Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Distraught Wife

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: Please help me. My husband, whom I love very much, is addicted to pain pills. It's been more than a year. He says he takes them to maintain his energy levels for his long 12-hour days, but, Annie, he still takes the pills on his days off. When he tries to stop, he goes through withdrawal symptoms.

Not only am I concerned for his health, but it's putting stress on our budget. He spends at least $100 a week on these pills. I've tried everything I can think of to get him to stop, but nothing works. Rehab is not an option because we don't have the money and insurance won't cover it.

I love my husband very much, but this is affecting our marriage, and he's ignoring it. -- Distraught Wife

Dear Distraught: Your husband isn't trying to wreck his marriage. He is an addict, and addicts do whatever is necessary to support their habit. He will need to gradually taper off the medication until he no longer suffers withdrawal symptoms.

We assume your husband has some kind of prescription for these pills that needs to be refilled regularly. Call and alert your husband's doctor (and possibly local pharmacies) that he is abusing the pills. And please contact Families Anonymous ( at 1-800-736-9805 and Nar-Anon ( at 1-800-477-6291 for assistance and support.

Dear Annie: I have two questions concerning proper etiquette. When wedding invitations are sent out, isn't it proper for there to be postage affixed to the reply envelope? Also, I attended a wedding reception in December and didn't receive a thank-you note until June. What is the proper timeframe for sending thank-you notes out after a wedding? -- Curious in Florida

Dear Curious: Thank-you notes should be written as soon as possible, and preferably within three months. However, many readers would be grateful to receive one altogether, no matter how late.

As for stamps, please understand that back in the Stone Age, invitations were hand-delivered without response cards of any kind. Guests were expected to supply their own stationery for replies. However, since few people have personal stationery these days and invitations are rarely hand-delivered, hosts have included response cards, usually stamped, in order to facilitate a timely RSVP from guests who otherwise aren't always courteous enough to reply. Do they have to? No. But it certainly makes it more likely that they will get a response.


Dear Annie: This is in response to "I Am So Sad," whose husband is a bully. Please tell her that there is life beyond her horrible marriage.

I lived with a bully for 23 years. In order to preserve my sanity, I filed for divorce. I had to walk away from everything: family, friends, church and home. I had been active in my church, but when my ex claimed he "found God," he became buddies with our priest. He told everyone I had lost my mind and convinced friends, family members and even my boss to beg me to take him back.

In my tiny apartment with little to my name, I realized for the first time in years that I could breathe without worrying how he would berate me when he walked in the door. No one deserves to be treated like that. It's hard to find the strength to walk out, but I don't know any woman who doesn't feel better off after leaving an emotionally abusive situation. "Sad" will find another church community that will embrace her. She'll realize who her real friends are. She'll still be a good person.

I've been divorced for seven years and have since gone to school and earned both my bachelor's and master's degrees. I've made new friends and enjoy my children and grandchildren. I've even dated some interesting men. I wish "Sad" luck and the courage to get through this difficult time. -- Free To Be Me


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. 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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