Life Advice



Ask Amy: First cousin is now once-removed

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I feel that was cowardly of her. I'd feel more comfortable if she rejected them, outright.

I believe that by only changing her number, she can always call them back if our marriage doesn't last.

What’s your take on this?

– Confused Husband

Dear Confused: My take is that no one – you, your wife, or her exes – seems to expect your marriage to last.

I agree with your overall point of view that once she married you, your wife should not engage in ongoing communication with former romantic or sexual partners, unless these people are in an active friendship with both of you.

It doesn’t matter what phone number your wife chooses – any person can contact any other person, through social media, instant messenger, email, postal mail, smoke signals, semaphore flag signals, or Bob Woodward style — through leaving a flag in a flowerpot.

Most important is the lack of trust between you two. You should not feel the need to go through your wife’s phone and police her contact with other people. The fact that you do indicates the lack of trust at the core of your relationship.

Dear Amy: I identified with “Stoner – Trying to do Better.” Like him, I also struggled to manage my cannabis habit.


I just wish that you (and others) didn’t maintain this totally ’50s attitude that pot use is bad. Would you say the same about alcohol? Cigarettes?

– Upset

Dear Upset: Nothing in my answer conveyed a value judgment about pot use. It seemed that he had used it more or less effectively to manage underlying symptoms. Now he wanted to stop.

And yes, if someone wrote to me saying that they were trying to kick their daily alcohol or nicotine use, I would support their effort to stop.


(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.




Red and Rover Darrin Bell Jimmy Margulies David M. Hitch Blondie 9 Chickweed Lane