Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Split Families

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My father and mother were both sick and only weeks away from dying when my niece went to my father's bedside and asked if she could have his house when he "didn't need it anymore." She made sure that her mother was with her to witness the question and answer.

My father suffered from dementia for several years, and it was no surprise...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Graduation Makes for Changes

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I have been with my husband more than 20 years. We have never been separated, even for a few days. We have stuck it out through the good, the bad and the horrible.

We have two boys who are about to graduate high school, and I am wondering how this will affect our relationship. I am scared that he won't find our life together ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Lost in Love

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I have been with "Jim" for eight years. We are in our 40s and have been through a lot together. When I moved in with him three years ago, two of his kids lived with their mother, and the older boy was in prison. I was supportive of Jim's visits to "Lloyd" and also wrote letters myself.

Lloyd got out of prison 18 months ago and was ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Not Comfortable with My Future

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our late 40s and have been married 30 years. (We married young.)

"Eugene" has started looking at a lot of porn and seems to have a compulsion about it. We have enjoyed adult videos as a couple and still do, but Eugene now watches porn on the computer by himself. I feel betrayed, and it damages my trust. When ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Fighting for My Family

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Cautiously Hopeful

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: At a Loss

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Aspie in Pittsburgh

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Clueless on Cancer Etiquette

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Uncertain and Afraid

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Engaged but Having Second Thoughts

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Middle-Aged and Underemployed in the Midwest

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Had Enough of This

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Devastated in Ohio

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Can't Stand the Sight of Them

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Angry Ann

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Mother-in-Law from Hell

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Pulling My Hair Out

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Maid of Dishonor

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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

Annie's Mailbox: Not that Skinny

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

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



Gary Markstein Dick Wright Cathy Chip Bok Al Goodwyn Bill Day