Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I am currently hearing back from graduate schools I applied to this winter. (I live with my parents.) Last week I found out I was accepted to a great school that was offering me a full-tuition merit scholarship. I was very excited and wanted to tell my aunts/uncles/grandparents (I have been telling them about the process along the way). I think that it's quite an academic honor to be offered such a scholarship. My parents, on the other hand, have urged me not to mention the scholarship. I am still waiting to hear back from other schools, some of which I might prefer to attend if accepted. My parents say if I end up choosing a different school that is not offering a scholarship, it will put us in an odd situation with the people we've told. They will wonder about our finances and why I am attending a school without a scholarship. My parents generously are paying for my grad school. I understand their logic, although I am a bit disappointed not to be able to share my good news. I think that since this is a merit scholarship, it should be viewed as an academic honor. Do you have any thoughts? My parents have told me I can say whatever I think is appropriate, but now I'm feeling confused. What is the right thing to do in this situation?

-- Accepted and Happy

DEAR ACCEPTED: I agree with you. A merit scholarship is definitely something to be proud of. I can understand why you want to share this important accomplishment with family members. You might also be able to use this scholarship to negotiate with other schools to which you are accepted.

If you ultimately choose another school, it's hard to imagine family members boldly inquiring, "Why are you choosing this school and how are you going to pay for it?" But if they do, you need only say, "This program is the better fit for me, and my folks are being very generous." If your parents DON'T want you to disclose their financial involvement with grad school (a legitimate choice), you need only say, "We're going to work it out."

DEAR AMY: I have been married for one year. My spouse and I were out of work for about six months. I used my savings and unemployment to pay bills. My spouse hasn't contributed or tried to get employment. I started a job immediately when my unemployment ran out. I found out my spouse pawned the wedding ring (a treasured heirloom) to buy a cellphone and make vehicle repairs. I used the last of my savings -- set aside for mortgage payment -- to get it out of hock. My wife spends more time with her phone than with me. I said I thought we should get a divorce (due to the betrayal, lying about pawning the ring, and various other untruths) and there was no argument. She said, "If that's what you want, there is nothing to talk about." I know I will be making the right choice to divorce. I am very unhappy in the relationship. I think I am just being used to keep a roof over her head. Please help.

-- Me or the Phone

DEAR ME: All I can do is to affirm what you already know: It takes two to be in a marriage. If your life would be better, brighter, and more productive and affirmative, without being married, then you should tell your wife, "It's time for you to move. I hope you and your phone will be very happy together." It's "Don't call me, I'll call you" time.

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DEAR AMY: "Heartsick Husband" was trying to navigate through his marital problems with his wife, who was engaged in an improper relationship of some kind with her colleague. In addition to following your advice, Husband should definitely test their child's DNA to make sure he is the father.

-- Reader

DEAR READER: Several readers suggested this.