Life Advice



Ask Amy: Old friends only connect over kids

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I asked to take her and our son out to dinner to celebrate. My son informed me that, while they appreciate the sentiment, they would rather not.

I was a bit miffed to be rejected because I know that they were celebrating with her parents. My son finally confessed that our daughter-in-law has felt "unsupported" by me in her pursuit of the Ph.D.

I routinely asked after her Ph.D. studies, and she has often responded with something like, "I'm stressed about [this or that]."

My typical response was to tell her that I was sure that she would do just great at whatever it was.

I thought I was being supportive, but apparently she hears this as, "You are complaining over nothing and it is wrong for you to be stressed."

At this point, we seem to be at an awkward impasse.


Am I wrong to be hurt and insulted? I think she was being very over-sensitive to interpret my comments in such a negative light.

Also, in all of these years, she has never said anything to me about it.

Now I find that I've committed the high crime of telling her that I thought she would succeed.

Am I missing something?


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