Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Loving and Hardheaded in Wyoming

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My girlfriend and I are both 34 and have been dating for three years. "Sheri" does not work and rarely gets up before one in the afternoon. She lives in a house that her family owns and receives child support from her ex-husband. She also has me to pay her bills. I am totally devoted to Sheri and love her son as my own.

The problem is for the past three years, I have been taken advantage of. My family and friends are sick of talking to me about Sheri. They think I am crazy for wanting to be with a woman who steps on me. Every time she hurts me, I swear I'll never go back, but I always do. It's like an addiction.

For example, several months ago, my grandfather died suddenly. Sheri refused to attend the funeral, and while I was at the service, she used my credit card to order $5,000 worth of clothes online. I forgave her. She said she wanted to get married, so I bought our wedding rings. The day after booking the hall, Sheri picked a fight.

Now I find myself on the bottom of the roller coaster again, wondering why I want to be with someone who hurts me so much. What is wrong with me? -- Loving and Hardheaded in Wyoming

Dear Hardheaded: You already know -- you like being needed, you can't admit you made a mistake, and underneath it all, you don't think you deserve better. You are enabling Sheri's manipulative behavior. You want to be her knight in shining armor. She sees you as an easy mark. Consider counseling to learn why you think so little of yourself and how to form healthier relationships. Good luck.

Dear Annie: I have been friends with "Lindsey" for 30 years. She has seven children, and I have been invited to all of their weddings and showers, and have sent gifts whether I've attended or not.

My son recently married, and Lindsey attended the wedding but did not bring a gift. She also didn't give a shower gift. I know it's not the money. She can afford a nice present. Should I ask her about it? -- Confused Neighbor

Dear Confused: No. It's still possible that Lindsey will send a wedding gift, but even if her behavior is ungenerous, you are not entitled to demand a gift or an explanation. A guest gives a wedding present because she wishes the couple well. We hope Lindsey will come through.


Dear Annie: I read the letter from "No Name, No State," the 14-year-old girl with the alcoholic mother. My divorced mother started drinking when I was 10. I grew up wondering if I would find her dead when I got home from school, and worrying what she might do to embarrass me in front of my friends (walking around naked in a drunken stupor was one of those things). I am so grateful for one of my mother's friends (a psychiatric nurse) who let me cry on her shoulder.

After 25 years of watching Mom drink, my siblings and I tried an intervention. Although she knew it meant she could no longer see her grandchildren, Mom refused help. One day, a few weeks after starting an antidepressant, she stopped drinking and never had another. I am grateful for the three sober years we had before she died.

I would like to encourage that girl to heed your advice and seek support, and also have Dad talk to Mom's physician. Lastly, I hope all adults will be kind and supportive to the children of known alcoholics. Their presence in a confused child's life could make a world of difference. -- R.A.S. in Tallahassee, Fla.

Dear R.A.S.: We hope our readers will look out for these children, and also consider the possibility that depression may be the underlying problem. Thank you for your compassionate advice.


"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




Humor Me Kevin Siers Gary McCoy Between Friends Andy Marlette Dogs of C-Kennel