Dear Annie: The adults in our family, all of whom are blessed with the necessities of life, have enjoyed a "shake the dice/give and take" holiday gift exchange for many years. Often gourmet food items and good wines and such are included. My daughter reminded me this year that we have family members who don't consume alcohol for various ...Read more
Dear Amy: Since last year, I've been asking my wife to take a different approach to the holidays, and to just focus on our small immediate family.
Every single year, without fail, there's some major disappointment, family conflict or travel debacle, typically with her extended family. She walks away exhausted, angry, frustrated or hurt.
Last ...Read more
DEAR ABBY: I am an older IT professional (58) who had a very successful career until a year ago. I was part of a major layoff at the company I worked at for many years. I have not been able to find a job in the IT field since.
Besides my skills and knowledge in IT, I'm an accomplished handyman with skills in most of the trades. The issue is, my...Read more
Dear Annie: I've been employed for two months at a large retail outlet and have gotten to know many of the people who work there.
"Amanda" is in the food section, and I am in the clothing department. I'm a straight woman, and she is bisexual. Two weeks ago, the two of us went out to dinner for her birthday. Since then, I have developed strong...Read more
Adapted from a recent online discussion.
My sister Jane has been seeing Jack barely three months. They live in different states and Jack regularly visits Jane on the weekends, sometimes they travel together. During this time Jack has exhibited some low-level controlling behaviors -- getting upset when Jane goes three ...Read more
Dear Cheryl: In my freshman year of college, my roommate and I started discussing sex, etc. We both liked to party, and we bet on who could get the most guys in a year. I know, very immature, but we were young. To make a long story short, I won the contest. By junior year, I had slept with over 300 guys.
I now have HIV and herpes. On top of ...Read more
Dear Annie: Two years ago, I met a homeless man and took him in. "Steve" has a mental illness and a drug problem. He told me he had no family and was all alone. It was Christmastime, and I couldn't walk away. Come to find out he had been living with his mom, who threw him out over his drug problem. My family and I stood by Steve when he went ...Read more
Dear Amy: A month ago, my wife of five years told me she was going through a depression and was questioning our relationship. To be fair, I was as well.
We haven't made love in six months. I tell her all the time how beautiful she is. I try to initiate sex, and I get nothing. She finds ways to make me feel bad when I fall asleep early on the ...Read more
I interact with my husband's ex-wife, "Debby," almost weekly at the kid handoff and other kid-related events. She is honestly one of the sweetest people I've ever met, and she has handled our marriage with nothing but grace and maturity.
Yet there is something that really upsets me every time I see her. She has an almost ...Read more
DEAR ABBY: I'm hoping you can help me with this situation. I have been married for 13 years but never told my family that I got married. I now want to divorce my husband, but I don't know how to approach it because he holds it over my head. Please help. I have fallen in love with someone else and I need to divorce my current husband and move on,...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a woman in my mid-30s, and think I may have been molested when I was young. I have little memory of my childhood up until age 13. But I do know that when my friends played with their Barbie dolls, they had her driving around, going on dates and dressing up pretty. I pretended she was having sex with Ken. Other kids played ...Read more
I'm sorry. Am I missing something?
I always thought a proposal is really just a pro forma question. At a certain point in a relationship, both parties know they are going to get married. There are details to work out -- where, when, how -- but the actual fact is not in dispute. It's nice when there's a formal "Will you marry me?" on bended ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a sibling who struggles with an eating disorder. I give her constant love and support and do everything I can to help her. I've heard that Thanksgiving and Christmas pose challenges for people with eating disorders, as people are expected -- and even pressured -- to eat more than usual. How can I help my sister feel calmer ...Read more
Dear Amy: Every year my husband and I host a holiday get-together for several of our friends and neighbors. We provide the main dish, a couple of sides and drinks. We ask friends to fill in with other salads, sides and desserts.
This year, with little notice, my friend "Barb" reached out to me via text, saying, "This year, I will need you to ...Read more
DEAR ABBY: Many wives write you about problems with their husbands who drink too much. If they live in a community property state, there's something important they need to know. If the husband drives drunk and causes an injury, both the wife and husband may be named as co-defendants -- even if the wife wasn't involved. And if the injured party ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I are the youngest of our siblings, now all in our 50s with nearly grown children. Despite having the same opportunities, my husband and I are the only ones to have finished college, stayed married and kept the same jobs. As a result, we have a nice home, two cars and college tuition set aside for our kids, and can ...Read more
Adapted from a recent online discussion.
My ex-husband and I have been divorced for about 10 years. Our kids are grown and in their 20s and 30s. My ex and I still live in the same town we raised our kids, but only one kid still lives here.
Our marriage had some happy times and I don't wish my ex ill will at all. I make an ...Read more
Have you ever been on a first date when it hits you: I could be home, wearing sweats, eating Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey out of the container and watching Netflix? Marnie and Ellie know that feeling.
Marnie met Jack at a Parents Without Partners dance that she'd been pressured into attending. The reason she had to be pressured was because she...Read more
Dear Annie: Whenever Christmas rolls around, I feel sick. I want to enjoy the merriment as much as most people seem to. Unfortunately, I have negative associations with the winter holidays. I'm sure I'm not alone in dreading Christmas. How can I put these associations aside in order to have a happy holiday season? -- Cringing at Christmas
Dear Amy: I like to think that I am a caring and sensitive man -- one who respects women and appreciates the spirit of the #MeToo movement.
Therefore, a recent experience has me disturbed. I am looking for some objective feedback.
One recent evening, I was with a woman that I know well. We had drinks before, during and after dinner.
It became...Read more