The Washington Post

Ask Amy: Girlfriend needs a break from kissing bandit

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend, “Steve,” and I have our one-year anniversary next month, so I planned a trip for us to celebrate in New York City.

Last week he texted me to meet him at the mall at a certain time for a date. When I got there, I saw him kissing another girl. He walked up to me and tried to kiss me. I rejected it. I asked who that was, and he stuttered. I asked if he was cheating on me, and he stuttered again. I took it that he was cheating on me and I broke up with him.

He came to my house with flowers to try to win me back. He expressed his love and started crying. I took him back. Now we’re fighting all the time, and I’m wondering if I should break up with him and cancel the trip to New York. -- Brokenhearted

DEAR BROKENHEARTED: I wonder why your boyfriend essentially invited you to catch him cheating. After all, he texted you to meet him at a specific time and place. When you did, he was with someone else. This is the behavior of someone who really, truly wants to be found out, regardless of what he says.

You two don’t seem to communicate well. If you did, your boyfriend would use his words instead of stuttering, and you wouldn’t be fighting all the time. I suggest you call a time out and go to New York, either by yourself or with a friend. Use this time to clear your head and make a choice about whether you are prepared to truly forgive him and give him a second chance. This will also give him an opportunity to not cheat on you while you’re away.

DEAR AMY: My husband, sister-in-law and I recently went on vacation together. Now it’s time to split the bill for lodging, car rental, gas and food.

My husband thinks he and I should pay two-thirds and his sister, one-third. I think that we should pay two-thirds of the food bill but split everything else in half. A car rental, hotel room, and gas aren’t “per person” costs; rather, they are flat rates. The cost of food, however, depends on how many people you need to feed.

My thought is that the flat-rate expenses should be divided by party rather than by individual. So what is more fair: dividing the bill in half or into thirds? -- Bill Challenged

DEAR CHALLENGED: My question is why, oh why, didn’t the three of you discuss this before the trip?

I agree that your solution is probably more “fair.” But there is fairness and then there is family. Splitting all the bills three ways, and you and your husband covering two-thirds of the cost, is easiest and ever-so-slightly generous on your part. And, if you can afford it, isn’t this the best way to be?

DEAR AMY: This is a solution for “Not A Scrooge,” who didn’t want to engage in any Christmas gift giving. The last time the adults in my family exchanged gifts was the Christmas my sister announced she was pregnant with my parents’ first grandchild. We agreed then to give gifts only to children going forward. This became part of the tradition as the grandchildren grew up.

When that first grandchild graduated from high school, she announced that she was now an adult. The other grandchildren followed suit as they graduated. This decision turned out to be a blessing. We were freed from the gift-buying frenzy, no one was disappointed by unfulfilled expectations, and we had time to experience the joy of the holiday season. -- Happy Ever After

DEAR HAPPY: I enjoy sharing real-life examples of how people handle gift-giving issues. Your solution is ideal.

Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2012 by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.