Life Advice



Ask Amy: Modern family unit faces a ‘Rebecca’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I need your objective opinion.

I'm a divorced mom of two and last year, my boyfriend moved in with me, followed by his daughter (age 12). I love them both very much.

I helped him through his alcoholism, which stemmed from a tragic event. His first wife, “Rebecca,” died shortly after they got married. More tragic was that when she died, she was expecting their first child together.

After some time, he went on to marry another woman and had his daughter. That wife got involved in drugs and cheated on him.

His health deteriorated and he ended up having life-saving surgery. He now has a great job, no longer drinks, and we are generally happy.

The issue is that he often brings up his first wife. He has a pendant of her face on their wedding day hanging in his car. He has also brought me and his daughter to her grave site, which also includes a photo of him and a burial spot right next to her.


He once made a comment that if she hadn't died, we wouldn't be together, and his daughter wouldn't exist. He once even credited his late-wife with his daughter speaking up and deciding to live with us, which felt like a gut-punch.

I told him that maybe it was the fact that I love and care for her like a mother.

He wants us to get married, but I am reluctant. I don't want to marry someone who doesn't want to be buried next to ME when they pass.

I also need the pendant to be put away. Seeing it all the time really bothers me. He always tells me that I'm the best thing that ever happened to him, but I can't get past feeling like a second fiddle.


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