creators home lifestyle web
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar


Obnoxious Neighbor Dear Annie: My husband and I are friends with another couple in our neighborhood. The majority of the time, we get along well. We have even traveled together. The problem is, "Susie" is very loud and an extremely poor conversationalist. She …Read more. Opposites No Longer Attract Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 24 years, and it feels like we are roommates with kids. We are opposites and always have been, but it seems as if we have fallen out of sync completely. He has never been outgoing, whereas I am a …Read more. Fliratous Friend Rattles Husband Dear Annie: My wife and I recently married after having been together for 15 years. It is a second marriage for both of us. Six years ago, I discovered that she had contacted an old friend from high school through Facebook. She initially didn't …Read more. Profligate Parents Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our late 50s and have been married for 26 years. I have had the privilege of not needing to hold an outside job since I married, allowing me to be a stay-at-home mom and raise our kids, who are now grown and out …Read more.
more articles

Didn't Marry Mom and Dad


Dear Annie: My wife, "Kate," and I are in our early 40s and have been married for 15 years. We have two children.

Kate has a deeply troubling emotional dependence on her parents that shows no sign of changing. They wanted to come with us on our honeymoon, which I initially thought was a joke. It wasn't. I flatly refused, and Kate became angry.

Early in the marriage, I overlooked a lot of this overcloseness, because I thought she would eventually grow out of it when she became a wife and mother. But it hasn't happened. Kate calls her parents every day and discusses all of our personal issues with them. She has let me know that they come before the rest of us and always will.

We've tried counseling several times, but she cannot or will not change and it leaves me frustrated. The only reason I'm still in this marriage is because of my kids. I'm ready to find a girlfriend. What should I do? — Stuck in San Francisco

Dear Stuck: Finding a girlfriend will not ease the problem with your wife, so let's not do that. When someone marries, the spouse should always come before the parents, even though some parents don't like that and may, in fact, encourage the grown child to put them first. This is unfair to the child, keeping them infantilized and dependent. Kate wasn't mature enough to get married, but you expected her to change anyway.

The fact that Kate phones her parents daily is not a big deal. But discussing personal marital issues with them allows them to be a bigger part of your marriage than they should be, and Kate refuses to change that.

You need to determine which aspects of this are worth being upset about, and which are unimportant to the basic well-being of your children and your marriage. Please get counseling, with or without Kate, so you can work on this.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Need Some Relief," the couple in their 70s who were tired of hosting all the holiday dinners.

When my mother got sick, my sisters chose to host the big twice-a-year family dinners. When Mom recovered, she still didn't feel up to cooking for an army of children and grandchildren, so we did a potluck-style dinner. The sisters who keep kosher were in charge of cooking the turkey and other major dishes. My brother and I (who don't keep kosher) brought raw ingredients and cooked at Mom's. Of course, we all cleaned up after.

We estimated the cost of all the ingredients and divided it equally. (Middle children are very stuck on "fair.") Mom provided the location, plates, cups, etc. Mom said the only downside was that she didn't have leftovers for the rest of the week. — Huntington, Massachusetts

Dear Huntington: Thank you for pointing out how well things can turn out when everyone pitches in and no one expects Mom (or anyone else) to do all the heavy lifting. You found a way to make it work.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



42 Comments | Post Comment
LW1: "I'm ready to find a girlfriend." Way to problem solve! You're stuck in one bad relationship, and the best thing you can think of is to add another? It's "for the kids," right? All you'll achieve is revenge, which is a way of rehashing the past. Move forward. Plenty of couples divorce while their kids are still young, and if you handle it correctly it needn't be earth-shattering for them.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Baldrz
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:26 PM
LW2: Why not let Mom keep the leftovers?
Comment: #2
Posted by: Baldrz
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:27 PM
LW1: You knew at the beginning that this woman had such a dependence on her parents that they wanted to come on your honeymoon, and yet you stayed with her and had two children with her. It's too late to undo all of that, but come on! Why are you complaining now? Here's a life lesson. Don't have children with someone you already know is going to drive you to madness.
Comment: #3
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:36 PM
LW1: Your mistake was in believing Kate would change when she became a wife and mother. We made this mistake when it came to our DIL. Instead, the DIL became even more entrenched in her position. As it is, you should have dumped Kate after she got so angry after you rightly refused to include her parents on your honeymoon. It's too late now that the kids are here, but at least it seems that you have carved out some independence for yourself. You don't mention how relations are between you and your in-laws, so I can only assume that you manage not to take any crap from them.

