Life Advice



Ask Amy: Family secret destroys a lifelong friendship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I’m holding on to a longtime family friend's secret, and it’s very upsetting.

My friend “Chris” and I grew up together as kids. We always acted as members of each other’s extended family. We are now middle-aged.

Our mothers were friends from kindergarten on, until each of their untimely deaths, when they were in their 50s.

I was given a huge burden when my parents told me that Chris has a different father than the man who raised him and who he thought was his father.

His parents took their secret to the grave.

Does this need to stay a secret, now that his parents are dead?


Does he deserve to know?

How would he benefit if I told him now?

I stopped our friendship a few years back under the burden of knowing this. I just couldn’t handle it. Should I tell him?

– Holding a Secret


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