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Ask Amy: This dispute over her dogs is threatening our friendship

Ask Amy: This dispute over her dogs is threatening our friendship

Dear Amy: I’ve been friends with “Carol” since third grade.

She has a condo in Florida, and I try to visit her once a year. Her husband died a year ago, so she’s been alone.

Before this year’s visit, she told me that she had a man in her life and that he would “be around” while I was there.

Well, he was around, constantly, always calling, always wanting to be with us.

The first night I was there, she went and stayed overnight with him, leaving me with her two irritating dogs, who barked and whined all night long.

I told her in the morning, and she apologized, but still stayed at his place every night I was there, leaving me with the dogs.

I am happy for my friend that she found a new guy. I didn’t mind her staying at his place at night. My problem is that she couldn’t go five days without him being around constantly, so I could enjoy my vacation with my friend.

And she left me with her dogs every night while they barked constantly.

This has caused a problem with our friendship.

She seems mad at me, but I think I’m the one that has the right to be upset.

I’d love to hear your opinion.

– Dog Tired

Dear Dog Tired: People enjoying the first rush and flush of a new relationship tend to behave selfishly. So, no, Carol actually believes she cannot currently go five days without seeing her squeeze.

Presumably he spends the nights with her and her dogs, and so she may have thought that she was making space for you by bouncing him to his own place during your stay, but abandoning you to deal with her dogs every night was extremely disrespectful.

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She may be preempting your disappointment by acting angry toward you, but she really does owe you an apology.

Dear Amy: I am very close with my first cousin “Landon.”

Landon is a robust and healthy older man. Unbeknownst to him, we are not actually cousins; in fact, we’re not related at all.

Years ago, I asked Landon to submit a DNA sample, with the results coming to me, the family historian. That sample revealed that his mother’s husband was not Landon’s biological father.

I should note that Landon always had a strained relationship with his “father,” and I remember him as a difficult man.

I’m an amateur genealogist and have been able to identify his biological father and relatives. Those still living are a short drive from Landon’s house.

Even though he is quite proud of our family history (there’s nothing notable about our tree), he’s paid no attention to the DNA results, assuming they only prove what he’s long believed to be true.

I’ve gone to great lengths to protect his privacy while using public databases to research his biological family. But Landon’s children or grandchildren could test their DNA any time, revealing this reality. I would then have to confess I’ve known the truth for years.

I love my cousin very much and don’t want to hurt him or damage our friendship.

Should I tell Landon about his parentage while I still can?

– Burden of Truth

Dear Burden of Truth: You imply that your cousin has avoided access to his DNA information because he assumes it merely proves that he is biologically related to your family.

But maybe he has avoided it because he suspects his DNA heritage takes him outside of your family, and he simply doesn’t want to confront that. That’s a valid choice, and it’s one he has the right to make.

You might say to him, “As you know, I’ve studied the family DNA and genealogy. I have access to your information and your unique story, and if you want to learn about it, I can share it with you.”

After that, he can ponder his options and let you know.

If DNA relatives (or family relatives) discover the truth about his parentage and independently contact him, he would understand that you’ve offered this information to him.

Dear Amy: Your advice to “On Time” completely lacked compassion for the person who is always running late. People with ADHD have an extra challenge to deal with time management. Starting without them just shames them for behavior they can’t control.

– Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: Starting without someone who is chronically late might also let the late person off the hook, sparing them the fuming frustration and tapping toes of those kept waiting.

You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

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