If Kate is that attached to Mommy and Daddy, along with counseling, I suggest you find things for you to do with the kids without Kate. She won't like it, but they're your kids too. You can still do things with Kate and your in-laws as long as you remain in control. Unfortunately, you'll have to put up with this until the kids leave for college or your in-laws pass on.Like the Annies, I don't recommend a girlfriend unless you're willing to give up access to the kids.
Comment: #4
Posted by: JustWinBaby
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:36 PM
@ Baldrz -- Maybe there WERE no leftovers.

LW said the family consists of "an army of children [at least four] and grandchildren," and the children may have decided to cook just enough for the dinner alone. No doubt when Grandma was preparing the dinner, there was enough food for a week; she IS, after all, a Jewish mother. That could explain why she's too tired to keep doing all that work.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Kimiko
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:44 PM
LW1: I've got to say, I've never been married so obviously I'm no expert, but I find it interesting how many people think "well, there's alot of things I really don't like about my significant other, but if we just get married, then s/he will become the image of what a wife/husband should be."
Comment: #6
Posted by: Steve C
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:44 PM
Since LW1 signs himself "Stuck in San Francisco," I wonder if Kate is Chinese. Chinese parents and children are very close. Not that it helps to say "I told you so," but if Stuck noticed their closeness before the wedding--and he must have--he should have cleared the air with Kate at that time.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kimiko
Mon Oct 5, 2015 9:56 PM
LW1, you sound like a cousin of mine. After a few years of flailing around in a terrible marriage, he had an affair. The details were different, but similar in that he realized his wife was absolutely stuck in a behavior that made it impossible to live with her, and would never change. (In her case, it was a religious cult she had joined a few years into their marriage, which she refused to ever leave.)

So he went out looking for another woman to be with. It was a bit of a scandal in the family. But you know what? It all worked out. The affair led to a blow up. He divorced his wife. He remarried, and is much happier now. She didn't, but, well, she's got her cult, just like your wife has her obsessively "close" relationship with her parents.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend having an affair or getting divorced as your first move, but if you're terribly unhappy in your marriage, and have realized, after years of thinking otherwise that your is mentally stuck and will never change or really be a normal wife, ending your marriage one way or another may be the wisest course of action. Don't buy the nonsense that staying in a horrible marriage with someone you have nothing but disdain for, is modeling something healthy for your children. It isn't. They may be better off once you and your wife both drop the facade.
Comment: #8
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Oct 5, 2015 10:03 PM
LW1: yeah, normally it's women who go for marrying a "fixer-upper". You are the exception that proves the rule.
Comment: #9
Posted by: dave654
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:11 AM
LW 1 - Kate will never change because she is totally fine with always putting her parents first. She does not see a problem with this and neither do her parents. I suggest you try marriage counseling one more time. Things for you and Kate to discuss. Kate really needs to stop telling her parents your personal issues. She should be talking to you and the marriage counselor about personal issues. Next you need to find out what Kate is planning to do when her parents can no longer care for themselves. Will she move back in with them? Does she expect them to move in with you? What happens when one of them dies? What happens when both if them are gone? How will Kate handle this? Is Kate grooming your children to only care about her and will she demand she always come first? I have a feeling she will laser lock onto them and expect the exact kind of emotional dependency her parents trained her to give them. Either your children will end up emotionally stunted like Kate, or they will cut her out of their lives in order to get away from her. I can see their future therapy bills now. If you see the future will not change and will only get worse, call an attorney. Protect your kids. Don't let Kate have primary custody. Your kids need to live with you and she gets visitation. Your kids will also need a counselor to help you when Kate tries to make them emotional dependent on her.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Lori C
Tue Oct 6, 2015 1:37 AM
LW 2 - Why aren't you sharing the leftovers with Mom?
Comment: #11
Posted by: Lori C
Tue Oct 6, 2015 1:42 AM
LW1 - Did the Annies even read this letter? He stated they tried counseling several times and she refuses to change so they tell him to go to counseling to work on this. Been there and done that! More counseling will not work.

