Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Just Plain Lonely

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I married "Henry" five years ago. It was my second marriage and his third. Henry thinks he is easy to get along with, but I find it difficult to communicate with him. If he doesn't like what you say, you are wrong.

Last year, Henry had an affair, and we went for counseling. He claims I forced him into the affair because I didn't give him enough affection. However, one night he casually mentioned that he also had cheated on his second wife. Even after months of counseling, he didn't change his thinking. He stopped seeing the counselor because he would simply sit there and comment about how I won't change. I've told him it takes two, but Henry thinks he's fine as is.

Henry has some erectile dysfunction issues for which he takes medication, and I continue to see the counselor for my own issues. I do love my husband, but find it difficult to trust him, especially since he still considers the Other Woman a friend. I want to have a normal marriage, but I cannot get him to bend just a little more to be a real participant. Do you have any advice for me? -- Just Plain Lonely

Dear Lonely: Even someone you love isn't necessarily marriage material. A man who cannot be faithful, who insists that he is always right and who refuses to take the necessary steps to work on a relationship is not a good bet for a lasting future. Henry has made it clear that he is not going to change. You must decide if you can live with him the way he is or if you are better off without him. We're glad you are still seeing your counselor. This is one of the issues you can discuss.

Dear Annie: My older sister devotes Sundays to father-daughter time. She phones Dad to let him know what the plans are, but my father never passes the word to me, and neither does my sister. According to her, it's "understood" that I'm invited, but I don't feel comfortable inviting myself.

One time when I decided to join them, I went to the restroom, and they left without me. My sister claimed it was "miscommunication" and thought I wasn't planning to come.

We've been to several wine festivals together and have had a great time, so I was surprised when one came up and they went without mentioning it to me. I was hurt and angry. Finding a picture on Facebook of my father, sister and brother-in-law having a great time there was a slap in the face.

My sister thinks it's ridiculous that I insist on an invitation. Other people tell me I'm loads of fun to be around. Am I wrong to want a "hey, let's go," or should I just tag along regardless? -- Left-Out Sister


Dear Left Out: You are family. You are allowed to tag along on family outings without an engraved invitation, especially when your sister has already made it clear that you are welcome to do so. Please don't let your sibling issues spoil these special times with your father. If you wish to attend, make your intentions clear, and then be the "loads of fun" gal you are and have a good time.

Dear Annie: "Twin in Texas" said her brother in New York is raising two grandsons. He not only shows extreme favoritism toward one of them, but the unfavored child sleeps in a "windowless storage room."

As a licensed architect, I can tell you it is illegal to use this storage room as a bedroom for two reasons: First, a bedroom needs two means of egress in case of fire. The second reason is that the code requires a window for light and ventilation with specific requirements on the size for each purpose. -- W. from Indiana

Dear W.: Our thanks to all the architects and contractors who wrote. We are sure many readers learned something today. We did.


"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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