Ask Amy: Advice for the Real World

Dear Amy: My wife has put on a few pounds, to the extent that it is probably not good for her long-term health.

My wife is attractive, takes good care of herself, and has no current health problems, but I am concerned that she’s putting herself at risk for future health problems if she does not take measures now.

After a weight loss program to lose 20 to 30 pounds, she would still not be svelte, but she would be better positioned for good health.

She is sensitive to criticism and would probably be angry and take it as a put-down if I simply expressed the sentiments noted above. Do you have any suggestions?

— Worried Husband

Dear Worried: My suggestions will not help your wife to lose weight. My suggestions are mainly for you. Your wife knows she is overweight. She is aware of it every time she tries to zip up her trousers, every time she catches her reflection in a shop window, every time she leafs through a magazine, watches a movie or sees a photograph revealing her thinner youthful self.

Your wife also knows that being overweight can impact her health. She knows this because she has a brain in her head. She probably also knows this because she is asked to weigh herself every time she sees her doctor, and some physicians bring up the health implications of weight gain while they are administering the annual flu shot, or treating a patient’s head cold.

What you don’t seem to know is that your concern over your wife’s health really seems like a red herring, because what you really don’t like is your wife’s size and shape these days.

My suggestion is for you to dig deep and make a determination to love your wife as she is. Lumps, bumps and rolls, all of her. You loving her as she is will be good for the long-term health of your marriage, and that will be good for both of you.

Dear Amy: I am 65-years-old.

I moved away from family and friends 25 years ago, and now I make annual visits to my hometown, which include renting a car and driving four to five hours to see my best friend, “Freddie,” from childhood.

When we have house guests at my home, we all shuffle so that our guests will have their own room and bathroom. Sometimes the young adults will willingly sleep on the couch if there is no more bed space.

So when discussing my yearly visit, Freddie just informed me that her grown children (20-somethings with their own apartments) will be home for the weekend. Thus, I would have to vacate the daughter’s room and sleep on an air bed on the floor.

I love my friend. But I fly across the country, rent the car, make the drive, take them out to dinner, buy groceries and bring presents.

Is it too much to ask her kids to maybe sleep on the air bed for the night? I want to see them, too, but I don’t want to sleep on the floor.

What do you think?

— Upset

Dear Upset: Yes, the younger people should sleep on the floor. Being occasionally displaced is part of the service that great hosts are happy to provide, and parents should let their children know that older guests will be accommodated and made comfortable.

But for the price of a dinner out, groceries and gifts for the household, you could probably afford to stay in a nearby motel for the night. Given your friend’s openness about her intentions during your annual visit, this might be the best option for you.

Dear Amy: The letter from “Aussie” concerned me. This guy admitted that he had basically lied to a woman he had met on Tinder. He had to leave the USA and return to Australia for reasons of an expiring visa, and yet he told her he was going home on vacation!

You started your response by telling him, “Don’t lie,” but then you provided a lie for him to use, by suggesting that he could “paper over” his absence by saying that once he had returned home, he realized he had visa trouble.

I am very concerned by the prospect of an advice-giver with many readers giving this conflicting advice.

— Concerned

Dear Concerned: Duly noted. Yes, “Don’t lie” is always the best advice. In this instance, I succumbed to the temptation to provide a half-truth, which is also, I realize, a half-lie.

Contact Amy Dickinson at:

askamy@amydickinson.com