Dissing Aunt Marsha Dear Annie: My 58-year-old mother has a best friend whom she has known since they were both 5 years old. We call her "Aunt Marsha." She's been at all of our weddings and holidays. She is still friendly with her ex-daughter-in-law, who …Read more. Cut Off From the Grandkids Dear Annie: I have not shared a birthday, holiday or special occasion with my son for the past five years, since he married. He has two children now. We always have been close, but I'm so sad that my daughter-in-law won't let me be a grandmother. …Read more. Lifelong Sibling Jealousy Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our early 80s. We have four children. "John" and "Susan" are from my first marriage. They were very young when my first husband died and I remarried. I then had "Jane" and "Alice.…Read more. Sticky Ex Dear Annie: In 1988, I had a wife and three beautiful children. Then my wife decided to be "liberated." She wanted to spread her wings and be independent. She engaged me in a particularly acrimonious divorce and lived on child and spousal …Read more.more articles
Annie's Mailbox®, March 2
Dear Annie: It's after 1:00 a.m. and I can't sleep for the second straight night. Two days ago, my husband of 15 years told me he's a cross-dresser. Apparently at one of his organization's meetings, he was advised to come out of the closet.
We've had a wonderful marriage with not one serious argument. We get along fabulously, traveling and living a very comfortable life. My grown children from my first marriage love him, and he's been a wonderful stepfather and grandfather.
He dressed up for me and I was appalled. I feel dirty, betrayed and stupid for not having figured this out. He went to a makeup artist and had pictures taken of himself. Who knows if they'll end up on the Internet? What I can't figure out is how in the world these men, with their five o'clock shadows, feel pretty. There was nothing pretty about my husband.
I can't get an appointment with a psychiatrist for a month. My nerves are shot, and I need help in understanding and, at my husband's request, accepting this. He doesn't want our marriage to end. Please give me some help. — Hurting
Dear Hurting: We understand your sense of betrayal, but it's better you know what's going on so you can deal with it. Cross-dressing does not mean your husband is gay. The vast majority of cross-dressers are heterosexual. There are some wives who have learned to accept this aspect of their husband's personality and work out a compromise that allows the marriage to continue, but not all wives are capable of such tolerance.
There are online self-help groups for women in your position. The Society for the Second Self (tri-ess.org) has a section for wives of cross-dressers, and we also recommend you contact CrossDressersWives.com.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have no immediate family nearby, and our son and only child lives across the country. We are healthy, but at an age when we understand our mortality.
We have arrangements in place with a funeral home for our burial.
Should we inform our family members now when all is well? Or should we make our wishes known in the death notice and have the surviving spouse or child follow up with a personal telephone call? — Your Faithful Readers
Dear Faithful Readers: Memorial services are for the survivors — a way to say goodbye to a loved one and pay respects to the family. If people find it too inconvenient to attend, they won't come. But you don't need to have a service nor should you inform people years in advance. You might change your mind. However, please discuss this with your son and allow him to have some input on whether or not to have a service for his remaining parent. It is unfair to assume he will not want one.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Annoyed Friend," who belongs to a coffee club that meets weekly. She thinks one of the women, "Jane," is a freeloader because she has yet to take her turn having the women over. You said she may be embarrassed to have people in her home and suggested "Annoyed" have the next meeting in a coffeehouse.
I joined an upscale book club, but refused to have the members in my house because I am ashamed of the terrible neighborhood where I live. I would have loved to meet at a local coffeehouse had it been offered. Tell "Annoyed" not to think the worst. Instead, she should take the time to find out what's really going on. — Southern Granny
Dear Granny: Many women wrote to say they were ashamed of their homes and that is why they didn't reciprocate.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 www.creators.com.
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