Life Advice



Ask Amy: Employee uses PTO to go AWOL

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Speaking: I agree with your attorney. I also hope you will look at some local causes that you might want to support.

Dear Amy: A couple of years ago I read a response in your column about a narcissistic husband, in which you recommended the book, "Should I Stay or Should I Go."

I got the book and couldn't put it down, realizing that I was married to a manipulative, gaslighting, using and abusing narcissist.

Long story short, I am in the process of divorcing him.

I haven't felt as free or been as happy in a long time.

Your column set me off on a path to a healthy life. Thank you.

– An Appreciative Reader

Dear Appreciative: I am somewhat conflicted that the ending of your marriage should be counted as a “win” for either of us, but I definitely understand that an “a-ha” moment can lead to a major life change. I’ve experienced this, myself.

I highly recommend the work of Ramani Durvasula, author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (2015, Post Hill Press).


Narcissism is an overused descriptor, as she notes in a recent talk. A garden-variety “jerk” is not necessarily a narcissist.

A true narcissist lacks empathy, constantly seeks attention and validation, is hyper-sensitive, angry, grandiose, and has a tendency to “manipulate and exploit people.” A narcissist can experience hair-trigger rage when their ego is threatened.

Some of these characteristics can make a person seem extremely compelling and confident at first, but narcissism is thought to be a cover for deep instability and insecurity.

These are tough and potentially terrible characteristics in a life-partner and parent.


(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.




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