Dear Annie: My mother-in-law blatantly favors her oldest granddaughter, "Miranda," to the exclusion of the other four. She says Miranda is the "good granddaughter" and her 17-year-old sister, "Amy," is the "troublemaker."
I believe that Amy acts out partly because of the negative label she has been saddled with for years. Meanwhile, Miranda can...Read more
Dear Annie: My 21-year-old granddaughter recently confided that she doesn't attract men and doesn't know why. It bothers her a great deal. She knows it's not her looks. She is good looking. She has had some self-esteem issues due to dyslexia and received counseling.
"Kelly" had one relationship that she ended recently due to his verbal abuse. ...Read more
Dear Annie: For years, I have been attending friends' weddings, showers, graduation parties, birthday parties, engagement parties and other happy occasions.
The problem is, these things require me to give up my time and money. I don't want to make enemies, but I truly do not care that your great-granddaughter is having a baby. I don't know the ...Read more
Dear Annie: My boyfriend of seven months recently ended things suddenly. "Ethan" is Mormon, and I'm Lutheran. We were planning a future together. Ethan claims he wants to go on a mission and cannot prepare to do God's work while having a girlfriend. He said we could still be friends.
But here's the thing. He started hanging out with "Susan" the...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 38 and have been with my husband for 18 years. We have built a wonderful life with great kids, but circumstances led to a separation. I was the one who wanted it. My husband is a good guy, but he just hasn't been able to give me the love I want. Something is always more important. He now says he's willing to do anything to make ...Read more
Dear Annie: My parents divorced years ago. Dad waited patiently while Mom chose between him and another man. In the end, Mom chose the other guy, but it didn't work out. Neither have any of her other relationships. Meanwhile, my dad married a lovely, classy and extremely wealthy woman. They have found true happiness, while my mom has become ...Read more
Dear Annie: When I was little, my mother would insist, "I'm not your mother." I'd be convinced and start to cry. Then she would say, "I'm just kidding." As a 6-year-old, I was afraid of the vacuum. She unplugged it and told me it was OK to sit on it. When I did, she turned it on and scared me to death. When I was a teen, she said, "No one will ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been with my boyfriend, "Tom," for more than a year. We love each other very much.
However, early in our relationship, I was coming out of a rough breakup with my ex. I made a huge mistake thinking I could keep the ex as a friend. We met for dinner and ended up kissing. I confessed to Tom, who briefly broke things off. He ...Read more
Dear Annie: My daughter, "Gina," was the first one in our family to go to college. Of course, we all were proud. She chose a school that was rather pricey, but she had some scholarships and loans. She graduated last year.
In college, Gina needed me to be a cosigner on her loan. Now I am discovering the cost of doing so. Gina did not get a job ...Read more
Dear Annie: May I, a male in his 70s, respond to "Bob," who said that aging, obese, snoring and unhealthy women are the reasons for bedroom problems? Perhaps in his home, but not in ours. I can't pinpoint exactly when intimacy began evolving into something deeper, but when I retired, I became so appreciative of this woman who, for more than 30 ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife, my granddaughter and I recently took a six-hour flight home. I thought we'd have the middle section to ourselves, but when we boarded, I noticed there were four seats. As I put our carry-on luggage into the overhead bin, I saw my wife plop herself next to a male passenger.
Whenever I fly with my wife, she always says she ...Read more
Dear Annie: Our son has been dating "Nicole" for several years. She has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage. Although they live several hours from us, my husband and I have done everything to make "Nicole" feel welcome.
Last Christmas, she and her daughters opened their gifts, tossed them aside and went to watch TV. In May, I sent ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am 23 years old and have been dating "Tom" for two years. He works in a demanding job that requires an extensive amount of travel. He's away almost six months of the year.
When Tom isn't traveling, he's with me during the week, but spends most weekends going places with his fraternity or visiting his parents. This means for the ...Read more
Dear Annie: My brother and I grew up in the shadow of our older sister, "Nina." Nina had new clothes while we had stained, torn hand-me-downs. If I asked for something, I was called a "spoiled, selfish brat." If our plans conflicted with Nina's, we had to cancel ours. Mom always favored her. Nina's needs always came before ours. My father didn't...Read more
Dear Annie: Am I strange? I like to keep my house clean and neat. In addition, I check for items that may need fixing so the house is not in disrepair. Although friends and family think I am "anal," I do not feel that I am obsessive.
I also have many fears, some of which are entirely baseless. I am in anguish if I have to travel on a highway, ...Read more
Dear Annie: I've been friends with a small group of people since junior high. We're in our late 50s now, and though none of us has set the world on fire, we have good families and stable careers. All except "Joe."
Ever since he was a boy, Joe dreamed of making it big in a profession in which, with a good deal of skill and some luck, you can ...Read more
Dear Annie: When can we stop giving our children money? When is enough enough?
My daughter and her husband are in their mid-30s. They bought a house they could not afford. On top of that, they are in the middle of filing for bankruptcy, as they have been overspending for years. My daughter works two jobs that provide neither a consistent ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a teenager in high school with two close friends, "Emma" and "Vienna." Emma was recently diagnosed with OCD and bipolar disorder. Ever since the diagnosis, there have been many conflicts. Emma is now really sensitive, and if Vienna or I say anything even mildly offensive, she gets super angry.
This past summer, we all worked at...Read more
Dear Annie: My mom is 67 and pure evil. She manipulates her doctors, who don't know the real truth. I've tried to remain patient and respectful, to no avail.
My mom has pushed everyone away. She has no friends. Since my father died, she's become severely depressed. I've supported her and stood by her after all the evil and hateful things she's ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife's sister and her husband moved in with my mother-in-law 30 years ago. Mom was the sole caregiver until age limited her ability, and then government aid allowed for home assistance. Mom supported them while my brother-in-law spent every dime on alcohol and toys. When Mom died two years ago, my sister-in-law ended up in a ...Read more