I feel for you. I was married to a man who was a total Mommy's boy. He also spent hours a day on the phone with his mother, telling her all about our personal lives and personal problems. When there was an issue, he didn't discuss it with me, he discussed it with Mommy. He never flat out told me his mother came first in his life but his actions said it loud and clear. His mother didn't want to come with us on our honeymoon however, he didn't want to go on a honeymoon because that meant he would have to be more than a few miles away from his Mommy. He wound up going with me only because I said I was going on a honeymoon, with or without him (I know, I was dumb. I should saw the signs but I was young - early 20's - and inexperienced)

Here's the deal - getting a girlfriend will not solve your problems. It will add to them. You said you're staying for the kids. Your kids won't be the first children whose parents have divorced, nor will they be the last. Your wife has it made it clear to you that you and your children are below her parents and always will be. And what kind of mother refers to her own children as "the rest of you?" Please see a lawyer and talk about your options and get the ball rolling. Nothing will change with her. And since she's not all that interested in the kids, you may get them full-time, which would probably be better for them. Good luck.

When Katie's parents die, it wouldn't surprise me if she winds up cutting the rest of the world off and living in a depressed hole.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Oct 6, 2015 2:49 AM
LW1: Indeed, LW, you should have seen the warning signs far earlier, and never assumed you could change such a seemingly entrenched part of this woman's personality.

Do not get a girlfriend at this point. You need to resolve your marriage issues first. Most likely by ending it. You are doing your children no favors at all by staying in a marriage that is driving you crazy.

Do go to a counselor -- alone. Do stop telling your wife personal things that she will share with her parents. Do tell her that you do not see a future for this marriage. Get a lawyer. Move into a guest bedroom or a den if you have it. Continue to be a father to your children. Do whatever the lawyer suggests to protect your custody rights to your children. I like JustWinBaby's suggestion of you doing things with the kids without her -- heck, tell her to go visit her parents while you do so, maybe she'd like that.

But do not stay in this relationship. It's not even really a marriage if she puts her parents first instead of you, and you need to realize this. Counselors can help you make the transition easier on your children, but do not sacrifice the next 15 years or so of your life in this way -- it's pretty obviously not worth it. Realize that you AND your children deserve better than the status quo.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Oct 6, 2015 5:02 AM
LW1. Time to "get on the phone" and have a big conversation in her presence (for real or pretend) about all the things that Kate talks about to her parents but from your point of view. Do this till it drives her crazy. Be as indiscreet as she is and see how she likes that. If it doesn't do her any good it might be therapeutic for you.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Somebody's mom
Tue Oct 6, 2015 5:02 AM
LW1: Unless there's things that aren't being said -- I admit it did pass through my mind at first -- I'll agree with the majority: This isn't a marriage at this point, and it's time to realize the cold, hard truth. Sorry.

