Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Only Questions, Still Care

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 10 years, and we have two children. Two years ago, I found out that he was bothering a 19-year-old girl. He was 30 at the time. We separated over this, but six months ago, we got back together.

Now when I ask about this young woman, his story keeps changing. He says they were just friends, and then he says he tried getting together with her after we separated. He admits he still cares about her.

Here's the current problem: This woman has a young child and uses the same daycare center that I do. I see her whenever I drop off my children. I jump through hoops to make sure my husband isn't the one dropping off the kids, because I don't want him to run into her.

This situation is driving me crazy, but my family members tell me I should stay with my husband because we have kids and because he quit drinking. So do I stay and look the other way, or should I leave? -- Only Questions

Dear Questions: You have another option. For your marriage to succeed, you need to know that your husband will not pursue this young woman, and he hasn't responded in a way that merits your trust. Because you have children, please make an effort to work on this before giving up. Ask your husband to go with you for counseling. If he refuses, go without him. Your doctor or clergyperson can refer you.

Dear Annie: I am a veteran. I served proudly and now have a decent job in the civilian workforce. I appreciate everything that our country does to honor our nation's veterans and their families, from the parades and ceremonies to the business discounts and free meals.

But I often wonder why veterans are not provided with a "holiday" from work on Veterans Day to attend these ceremonies, have lunch or just spend time with their families. To attend these functions, veterans must apply for vacation time. Many therefore choose not to attend. I realize some businesses do provide their employees with the day off, but they are in the minority.

If Veterans Day honors this nation's veterans, why can't we change the law by giving veterans the day off without penalty? -- Answered the Call


Dear Answered: It does seem logical that those being honored would get the day off. Veterans Day is a federal holiday, meaning most government offices are closed, no mail is delivered and federal workers either get the day off or are paid for working a holiday. Many non-governmental businesses also close on Veterans Day, but it is not mandatory. We suggest you talk to your boss about this for next year and see whether some accommodation can be worked out.

Dear Annie: I wanted to respond to Bewildered in California, whose father manipulates others into giving him freebies.

I have a friend with similar behaviors. I've seen her take cans of soda, cookies, napkins and salt packets and stick them in the large bag she carries. She once took five packets of identical material at conferences. In the 20 years I have known her, I've never been invited to her home. I suspect she is a hoarder.

She's always talking about getting her money's worth and manipulates others into getting freebies for her. If they won't, she claims they don't care about her. Three years ago, I took her to an event requiring an overnight stay. When I arrived back home, I had hotel towels in my suitcase that I had not put there.

I now avoid getting into situations where I might be embarrassed by her behavior. I'm convinced this is an illness, but she will never seek help. To mention it, even kindly, would only mean she has lost another good friend. -- Still Care


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



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