Life Advice



Friend Yells at Me in My Own House

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My longtime friend seems to be outspoken when I'm around her lately. I have a nervous habit of biting my nails, and when my friend is at my house, she yells at me to stop doing that, saying it's disgusting. It made me angry and hurt to be yelled at in my own house, but I only replied, "It's a nervous habit."

Aside from that, she has made remarks that I never offer her wine, and after I made her coffee, she remarked that there was so little in the cup -- which was 8 ounces.

How do I respond to her outspokenness? -- Nervous Habit

Dear Nervous: No wonder you are nervous. You have a guest over who is very demanding and judgmental -- two qualities that cause anyone to feel nervous. I know she is a longtime friend, but if her behavior continues like this, it might be time to find a new friend and accept the fact that you grew apart. As for your nail biting, it is probably something that should be treated. Consult a professional to help you manage this behavior.

Dear Annie: My stepdaughter moved out of our house about five months ago to be with a guy she met online.

Things are not going well. For starters, he doesn't work; she does. He manipulates her and threatens to take her money, and last but not least, he beats her.


This whole situation is breaking my wife's heart and mine. She left him for about a week but then went back -- because he said he has changed. Bull. We were very close, but since she's been with him, she's been told not to contact me in any way nor to see me. What do I do? -- Feeling Helpless

Dear Feeling Helpless: This is a very serious situation. Your stepdaughter needs help and support immediately. Please encourage her to contact In addition, if you have a local YWCA organization, contact them. They usually have great resources. She must get out of this situation as quickly as possible.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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