LW2: Sounds like a good solution to the issue at hand. Again, as parents -- those in families who traditionally host these get-togethers for the holidays -- age, planning, hosting, cooking, etc., will naturally be passed down to the younger generation, and so on. And from all indications, this was well-planned out.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Oct 6, 2015 5:59 AM
LW1: I've been through the exact same thing. If you can satisfactorily co-parent your kids after a split in a joint-custody arrangement, by all means talk with an attorney. Your wife will never change, and frankly, her emotional dependence will become more aggravated as her parents age. I waited until our kids were both away in college before telling my ex that she was free to go back home to mommy and daddy. She was a blur getting out, and now she's back with her parents, living in her old room. Your wife's behavior demonstrates that she has no emotional commitment to your marriage or your kids, and that she has always been disengaged. Kids are hardy little creatures and can adjust better than we might think. Please take your life back from this deeply disturbed woman. Good luck.
Comment: #16
Posted by: VAC
Tue Oct 6, 2015 6:18 AM
Wow! If LW1 hadn't put a location, I'd swear I know him. A guy I know, his wife is the exact same way. Her parents wanted to go on their honeymoon, too. I've felt kinda sorry for this guy for years. LW1, you can't change her so you either have to deal with it or stop using the kids as an excuse to be unhappy and divorce her.
Comment: #17
Posted by: SassyPants
Tue Oct 6, 2015 6:45 AM
As usual, the best advice is BTL. The Annies phoned this one in again. Don't dont dont get a girlfriend and risk becoming the bad guy - you are locked in a power struggle with her parents and you dont want to give them ammunition to get your children into their house and away from you. Start spending lots of alone time with your children so that they know you and don't get manipulated into thinking you are the evil enemy, and if you can, wait until they are old enough to have a part in decisions about their future.. Stick it out as long as you can and make sure your finances are in order - talk to a lawyer and a financial planner to maximize your chances of gaining joint custody and a fair division of property. Do go to solo counseling to vent and keep from doing anything contrary to your own interests.
Comment: #18
Posted by: applesauce
Tue Oct 6, 2015 7:03 AM
L1: As a grown child of a mother like that, I really wish my dad had done more to counterbalance her. He had his flaws, don't get me wrong, and my mother never went so far as to say HER mother came first, but I remember even as a little kid when my mother would take me to my grandmother's house and verbally bash my dad. My mother would be crying at the kitchen table, and my grandmother would sip her coffee and make useless remarks, usually along the lines of "You shouldn't have married a Catholic," instead of telling her to discuss it with my dad. Many of the problems stemmed from Dad not treating Mom like a baby princess like she was used to. Others came from marrying too young. My grandmother disapproved of the marriage and let it be known nearly every day until my mother filed for divorce.
There were mistakes all around, but for me, it was such a relief when my parents finally split up. Even though I had to work harder, it was worth it not to hear them fight on a daily basis.
This is what I will caution you, LW, and I hope you read this. DO NOT LET YOUR WIFE AND IN-LAWS DRIVE YOU AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS. When you leave, they will probably do anything, say anything to keep you from those kids. Don't let them. Wait to find a girlfriend, lots of time for that later. My dad stuck it out for 6 years, then he left because he couldn't take it anymore, even if it meant leaving us kids behind, and moved 1,000 miles away. My siblings hate him and refuse to speak to him. I talk to him on the phone, but I haven't seen him since he left 20 years ago; he never came back or even tried to keep in touch with us, nothing. To this day, my mother and grandmother have an odd codependent relationship, even though my mother is about to be 60 years old.
Here's my point. It's never going to get any better. Find an attorney, cushion the kids as best as you can, and file for divorce. Prepare to fight for everything. Do not let them keep the kids from you or trash talk you in front of them. You can do this. Good luck.
Comment: #19
Posted by: shout it out
Tue Oct 6, 2015 7:13 AM
LW1 -

I'm not going to rag on you for thinking Kate would change. I am sure it wasn't such a prominent issue then. And it doesn't matter now anyway. You aren't happy and I bet she isn't, either. Don't have an affair - it'll stress you out and your kids may hate you when they find out, and it will make divorce a lot more difficult on you. I do think you should get a divorce, but do it now, before things further devolve. Staying for the kids isn't a good idea - everyone will be miserable and stressed for years. You've only got one life. Might as well have one really rough divorce year, but then you can get on with your life and enjoyment after that.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 7:23 AM
Re: Steve C / LouisaFinnell

Ask Michelle about it. I suspect she'll tell you that perspectives change, things get worse, hindsight is 20/20 etc.

The thing is... most everyone has "things" about them that annoys their partners. In most cases, it's harmless or doesn't get worse, or they know it's annoying so they make efforts to not do it. That doesn't mean your partner has to put up with your garbage forever - or that it's their fault - because you can't grow as a person over time or make basic efforts to curb annoying / harmful behaviour.

In some cases, yes, it's obvious (like if your partner cheated with you and then they cheat ON you... duh) but in other cases, there is a reasonable expectation that they will "grow out of it", like I fully expect a 25 year old single woman (who perhaps lives at home or did recently) to be closer to her parents than a 40 year old married mother.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 7:32 AM
LW1 -
Is THAT your solution to the problem, get yourself some nookie on the side? How exactly do you feel this is gonna fix anything?

When your wife finds out, she'll run sobbing straight to mama and papa and you'll be the big, bad Blue Meanie, and they'll gang up to either kick your sorry popo out and make sure you never see your children again, or they'll make your life a living hell. Brilliant result.

And staying in a sham marriage for the sake of the kids, thus showing them this is what marriage is supposed to be, and with a father who unwinds his poor frayed nerves with a little motel room exercise? Oh yeah, what a great idea.

Your wife was papa and mama's wittle girl before you married her. You knew that, but you thought she would magically "change". God, and I thought it was only women who entertained those stupid, romantic fantasies of turning frogs into princes.

