Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I am jealous of my boyfriend's sister and it causes me such anguish. My boyfriend and I have a long-distance relationship and see each other every four or five weeks. We talk every day, but I get jealous when he spends time with her. She lives nearby, and they are very close. To make things more complicated, he is separated and lives next door to his wife. I realize that I am jealous because my siblings do not live near me, and I'm not close with them, anyway. I try to tell myself not to care. Help me put this into a healthy perspective.Grappling Girlfriend
DEAR GIRLFRIEND: First of all, your guy isn't quite divorced. If he were, it might remove that insecurity.
It seems you are jealous not only of the specific person he has a relationship with, but of the relationship itself. So the answer here is for you to do the hard work required to develop close and supportive friendships of your own. The more secure you feel, the less pressure you'll place on this man to fulfill all your emotional needs.
DEAR AMY: I have been a teacher for many years and run a nursery school for young children out of my home. This year, I have a child whose mother is very supportive and positive about my school, but never addresses me by name. If she emails me, she just writes, "Hi," and if she leaves a voice message, she does not address it to me by name. It is the first time in my teaching career that I have encountered this. She is an educator herself at a local school. Could you give me advice on how to tactfully solve this problem?Nameless
DEAR NAMELESS: Say to her, "I have to bring up something a little bit awkward. I've noticed that you never seem to address me by name. Is there a reason for that? The kids call me Ms. Smith. You can call me that or Helen, either one is fine."