Dear Annie: I've been a stepmother to two lovely girls, now 12 and 17, since they were very young. My husband gladly pays child support on time without fail. The girls have different mothers who raise their children in opposite ways, yet in both cases, it's rare that the child support actually reaches the child.
The amount of child support each...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been with my boyfriend, "Harry," for three years, and I love him very much. Last year, we had a child together. I think Harry will soon be popping the question. There is one big issue that will stop me from saying yes.
Harry is an occasional drug user. He has never brought drugs into the home, but every few months, he will "...Read more
Dear Annie: My daughter-in-law is bipolar and refuses to take anything for it. Now her illness is affecting my relationship with my 9-year-old grandson.
My husband and I practically raised my grandson until he was 4. Neither parent wanted much to do with him. We clothed and fed him without a stitch of help. A few years ago, however, the two of ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a 17-year-old who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age 10. My AS is mild and allows me to function better than most. However, I have an individualized education program and access to the learning/emotional support system in my school.
Since I have a mild type of AS, my teachers often tell me they "can't see any hint of ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 28 years old, and one of my friends recently was diagnosed with cancer. While I'm thankful to have known several cancer survivors, I am now at an age where some of my childhood playmates and current peers might be diagnosed with this disease in the near future.
How can I best provide support for cancer victims in an appropriate...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 60s and have been married for 28 years. We recently retired. My husband and I both enjoy stopping at neighborhood bars for a drink before dinner, but I've noticed that he indulges quite a lot and often starts at lunchtime. The problem is, after he has had a few glasses of wine, he begins to get a little ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am engaged to a man who was divorced 20 years ago. He has three grown sons. The first two are doing well, but the third is still not financially responsible at the age of 30. His father has to pay off his automobile and credit cards. My fiance also helps out his siblings, who seem to be quite irresponsible and alcoholic.
I come ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 47 years old, and my mother is 80. I have three grown children and a 7-year-old daughter whose father is not in her life, nor does he pay child support, even though he earns a decent income. I recently have had some personal setbacks. My hours were cut at work, and I had to move out of our apartment because I could not afford ...Read more
Dear Annie: For the past 20 years, a good female friend of mine and I have gotten together every few weeks for walks, lunch and movies.
The problem is, whenever we go to the movies, she always picks. I'm a pretty easygoing person and will see whatever she wants because even if the movie doesn't sound great, I'm willing to give it a try. But ...Read more
Dear Annie: Recently, I insisted a dear friend move into my home so I could help him after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After a lengthy surgery, doctors managed to remove it. Two weeks later, I took him to a rustic cabin retreat so he could rest.
The morning we were to leave for home, I woke up and went to open the front door, but it ...Read more
Dear Annie: A couple of years ago, my husband and I introduced ourselves to our new neighbor. We helped her catch her dog when it took off down the street and lent her our cellphone when her dog locked her out of the car. We waved hello and goodbye. She told us that her husband was in the service. He came home and before we knew it, he was ...Read more
Dear Annie: My friend, "Josie," recently joined a popular online dating site after her husband decided he'd rather be single. Josie met several interesting men on the site, and after chatting with them for a week or two, every single one of them asked her for money. She refused.
Finally, one asked her to cash a check for him. He spent about a ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have two daughters-in-law who seem disrespectful to me. The first one only visits on Christmas day. Yet she has no problem calling when she wants me to take her kids to a doctor's appointment or pick them up from school. The other one does the same, but her excuse is that they are too busy to see me because they are spending time ...Read more
Dear Annie: When my brother "Steve" comes home from college, he stays up until 3 a.m., sleeps until 2 in the afternoon, and leaves his chores and homework until the very last minute.
I don't understand why he doesn't keep a regular sleep schedule or take care of his homework and other chores early in the week. Instead, he dumps his laundry on ...Read more
Dear Annie: A good friend of mine was recently married, and I was her maid of honor and happy to do it. The bride had only one other woman in her bridal party, a high school classmate who now lives halfway across the country. That meant all of the bridal party duties became my responsibility.
I thoughtfully planned, budgeted for and hosted both...Read more
Dear Annie: I know that anorexia is not uncommon in teenage girls, but I never thought I would see the signs in my best friend. "Emmy" always complains about the way she looks and is constantly focused on her weight. She makes sure everyone else eats, but I rarely see her put a bite in her mouth. She denies that she has a problem, but all her ...Read more
Dear Annie: Please help me. My husband, whom I love very much, is addicted to pain pills. It's been more than a year. He says he takes them to maintain his energy levels for his long 12-hour days, but, Annie, he still takes the pills on his days off. When he tries to stop, he goes through withdrawal symptoms.
Not only am I concerned for his ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 54-year-old daughter, "Susan," has been angry with me since she was a teenager. I have tried to question her about why she hates me so much, but she won't discuss it. She is married to a controlling man who shares her feelings and recently told the family to "go to hell." Susan has a sweet daughter who appears to be a special ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am an only child who was reared by loving but extremely controlling parents. They tried to dictate my attire, my friends and my opinions. I moved away and married, but things have only gotten worse.
I considered moving home to help them, as they are getting older. My husband was skeptical. He's seen me cry from the guilt trips my ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am an 18-year-old guy, and my parents are splitting up. I don't know the full story, but things are getting somewhat awkward around the house. We try to live normally, but the silence hurts. I'm trying to deal with it and put up a good front until graduation, but it's hard.
When I am with both of my parents in the same room, it's ...Read more