Well, she hasn't changed, and she won't - no fairy godmother for your Cinderalla. In a situation like that, you don't act like a coward and start cheating in retaliation. You find your balls and divorce, THEN you can get a girlfriend (luck-y girl...). And try growing up a bit, 'cuz right now it sure looks like you're just as immature as your wife. And 15 years of this? You sure took your own sweet time waking up.

Yes, she's dead wrong to be joined at the hip with her parents and to spill the beans to them on your most intimate issues. And, since she refuses to see what's wrong with that and is not in the least interested in fixing it, it looks like a deal-breaker to me. But if your solution to the problem is stepping out on her while continuing this charade of a non-marriage, then you're no better. I feel sorry for your children: neither of their parents seem to be adults.

Comment: #22
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 8:09 AM
LW1--Your wife suffers from a condition that over the years I've come to term "single child female syndrome". Such women are joined to their parents at the hip and are self-centered meaning they put their needs and wants above all others including their spouses and children. Typically such women have spent their entire lives basking in the center of their parents' beaming adoration. Sorry, but their husbands and even their own children just don't beam as brightly. I hate to break it to you but counseling is not going to break your wife of this dynamic. Even after her parents are dead and gone your wife will simply shift the focus onto herself once again leaving you and your children in second place. Unlike the man hating Annies I think you should find a girlfriend. Staying for the sake of the children is a bad idea because they're going to wind up with a screwed up notion of what marriage is supposed to be. Tell your wife that you're leaving her for someone who actually wants to be with you.

LW2-- No leftovers?!? Hasn't it occurred to you people to fix your mother a little care package of goodies while you're clearing the table?!? My mother always sends us home with enough leftovers to eat the rest of the week!
Comment: #23
Posted by: Chris
Tue Oct 6, 2015 8:12 AM
Re: Chris
"Unlike the man hating Annies I think you should find a girlfriend."
It is being a man-hater to state that he should divorce first, and start shopping for a replacement second? O-kay...

Oh yeah, let's encourage him to do something that'll make his children hate him ane be used against him in the divorce proceedings, that's exhibiting SO much more support for the male gender.

Comment: #24
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 8:25 AM
Re: sarah morrow said, "Don't buy the nonsense that staying in a horrible marriage with someone you have nothing but disdain for, is modeling something healthy for your children. It isn't. They may be better off once you and your wife both drop the facade."

Since the kids are young, if you divorce now, and remarry, you've still got a chance to model happy marriage behavior for your kids to see. If you stay together and miserable until the kids leave for college, then they go into the world with no example of what a good marriage looks like.
Comment: #25
Tue Oct 6, 2015 8:41 AM
Re: Lise B

If you read through Chris' comment, he says "Tell your wife that you're leaving her for someone who actually wants to be with you." Although ideally one starts dating post-breakup only, peri-breakup is kind of in a grey zone for me and at the end of the day I don't think it makes much difference (versus an actual affair / ongoing cheating). Divorce itself takes a year+++ so it might be unrealistic to wait that long before he starts dating again.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 8:42 AM
Holy Cow, folks! Way to feed the gender-bias complaints! "You knew at the beginning...." "Your mistake was believing Kate would change...." "You should have seen the warning signs...." "You knew that, but you thought she would magically "change"... And then there's "You're no better than she is."

Not one of you KNOWS what the LW "knew." The first evidence he illustrates that her parent attachment was unhealthy was AFTER they were married when they wanted to come on the honeymoon and she was fine with it - which means they're just as dysfunctionally attached as she is. The shame is that he stayed with her for 15 years and produced 2 children.

If this were a woman complaining about her abusive husband and the first sign she had of it was when he shoved her on the honeymoon, would some of you still be blaming her, saying "you should have known" "You should have seen" "You thought this" or "You thought that" ? Instead of "Get out - now."

At mid-20s people are barely cooked, and love has a way of giving the lover hope that what they want to see is really there. I don't believe there's a single person on this forum who hasn't had that experience - yet the majority of you are saying this is essentially HIS fault for "not knowing" "not seeing" "not thinking" etc.

The only thing I agree on is that the girlfriend should wait until the divorce is final or at least underway and he has a good lawyer to help protect his paternal rights.

Comment: #27
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Tue Oct 6, 2015 9:17 AM
Re: Zoe
The least he could for is wait until he and his child-wife are no longer under the same roof. And it may take a year+, so? Where's the fire? Considering his own issues. he would profit from a time-out period.

