Life Advice



Ask Amy: A family secret threatens to implode

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Yes, she should be honest about this, now. She may be the only person in her brother’s generation that knows the truth. She can say that she had hoped/assumed that her brother would have disclosed this to at least his wife, and that it was absolutely his story – not hers – to tell.

That is the most reasonable – and truthful explanation. If her niece, nephew, and sister-in-law are upset with her, she should understand too that she is the only person left for them to be upset with, but that eventually they should come to understand her unique position regarding this very challenging family secret.

Dear Amy: My 38-yer-old daughter won't allow her three children to stay with me while they're out of town for two days.

She lives out of state. I'm going to fly to her house and stay for two weeks to watch their dog and house while the five of them go on vacation.

Then, after the family returns home, my daughter and son-in-law are going to go away for two nights without the kids.

I will already be at the house, but instead of having the kids stay with me, they will all go to their other grandmother’s house to stay for those two days.


I'm really hurt.

My daughter and I have had a tough relationship, but it's been eight years since the bad times.

So I should be happy that she's letting me watch the dog and the house?

She says she has her reservations about me taking care of the kids.


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