Life Advice



Ask Amy: Loyal stepdad shouldn’t unload on family

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have been married to “Bev” for 14 years. She is wonderful. It is a second marriage for both of us.

Her son, “Cliff,” is like a son to me, and I love him very much. The problem is that my wife’s family, who all live locally, seem to think of Cliff as something other than being immediate family. Cliff is a real estate agent. He is part-owner of a company, and a real estate broker.

Cliff works extremely hard to make a living and yet he has several family members who will not use his services.

His first cousin refused to use him while buying and selling numerous houses, to the tune of approximately $225,000 in lost revenue for Cliff.

Cliff has a wife and two children, and certainly could use the money.

The same exact thing happened five years ago, and my wife did not talk to her sister or niece for almost three years because of it. They are very snobbish, and don’t include us in their gatherings.


I am fed up with it and want to unload on the bunch of them; including the parents who I think are partly to blame for this whole situation.

As it stands right now, I do not want any of them in my house at all. Based on this; however, I feel if I did unload, it would mean that my wife would end up losing whatever relationship she now has with her sister and niece.

What do you think I should do?

– Furious Stepdad


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