Life Advice



Ask Amy: Husband has a ‘mommy’ problem

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

No matter the conflict — whether it’s how to load the dishwasher or how to claim your rightful space as your husband’s primary partner — you could perhaps start to nudge the narrative in a different direction if you looked at your own communication style.

Consider reading, “The Heart of the Fight: A Couple's Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer,” by Judith Wright and Bob Wright (2016, New Harbinger).

The authors offer useful ways to “reframe” these arguments.

One core takeaway applies to your situation, and you should emphasize to your husband that you want to fight “for” your marriage, and not “against” each other.

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law, “Jane,” is in a nursing home in the same town where my sister “Brenda” lives. We live about an hour away.

Brenda used to visit my mother-in-law occasionally, and she would often inquire about how Jane was doing when we spoke.


Brenda stopped all of this about a year ago. I don't know why.

This bothers my husband greatly, and every time I talk to my sister he says, "Did she ask about Mom?"

I told him to stop asking me this because it makes me feel bad. I told him that if Brenda does ask about his mom, I will let him know.

I also reminded him that my sister is pretty self-absorbed. But he continues to ask. What can I do?


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