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My Husband's Career Is Turning Me Into a Single Parent

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My husband, "John," and I have been married for eight years, and we have two young children. Recently, he's been working late almost every night and spending weekends at the office. When I ask him about it, he says he's trying to secure a promotion that will benefit our family in the long run.

I've always admired his work ethic ...Read more

Ask Amy: An update reveals the need for practical help

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Readers: As I have announced previously, I am leaving this space. My last column will run at the end of June. (Readers can continue to find my work through my newsletter and at amydickinson.com.) In the meantime, I’m publishing some favorite columns and updates on previously published advice. The original Q&A (first published in 2022) is ...Read more

Single File: Sex as a Gift

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR READERS: The woman who wrote protesting men's attitude toward sharing sex hit a nerve. Mail was robust, with wide reactions to her statement that "sex is a gift, not a right." Read on:

"Although I'm a very sexual man with no taboos or inhibitions, I think a man who grabs or gropes a woman without her consent is shameless, cowardly and ...Read more

Prostockstudio/Dreamstime/TNS

From 'it's a match' to first date: Steps for an easy transition from app to real-life

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

After what can feel like endless swiping, seeing “It’s a Match!” pop up on your screen can feel like a victory. But let’s be honest: The journey has just begun.

There are still quite a few steps between achieving a mutual right swipe and meeting face-to-face. From sending an engaging opening message to setting up a first date spot, a ...Read more

Friends, Frustrations and Finding New Connections

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've experienced couples being completely tone-deaf to the single friends in their lives. Sometimes they have no interest in helping their friends find a relationship. I'm not even talking about setting someone up. I'm talking about having no interest in even going to a place where single people might be.

In my case, it resulted ...Read more

Ask Amy: Friend’s drinking held as a close secret

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Two years ago, my friend “Kim” admitted that she has cut alcohol out of her life after her brother died due to his alcoholism.

I thought this was great; we have enjoyed doing things together without alcohol.

A couple of times I suspected she had been drinking.

Last summer I took my suspicions to her sister-in-law, “Bea,” who...Read more

Friendships Tested by Time

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, I had a big dilemma, and I would like to know how you would have solved it. My closest friend, "Joanne," lived just a few minutes away but had terrible punctuality when it came to getting together. She would often be up to a few hours late getting to my house, which sometimes led to me having to cancel our ...Read more

Ask Amy: Depressed elder worries depressed child

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My 83-year-old widowed mother is depressed, and I don't know how to help.

She refuses to see a therapist and sees drugs as a crutch. She has always been a very private person, is generally distrustful of doctors, and would never let down her shields to a stranger.

I have told her that I am not a therapist, but she has lately begun to...Read more

Thank-You Notes and Caregiving Solutions

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: There have been two different occasions where I sent a baby shower gift because I couldn't make it to the shower. On both occasions, I never received a thank-you note. One was for the niece of a friend, and the other was for my own nephew and his wife's baby shower.

I told my sister about not receiving a thank-you note from her ...Read more

Ask Amy: Big box inspires a meditation on being helpful

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: Which is the default position regarding asking for help versus offering to help?

For instance, let’s say I’m at work and someone walks past my desk several times, carrying a big box each time.

Assuming that carrying the big box is part of their job, do I stop doing MY job to offer my assistance, just because it is the polite ...Read more

Millennial Life: He Would Give Them Water

I've thought more about what Jesus would do in the last five months than I have since those bracelets were all the rage in the late '90s.

Heading to an event this week, I realized I was going to be awkwardly early instead of fashionably late, so I took a detour to an area where homeless encampments had frustrated residents and restaurants ...Read more

Mixed Signals Tell You All You Need to Know

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've been in an on-and-off relationship with a guy for four years. He has a lot of female friends, and I'm not really sure how I am supposed to feel about that. He goes to dinner with them for their birthdays and meets them out for drinks, and yet he won't introduce me to them as his girlfriend. He tells me that my jealousy is a ...Read more

Ask Amy: Daughter’s Mother’s Day gift is … a stranger

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: On this recent Mother’s Day, my 50+ daughter once again asked to bring a new boyfriend to our home for a small family holiday gathering she'd been invited to. We had never met him.

It has been a pattern for her to date someone for only a few weeks, want to bring him to a special family event or holiday, when he is a complete ...Read more

More Text Talk

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My girlfriend's father has a knack for calling or texting me at the most inconvenient times during the day or night. I get random texts from him while I'm in meetings or have my boss in my office.

Over the last few weeks, he's started calling and texting me until I answer or reply to his text during the middle of the night. The ...Read more

Ask Amy: Enthusiasm is curbed for wedding gifts

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am getting married in July at the age of 54. My boyfriend and I have been together for 18 years and have no children. This is our first marriage and we just never saw any reason to get married before, but now due to some plans for our future, we know that being married will be easier for us.

We are having my sister be the officiant ...Read more

Finding Peace by Forgiving Parents

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I wanted to write in with a mindset shift that I have had over the past couple of years. What helps me get over childhood trauma is the realization that I am who I am because of the things I've experienced -- both the good things and the awful things that stem from my childhood and how I've lived as a result. Our parents were ...Read more

Ask Amy: Husband tries to broker an uneasy truce

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My wife and her sister “Bobbi” have stopped speaking to each other over a disagreement that has now lasted for more than two years.

Our families live on opposite coasts, so communication has always relied on phone/video calls.

During the pandemic, my wife made a particular effort to schedule video calls for our young children ...Read more

Q&A: These researchers examined 20 years of data same-sex marriage. They didn't find any harms

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Twenty years ago this month, Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey exchanged wedding vows at Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts and became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the United States.

The couple had been together since 1986, but their decision to wed was radical for its time. In 2004, only 31% of Americans supported same-sex ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: My boyfriend almost had a threesome -- now I'm questioning everything

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dear Anna,

Hello, I recently discovered that, while we were on a break, my boyfriend had conversations with a gay man who offered him a threesome with him and some hot chick. I also know my boyfriend is into pre-op trans women but has never slept with one. So he says, at least.

I don't know what to do with this information and I'm overwhelmed ...Read more

Handling Elderly Relative's Constant Interruptions

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I have an elderly family member who constantly interrupts me. Not only does she interrupt when I'm talking to her, but she eavesdrops on my conversations with others and interrupts those, too. She has been doing this for decades, so I highly doubt it's related to age. It's extremely rude, and I've tried to kindly tell her many ...Read more