Life Advice



Ask Amy: Husband claims slur is ‘just a word’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Her grandfather’s expectations made her uncomfortable, and so she responded by withdrawing from him, with no explanation.

Her expectations make you uncomfortable, and you are responding by withdrawing from her, with no explanation.

This is how longstanding generational estrangements take hold.

I suggest that you disconnect her previous objectionable behavior from her pregnancy.

Find an item on her registry that you can afford (or send her something off the registry) to congratulate her on her pregnancy.

Your husband should ask his brother if there are ways you two might help to encourage a healing connection between your niece and her grandfather.

At the end of the day, her relationship with him is her responsibility to manage – and you should not judge or interfere, unless you are invited to.

Dear Amy: The letter from “Too Controlling?” regarding bribing a young person not to get a tattoo reminded me: When my now 40-year-old son was turning 16, he asked to get his ear pierced for his birthday.


As I have pierced ears, I saw no reason to say no. My mother was horrified and told him she'd get him anything else he wanted if he didn't do it. He thought for a moment and responded, "a tattoo.”

Needless to say, he had his ear pierced. And I was very proud of him.

– Nancy, in Englewood, NJ

Dear Nancy: Smart kid!


(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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