Life Advice



Ask Amy: For brothers, the path is paved with eggshells

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My brother and I have always had a tenuous relationship.

Our father was abusive, but we are both in mid-life and have led fairly successful and stable lives.

I often have to walk on eggshells when speaking with my brother because he always seems to read what I'm saying or doing as an attack.

Last New Year’s Eve, I was attending a get-together with friends and he called to video chat.

I sent a quick text saying that I was with friends and that we'd talk later.

He texted, saying that he was disappointed because he had told his kids they could talk with their uncle (me), and that I seem to have chosen my friends over my nephews.


He did add that maybe he should have "given me a heads up," but he felt the need to share how I disappointed not only him but my nephews.

I did not know how to respond and waited for three weeks to text him back and then only to wish him a good day on the anniversary of our late-mother's birthday.

It has been three weeks and he has not responded. We’re not in touch very often, but I feel like I'm being punished.

My question is, what should I do now? Should I keep trying to reach out?


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