band

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: The four of us — “Paul, George, Ringo and John” — have been friends since 1980, our freshman year in college. I’ve known George since second grade.

Through the years we’ve aged, married, three of us have had kids, but we all stuck together as couples, primarily through our love for our alma mater’s football team. That is, until this past Christmas.

That’s when John’s wife, “Yoko,” sent a misdirected text to the whole group. She was very critical of me and George and our wives. We didn’t “like” their posts on social media often enough. It seems trivial, but the venom was over the top.

The text really opened up a window to Yoko’s deep-seated anger. The rest of us had noticed John and Yoko, the only couple without kids, drifting away for a while, but we had attributed that to the normal ebb and flow of life.

My wife and I reached out to them several times and were assured everything was OK. Obviously it wasn’t and, when I reached out to John after the latest blow up, he talked about slights going back 10, 15 years!

I felt terrible that I wasn’t a better friend over those times, but, honestly, I had no idea.


Now, my wife has had enough. George and his wife have had enough. Ringo and his wife are trying to balance the warring camps, and I miss hanging out with John.

It seems like there’s no way we can put the band back together again. But how do I establish some relationship with John, minus Yoko?

We are 59 years old, but this feels like junior high school.

– Missing the Band


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