Ask Amy

Ask Amy

Gift-giving imbalance causes holiday stress

Dear Amy: My husband and I get along very well with his parents, but spending time with them around gift-giving holidays can be extremely stressful. My in-laws give my husband’s siblings much more in the way of gifts than they give us, both in monetary value and quantity. This is very hurtful for my husband.

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Sister worries about including felon in holiday

Dear Amy: My youngest brother spent about six years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young woman he met at a bar. While he was in prison, we exchanged a few letters, but I did not go to visit him. He expressed remorse for what happened, and was receiving counseling in prison.

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Housecleaner sometimes needs extra funds

Dear Amy: The woman I have employed to clean my house for several years has a very difficult life. She’s a hard worker, does a beautiful job and is completely trustworthy. But, like so many people in her situation, her financial situation is extremely precarious.

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Cancer diagnosis necessitates grief circles

Dear Amy: I’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and have focused my emotional bandwidth on my family, my health and curing my cancer. I have a huge support system that includes family and friends. One of my close friends is having trouble coming to terms with my diagnosis, as well as my not taking her up on her offers of help (yet).

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Girlfriend’s jealousy might be justified

Dear Amy: Around two years ago, after I had broken up with my girlfriend, I started going by myself to a live music venue. I started running into a woman I used to know. (Years ago, I had been interested in her, but she had a boyfriend, and I dropped it.)

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Partners tussle over drunken mother

Dear Amy: My partner and I have been together for almost three years. Over the course of this time, I’ve come to know his family (and he, mine). While I understand that no one is perfect, it seems to me that my partner’s mother has had it in for me since we met.

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Woman wants happiness tips for tough times

Dear Amy: I’m a 28-year-old woman. Until recently, I was building the life of my dreams. I was a musician, traveling around America in a Volkswagen bus with my boyfriend and bandmates, climbing up the ladder of success.