Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Not So Accommodating

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for nine years. When we were dating, we had the best conversations. He would remember events that happened in my life and would follow up with questions later. He talked about things going on in his life and would include me in the conversation, asking my opinion.

After we married, he has either stopped listening to what I say or doesn't really care anymore. He constantly asks me the same questions over and over, and can't seem to remember the answers I give him. Yet he can quote you chapter and verse about any celebrity -- where they went to school, who they married, who their children are -- as though they are his best friends.

I've asked him how he can remember all of that trivia, but can't remember things I tell him that touch our lives. He said that he found celebrities interesting. I guess that means our lives are not important enough to matter.

I don't know what to make of this and sometimes feel as though I've been duped. Where is the guy I dated? How do I not take this personally? -- What Happened?

Dear What: You are not alone. This type of spouse-deafness happens in many marriages. While you were dating, your husband paid more attention to your conversation partly because he was still trying to woo you, and partly because your life was separate from his. You were his "celebrity." Now the conversations likely revolve around more mundane matters.

Please don't take this too personally. It's irritating, but common, and isn't worth getting upset over. Discuss unimportant things with your family or girlfriends. Wait until your husband expresses an interest before offering information. You cannot force him to be more attentive, but do ask him to set aside 15 minutes a day for the two of you to look into each other's eyes and listen to whatever the other person says. (And if you have any celebrity news, add it to your report on the car repairs.)

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Sickened and Frustrated" whose family member and her spouse constantly blow their noses and clear their throats at family gatherings in restaurants.


I would like to know why the majority of well-mannered people are not entitled to tell the nauseatingly stubborn and selfish couple to please stay home? Why are people so afraid of offending the offenders who couldn't care less? They need to learn they are not compatible with dining out.

Your suggestion to remake the social occasion without food sounds like political correctness. -- Not So Accommodating

Dear Not So: It has nothing to do with "political correctness." Most people include family members at family gatherings, so if dining out with them is the problem, it is simple enough to remedy. But if no one will tell them that their behavior needs refinement, or if they refuse to stop nauseating everyone else, your suggestion to not invite them is one possible solution.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. 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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