Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Wounded in Love

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: Please help. I may have made a huge mistake, and now I don't know what to do about it.

I am a 40-year-old female, married for one year to "Yancy." I have no children of my own, but my husband has a 14-year-old son from his first marriage. Yancy and I had a whirlwind romance. He totally swept me off my feet. I love him very much. He is kind, considerate and extremely loving, and we have a wonderful marriage. But now I'm not sure I can trust him.

We dated for six months before we married. I recently found out from his ex-wife that he was dishonorably discharged from the service -- and that he's been terminated from nearly every job he's held in the past 13 years for lying or suspicion of theft. Nothing has ever been proven regarding the theft, and frankly, I don't believe he would steal anything.

I told Yancy that even though this all happened before we met, I was uncomfortable that he withheld the information. He replied that he didn't think it was relevant, since it was so long ago. He swore there was nothing else he hadn't told me and promised never to lie to me again.

I am so confused. My first marriage was physically and mentally abusive, so I question my judgment. Did I go from the frying pan into the fire? -- Wounded in Love

Dear Wounded: Maybe. It's possible that Yancy has turned over a new leaf, but unfortunately, his word is no longer good enough. The dishonorable discharge may be old news, but his job history is another story. Since you haven't had any problems in your 18 months together, we vote for giving him the benefit of the doubt, but let him know that one more surprise means counseling, and possibly a lawyer.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Wife of Sad Dad in Colorado," who said her husband wanted to stop giving gifts to the teenage children because they never sent thank-you notes, school pictures or report cards.

The reason the kids don't include Dad is because he has chosen to be elsewhere. Mom is the one who works full time and still manages to go to all the basketball games, school plays and band concerts. It's not Dad who drives miles every day so they aren't late for practice. It's not Dad who keeps their schedules straight, makes lunches, buys school supplies and attends teacher meetings.


If the kids have quit calling, maybe they're tired of hearing about Dad's latest cruise when they're worrying about paying for college. Parents reap what they sow. -- Total Mom in Ohio

Dear Mom: You have a point, but most readers said we gave the impression that the boys didn't have to write thank-you notes. Hardly. We said such things need to be taught or they aren't likely to be done. Here's more:

From Memphis: You said the writer was expecting too much from teenage boys. Wrong to the infinite degree. It IS the mother's fault, and the boys are being raised to be ungrateful. If they are still harboring resentment because of the divorce, they should get counseling. It's even possible they aren't getting the gifts. Maybe Mom is some sort vengeful viper who wants the boys to think Dad is a jerk.

Midwest: I think a little humor would help. Dad should phone his sons on his birthday and announce that he's calling to collect his "Happy Birthday" wish. He might let them know that he then expects them to call him when their birthdays are approaching to remind him to send a gift. No call, no gift. I think you get the drift -- be proactive, let them know in a positive way, and make fun out of it.


"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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