January 10, 2010
Dear Amy: In this age of Republican vs. Democrat in almost all phases of government, the stress of relatives being of the other party and attending tea parties, disrupting town halls and marching on Washington has strained family relationships. I know we are all different and have the freedom to choose, but I feel as if these are personal attacks on me, so I have deleted all conservative friends from my Facebook account. There are a lot of people with these feelings in both parties -- any suggestions on how to deal with it?
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.
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 2, 2010
Dear Amy: We recently learned that my husband would likely be laid off within a month. My husband is devastated; in addition to the impact this has had on his professional ego, he feels he's letting his family down by not being able to support us until he finds another job. I have tried to reassure him that this is a chance to get a job he will love. His paycheck is not what makes him the amazing father and husband he is. Is there anything else I could do? Concerned Wife Dear Wife: One unfortunate aspect of the current unemployment situation is that men are losing their jobs at a disproportionally high rate.
March 7, 2010
Dear Amy: My sister "Carol" was married for about 10 years to "Steve." About three years ago, he started cheating on Carol and eventually left her. She was devastated. He recently married the woman and they have a baby. My sister "Sarah" and her husband have maintained a close relationship with Steve and his new family. Do you feel this relationship they maintain with Steve is appropriate? Christine Dear Christine: A sensitive family member will realize that during a difficult divorce, attention and concern should be lavished onto the aggrieved family member.
March 15, 2010
Dear Amy: A 16-month-old toddler relative has screaming tantrums when she cannot get her way. When this happens at home, the girl's parents call a "timeout." Being in a public place poses more challenges. Someone suggested that the person who was with the toddler should strap her into her car seat and wait outside in the car until she was done screaming. However, this little girl is strong and stiffened her body to avoid sitting in the seat. Any ideas? Wondering Dear Wondering: As much as I dislike the idea of one person physically controlling another, there are times when adults do need to restrain or simply force a young child to yield -- when their basic safety or well being is at stake.
January 4, 2010
Dear Amy: Recently I reconnected with a woman I knew more than 25 years ago. We e-mailed, texted and spoke by phone. A few months ago, I was in her hometown and she came to my hotel. We had a few drinks and spent the night together. We continued our conversations, and recently I was at a convention where she also was and we spent the week together. We virtually skipped the convention and just enjoyed each other's company. More recently, I was back in her town and we spent another few days together.
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.
April 2, 2010
Dear Amy: My husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this past summer. Our four children came with their families, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Shortly after the party, our daughter e-mailed us to say that she thought she had forgiven me for something I did when she was in high school, but apparently she hasn't and she does not want any more contact with me. She does not answer the phone when we call or respond to e-mails. I was the best mother that I knew how to be when she was growing up. The three other children say, "She's being ridiculous -- forget about it," but I would like to have some contact with my only daughter.
April 4, 2010
Dear Amy: My husband has begun traveling frequently for work. Even though his employer compensates him well for each trip, he spends extravagantly, often putting large charges on our credit card. He drinks excessively. When I ask him why this continues to happen, even though he promises not to do any of these things each time he leaves, he can't explain it. It is just not like my normally responsible and respectful husband. Is it time to see a counselor? Frustrated Wife Dear Frustrated: It is time to see a counselor.