Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Maverick's Wife

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I'm a 38-year-old single mom of three young children. Several years ago, I found out my husband was into gambling and had borrowed money from loan sharks. I managed to get these men off our backs, and my husband promised that he would never do it again. I believed him.

Two years later, he was gambling again, and again I helped him out. Three years after that, well, you know what happened. This time, I picked up my stuff and my children and moved to an apartment. He begged me to give him another try, but I refused, telling him he loved gambling more than me.

He went to counseling and says he's cured, but I don't believe it. I miss him terribly and try to convince myself to give him another chance, but then I remember all the lies, and I just don't trust him.

Lots of people tell me to go to counseling with him, but I don't see how that can put the trust back into my heart. As much as I love him, I think trust overrules love. So, Annie, should I give him another chance? -- Maverick's Wife

Dear Wife: Your husband is addicted to gambling, and although he may truly intend to quit, it is difficult to overcome any addiction without ongoing support. You need to understand the nature of his problem before you make any decisions about your future together. Please contact Gam-Anon (, P.O. Box 157, Whitestone, N.Y. 11357.

Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our early 30s and, through our own resources and perseverance, are mortgage-free owners of a beautiful small farm.

A few years ago, we became friends with our neighbors, "Russ and Darlene," who are at least 30 years our senior. In the beginning, it was a close friendship, but about a year ago, Russ began slipping into a paternal role. He offered unsolicited advice and would check to see if we'd followed it. Some of the advice was good, and some wasn't. At first, I shrugged it off, but it began to dominate our interactions and became more difficult to take.

Recently, Russ literally barked orders at me. That was the last straw. I told him I appreciated his suggestions, but the way he treated me was disrespectful and hurt my feelings. He hasn't said anything about it since, and I've found myself avoiding them.


How can I bring the friendship back to where it was without creating an uncomfortable confrontation? -- Missing the Good Ole Days

Dear Missing: To Russ, you are like a son who needs guidance, and he felt entitled to tell you what to do. When you told him otherwise, he was probably embarrassed. The way to get things back to normal is to have a little amnesia. Stop avoiding your neighbors. Say hello when you see them, as you used to. Invite them over. It will be awkward at first, but things will get better over time. Really.

Dear Annie: The Christmas season is upon us, and once again, I dread the daily trek to the mailbox to retrieve holiday cards. This year, my same-sex partner, "David," and I will celebrate 10 years together. Yet a number of close relatives and friends continue to send cards addressed to me alone.

Annie, would it kill these people to scribble David's name on the envelope? It is no exaggeration to say that many gay Americans would weep with happiness upon receiving a card or gift that includes their loved one. -- Part of a Couple

Dear Couple: We're hoping these people are simply unsure as opposed to rude. Please, folks, if you are sending a card or gift to someone who is living with another person, gay or straight, include that person's name. It will be appreciated.


"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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