Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sibling’s spousal diss shakes sister to the core

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I assume that you and “Shelly” might have occasionally sniped about your brother, spouses, or in-laws over the years. There are probably times when you are relieved when somebody’s spouse has to stay home, and you have some solo time with your sibling.

Your sister has known “Chas” longer than you have. She may feel comfortable grousing about him because he is a de facto family member.

She issued a quick and sincere apology (it was perhaps a little too quick). She has asked you to forgive her.

What she hasn’t done is to explain what was behind her statement, therefore owning her point of view. Nor have you asked her to.

Once you feel more collected, you should sincerely and accurately express how you feel, and ask Shelly to explain herself.

Dear Amy: Our daughter died from cancer.


Initially, there were quite a few, "I had that kind of cancer, she'll be fine" supporters. We/she heard all the other well-meaning (but not so helpful comments.

As the cancer progressed, fewer people had anything to say, until one day our daughter noted that none of her friends were visiting or even calling anymore.

She gracefully accepted that they probably just didn't know what to say or do and were uncomfortable when visiting, simply because of that.

Except for a very few. They came anyway.


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