Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Cornered

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I have two sons, both married with children, living in two different states. For several years, my older son "John" has refused to talk to his brother, "Teddy." I don't know why, except that John's wife initiated it.

My husband and my sons and their families were at a wedding a few years ago. John's wife refused to acknowledge Teddy's family. She stayed for all of the wedding festivities, but walked away whenever Teddy, his wife or children came near.

Since then, John and his family have visited cousins who live near his brother, but they have not once contacted him. My husband and I are stressed over the situation, but don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions? -- Cornered

Dear Cornered: Can you speak to your sons and find out what this is all about? Was there an argument between the wives? Did Teddy say or do something that John's wife found insulting or unforgivable? Or vice versa?

Losing a sibling over something that might be remedied is terribly sad. But if you are willing, you are in a position to broker a truce. Perhaps one of your sons (or their wives) would be willing to discuss it with you and find a way to resolve it. Often these disagreements turn into longtime feuds because no one is willing to take the first step without encouragement and help from a third party. If you don't feel capable of mediating, consider asking another relative or a close friend to step in.

Dear Annie: I read your column every day, but I am of tired reading about problems. Surely there are people who have good marriages.

I first met my wife at her school's football game when I was 15 and she was 16. My friend and I sat behind her and her friend, and when we found out that our school was playing hers the following week, we had a lot of fun banter back and forth and we eventually got their phone numbers.


One of the girls made a great impression on me. I was so taken with her that I called her every day. I was too young to drive, so for three years, I would walk 14 miles on the weekends to see her. She graduated ahead of me and went to work.

I graduated the following May and we were married in June. When we said, "Till death we do part," we meant it. We were married 67 years. She died in April of last year. I think we somehow found the secret to a good marriage and lived it all of that time. -- W

Dear W: A lot of readers have good marriages, which means they don't generally write for advice, and that is reflected in our column. But we are happy to print your sweet valentine. It will give the rest of our readers hope that they, too, can achieve marital bliss, as did you and your wife. Thank you for the words of encouragement.


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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