Living with a Fair-Weather Father Figure Dear Annie: My boyfriend, "Joe," and I have been together for five years. My son (from a previous relationship) and I moved away from family and friends to live with him. Shortly after moving, I became pregnant with our daughter. At first, our …Read more. Too Old To Be Sleeping with Grandma Dear Annie: I am very close to my 12-year-old grandson. His family life is not good, and since his parents live nearby, the boy is at my house more often than not. The problem is, he started sleeping with me when he was a baby and still does it. I …Read more. Gastric Bypass for Quitting Smoking: No Fair Trade Dear Annie: I am quite a bit overweight. My 29-year-old daughter is concerned that I might have a heart attack and die on her. Meanwhile, she has been smoking cigarettes since she was 16 years old. She said to me, "If you have gastric bypass surgery,…Read more. Witness to a Friend's (Abusive) Marriage Dear Annie: As a witness to a friend's marriage, I vowed to help keep their relationship strong. Would you please print something I could give them about verbal abuse? His wife has a serious drinking problem, and when she's had too much, she goes …Read more.more articles
Annie's Mailbox®, March 20
Dear Annie: I am a 22-year-old single woman and was in an exclusive relationship with "Matt" for six months. We always used protection whenever we were intimate. Last December, he suddenly stopped seeing me and wouldn't return my calls.
I dealt with the breakup as best I could. However, at my recent annual doctor's visit, I was shocked to learn I had an STD. How could this be? Matt and I always used condoms, and I wasn't with anyone else before and haven't been since.
Please explain how this could have happened. — Devastated on Staten Island, New York
Dear New York: While condoms are very effective, they are not foolproof and on rare occasion have been known to break and leak. Also, STDs can be transmitted through oral sex, and some can be spread through any contact with an infected area.
The important thing is that you be treated promptly. For more information, contact the American Social Health Association (ashastd.org) at 1-800-227-8922.
Dear Annie: Last August, I gave birth to my daughter, Anna. I found out during my seventh month of pregnancy that Anna had a severe brain disorder and, at best, would be severely handicapped. I carried to term, but sadly, Anna died two days after she was born.
I occasionally mention to people that I had a daughter, and when they find out the details it's almost as if they write it off because she only lived for two days — as if that makes her life less meaningful. My own family has ignored her existence. My sister commented over Christmas that she had forgotten I'd had a daughter.
I don't know how to respond to these people. My daughter was important to me. Is it wrong to want her to be important to other people, as well? — Denise in Rochester, N.Y.
Dear Denise: It's not wrong, but you are expecting too much to think others must care as much as you do.
If you have not had some type of memorial service, please consider it. And we also recommend you contact SHARE Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support (nationalshareoffice.com) at 1-800-821-6819. Our deepest condolences.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Dad's Crazy," whose newly divorced father plans to let a young woman move in with him.
Her 52-year-old father is now single and his children are grown. While newly divorced women might take time before dating again, men who become single need to feel we can still attract a woman. We tend to rush into intimate relationships much sooner. We can also enjoy this time without the guilt factor of thinking we are cheating.
I hope she won't be too hard on her dad. He still loves her and his grandson, but has to deal with his divorce in his own way, which will most definitely be different from that of her mom. This young woman may be the best thing that's happened to Dad in a long time, even if she isn't in it for the long haul. And I hope "Dad's Crazy" will let her father know she still loves him, whether or not she agrees with all his new choices. — A Man's Point of View
Dear Man: Thanks to all our male readers who wrote to share a man's perspective. We, too, hope his daughter can be forgiving.
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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