Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents differ about sex happening in the house

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife and I have a difference of opinion regarding our 20-year-old daughter. We would love your perspective.

Our daughter is a sophomore at a university in Europe, and has recently started dating another sophomore (male) student.

When she comes home for the summer, he plans to visit.

In conversations with my wife, I have indicated that I will expect him to sleep in our guest bedroom and for our daughter to sleep in her room during his visit.

My wife makes the case that they are practically living together in college. While I acknowledge this, I feel uncomfortable with explicitly allowing them to sleep together in our home.

I am having a hard time verbalizing it, but it just doesn't seem right to me.


Am I getting hung up by this country's puritanical attitudes toward sex and my Roman Catholic upbringing, or is there some legitimacy to my desire to have them sleep in separate rooms?

– Pondering Papa in the Pacific Northwest

Dear Pondering: Yes, your reaction might be a puritanical thing, and also a Catholic thing. But mainly – it’s a dad thing.

This is about dads and daughters, and the ancient and protective dynamic between them that seems to override logic.


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