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Person to Person: Parenting skills have huge payoffs

Life Advice / Helping Yourself /

If someone took a poll on what supports good mental health, it’s likely this concept would make the list: “Have two great parents who love you.”

Being loved and feeling lovable will seal your fate. This mental state of knowing what it’s like to be valued carries a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings.

The truth is, however, this love can ...Read more

Body Issues Hinder Summer Activities

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm 30 years old, and I've always been really insecure about my body. During the summer, my friends and I have pool parties and beach days. All of my friends wear bikinis, even though not all of them have perfect bodies. I admire and envy their confidence; I simply don't have it. I am so insecure about my body that I have not put...Read more

Keep Camera On -- But Only If You Can Look Interested

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: During normal times, we refrained from turning our backs on people speaking to us, or from looking elsewhere the entire time. Now, online, I attend speaker events in which the audience is primarily comprised of black boxes with or without their names listed. For the speaker, the lack of facial responses must be difficult, as ...Read more

Past Choices Judged in Present

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I raised my son, who is now 41, as a single mom. I am 75. My son and I have always been very close. Ten years ago, he married a very intelligent woman, and now I have two beautiful grandchildren.

I was getting along well with everyone, but now my life is so depressing because my daughter-in-law hates me. She is angry with me and ...Read more

Ask Amy: Child-averse couple faces kid kryptonite

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I'm a woman in my mid-30s. My husband and I are indecisive about having kids. I’m not much of a “kid person.” He is definitely better with kids than I am.

I got along with school-age and older children well until a few years ago, when relatives on both sides started pressuring us, declaring that we were selfish or missing out on...Read more

Marriage Is Not In The Future For Man With Divorce In His Past

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I'm a single mom. I have a man in my life who I have been with for almost four years. He went through a bad divorce during the time we got together, and anytime I try to mention marriage in the future, he gets upset. I'm unsure what to do or how to respond anymore.

I know my kids aren't his, so he owes us nothing, but I need more ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Sober for Twelve Years

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I always had an exaggerated response to alcohol and could never have just one drink. The first time I ever tried drinking was when I was 14 years old, and I got drunk. I wasn't a heavy drinker right away, though. I would drink on weekends and otherwise led a "normal" life through my teens and 20s.

However, when I was in my early 30s...Read more

Shining Sunlight to Find Hope in Yourself

After responding to a flurry of emails from early risers and adjusting my seat, I also needed to adjust my window curtains. The daily switch from bright morning light to the more productive midmorning sun was complemented by the sounds of heavy machinery reversing in the distance and a stream of cars humming on the main road nearby.

Sound and ...Read more

Nearing Rock Bottom

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Readers: I wish you all an enjoyable Easter and Passover. Here's to a spring season filled with new beginnings and lots of hope, happiness and joy. Thank you so much for the joy you bring me through my column each week.

Dear Annie: My 40-year-old son is an alcoholic. He recently went through a divorce and is currently living with my ...Read more

Ask Amy: New grandmother pushes family’s boundaries

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My husband and I recently welcomed our first child.

On my side of the extended family, our baby son (“Samuel”) is the fifth grandchild, but on my husband's side, he is the first.

I am trying to be sensitive to the excitement and extra attention a first grandchild receives.

My mother-in-law, “Joan," has been to our house for a ...Read more

Trainer Turns Woman's Head, And Husband Starts To Notice

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I have grown really close to Pete, my trainer at the gym I joined two years ago. We are both married. I know it's wrong to feel this way. I love my husband, but I'm not sure I am in love with him anymore.

I think what I feel for Pete may be more than just a physical attraction and connection. Our lives are so parallel. We are both ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: The Family Mistake

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: I am a 12-year-old boy, and I hate my life. I am the youngest of five, but there is a huge age difference. My siblings are aged 29 to 35. My parents are in their mid-50s.

My parents didn't plan me and I'm tired of being constantly told that I am the family "mistake." It's like a big joke to them. People always think I am my parent's...Read more

Sister Belittles In Person, Brags Behind Reader's Back

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR HARRIETTE: Whenever I talk to my sister, we have some kind of an argument. She is older than me, and she just can't help herself. She always finds a way to jab at me and make herself look better. I am so sick of it. But here's the thing -- while she can be rude and mean to me, I have discovered that she brags about me when she talks to ...Read more

Should Daughter Invite Distant Father To Wedding?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter is getting married. Her biological dad and I divorced when she was about 2, and I've been with her stepfather since she was 4. Her biological father was in her life very (VERY) sporadically the first few years, and then he wasn't at all.

He tried to reconnect when she was in her early 20s, but it was awkward for ...Read more

Husband Needs Constant Reassurance

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years. We have been together for almost 20 years and have three beautiful children. The problem is that he has always needed more assurance of love than me -- e.g., he asks, "Do you love me," even though I constantly remind him that I love and appreciate him. It's lately been more ...Read more

Ask Amy: BFF friendship might have run its course

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have had a close friend for 16 years. We worked together, and she and I both went through nasty divorces, which was a bonding experience. We have sons similar in age. We both got lucky and found love again.

However, over the last several years, things have shifted. She is a chronic last-minute canceler, always with a good excuse: ...Read more

Man Talks About His Will But Won't Put It In Writing

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for seven years. We are in our 60s. He refuses to make a will. He tells me what he would put in his will and asks me if I am OK with his wishes.

He has an adult child from his first marriage and would like to include her in the will. I'm fine with what he wants. This conversation has been going on ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Teary-Eyed and Frustrated

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My younger sister and I are young adults currently living with our grandparents to ease the commute to school and work. We spent most of our elementary and middle school years at our grandparents' house after school, over the summer or when we were sick. Our mother works near their house as well, and she stops by every couple of ...Read more

Reader Not Ready For Life To Go Back To Normal

Life Advice / Sense & Sensitivity /

DEAR HARRIETTE: Now that a lot of people are getting vaccinated, I see more people going outside, meeting up in groups and not wearing masks. This frightens me. We are not even close to being fully vaccinated yet. I get that people are tired of being cooped up at home, but I don't think this is smart. Several friends have been calling, trying to...Read more

Formal Lessons Preferable To 'helpful' Interruptions

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How can I help my girlfriend learn to use the correct words during our conversations in English without constantly correcting her?

When I interrupt her to suggest the correct words, it appears to be more frustrating than helpful for her.

GENTLE READER: Much like with autocorrect, alternate suggestions while one is trying to ...Read more