Life Advice



Ask Amy: Reconnection inspires worrisome conduct

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Imagine that — instead of being yelled at textually — you two were actually in the same room when he did this.

What would you do? How would you react?

I imagine that you would leave the room when he raged. And then – once you had left the room — you might reconsider being in the relationship at all, because it has become a Groundhog Day reenactment (and a biased one, at that).

Imagine further that you had a friend or family member witness one of these rages. That person would say to you, “Myrtle, this is abuse. Look at what it’s doing to you! It is damaging your health.”

Abuse does not only happen in person. It can happen online, through text, on the phone, or via Zoom, FaceTime, or postal mail.

I suggest that when this happens again, you respond: “I want our relationship to succeed and proceed peacefully. I completely dispute your memory of this. But regardless, I’m telling you now that if you EVER communicate with me this way again, I really will break up with you. Do you understand?”


If he responds in any way other than to acknowledge and apologize, then you should break up.

If he acknowledges and apologizes, but then reverts to his previous behavior, it’s over.

Dear Amy: I have a relative, “Steven,” whose father passed away on Steven’s birthday.

Five years have passed, but yet it still feels odd when texting or writing out his card with a big “Happy Birthday!”


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Christopher Weyant Ed Gamble Doonesbury Dilbert Brian Duffy Boondocks