Annie's Mailbox: Miss Her, Not Him
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 Jerry and his now 9-year-old daughter, and took care of her while he worked. We developed a close bond.
I've only spoken to Jerry once since our breakup, but I'm wondering what I should do about his daughter. I still love her and would do anything for her, but I don't want to overstep my ex-status. How do I say goodbye from a distance? I don't want to hurt her. -- Miss Her, Not Him
Dear Miss: This is not an uncommon problem when couples split up. There is still an attachment to the children, and more importantly, the children often feel the loss. Please talk to Jerry about this. Ask whether his daughter is having difficulties with your breakup and what you can do to help. Perhaps you could write her an occasional letter or email, maintaining a distant friendship so she knows you have not abandoned her. While you should do nothing to encourage a belief that you and Dad are getting back together, make sure she understands that she will always have a place in your heart and she can call or write you any time. We trust Jerry won't get in the way of something that is in his daughter's best interest.
Dear Annie: It is almost Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend has asked whether I would like to go to his daughter's home for Thanksgiving. I thought that was nice of him, as my family does not live near me.
He called his daughter to let her know I accepted the invitation. But he also said he told his daughter I am "stout." I felt insulted. I called him the next day and made an excuse that I would be unavailable for Thanksgiving after all.
I am 20 pounds overweight, but I have no bulges. His comment hurt me so much that I haven't gone out with him since. Do you think he was rude to say this to his daughter? -- Not Stout
Dear Not: Yes. And just as rude to repeat it to you. We can think of no reason to justify his saying this to his daughter. Nonetheless, if this is the worst thing he has ever done in your relationship, please try to forgive him. Explain that you found his comment insulting (he probably doesn't think so) and that you want him to stop discussing your appearance with other people.
Dear Annie: I'm writing in response to His Wife, whose husband's personality changed and he was later diagnosed with depression. In my case, the one in depression was me. I had a hysterectomy and thought I was fine. That was 14 years ago.
Now, after 41 years of marriage, my husband has decided he wants a divorce and needs to move on without me. He said something happened to me and that our marriage has been over for a long time. I had no idea I had changed in any way.
After reading the letter from His Wife, I realized I had gone into a depression. Loss of hormones and painful intercourse did change my moods, creating anger and the loss of affection. My husband never addressed the problems. His usual way of handling anything is to ignore it, walk away and hide. So instead of making me see how I'd changed, he found a girlfriend, vacationed with her and gave her diamond earrings.
I want to let couples know that the way to resolve things is to talk about them before it's too late. And never rule out a medical diagnosis like depression. -- On the Way to Divorce
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.