Mother Blamer Dear Annie: Eight months ago, our highly educated 43-year-old daughter informed my wife that she hates her. She put on a humiliating performance in front of her two children, a stepchild, her husband and us. We don't understand this at all, but she …Read more. He Sees Dead People Dear Annie: My 5-year-old son has been claiming to see the paranormal. I'm sure part of it is just his imagination. But sometimes he describes in great detail people and even pets who have died. He mainly claims to see a cousin he never met, but …Read more. Sometime High-Maintenance Friends Need To Do Their Own Maintenance Dear Annie: My husband and I recently purchased a new home. It took us a while to reach this point. In the course of trying to purchase, we were offered help by a good friend, "Mary," who lives 1,500 miles away. Mary referred us to her mortgage …Read more. Take the Reins from Controlling Mom Dear Annie: My husband and I used to be close to my mother-in-law. We took trips together and enjoyed one another's company. But since our oldest child was born, things have changed. Even though she has an open invitation, Mom rarely comes around. …Read more.more articles
Annie's Mailbox, November 5
Dear Annie: My husband is an amazing man. He is selfless and has uncompromising integrity. He is well-known and well-respected in our small community. I am proud to be his wife.
I am 19 years my husband's junior, and this, along with his well-deserved reputation, casts a huge shadow over me. I understand some of this can't be helped, but why must people treat me as though I am some kind of accessory? I am a fairly intelligent woman, and although I am attractive, I don't present myself as a bimbo. The real problem, however, is that my husband not only doesn't seem to notice or care when his "fans" treat me rudely, it's almost as if he goes out of his way to be extra nice to these very same people.
I have accused him of building his ego by making me feel inferior. Am I crazy? He claims I am overreacting. His own brother said to me, "You were a nobody until you married my brother." How do you think my husband should react to these situations? — Mrs. Nobody
Dear Mrs.: He should make it clear that he is also proud of his wife. There is often an assumption when Mr. Big Shot marries a much younger woman that she is simply a trophy wife. Your husband either agrees or likes to give that impression. Women in these marriages have to work quite hard to establish an independent identity. People don't know you. So get on the boards of some charitable foundations. Volunteer at your church. Start a literacy program or a food drive. If you want to develop a reputation as a smart, capable woman, you must do something to promote it instead of relying on your unsupportive husband to do it for you.
Dear Annie: Why is it that whenever my husband and I have a get-together at our home, hardly anyone shows up?
Tonight we contacted several friends to come over for drinks and to listen to music and kick back. Absolutely no one showed up. This is not unusual.
By the way, this goes for our families, too. My oldest son just graduated high school and is the first in either family to attend college. I went all out for his open house and even reminded everyone to come. Once again, hardly anyone showed up. Not only was I disappointed, my son was crushed. Life should be filled with family and friends. Why is this happening? — Indiana
Dear Indiana: We have no idea. You could be issuing unclear invitations or having so many get-togethers that people feel they've been there before and can afford to miss some. Invite fewer people less often and see if your invitations become more valued. As for your family, we suggest asking them point-blank what's going on and telling them how disappointed you and your son were that they didn't bother to celebrate his graduation. An honest explanation would be helpful.
Dear Annie: Every year you print a letter from someone complaining about glowing Christmas newsletters. Tell people to read between the lines.
I didn't put in the newsletter that my son dropped out of school and spent time in the hospital for depression. I also left out the years when I considered divorce and the time my other son was arrested for possession of marijuana. I'd rather sift through the events of the year in order to bring to light the few blessings that did occur. — Focusing on the Blessings
Dear Blessings: That is a lovely idea for others to keep in mind, but it is also important that these newsletters not become brag sheets regardless of the reason.
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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