Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Losing Hope

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I don't know how much longer I can handle my daughter and her family living in our home. Five years ago, they came here intending to stay "a few months."

My husband is ill, and he is extremely uncomfortable having no privacy and being limited to our bedroom for days at a time. I try to be kind, but I am still grieving the loss of my son to cancer. My son-in-law doesn't even pretend to make an effort to find a place anymore. And he does not help us around the house or contribute to the bills.

How do I get them out without hurting my daughter and granddaughter? I don't want to lie to them, but I'm beginning to despise my son-in-law. -- Losing Hope

Dear Losing: In order to have your house to yourself, you will need to find the strength to put a time limit on the freeloading. If your son-in-law or daughter is working, they should be paying rent, if not in their own place, then in yours. Tell them you think it would be healthier for all concerned if they found a place of their own, and you will give them three months to move out. Offer to help them search. Offer to help them pack. Offer to take care of your granddaughter. But be firm about the deadline. Let them know that if they don't find a place within three months, you will start charging them rent -- and make it enough so that moving out is an attractive option. Be nice about it, but don't back down.

Dear Annie: My husband has a frequent customer card for a local restaurant. Over time, he accumulated a credit of $40. We recently went to this restaurant with another couple. When the bill arrived, my husband took out his card and told the other couple they owed half of the bill, including the tip, and that he would apply his $40 credit to the remainder.

I was uncomfortable with this. I felt he should have saved his credit for a time when we were dining alone. What do you think? -- Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed: If the other couple were close friends or family members, they may not have cared about this. However, a less familiar set of friends might have found it a bit gauche for your husband to flaunt that his bill was going to be $40 less than theirs. So, yes, we agree it would have been better to use the credit when you were alone, unless he intended to use it to treat his friends to part of their meal.


Dear Annie: "Feeling the Void" says women don't understand how sex makes a man feel loved and that men feel incomplete without it. Well, knowing I cannot make love to my husband is pretty devastating, too.

The aging process has meant that sex is no longer pleasurable. Instead, it is horribly painful. Lubricants do not work. Taking hormones brings back cramps and menstruation. I was willing to try, but hormones also brought back my uterine fibroids, and I'd rather not have a hysterectomy if I don't have to. And my husband would have his own problems if not for that little blue pill.

Why can't we just grow old? If all we did was dwell on our sex life, we would be constantly upset. My husband and I understand this. We hug and kiss and appreciate each other. There is no void when you love deeply and can accept the changes that growing old together brings. I am so blessed to be with a man who gets that. -- Still Feeling Completely Loved


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2018. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




David Horsey Dick Wright Heathcliff Mike Smith Bizarro The Other Coast