Life Advice



Ask Amy: Estrangement extends through generations

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My boyfriend of 10 years (with a few breaks) does not have a close relationship with his parents and really no relationship at all with his two siblings.

Little things have happened through the years that have upset people, and no one ever communicates or makes up with each other.

He also doesn't have good relationships with his young adult daughters. They seem to have chosen their mom over him.

I know it hurts him, but he doesn't feel he can do much about it. He does try to reach out, with little response from them.

I have gotten really frustrated with how everyone acts and the horrible communication and how badly they treat him, so I completely stay out of it.

I say nothing to any of them because I barely know them, anyway.


Is that the right thing to do?

The fact that he doesn't have a caring family hurts me, too.

– Sad Woman in AZ

Dear Sad: You have chosen to be with someone who does not have a track record of healthy relationships with others. It sounds as if his family system is dysfunctional, and while this could be the reason for his behavior, he doesn’t seem motivated to try to do things differently.


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