Rejected advances turned into long whiny letters that went on for years and started again

Dear Amy: When my wife was a teenager, a man in her twenties she knew in her social circle became obsessed with her. He kept calling her and mostly complaining about her life.

He started talking about marriage, even though for her he was a boring acquaintance.

She finally had enough and told him to stop contacting her. He then started with his friends and family.

When she and I got engaged, he started contacting me and my friends and family.

He wrote a lot of long, whiny letters about how miserable he was and how terrible she was and why couldn’t they just be friends.

It lasted for years. We have lots of letters he wrote. Eventually he stopped writing, and we hoped he had finally moved on.

But he started again. We are in our 60s now.

His letters are the same as before, and full of illusions about the way things were.

The letters are very painful for my wife, every time. She is in consultation.

We’ve contacted lawyers, but they’re not interested because he hasn’t made any violent threats and because we haven’t seen him in person for years.

What can we do?

– Conflict

Dear Conflict: In your opinion, these letters do not contain threatening language and do not cross the line of harassment. Are you sure? You specifically asked not to be contacted, so you should do more research to see if the content of these letters exceeds the legal limit.

Writing and sending these letters can be an exercise in venting for this unstable person – and just receiving them but never responding can make it less so.

You need to go to the post office and speak with your local postmaster. Learn about your options for declining this email. Ask if they are able to withhold mail delivery from that particular sender, or if filing a form called PS 1500 (which applies to sexually explicit material), might be possible or advisable.

They might advise you (not your wife) to open and read these letters to make sure they haven’t changed in tone (keep them in a file), or ask you to order an ink pad that reads: “Moved, no forwarding address”. or “return to sender” and return unopened letters.

If you do this, take a picture of these letters to have a record of when they were delivered.

Dear Amy: I work for a well-known company in a very busy and stressful office environment – before the pandemic hit.

All workers in my category have been working from home for almost three years now.

I’ve completely adapted and find myself just as productive as before – and much happier. Along with the convenience of working from my home office, I saved 10 hours of commuting time per week, as well as a substantial amount of money I would have spent on clothes, lunches, and travel.

My company is now urging all of us to return to the office. I heard from the vine that they will really start to crack down.

I wonder what I should do.

– Work happy

Dear Happy Worker: The first thing you should do is contact your manager to see if there is flexibility in this dictate – for a productive, seasoned worker like you. Are you ready to go to the office?

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, your company is part of a trend of workplaces insisting that workers return to the office.

There are few labor laws that protect your preference for working from home.

The market, however, is on your side.

Adzuna, a job search engine, conducted “a year-over-year analysis of advertised job openings across the United States and found that from November 2020 to 2022, job openings jobs increased by more than 6.2 million. Yet less than 2% were for in-office roles, while postings for remote roles increased by almost 10%.

It may be time for you to re-enter the workforce.

Dear Amy: “Sad Sister in WY” described her brother’s girlfriend as “fixing” his appearance in a number of ways and then criticizing his appearance.

You described the girlfriend as controlling and tactless.

Unfortunately, I identified with the girlfriend. I realize that I criticized my husband’s appearance. I see now how rude that is.

– I will change

Dear Changeling: I appreciate how this idea came about, and your honesty in admitting it.

You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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