Dear Annie: I am a divorced male in my mid-50s. A couple of years ago, I met a divorced woman through a mutual friend. We share a common hobby, which led to us spending hours of time together, often just the two of us.
I asked my lady friend early on if she was interested in dating. She told me she had recently been through a bad breakup with ...Read more
Dear Annie: When is it OK for a child not to want to be touched by anyone, including his parents? My 10-year-old grandson doesn't want to hug anyone, nor does he like people putting their hands on his back, shoulder or head. Should this just be accepted?
Should we use behavior modification so he will let us be affectionate, or are we just ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife and I are lucky to live near the friendliest, most helpful neighbors we could ask for. They are a middle-aged European couple who moved to the States two years ago.
Here's the problem. They have a swimming pool in their backyard, and when they use it, they do not wear swimsuits. I assume they are just doing what is normal in...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been married for 20 years. When I met my husband, he already had a grown daughter from his first marriage who was living independently in another state. "Beth" and I have never been particularly close.
Seven years ago, Beth married a man who ran off within six months, and she has no clue where he is. He doesn't pay child ...Read more
Dear Annie: I made contact with my birth mother several years ago, but we are not close. Recently, I found out from my sister that my birth mother has been reposting photographs of my children from other friends' pages. I have set privacy guidelines for posting photos of my children and she has totally disregarded them.
I have tried to be civil...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 40 years. When we were first dating, my future wife unexpectedly set me aside to explore the possibilities of seeing another man. It was a difficult time for me. The other man was a mutual acquaintance, for whom I didn't much care, which intensified my hurt. Within two months, they stopped seeing ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together for 12 years. We have three children. His mother is still living, and he has one younger brother.
My issue is with this brother, "James." A few years ago, James cheated on his then-girlfriend, "Sheila," with whom he has a daughter. Sheila also has a son from a previous relationship that James ...Read more
Dear Annie: The real estate agent who sold me my home nine years ago periodically phones my house, asking whether I plan on selling, and offering his assistance. We have a courteous, professional relationship. I never had a problem with him or his company.
Recently, I was a guest at a large customer appreciation event sponsored by this real ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband has been dead for years. He was strong, handsome and successful, but not faithful. Women shamelessly threw themselves at him and he took advantage. He once had to send me to a doctor to be tested for STDs, and I was so angry and embarrassed that I decided the only way to keep the marriage intact for the children's sake ...Read more
Dear Annie: My brother, "John," one of nine siblings, has not spoken to our 83-year-old mother in more than 12 years. He lives less than five miles from her, drives past her house daily and never stops in. At first, he sent birthday and Christmas cards, but even that stopped. Mom continues to send cards and reach out, but receives no response.
Dear Annie: I work full-time, am married and try to make time for my family. Twenty years ago, I had a breakdown and was hospitalized for attempted suicide. I was put on medication and saw therapists once a week. I returned to school and finished my degree in counseling.
That's the background. Now the problem: I retired at age 58 due to a ...Read more
Dear Annie: The time has come for my husband and me to downsize. It has been 10 years since we've sold a home, and something seems to have become very popular: "staging."
I have been married 50 years and in that time have sold seven homes. Four of them sold to the first people who saw them, so I feel I have some insight into how to present your...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been happily married for 24 years. It is a second marriage for both of us. I am 68, and he is 71. We are still working. Fortunately, we enjoy our professions, but my husband will not be able to retire because his former wife receives alimony for the rest of her life.
A few years ago, my husband underwent ...Read more
Dear Annie: My son is divorced and will be marrying again soon. His fiancee has never been married. I like her and am happy for both of them.
Here is the problem: When he married the first time, my husband and I paid for all of the customary groom things -- the rehearsal dinner, the bar tab, the minister, and so on. For this wedding, we told ...Read more
Dear Annie: My dad has been a mess for the past couple of years and he's sinking into a hole. Six months ago, he was laid off and his unemployment benefits just stopped. He also hit a car and left the scene. The police caught up with him and charged him with a hit and run.
Dad is a delivery driver and I worry that his driver's license will be ...Read more
Dear Annie: How do I tell my neighbors that it's annoying and frustrating to listen to their teenaged daughters shrieking and screaming as they're having fun outside?
Often, I want to go out and play with my dog, but I can't because these girls are behaving like 5-year-olds, screaming their heads off. There are things I need to do outside, but ...Read more
Dear Annie: My father has always been especially unkind to my sister, "Portia." She always has had behavioral problems, not to mention she is a bit paranoid and has a ferocious temper. Portia also drinks too much and continues to contact her abusive ex-boyfriend.
My older sister and I try to show Portia lots of love, but Dad usually deals with ...Read more
Dear Annie: After living and working for 35 years in a large city, my husband and I were able to return to our hometown to help care for our elderly parents. I reconnected with a high school friend who asked me to work part-time in her large, nationally known family business.
One of my duties is to assist my friend with media relations, ...Read more
Dear Readers: Happy Fourth of July! Here's one of our favorite pieces, originally written in 1955 as a public relations advertisement for the Norfolk and Western Railway company magazine (now the Norfolk Southern Corporation) and updated in 1976. Although some of the statistics have changed over the years, the sentiment remains the same:
"I Am ...Read more
Dear Annie: I recently broke up with my boyfriend of two years. I had been having doubts for a few months and one night he took me out for a surprise picnic. On the way to the picnic, I thought he was going to propose and the only thought I had was: "How do I tell him no?"
We had a great relationship, but I'm not sure he's the one I want to ...Read more