January 19, 2010
Dear Amy: I have a close friend who lives in another state. My friend is married to a minister, "Bret," who is friends with another minister in another church. (I will call the second minister "Steve.") Steve is about 60 years old and unmarried. For at least 10 years he has hosted teenage boys in his home, sometimes as foster children and sometimes as exchange students. With many of these boys, Steve has engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior, which my friend has described to me. One of these children suffered a breakdown, and his parents had to fly over from Europe to retrieve him. Now Steve is hosting a 16-year-old exchange student with whom he is having a sexual relationship.
January 21, 2010
Dear Amy: I have been married for 17 years and we have two great kids, ages 9 and 11. I fell out of love with my husband several years ago. I have not told him this because I don't want to hurt him, and I don't feel right about ending the marriage right now because it would hurt the kids. But every day I have an ache inside me because I know I'm not happy in this marriage. I would be willing to try counseling, but we actually get along fairly well. I'm torn between sparing my family any pain and my secret sadness that I'm not living an authentic life.
February 16, 2010
Dear Amy: I share office space with a colleague. Our space is detached from the rest of the office. My co-worker and I have very little in common, and by all indications she has no social life and shows signs of emotional instability (she has revealed to me that she is on antidepressants). The problem is that she is constantly in my space, telling me her problems, making catty comments about co-workers and, worst of all, trying to arrange for us to spend time together socially outside of work.
April 1, 2010
Dear Amy: I work for a partner at a very distinguished company. He has been conducting an affair with a "client" for more than three years now. He has been married for well over 20 years. He, however, is utilizing company funds to wine and dine his mistress and is asking me to submit these expenses for reimbursement. My conundrum is that if I report him I will lose my job; he is very connected. If I don't, then I feel I am cheating the company. I have asked to be transferred, but no other positions are available.
March 1, 2010
Dear Amy: I'm at a loss as to how to deal with my 16-year-old daughter and to teach her how to "play nice." She is beautiful but lacking in social skills needed to get along well with her peers. At school, she acts rudely toward others. Her humor toward her friends reeks with sarcasm and can be very hurtful. She will talk only to a few people. She has a small group of friends, but is the source of constant drama. Her friends are tiring of her antics. I have serious concerns about my daughter's future.
November 19, 2009
Dear Amy: I have been living with my paramour for almost three years. We are both in our 50s. He is still married, despite a lengthy legal separation. He often says it is "time to do something" about that, but that is as far as it goes. I want more than just a roommate, plus, if something happens to him, I'm stuck financially. I love him dearly, and he says he loves me too. But I find myself wondering -- am I all alone in this relationship? How do I broach this without sounding needy and greedy?
December 13, 2009
Dear Amy: My mother has suddenly turned against drinking. I am hosting a 60th birthday party for myself. My mother will not go if there is one glass of alcohol served. How I should handle this? Julia Dear Julia: You are not the cause of your mother's distress, but you should do your best to reassure her without letting her unreasonably control you. You should also make sure her health is stable because she doesn't sound completely rational. I suggest you lovingly dodge dwelling on this.
March 18, 2010
Dear Amy: I am a sophomore in high school. I recently reconnected with a friend I was close to last year. Over the summer, our friendship sort of fell apart. This year, he has found new friends, and our brief talk the other day was the most contact we had in months. He has gotten into partying. He shows up high to school almost every day. He is also on academic probation and has gotten more detentions than I can count. His parents don't really care about any of this.
March 4, 2010
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for 24 years. He does business development for a large firm. He is involved in numerous community groups, explaining that this is how he builds relationships and clients. He is home Sundays and two or three evenings each week. When home, he spends hours responding to e-mails and reading Facebook sites. I feel lonely when I see the great relationships he maintains with others, whereas all I get is a tired, stressed and distant husband.
December 24, 2009
Dear Amy: Every year my family exchanges our gift lists, and every year I shop, wrap and ship our gifts in time for Christmas. However, one family member, who always is the first to ask what we would like for Christmas, continuously sends gifts days, weeks and at times months after Christmas. As much as we really enjoy and appreciate the gifts, it is becoming somewhat insulting to receive them so late. We have a very small family, and it is only my husband and I who receive the gifts late.