Dear Annie: This letter is addressed to all those who think back on a first love and believe their feelings are undiminished.
I did that and had the ability to discreetly check back on that love. I found that he had told his wife he was glad he married her because he never could have married an independent woman, which is what I am. I also found out that he had spent the last several years of his life in a facility as an Alzheimer's patient.
There's a country song with the lyrics "thank God for unanswered prayers." I certainly did. Sometimes, the past shouldn't become the present. -- I'm Thankful
Dear Thankful: Yes, living in the past or fantasizing about what might have been with a love from our youth seems to be a part of human nature, but it can be a dangerous part if taken to extremes. As you discovered, you were right to let it go.
Dear Annie: I've never written to an advice column, but I read them often. I am writing now because one letter spoke to me so loudly. It was from the woman whose husband was not listening when she talked to him.
My husband and I are under 40, and this has been my problem. There is no physical hearing loss issue with him, but my husband is finally exploring getting tested for attention deficit disorder. He doesn't listen to me, and I have to repeat things constantly. Sometimes, he repeats exactly what I just said as if it were a brand-new thought.
He says "OK" and "mm hmm" as if he is listening, but I know that his entire brain just wandered away.
It only happens when he's talking with me, and not at work or with friends. There have been many fights. It is a constant topic at therapy as it reaches the point where it feels like gaslighting, when he claims I'm lying about having said something three times already.
I hope your reader will consider seeing a therapist to convey how this makes her feel. She may be at an age where she doesn't want to explore the ADD side, but guided therapy can help. -- Selective Hearing
Dear Selective: ADD can certainly be a cause of a person not being able to focus on what the other is saying. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Dear Annie: The letter from "Ready to Die" has me in tears. As a mom of a bipolar child, I just want to give him/her a hug, some soup and a good lawyer. Is there a way we readers can help them? -- Want to Help
Dear Want to Help: Your letter alone will do something to help all of those who are suffering know that they are not alone.
Continue helping your son or daughter, and maybe start a group for moms of children with bipolar disorder and reach out to others suffering in similar situations.
Dear Readers: As the holidays are here and approaching, let's all be kinder to each other and take better care of one another. With the pandemic, it has been a very difficult almost two years for lots of people. Smile more; be more generous with your love and forgiveness.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.