Life Advice



Ask Amy: American uncle worries about footing the bill

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Recovering: Your guy invited you to his house. Presumably this visit was planned, and he was putting his best foot forward.

He is a mature person living in the world. He is making choices about how he is living. I’m not sure asking him to clean his house would be useful.

You should be honest about where you choose to spend your time: “I’m not comfortable in your house; it is too messy for me to feel at home there.”

I do think it’s important that you understand the reality of a future with someone who doesn’t take good care of himself and his surroundings.

I hope you will continue to enjoy his company, but don’t kid yourself that you will be able to inspire him to live differently.

You’ve had experience in a long marriage; if you two end up cohabiting, you will end up being continually frustrated by his poor life-skills.

Dear Amy: “Pondering Papa” asked about unmarried couples sleeping together while visiting home.

Decades ago, when my live-in boyfriend and I visited his parents, his mother stated that while she knew that we were living together and sleeping together, in her house we would not: “My house, my rules.”


Several years later when they visited us, I said that I had put them in separate rooms because now it was “ My house…. My rules.”

We all laughed for many years about that. I still miss them!

– Grateful DIL

Dear Grateful: Having a sense of humor definitely helps.


(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.)

©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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