@Maggie #27
When a woman knowingly marries a man with severe flaws in the hope of "changing" him, I tell her exactly the same thing. Considering how tight the apron strings were right from the beginning, I don't believe for a minute that none of it showed before he married her.

Comment: #28
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 9:58 AM
LW1 - As a polyamorous person, I've often heard the saying "relationship broken, add more people." This is, in such circles, the absolute surest way to make things worse and not better. And that's when all the relationships are common knowledge and nominally consensual! And gender has nothing to do with it, btw.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Paul W
Tue Oct 6, 2015 10:00 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence - further -
"If this were a woman complaining about her abusive husband and the first sign she had of it was when he shoved her on the honeymoon, would some of you still be blaming her, saying "you should have known" "You should have seen" "You thought this" or "You thought that" ? Instead of "Get out - now." "
Actually there are many who would say exactly that, although I am not one of them. That is different - many, many abusive people (male and female) are perfectly capable of biding their time before they get real, until you're exactly where they want you. Been there, seen that.

An unnatural attachment to mama and papa involves three people, and is therefore much more difficult to hide, especially considering that she doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with that.

Comment: #30
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 10:03 AM
Re: Lise B #28

Oh, I definitely agree it would be better to wait (if not till the divorce is final, at least until the breakup / move out drama is over). I just mentioned it because I originally took Chris' comment as "go on, have an affair!" until I read the last line.

As an aside: my own divorce was final as of yesterday!


I'm not sure I'd say he married her hoping to change her. I can totally see how she had an attachment to her parents which was noticeable at the time, but not specifically worrisome. They probably didn't have too many marital issues for her to talk to her parents about. Maybe she still lived at home or did recently and thus a lot of the closeness didn't affect him. They would have been more excitedly in new love, so she would have spent more time with her and given him more of her time and energy. And it's totally, totally reasonable to expect people to change over time (in fact, expecting them to NOT change is also a real folly). Because usually people do. An opposite example might be a young couple where the man goes out with his buddies a lot, but maintains a loving relationship with his GF. While most men (and woman) grow out of that phase, it's almost expected in their early 20s, so proceeding with a relationship is normal. If, ten years later, he's going out with them as often (or more often) and straight up says "my buddies are more important than you and the kids", that's entirely on him because he's a douche. It wouldn't be the wife's fault because she married someone who, in his 20s, often went out with his friends.

It's just easy for us to look at the whole 15-year situation, summed up in a few paragraphs, and think "well duh what were you expecting marrying a girl who was close to her parents! How could you NOT have predicted that 15 years from now she'd be putting them before you and the children?"
Comment: #31
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 10:54 AM
LW1 -- "What should I do?" Simply enough, come to terms with the fact that there is no marriage. Staying together "for the sake of the children" is a poor excuse; if anything, you are warping their perception of what constitutes a healthy relationship. Do yourself and your children a favor: visit a divorce lawyer and start taking the necessary steps to end your marriage. A year from now, you'll be wondering why you didn't do it sooner. Oh, and that's probably the time to look for a girlfriend, not while you are still married (duh!).
Comment: #32
Posted by: JeffM
Tue Oct 6, 2015 11:17 AM
Maggie Lawrence: You are 100% correct about the fat hens and their gender-bias complaints.

On August 11, 2013, the Annies ran a letter from a woman complaining that her husband is a mama's boy. Both the Annies and the hens BTL attacked that guy and clucked repeatedly that he was nothing but a "mama's boy". Yet today, the hens seem more focused on pointing out the male LW's foolishness rather than insulting the "mama's girl."

Lise Brouillette's responses are especially hilarious, suggesting that the wife was nothing but "a f%!k hole and baby machine." Oddly enough (lol), she doesn't refer to today's LW in the same way. I wonder what is different.
Comment: #33
Posted by: Smithers
Tue Oct 6, 2015 11:40 AM
Re: Zoe

"Re: Steve C / LouisaFinnell

Ask Michelle about it. I suspect she'll tell you that perspectives change, things get worse, hindsight is 20/20 etc."

Absolutely! I knew my exH was a total Mommy's boy when I was dating and engaged to him. But I honestly thought at the time that if I got him away from her grips that he would change. I was young and inexperienced. I learned after I married him that he was never going to change. Ever. I left for more than just the Mommy's boy reasons but that was enough. His mother was his wife. I was his mistress.

