Expensive Amy: About two years in the past, my husband began utilizing the “N-word” (we’re white).

He primarily used this phrase when watching one thing that upsets him or when he would drink. You get the image.

He’s now upset as a result of a number of the household (and I) say that utilizing the N-word makes him look racist.

He says it is only a phrase, and it is OK as a result of he used it on a regular basis when he lived in California along with his Black buddies and that all of them simply mentioned it, it doesn’t matter what race they had been referring to.

We argue about this, and he defends his previous habits, irrespective of my opinion.

He has principally stopped utilizing the phrase after I made an enormous challenge about it. Sometimes, he’ll say it when he’s mad a couple of sure particular person on the information or politician and it is loud sufficient that our daughter can hear.

Your opinion?

— Disgusted

Expensive Disgusted: Utilizing the “N-word” does not make your husband “look” racist.

It makes your husband an precise racist.

In keeping with you, he solely evokes the phrase when he’s mad at or hates one thing or somebody. However this can be a case the place context does not even matter.

Racists appear to take pleasure in declaring that the “N-word” – or different racial or ethnic slurs – are “simply phrases,” however for some purpose they by no means appear to make use of slurs directed at themselves.

Expensive Amy: My husband has two siblings and a number of other nieces and nephews.

His brother’s daughter – our niece – is pregnant and everyone seems to be genuinely excited concerning the child.

Our challenge is that a number of years in the past my very beneficiant and sort father-in-law (her grandfather) gave her funds to attend school.

We do not understand how lengthy or how profitable she was together with her school, however finally she stopped going and dropped out.

Someway this grew to become a sore spot, and she or he refused to speak any longer together with her grandfather.

She has not spoken to him in effectively over a yr.

This needed to be hurtful for him – at 97 years previous.

He has been beneficiant and supportive to all his kids and grandchildren and has by no means interfered in anybody’s life.

We’re appalled by her habits.

I’ve been invited to her child bathe and have been given a listing of particular objects from which to decide on with directions that we’d like to select from the record (lots of them out of our funds).

My husband and I don’t care to assist her due to this rift.

We expect she is out of line and appearing immature.

We’re torn as a result of my husband’s brother (her dad) has at all times been sort and supportive to our son and I wish to present respect and assist for him.

I do know her grandfather needs to provide her one thing; he nonetheless loves her and at all times will.

Ought to we ship a present?

— Involved Aunt

Expensive Involved: The best way I learn your query, you would like to not acknowledge or have fun your niece, out of solidarity to her grandfather.

You may ghost this niece, or gripe about her too-expensive bathe registry, however while you withdraw from her, you might be then perpetuating HER poor habits.

Her grandfather’s expectations made her uncomfortable, and so she responded by withdrawing from him, with no rationalization.

Her expectations make you uncomfortable, and you might be responding by withdrawing from her, with no rationalization.

That is how longstanding generational estrangements take maintain.

I recommend that you simply disconnect her earlier objectionable habits from her being pregnant.

Discover an merchandise on her registry you could afford (or ship her one thing off the registry) to congratulate her on her being pregnant.

Your husband ought to ask his brother if there are methods you two would possibly assist to encourage a therapeutic connection between your niece and her grandfather.

On the finish of the day, her relationship with him is her accountability to handle – and you shouldn’t decide or intervene, until you might be invited to.

Expensive Amy: The letter from “Too Controlling?” concerning bribing a teenager to not get a tattoo jogged my memory: When my now 40-year-old son was turning 16, he requested to get his ear pierced for his birthday.

As I’ve pierced ears, I noticed no purpose to say no. My mom was horrified and informed him she’d get him the rest he needed if he did not do it. He thought for a second and responded, “a tattoo.”

Evidently, he had his ear pierced. And I used to be very happy with him.

— Nancy, in Englewood, NJ

Expensive Nancy: Good child!

(You may e-mail Amy Dickinson at askamyamydickinson.com or ship a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Field 194, Freeville, NY 13068. It’s also possible to observe her on Twitter askingamy or Fb.)

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