Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Annie's Mailbox: No Time or Money for a Personal Life

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Two years ago, at the age of 62, I was forced to take early retirement from my teaching job. My pension is miniscule, and despite trying to find full-time work, I have only been able to string together part-time jobs. I have been divorced for 20 years, so there is no one else in my life to depend on financially.

My days are consumed...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Confused and Keeping the Peace

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My lady and I have been together for nine years, and we have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter.

We have had our own two-bedroom apartment for five years. A year ago, her mother fell ill. We decided to move her in with us to take care of her and drive her to her doctors' appointments. Mind you, we did this even though I know the mother...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Characteristics of a Sociopath, More

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: You recently printed a letter from a woman who asked whether her biological daughter could be a sociopath. Could you please list the characteristics of a sociopath in your column?

Our adult daughter is involved with someone we feel is not good for her. She seems to be oblivious to what is going on and probably will not recognize the...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Sad Mother, more

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My son is 25 years old with a college degree and an excellent job. The sad thing is, he is depressed. He won't go for treatment. He goes to work, comes home and sits in front of his computer.

I have spoken to professionals myself, but they all say the same thing: He is an adult and must get help on his own. But he doesn't think he ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Other Mother

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am the stepmother of a lovely young woman, age 29. "Daria" was 2 when her mother left, and her older brother has reported that Mom was neglectful and suffered fits of rage. She actually told the children on many occasions that she couldn't stand them. She continually took them elsewhere to be cared for. Luckily one of those places ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Actively Confused

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am an active person, and my wife used to be until a bout with cancer. She no longer has the physical endurance she once did. I try to make this work with shorter trips, shorter walks and simpler activities.

But when I want to do something that she is unable to do, she becomes angry and resentful that I would even consider going ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Taking Care of Everything in Iowa, A Mother

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am 41 years old, the youngest of three daughters. I am also the only caretaker for our parents and am growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of assistance from my sisters. I cook, clean, do repairs, handle bills and cover all the transportation.

I am underemployed, unmarried and uninvolved in any activity beyond the care of ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Unwanted Friends, Dismissed Stepdaughter

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Our neighbor "Ellen" is having an 80th birthday party for her husband. She has invited about 40 people, including my husband and me and the "Smiths," another couple who are neighbors. We've had many disagreements in the past where the Smiths have yelled and sworn at us. Now we ignore them.

Ellen told me we could come over to her ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Trying To Build a Better Life in the Midwest

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am a married woman in my early 60s. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. We get along fine most of the time. He is a good man and a good provider. He can be opinionated at times, but he loves his family and friends.

The problem is his constant need for sex. During our early years, I went along with it, but he would ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Fed Up in a Lonely Home, Blow It Out Your Ear

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I've been on antidepressant and bipolar medication for 12 years. The problem is, I feel I am being overmedicated. I want to sleep all day. I am also legally deaf. I live with my parents because I am unable to drive. My depression and resulting destructive spiral caused my grades to go south in college, which has interfered with my ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Moving On Without Him

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am 74, slim and in perfect health. For the past six years, I have been living part time with "Fabio," my 81-year-old Italian boyfriend. I have supported him through lung cancer and other medical problems. Now he has decided he needs someone 60 or younger to entertain him.

A year ago, Fabio secretly joined a singles group. He ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Miss Her, Not Him

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I was in a long-distance relationship with "Jerry" for six years. He frequently spoke about commitment, but when he still wasn't ready to do anything after all that time, I broke things off. That was a month ago.

Although our breakup wasn't particularly acrimonious, it has been difficult emotionally. I used to spend summers with ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Doesn't know why her not liking sex is a problem

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I have been married for two years to a man I love, and we have a new baby daughter. I should be happy, but I am not.

Annie, I do not like sex. I didn't like it on my wedding night, and I don't like it now. I was raised in the Catholic Church, and sex before marriage is a sin. My husband respected my wishes. So how is it that just ...Read more

Annie's Mailbo: Wants Granddaughter Gone

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My 42-year-old granddaughter is currently living with me. She has been evicted twice for not paying rent, her credit is no good, and she can't find anybody who will rent to her. She has three young children who are living with my son (her father) and his wife.

I am 83 years young and cannot have the children here. It's bad enough ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Caught in the Middle

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My 37-year-old daughter, "Raya," has claimed that my husband, her stepfather, propositioned her for sex several times when she was a teenager. But she never mentioned it to me until she was in her 20s.

Over the years, Raya has needed our help for housing and finances. When she borrows money, she rarely pays us back. Whenever Raya ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Double standard for alcoholism

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: Please tell me, when did alcoholism become a disease? A disease is when the body is ill and not functioning properly.

According to Webster's Dictionary, addiction is the quality or state of being addicted, and continues that it is a "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine or alcohol) ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Unqualified and Underage

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I've known Owen for four years, and we are in various classes together. We email regularly and chat all the time, and I consider him my best friend. Our parents are good friends, too.

Recently, Owen and I have become closer than "just friends" and privately expressed our feelings for each other. However, once our parents found out, ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Confused About Troubled Woman

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: When I was a teenager I gave up a child for adoption. Eighteen years later, "Doris" came looking for me, and we formed a very cordial relationship. By then, I was married and had three other children. Doris was also married, with children, and she and I visited often. I attended funerals, weddings, births, birthdays, dance recitals ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Freshman is Too Small

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am a 14-year-old high school freshman who is depressed about my future. As a result of my premature birth, I have a heart defect and lung problems and am very small for my age. Recently, my family went to a local park. It was humid, and I was so worn out that my older brother let me ride on his back. Some classmates saw me and ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Distressed Daughter

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am the middle sister of three. My mother has always favored my younger sister, "Louise," despite periods of seriously bad behavior. Mom has bailed Louise out of numerous poor financial decisions. She also takes her and her son on cruises and buys them expensive presents.

I recently found out that Mom is giving Louise a regular ...Read more


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