I see young women (late teens/early 20's) doing dumb things when it comes to relationships and I want to shake them and tell them to wake up and don't be stupid. And then I think back and realize that I did the same things. Stages of life.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:05 PM
Zoe: congrats :)

Smithers: going back 4 years thru people's comments? Dear God, get a life.
Comment: #35
Posted by: dave
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:11 PM
Have you never heard of Google?

It allows you to find specific pages--even those from four years ago--in mere moments by typing specific key words. It's really neat.

You should check it out.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Smithers
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:26 PM
Re: dave


And regarding searching back through the years, to be fair, if you google "creators annies mailbox momma's boy" that column is the first thing that comes up.

But you know what's funny about that? The first line of their response was: "We are always surprised by people who marry and expect their spouses to suddenly change years of ingrained behavior." And actually, most of us BTL were harder on her than we are on today's LW. That said, the guy's mother picked out his clothes for him, and they were not married for nearly as long, so that makes sense.

Smithers' example of misandry (GOD I hate those words so much) isn't actually a very good one.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:35 PM
Lise, re: " I don't believe for a minute that none of it showed before he married her. " My point is that it doesn't matter what you or I or any of us "believe for a minute." He didn't ask us. But most people are commenting as if LW is going to come down here to see our all-important advice when what he should have done is ask Caroline Hax. And what he asked is "What should I do?"

And even if her abnormal attachment to her parents showed before he was married, how many young lovers intent on getting married sit with their check list and think "oh, that could cause some real problems - better call it off." HA!

But as usual, the big pile-on is to tell him what he SHOULD have seen and what he MUST have known, etc. etc. Michelle is absolutely right when she remarks on the stupid things young women do in relationships ( young men too!) and then recalls that she did the same things. This LW deserves at least as much of a break.

Comment: #38
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:57 PM
Re: Maggie

"And even if her abnormal attachment to her parents showed before he was married, how many young lovers intent on getting married sit with their check list and think "oh, that could cause some real problems - better call it off." HA!"

Yes, this. No one would pass that test.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Oct 6, 2015 1:05 PM
Re: Zoe #31
"As an aside: my own divorce was final as of yesterday!"
Hey. Have a glass of sparkling wine in celebration! Now you're FREE! (Better to laugh than to cry, you know...)

"I'm not sure I'd say he married her hoping to change her."
Well, him stating "Early in the marriage, I overlooked a lot of this overcloseness, because I thought she would eventually grow out of it when she became a wife and mother" convinced me.

"And it's totally, totally reasonable to expect people to change over time (in fact, expecting them to NOT change is also a real folly). Because usually people do."
Except when they exhibit dysfunctional behaviour. In my own experience, that only gets worse.

"It wouldn't be the wife's fault because she married someone who, in his 20s, often went out with his friends."
No, it wouldn't be, and the same would be true of him in the same circumstances. But... considering the parents wanted to hold the candle already during the honeymoon... Given what I've already seen of human nature, I'm reasonably sure that this joined-at-the-hip thing was pretty obvious right from the get-go and that he chose to ignore it because he thought she would change. I'm not blaming him 100% - some people DO mature. But... most neurotic behaviour get worse, not better - at least from what *I've* seen of human behaviour. ;-D

Comment: #40
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 3:06 PM
Our beloved Miss Pasko used to search old columns every day and post references to them, before her fingers got too fat to type. I don't remember you complaining then, Dave.
Comment: #41
Posted by: Pasko
Tue Oct 6, 2015 3:30 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence #38
"And what he asked is "What should I do?""
And my answer to that was that he should divorce and get a girlfriend THEN. The rest was what I though of the situation, his wife, and HIM. ;-D

@Zoe #39
"Yes, this. No one would pass that test."
And I wouldn't either. Thing is... I didn't wait 15 years before I woke up, and I didn't make the mistake of producing a second kid after the first. And I can assure you that, once I realised hubby would never change, I didn't need Ann Landers to figure out what my next course of action was.

I think this is what riles me up about him, really. Even after 15 years of this yurunda, he STILL isn't sure about what he should do. A bit slow on the uptake, methinks he is. IMHO. ;-D

Comment: #42
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 6, 2015 3:38 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Oct. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month