Dear Amy: My wife is a doctor who, at the start of the pandemic, had to be very careful about her COVID exposure.
We asked our adult daughter, “Sarah,” to limit the circle of people she has personal contact with so that we can still have in-person visits with her and our grandchildren, while protecting my wife’s patients.
One day we saw a photo of Sarah on social media drinking cocktails unmasked and indoors at a friend’s “Carrie” house.
We informed Sarah and Carrie that Sarah will now have to quarantine for two weeks.
We called Carrie to ask her to stop this invitation so we could see our daughter.
While we were on the phone with Carrie, she texted Sarah inviting her for cocktails that night (Sarah was sitting next to us when we called)!
My wife then told Carrie how angry we were.
Carrie brushed it off and said my wife was too sensitive.
A few weeks later, Carrie’s husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He immediately told everyone how important it was that they were now isolated.
I have chosen to cut contact with Carrie, but my wife says she will not leave this friend in her time of need.
Carrie is now on a mission to portray me as a source of friction in her friendship with my wife, and recently criticized me in front of other people. My wife doesn’t defend me.
What do I have to do?
– Caring Husband
Dear: You seem to have reached the pinnacle of maturity by maintaining the belief that you can control other people simply by asking — or telling — what to do.
Summary: You and your wife explain to your adult daughter the very serious health risks posed by the choices she may make. As the daughter of a doctor (and working parent) living on this planet during the worst of the pandemic, surely she understands your concerns and the reasons behind them.
Nonetheless, he chose to violate your wishes, and then had the audacity to advertise his choice on social media.
In response, you basically send your daughter to sulk in her room, and then call “Carrie” and tell her to stop inviting your daughter over to her house, as if these two women were rebellious teenagers, sneaking smoke behind a dumpster.
Carrie decided against you.
And then he decides to rub your nose in it.
Watch this: You are responsible for you, with responsibility only for your own relationship.
Your wife is responsible for herself, her patients, and her friendships.
If Carrie drops you, you’ll need to respond proportionately to defend yourself, then avoid it.
If your wife wants to maintain a friendship with this toxic person, she will definitely suffer the consequences of that choice. You can then say to him, “I was trying to warn you…”
Dear Amy: We have relatives in their mid-20s who are expected to disclose to family and friends soon that they have switched genders.
We wonder what’s the right thing to say?
We support our relatives, and want to continue the positive relationship.
Also, our family members are not aware that some of us in the family know about this transition.
We know this because their mother, our sibling, needed her own support during this period.
How can we help our family members?
Thank you for your assistance in…
— Facing Life Changes
Dear Dealers: I think the best way to help your family members is to greet them warmly, make eye contact, and actually say — out loud — a version of this: “We want you to know that we love you, we are happy for you, and we hope You will let us know if there is any way we can support you as you continue on your journey.”
You can also respond to this transition in family members by supporting other waria through advocacy groups.
Dear Amy: “Hurt Boss” says he wasn’t invited to his employee’s baby shower, despite the fact he goes out of his way to serve his employees, making his life miserable.
I see myself in the letter. I’ve been doing exactly the same thing — doing all the work so my employees don’t feel overwhelmed. It stops now!
After reading your feedback, I decided to adapt my own business model.
This is for a better future for Hurt Boss and myself!
– Too much work
Overworked: It’s time for you to get out!
(You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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