Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Going in Circles in the Circle City

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am 54, and my girlfriend is 40. We've dated on and off for seven years. I love her, and I believe she loves me.

The problem is, she is incredibly jealous and honestly believes every woman is attracted to me. Even if that were true, I don't want "every" woman. My girlfriend is plenty of woman, and I want only her. But the jealousy drives me crazy. I can't go anywhere or do anything without her thinking another woman is involved.

Furthermore, she's certain that I'm hot for my ex-wife. Annie, my ex-wife and I are great friends, but not to the point of reconciling. When my girlfriend has one of these jealous fits, she's snide, snippy and just plain evil. We're lucky if we can have three straight days of bliss.

Somehow she believes getting married will make things better. I think marriage would be a huge mistake considering our track record. We seem to be tearing our relationship to pieces. Please help. -- Going in Circles in the Circle City

Dear Circle: Is your girlfriend willing to get therapy and work on her out-of-control jealousy and insecurity? If not, you will continue to have conflict, whether married or not. Relationships require trust and mutual respect, and yours doesn't have either. We aren't sure what you find so lovable about someone who becomes snide, snippy and evil every three days. Only you can decide whether she's worth the effort.

Dear Annie: Several years ago, my brother and his wife moved several states away. When they visit, they stay with us because we have plenty of space. They always offer to pay for groceries and help with meals, so it's a pleasure to have them.

Their three children are now young adults. I am willing to accommodate them because it makes my parents happy. But these kids are not nearly as gracious as their parents. They seem to think I run a hotel and will provide three meals a day.

The last visit, my nephew came with his 7-year-old son. When the boy wanted a snack, I told him to ask his father to fix him something. He replied, "Daddy is taking a nap and told me you would have food." When I suggested to my nephew that he go to the store and get something, he simply said "no."

Last month, my brother came with his other son and daughter-in-law. After several exhausting days, I suggested we all chip in for a pizza. When it arrived, my brother paid me, but my nephew just took his share and walked into the living room.


Now my niece and her husband are coming for a week's visit. She said she'd be happy to cook a meal. Annie, there will be 21 meals. I know I'm being taken advantage of, but I don't want to cause hurt feelings. -- Auntie's Bed and Breakfast

Dear Auntie: You need to set some house rules. Stop preparing three meals a day. Have cereal, yogurt and other food available, and tell them to help themselves. Suggest they go out for dinner -- without you. If you stop being their cook, they will find other ways to eat. You also could tell your brother that his children need to be better guests or they won't be welcome anywhere.

Dear Annie: Thank you for your response to "Clueless on Cancer Etiquette." I hope all my concerned friends read it.

My wife and I discuss what will eventually happen, and she lovingly helps me through those times when my mood shifts during the chemo treatments. For two years, I have learned what women go through with hot flashes. They are horrible.

I am developing my "bucket list," but still trying to defy the odds. I am a youthful 81-year-old with many friends -- and you are now one of them. Thanks for your thoughtfulness. -- A Traveler on the Final Journey


"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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