Dear Amy: Due to a job layoff last year, our 32-year-old daughter has been living with my husband and me. She recently returned to work but receives a low salary and no health insurance.
She has a gluten intolerance, which requires meals without wheat and other additives. She refuses to eat the difficult-to-find and expensive gluten-free meals I purchase, accept any money or use the microwave. The food she purchases is scant.
She appears emaciated but is adamant (without medical advice) that her weight is normal. She became irate when I voiced my concern.
My husband feels that as an adult she can make her own decisions. I believe that she is rebelling against her need to return home at her age. What can we do before she is hospitalized for anorexia? — Terrified Mother
Dear Terrified: Before your daughter is hospitalized for anorexia, you and your husband should do everything possible to secure medical treatment (and mental health counseling) for her. If you can't afford to pay for a checkup, research her options under Medicaid (or other programs for low-income people) and do everything possible to encourage her to take charge of her health.
Eating disorders can be complex and challenging to treat. Do not deny or diminish this issue. If she has an eating disorder, you need to work as a team to either find ways to urge her into treatment, or cope with the sadness and anxiety of watching this depressed adult damage her health.
The National Eating Disorders Association has information and referrals on its website: nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Dear Amy: My fiance's parents and his adult brother like to visit us in "the big city" as often as possible. Their stays generally range from one to three days in length but it is the frequency of the visits that bothers me.
His brother is typically at our house one to two weekends a month. He uses our place as a crash pad after a night of drinking. This bothers me on a lot of different levels. During the day he leaves a trail of messes that I am left to pick up after, including empty beer cans, dirty dishes, etc. After his visits I launder the sheets and towels.
On the opposite weeks, my fiance's parents like to visit — from one to three times a month. They typically stay during the week, which is often disruptive to my heavy work schedule (and life in general) as we have to entertain them in the evenings.
Once again, I am responsible for laundering sheets and towels. I tried to make this the responsibility of my fiance but he is perfectly OK with dirty linens.
I have gently voiced my frustration to him. He says I'm being ridiculous and must accept this if I am going to live with him.
I work long hours, and I don't want to be responsible for hosting guests all the time. This issue is driving a wedge between us. I feel bitter and angry. What can I do or say to limit the number of visits his family makes? — Prisoner in my Own Home
Dear Prisoner: You sound sweet, but this should be a deal-breaker for you. Your fiance is obviously part of a family that does not care about the wants or needs of others. Their behavior is poor — at best — but his reaction to your reasonable concern is appalling.
I question your choice to marry someone who is so inconsiderate. If this is your home (as well as his), then you should have an equal say in who stays there, and how often. If he dismisses you, then you should speak directly with his family members.
At the very least, I suggest you go on strike over cleaning up after them. If the mess gets too frightening, stay elsewhere until your fiance comes up with a workable solution.
Dear Amy: Congratulations on your time off. After 10 years, it was about time. I have to say I really enjoyed your "best of" columns and frequently found myself laughing out loud. There were some real gems in there. — Don
Dear Don: I'm back, I'm rested, and I'm mining for more gems.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamytribune.com. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)
By Amy Dickinson
Tribune Media Services