Life Advice



Ask Amy: Husband snoops on wife’s private writing

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I have seen so-called privacy filters for laptops, although I’ve never tried one (no one in my household has much interest in what I’m up to). These screens allegedly completely block a screen from view unless the user is directly in front of the screen. This would also be very useful when working in a coffee shop or on public transportation – or in your kitchen.

Dear Amy: My niece from my husband's side of the family has recently had a baby.

She has been seeing a counselor, due to the fact that the father of her child left her for another woman before the baby was born.

Her counselor has told her to do small things for herself like grab a coffee and write in a journal. However, she has not been taking care of her finances very well.

She still asks her mother for money each month, but she is getting her nails done, she recently got a tattoo, and she is charging things on credit cards that she obviously can't afford.

We have given her advice on her finances, but she is still not putting forth the effort to get her bills under control.


What can we do at this point?

– Concerned Aunt

Dear Concerned: Your niece seems to have misunderstood the concept of “self-care.” But she doesn’t have to get her finances under control, because her mother is subsidizing and enabling her overspending. If her mother continues to do this, and the spending is truly out of control, your niece could sink her mother’s finances, as well as her own.

Many an enabling parent has protected their overspending offspring from the consequences of diving into heavy debt — until the debt swallows other family members.


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