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ASK AMY: Parents Worried About Daughter’s Choices

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Dear Amy: I’m worried about choosing my 24 year old daughter for a boyfriend. She is an intelligent graduate who works in her field.


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She met her boyfriend at work and they quickly got serious. He is an unskilled worker in the company’s warehouse, who has been working there since high school.

He moved into his apartment. He works just enough to pay his bills and go hunting and fishing. He has no long term plans.

When she met him, he was dealing with a DUI, having lost his license with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 and a subsequent accident.

She helped sort through all the legal documents and the necessary paperwork to finally get her license back, which had just been finalized a few weeks before Christmas.

Then, on Christmas Eve, he left our house in his car to go to a dispensary and was arrested for erratic speed. He was charged with another DUI.

I told him privately how disgusted I am with his behavior (he’s 27).


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I thanked our daughter for everything she did for Christmas, but also told her that she had some thoughts to do.

I said he clearly hadn’t learned from his first DUI, but she didn’t want to discuss it.

We are disappointed and scared for her.

Should I continue the conversation with her? I don’t know if it will be productive.

Should I let her fend for herself?

Would a written letter be effective?

– Pop concerned

Dear concerned: Your daughter’s boyfriend was arrested for drunk driving on his way to a health center on Christmas Eve. This means he was either drunk or high when he was arrested, and was going to buy more.

It is illegal in all states to drive under the influence of marijuana.

He obviously has a problem.


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Yes, your bright and successful daughter has some thoughts for her.

I don’t think you should push too hard because the pressure and judgment might push her towards him.

Some people need to personally experience the real consequences of addiction before they can take action.

Your daughter protected her boyfriend from some of the issues associated with her previous DUI.

Any attempt on your part to control her might actually isolate her from the real consequences of living with such a needy and inconvenient partner.

Let her know that you care about her and that you are always around her corner. A “friends and family” support group like Al-anon might introduce her to others who are equally powerless in the face of others’ addictions. It could be a persuasive influence.


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Dear Amy: My husband’s family got together for their annual holiday party. After 35 years of marriage, I recognize that these holidays are stressful events for me.

I develop physical problems as the dates for these gatherings approach and am unable to sleep.

There is excessive alcohol consumption and sectarian rhetoric.

My husband’s position on this behavior is to ignore it.

I chose not to attend this year.

Apparently my husband made up a story about needing to meet up with a friend from out of town.

Now my sister in law asks how was my visit with my friend.

I prefer not to lie. I also do not intend to attend these events in the future.

How do I deal with my sister-in-law’s inquisition?

How can I encourage my husband to stop making excuses?


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– No more toxicity

Dear fact: Your husband can explain your absence. You don’t have to say so, however.

Your sister-in-law may be looking for an explanation because she feels your husband hasn’t told the truth.

You can respond, “I always find this party quite stressful, so I decided to skip it.” “Barney” likes it, so we decided to go our separate ways this year. Hope you all had a great time – and have a great New Year.

Dear Amy: My son and his wife have five children!

They don’t go out often, but adding a 20% tip to the price of meals would make it impossible to go out to eat.

Children would never know the joy of discovering new places or new people.

If you can tip 20%, then do so by all means.

But I don’t believe all waitresses are as cold as you seem to be.

– upset

Dear upset: The reason I was a waitress was because my family (of six) was running out of money to go out. We all have our high school and college education.

What I’m saying is skipping restaurant meals isn’t exactly deprivation.



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