Dear Annie: I used to love the holidays, but now I am dreading them. I have recently been divorced. My very large family is divided from politics. Because of that, my daughter has been excommunicated from the entire family. My daughter is grown and married but does not speak to me, even though I have been a loving, nurturing and caring mother....Read more
Dear Annie: My daughter recently passed from complications of myasthenia gravis. She died unexpectedly one evening after she stopped breathing during an MG crisis. Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, ...Read more
Dear Annie: It seems impossible for me to mend my relationship with my son. He is 38, and I am 68. Back when he was 22, he came out of the closet and told us he was gay. It took me nearly two years to accept that, and two years of hardly talking. Finally, I accepted it -- with a few years of counseling. My son and I got along for a while. But ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife and I feel we are being taken advantage of by our family and friends. I think we have gone over and above with acts of kindness. Some family members don't even talk to us, let alone acknowledge birthdays and holidays. When we went to church recently, the theme of the pastor's homily was that as you give to others, so you ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am having a problem with my mother-in-law and my husband. She is a control freak who wants to control my husband. His sister died a year ago, and his mother told him she wanted to have a memorial dinner at our house. She never spoke to me about it. In fact, she doesn't speak to me at all, due to a prior bad experience.
After she...Read more
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to the letter from "Concerned Care-Daughter," who said she was approaching caregiver burnout. It sounds to me like she is very empathic, and her older sister may have some narcissist traits. Narcissistic traits include being dismissive of other people's points of view and being very controlling.
My mother ...Read more
Dear Annie: I would love to hear your comments on my situation. My husband, "Craig," is an attentive, considerate and truly loving partner. The one quality that causes me to lose sleep is this: He is in his late 70s, yet he enjoys the attention of young women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s. When he and I spend time alone, we get ...Read more
Dear Annie: A close friend's father died suddenly two months ago, and she's been distant ever since. We're relatively young, and this is my first experience having a close friend lose a parent. I'm not sure what to say to her. I hate seeing her in pain. I've tried to tell her that she's strong, but she shrugs it off. What do you say to offer ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife does not work outside the home. We have hired help to take care of the house cleaning and yard work. She cooks sometimes but more often she buys prepared food. She does not do my laundry. She does not pay our bills. There are not many demands on her time.
My wife is a hoarder. With a great deal of effort, I've been able to...Read more
Dear Annie: Our best friend's son just got married in July. We gave them a generous check as a gift at the beginning of June when we saw the son and his fiancee at dinner. We were not going to be attending the wedding later in the month due to a prior engagement.
The thing is, we have never received a thank-you note, text or email. Should we ...Read more
Dear Annie: About 65 years ago, my 20-year-old sister, "Pat," had an affair with a married man that resulted in the birth of my nephew, "Harry." The married man, of course, deserted her. Soon after Harry was born, Pat met a slightly older divorced man named "Sam." Sam married Pat and accepted Harry as his own. They went on to have three ...Read more
Dear Annie: I rarely felt heard by my outgoing husband, who talked for hours with others. We have been married for 54 years.
Several years ago, we attended a business seminar on communication between the sexes. The biggest insight we gained from it is that men and women listen very differently. If a man has his mind on something, he will not ...Read more
Dear Readers: I am printing these two letters together to remind anyone who is in an abusive relationship to leave as soon as possible. Take yourself, your children and pets with you. There are many resources available for you.
Dear Annie: Thank you for telling Depressed and Confused to walk out the door with her pets. My sister didn't, and ...Read more
Dear Readers: A great many of you wrote in expressing concern for Whiskers and her owner. Your letters bring up a number of insightful points about the correlation between animal abuse and spousal and child abuse. All of you warned that Tom's behavior should serve as a red flag that he could end up abusing his wife or their future children.
Dear Annie: My group of girlfriends is planning our annual ski trip for February. We all stay at a resort. There are six of us that go every year. Last year, my cousin, "Sasha" (who is part of this crew of girlfriends), invited her friend "Rachel." Rachel just did not mesh with the rest of the group. It felt stilted and awkward the whole time....Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I went to dinner with his sister and her husband, who live in another state. We are all in our 70s. We have never been "family" close. We have children and grandchildren; they do not. We have pets; they do not. We run in different social circles. They are wealthy; we are comfortable.
While at dinner having casual ...Read more
Dear Annie: I always enjoy sharing my baked goods and also my soups with my neighbors. Some will return the favor by making items for me. I never expect them to reciprocate, though I know I always try to reciprocate when people do things for me.
I'm writing to you because now someone is giving me presents that I really don't want. I am always...Read more
Dear Annie: Both my wife and I are in our 80s, and we like to take walks together. Recently, we've noticed a safety issue that concerns us. As young children, we were always taught to walk facing traffic (i.e., the left side of the road). Older people, like us, seem to have learned this lesson well. But somewhere along the line, this simple ...Read more
Dear Annie: I was the one who set off a whole flurry of responses because I wrote that I hated being old, hated the wrinkles and hated the condescension and obligatory solicitousness that people showed to old people just because they were old. I said I hated looking old because I think some people react to one's aged appearance as others react...Read more
Dear Annie: I'd like to hear from people who were children of a mother with Contamination OCD. My daughter's therapist determined it is a pretty severe case, but my daughter refuses to go to the recommended hospital program. Instead, she sees the therapist once a week, which is basically a whack-a-mole approach. One issue gets better and ...Read more