Dear Annie: My sister owns seven cats, three dogs, two turtles and a lizard. They are overrunning her house. There are random bits of garbage all over the floor, along with used dishes -- both human and pet. When the dogs do their business in the house, she lets it stay there for hours while she gets other work done. The last time I was there, I...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I own a small business. We both work at other full-time jobs, and we also have three children, so life is hectic and busy.
I am uncomfortable with the intensity of a relationship he is having with one of our employees. "Molly" is a single woman with children. She is a terrific employee, and a large part of our ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm 60, divorced and currently seeing "Don." He's five years my junior and extremely attentive.
Don has a background of violence (one incident landed him in jail), but he now manages his anger. However, he still refuses to stand down to anyone who threatens him. He brags about being a Marine and that he has skills to make people ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a 56-year-old stepfather to two wonderful young women, ages 20 and 17. My wife of five years did a wonderful job raising the girls after their father died. Our relationship is open and trusting. I never call them stepdaughters. I view them as my own. And they tell me they love me.
My problem? Lately, the title of "stepfather"...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband's parents live on the farm where he grew up, which is about an hour away from my folks' house. When we go home to visit, I prefer to stay with my parents.
I have no problem visiting the farm and spending time with my husband's family, but the accommodations at my parents' house are more comfortable. We have an entire ...Read more
Dear Annie: Bob and I are both divorced from our previous spouses. His ex-wife was unfaithful, and so was my ex-husband. We fell in love even though we live miles apart. I recently visited him for the second time to talk about our future plans. He wanted me to meet his friends, and I happily agreed.
"Tina" is a longtime family friend. Bob is ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 85-year-old uncle, a widower, spends several days a week at casinos. This is no penny-ante stuff. He gambled away everything he ever owned and had to move into subsidized housing.
He is somewhat fatalistic at this point, figuring he won't live much longer and so he wants to have fun. While we recognize his right to spend his ...Read more
Dear Annie: The facts about tobacco use are startling. Every day, nearly 4,000 kids under the age of 18 try their first cigarette, and another 1,000 become regular smokers. To hook kids, tobacco companies spend billions of dollars each year targeting kids like me with advertising near schools and malls, and they even alter these deadly products ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 24 and have four small children under age 10. My mother was in a car accident last fall that left her paralyzed from the chest down, and she now lives with us. With hardly any help from my older sister, I struggle every day trying to take care of everyone's needs.
Mom screams at me and makes the smallest of things seem like ...Read more
Dear Annie: This past year has been hell in my marriage. My husband has gone out of his way to mistreat me. It has been eight years since we have had sex. He claims it's due to a physical problem, but that's not true. I once spotted him fondling a female guest during a dinner prayer and getting excited.
He told me I repulse him and that's why...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been married to "Ellen" for seven years, and we recently moved back to her hometown. Apparently, she left behind an old boyfriend. They were teenagers "in love." Ellen was repeatedly unfaithful, and the boyfriend tried to break things off. But Ellen always manipulated him into saying he would love her forever. At some point,...Read more
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Upstate New York Where It's 20 Degrees Outside." He said his wife has hot flashes and wants to set the thermostat down, but he likes it at 74 so he can run around in his underwear. She's ready to move out. He thinks she's being selfish.
We also are from upstate New York, and I think he is the selfish one. ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have always had a rocky relationship with my older sister, "Nancy." She's lived with our parents her entire life, and even after she married, she convinced her husband to move in with them. Her marriage didn't last long.
Nancy has always been a drama queen. At my wedding, she threw a tantrum about how horrible her life was ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife and I were both married before. Last year, she confessed that she'd had a 35-year affair with a married doctor. At the time, she was in her early 20s and he was in his early 40s. After 35 years, she decided he was too old for her and ended things.
She told me the doctor's name, but when I did some checking, I discovered it...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a 22-year-old senior in college and will graduate in May. There is a growing riff in my family, and most of it is due to my stepmother. She says horrible things about my family (and others) when she thinks no one is listening. But we've heard her. In fact, my grandmother and I recently overheard some awful remarks on the way ...Read more
Dear Annie: During the past 25 years, Youth Service America has mobilized millions of youth across the globe to do good in their communities -- an estimated 16 million! These amazing kids do everything from advocating for more affordable housing to raising awareness about organ donation, from tutoring younger children to fundraising to fight ...Read more
Dear Annie: I recently became engaged to my wonderful girlfriend of four years. The wedding is scheduled to take place in September, and I just made the worst mistake of my life.
My fiancee's grandfather recently was diagnosed with cancer. My fiancee and her brother left town for two weeks to spend time with him. I stayed home, and so did "...Read more
Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has been hospitalized more than once, although he believes it was only to "punish" him. In the past few years, he has refused all psychiatric intervention.
"Robert" has lived independently for 18 years. He displays delusional and paranoid behavior. We do not know ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 64-year-old brother has refused to talk to my 86-year-old father for nearly 10 years. When our mother died, Dad married a nice Christian widow. He then sold the family home. He and his new wife built a new one in another town.
My brother still thinks Dad should have split the sale profit with his children since half the house ...Read more
Dear Annie: For 20 years, I've considered my sister, "Trina," my best friend. A couple of years ago, she was transferred into a very difficult work position. Trina has had a hard life, and I wanted to be there for her through thick and thin.
However, when I needed emotional support from her this year, it wasn't there. I shared how hurt I was,...Read more