Life Advice



Ask Amy: Dormant affair triggers obsession

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

In the shorter term, I can help you with your obsession.

Were you ever a smoker? Or addicted to Ring Dings? (I’ve been both.)

The way to break an addiction is to stay away from triggers (in my case, art deco ashtrays and advertisements), and then breathe through those times when your mind spirals.

You are actually constantly triggering your own anguish and addiction by checking on him — and his wife and family — all day on social media.

It is hurting you. It is also creepy.

Disconnect from him on social media. Remove the app from your phone.


You need more actual contact with other people. Leave the house. Go for a walk, or to a coffee shop. Leave your phone behind but bring a book. Observe the world around you. Write down what you see and write down what you’re thinking about.

Call an old friend or family member and concentrate on them.

In short, you need to build a life that is open and authentic. This will take time.

Dear Amy: I have a dog, “Sandy.” She is pretty well-behaved, and I am working hard with her to attain and maintain good habits.


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