Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Loveless Lady

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: Is there really life after a badly broken heart? I've simply been going through the motions for more than 10 years since a relationship ended. "Jeff" was, and still is, the love of my life, and no matter what I do -- therapy, volunteer work, developing new hobbies, working two jobs and spending time with my senior parents -- he is the only man I want.

I've gone out with other men, and all I see when I look at them is that they're not my former love. And there's no chance of rekindling a romance with Jeff because he is married and has a family.

I fear I'll spend the rest of my life alone. I have no love to give to another man, and part of me truly feels dead inside. Therapists (and I've seen several) tell me to "get over it," but I haven't been able to. I've worked at it, but the more I try to force him out of my mind, the stronger he comes back.

There's a constant aching hole in my heart, and I don't know what else to do. Any advice? -- Loveless Lady

Dear Loveless: Therapy only works if you truly want it to succeed, and you don't. You are hanging onto this burning torch because it's your last connection to Jeff and you don't want to let it go. It's actually a little self-indulgent.

We don't care how many therapists you've seen, if you are still mourning after 10 years, it's time to find another one -- preferably someone who will push you a little harder. Happiness doesn't fall into your lap. You must open your arms and your heart.

Dear Annie: We have a 52-year-old married son. He and his wife didn't acknowledge our 55th wedding anniversary. When I asked him why, he said, "What's the big deal?" That hurt. I know if it were his wife's parents, it would have been a very big deal.

My son no longer contacts us in any way. Last Christmas we sent them a check, which they gave to a charity. We know, because the charity sent us a letter.

We live in the same town, and through the years, the only times they ever call is if they want something. They have never once asked us how we are or if we need anything. My daughter-in-law's parents always come first. They go to her folks' for every occasion. I gave up on holiday meals long ago.


This bothers us to no end. I've talked to my doctor because my blood pressure has been very high lately. We also spoke to our pastor. Both said we should write a letter expressing our feelings. Is this the right thing to do? -- No Respect

Dear No Respect: If you can write the letter without complaining or making accusations, it can be a good way to re-establish communication. The letter should state that you love your son and his family, and you miss them. If you want to add general family news, by all means include it, but don't turn the letter into a diatribe about how unfair or neglectful they are. Keep it simple, and see how it goes.

Dear Annie: I am the author of "Hold Fast the Summer." I wrote it nearly 30 years ago, in September of 1976, and it was first published the following year.

My son now has three teenage daughters who will be heading off to college in a few short years, so it was great to see it in print once again. Thanks. -- Mary W. Abel in Guilford, Connecticut

Dear Mary Abel: We like to give credit where it's due. Your poem is lovely and touching, and we are happy to let our readers know that you are the author.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. 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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