Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents house violent and irrational son

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: After a very difficult divorce and a few years single, I married a wonderful partner last year. He brought his 20-year-old son into the marriage.

Since arriving at my home, the son’s prospects have devolved. He quit college. He lost his job. He now sits in his room all day. When he runs out of funds for nicotine or marijuana, he loses his temper and shouts at my husband, demanding money.

We don’t know what to do. We fear he is seriously depressed — how could he not be? But at the same time, he is scaring me.

His language is violent and his mind seems irrational (he often repeats that a minimum wage job is not worth his time).

He has hit my husband and he has stolen money from my wallet. I’m worried about my safety and that of my cat who shares the house with him alone during the day.

We don’t know what to do.


We don’t want to kick him out, possibly driving him toward further addiction, homelessness, or worse.

But living in increasing fear, with no real end in sight, is becoming impossible as well.

Please advise!

— Anxious in Boston


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