Dear Annie: I am a single parent. My youngest left for college last fall, and I did OK handling the changes in my home and heart. I took on a few redecorating projects, attended numerous local events and accepted another job to help with tuitions and to get out of the house. But I still find myself lonely.
I have few friends. When I go out, it'...Read more
Dear Annie: What do you do with a sibling who has been enabled all of his life when Mom is no longer around to provide for him?
My brother has had a house to live in, a car to drive, insurance, etc., for the past 25 years. He is an alcoholic and a drug user. He doesn't work because he doesn't want to. He has an all-expenses-paid life.
When my ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been a stepmom for seven years. My husband's youngest is 22 and still lives with us.
"Cara" is a hoarder. Her room is full of rotting garbage, soda cans with fruit flies coming out of them and half-eaten food left on piles of dirty clothes on the floor. There are dishes in there that I haven't seen in years. I've offered to ...Read more
Dear Annie: Many years ago, my husband, "Sam," and I divorced. I started seeing someone else and became pregnant. That man left me, saying he didn't want more children. Sam and I began dating again, and he said we could remarry if his name went on the baby's birth certificate. The biological father didn't care, so I agreed. Three months after ...Read more
Dear Annie: I left a relationship of six years when my boyfriend became physically and emotionally abusive. We have two children together.
With my children's well-being as my first priority, I decided to stay in the same town so they could have full access to their dad. Here's the problem: My ex keeps trying to win me back, and I am not ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am no longer speaking to my best friend of more than 20 years. I thought "Katie" and I were friends for life. She is even godmother to my daughter.
Two years ago, we invited Katie and her husband to my 50th birthday party. My husband offered to let them stay with us so they wouldn't need a hotel. They did not attend, stating that ...Read more
Dear Annie: My brother, "Luke," recently returned to our hometown. Since he's been back, all he has done is drink beer. He has made no effort to find a job. I love him, but it is quite obvious that he's an alcoholic.
When Luke lived here 10 years ago, he was constantly intoxicated. When my husband confronted him about his drinking, Luke left ...Read more
Dear Annie: Last month, I took my grandkids to a water park. While I was watching the crowds, I noticed a man with a boy who looked to be around 12 years old crouched behind a picnic table. They looked as if they were waiting for someone to come by so they could jump up and startle the person. What I found odd was that the man kept pulling the ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm a college student and only get to see my long-distance boyfriend once every four or five weeks. We've been dating for more than 18 months. Assuming we stay together through grad school, we will have dated longer than six years before we have the chance to live together.
Since I haven't spent all that much time with him, my ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I are the parents of a 15-year-old boy. "Will" is a good student. He has been in a friendly relationship with a 15-year-old girl, and it has become serious. They have had sex on two different occasions, and Will used a condom both times.
There was a brief pregnancy scare, and the girl was so concerned that she told ...Read more
Dear Annie: Recently, my husband and I chaperoned a seven-day office-sponsored trip for high school sophomores and juniors. My husband, who is in his 50s, is very outgoing. While on the trip, he developed quite a following among the teens, especially the girls, many of whom developed a little crush on him. I brought up the possibility that these...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife and I have a 23-year-old son who is a heroin addict. "Rob" has been to rehab twice and has relapsed again. We have been attending Nar-Anon meetings for the past eight weeks and find them helpful. Rob seemingly has not hit rock bottom yet. By that, I mean he still has some income due to odd jobs and unemployment benefits. The ...Read more
Dear Annie: For the past seven years, I've worked for "Joe" and his assistant, "Nancy." Nancy recently took a four-month leave due to stress and anxiety. During her absence, Joe and I went to lunch a few times and dinner on one occasion. Nothing romantic happened. I planned to let Nancy know at the time, but didn't think it was important enough ...Read more
Dear Annie: My mother-in-law was desperate to have grandchildren, but when our daughter was born, Mom turned out to be a horrible grandmother.
During visits to Grandma's house, our daughter had to entertain herself in a spare bedroom because Grandma's dogs didn't like kids, and Grandma wouldn't lock up her "babies" for the sake of ours. We ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a beautiful 3-month-old daughter. We live close to my parents, and they babysit "Abby" all the time.
Here's the problem. At my last dental visit, my dentist told me about a study that says adults with bad oral hygiene can transmit bacteria to children through kissing and sharing utensils, causing tooth infections in the kids....Read more
Dear Annie: I have had all I can take from your female readers who complain about the lack of intimacy from their husbands. You tell them to have their husband's testosterone checked and seek counseling. Allow me to give you a better answer.
It's true that men, as they get older and live with their partners for years, might not be as excited ...Read more
Dear Annie: Many years ago, I suspected my ex-husband of sexually abusing our daughter, "Mary." There was opportunity and some evidence. I didn't actually see anything. In and out of denial, I didn't know what to do, and so I didn't do anything. But it's tormented me.
Several years ago, Mary told me she believed she was sexually abused as a ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 54, and my girlfriend is 40. We've dated on and off for seven years. I love her, and I believe she loves me.
The problem is, she is incredibly jealous and honestly believes every woman is attracted to me. Even if that were true, I don't want "every" woman. My girlfriend is plenty of woman, and I want only her. But the jealousy ...Read more
Dear Annie: My parents and siblings often complain that they can't lose weight. However, they douse their food in salt and sauces, drink alcohol before bed, and have no qualms about pulling out the potato chips or chocolate candy. I used to be like them, but I've lost a great deal of weight and feel fantastic.
When my family complains about ...Read more
Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I informally agreed to move in together once I'm out of college and he is in grad school. Right now, we have a long-distance relationship.
Here's the problem. I recently found a two-year MFA program overseas that I've fallen in love with. I told my boyfriend that I'd like to apply, and initially, he seemed happy for...Read more