Two Boys, Mixed Signals and Hopelessly Confused Dear Annie: I am 13 and an avid reader of your column. I have been working at a summer program, and I ride a school bus there and back. Two young men ride the same bus. I have a crush on one of them (I'll call him "Liam"), but I happen to know he …Read more. Genital Herpes and Physical Intimacy Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old woman who has been divorced for more than 30 years. I haven't been in an intimate relationship for the past 10. Last year, I discovered that I have genital herpes. The doctor said I may have had it for years before …Read more. Physical Abuse: False Charges or Different Perspectives? Dear Annie: When my daughter was 14, she falsely accused me of physical abuse. She is now 33 and brings up these false charges whenever she is having difficult issues in her own life. She blames me for all of her problems. Even worse, my sister …Read more. Yearning for Family in the Ozarks Dear Annie: Several months ago, my husband and I moved to the Ozarks after falling in love with the area. We left behind a lot of dear friends and the life we had known for 25 years, but we are quite happy here. The only sadness is my brother. He …Read more.more articles
Annie's Mailbox®, April 4
Dear Annie: My husband and his ex shared custody of their son, "Danny," for 11 years. Two years ago, when his ex and her new husband began experiencing financial problems, she started pressuring Danny to live with her full time. It was no stretch to see that she wanted a big increase in child support.
Danny's mother manipulated him into believing that living with her would translate into some significant monetary rewards for him. Danny lied to the family court judge so his mother could claim my husband was an unfit father, and she won full custody and completely destroyed her child's relationship with his father. For the past two years, the only time we hear anything from Danny is when he wants something. He does not visit. Although it's likely he now recognizes his mother's manipulations, he has yet to acknowledge it to us.
Danny graduates from high school in June, and at that time, child support will stop. I worry that when Danny ceases to be an income-producing asset, his mother will send him to us with his packed bags. My husband insists he will never allow Danny to live with us, but I know he's severely depressed over the loss of their relationship and I'd like them to patch things up. How can I help that happen? — California
Dear California: If Danny shows up on your doorstep and Dad throws him out, it will only cause further harm to the relationship, even though it is perfectly justified. Instead, allow Danny to live with you temporarily while you arrange for him to go to college and live in a dorm, or find a job and an apartment. Set a realistic deadline for him to move out, and stick to it.
If that plan is not feasible, Dad should take the initiative and arrange to get together with Danny for some regular father-son time — tickets to a ballgame, a fishing trip or something else they both enjoy.
Dear Annie: My whole life I have had jealousy issues. Past boyfriends have had problems with my possessiveness and I am worried that I will lose my current boyfriend because of it. I know that he would never cheat on me. It is just that every time he talks to a girl, I get mad at him. I try not to, but I feel like every girl he speaks to is prettier than me. How can I stop feeling so inferior and save my relationship? — Nervous Nellie
Dear Nellie: People who are seriously insecure often need professional help to overcome the problem. You are smart to understand that you are being unreasonable and damaging your relationships. You have already taken the first two steps — recognizing you have a problem and wanting to fix it. Now talk to someone. Ask your doctor or clergyperson for a referral.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Pennsylvania Innkeeper" about hotel shampoos. I volunteer at a local food pantry. When I started, there were only 225 families, and in just one year, it has jumped to nearly 700. One day, I decided to bring in a few samples of shampoos and conditioners that I had received. I was amazed to see how fast it all went. Sometimes we don't realize how much little things like those mean to someone who can't afford them.
Would you ask your readers to donate their extra unopened toiletries to their local food pantry? If they don't know where their food pantry is, they can contact their local place of worship. Someone there will know where to distribute these items. Thank you and God bless. — Luckier Than Some in Florida
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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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