Life Advice



Ask Amy: Cousin drama extends to guardianship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and his cousin, “Jerry,” are like brothers.

Jerry and I got off on the wrong foot, because after agreeing to be best man at our very small wedding, he backed out because his sister – whom I had never met – hadn’t been invited.

We quickly extended an invitation to the sister, but Jerry still refused to stand up at our wedding.

My husband forgave Jerry and I let the matter go. We’ve seen him only a handful of times since, usually at family events.

A few years ago, my husband was diagnosed with dementia, so we got our affairs in order.

This included naming our oldest daughter as guardian of our youngest children if we should both die.


My husband’s sister is second on the list and another of his cousins is third on the list. Both of them live near us and we spend a lot of time together.

They have helped us to raise our children.

Jerry recently found out about the arrangement and has now bad-mouthed me to the entire family for “shutting out” my husband’s “almost brother” from being a possible guardian to our children.

I explained to him directly that we chose family members who know our children. He insists I have done this against my husband’s wishes as payback for the wedding “issue.”


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