Life Advice



Ask Amy: Widowed man smothered by new love

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

As a person whose parents divorced and remarried when I was in college, I’d like to add an overlooked perspective.

I suggest that stepparents should be aware of how their presence changes the visit dynamic.

Just as grandparents might enjoy spending time with their grandchildren without the parents present, an adult wanting to spend time with their parents without their parent’s spouses should be entirely OK to do.

Sometimes we just want to relax with our parents without their spouse involved.

Bravo to this dad who for one weekend each year spends time with his children in the way they are most comfortable.

– Been There


Dear Been There: Thank you for offering your perspective. I completely agree with you about parent/child visits, but in her question, “Had It” said that she was “routinely excluded” from family gatherings.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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