Life Advice



Ask Amy: Readers offer their own advice

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear RoseBette: I received a high volume of responses to this letter from a man who seemed to gauge his wife’s worth only on the lost income she had surrendered in choosing to raise their children and run the household.

This father seemed to feel trapped, because they’d had a child right out of college, followed by another. This seems to have derailed his vision of what his life would be like with two high-earning spouses.

I could imagine feeling that way, but the burden of adulthood is to accept and maximize what is, not mourn what might have been — and punish your partner.

His attitude toward his wife’s efforts was selfish, to say the least. Calling her “lazy” because she took low-paying or volunteer jobs while raising the children was a bridge too far. It enraged many readers, including a lot of working parents who expressed gratitude for their stay-at-home spouses.

It angered me, too. I composed my answer, and then went back and removed some of the saltier language.

Dear Amy: “Conflicted” wrote to you about a strange problem. Her father had the habit of giving his children “spending money” when they went away on vacation. Conflicted’s husband was offended at accepting this money.

Amy, thank you for understanding how important it is to accept this hard-working father’s occasional generosity, and to see it for what it is: an expression of love.


– A Fellow Generous Father

Dear Father: When I was around 9 years old, I went with my friend and her dad when they took her oldest sister to college. Just before we left her on campus, her dad pressed a small amount of money into her hand. “Honey, this is for … anything,” he said.

I’ve never forgotten it.


(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.




Tom Stiglich David Fitzsimmons Boondocks 9 Chickweed Lane A.F. Branco Bob Gorrell