Life Advice



Ask Amy: Loyal stepdad shouldn’t unload on family

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Furious: I believe your choice to frame this business situation as “lost revenue” is a little misleading. In my opinion, this is not lost revenue (because he never had the revenue to start with), but “potential income.”

This makes a difference, because you seem to see this as business that was taken from “Cliff,” versus business that was not offered to him.

Your loyalty toward him is laudable, but before you choose to unload, you should carefully consider the consequences.

First of all, acting out would not benefit him – and it might actually hurt him.

If this family of snobbish locals chooses to retaliate, they could badmouth his business, which relies strongly on good referrals and great reviews.

Furthermore, your choice to unload would likely damage your wife’s relationship with her family further.


Cliff will have to build up his business through other means, and there might be more positive ways you can help, aside from punishing these family members.

If your wife wants to completely break with her kin, she should make that move on her own, and you should support her.

Dear Amy: Is it ever right to give unsolicited advice to a loved one if you say in advance that they are free to take your advice, or not?

For instance, is it right to offer said advice in a case where you see the train wreck coming and you would never forgive yourself if you did not try to avert it?


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