Establishing Ownership Without Estrangement Dear Annie: My sister, "Ellen," bought my mother a car when Mom moved in with her. Ellen promised it would belong to Mom when she paid her back. Mom has made payments for three years. But she and Ellen had a fight, and not only did my sister kick …Read more. Turn Off the TV and Get Your Volunteer On! Dear Annie: Two years ago, at the age of 62, I was forced to take early retirement from my teaching job. My pension is miniscule, and despite trying to find full-time work, I have only been able to string together part-time jobs. I have been …Read more. Don't Let Meddling Mom Bring Down the House Dear Annie: My lady and I have been together for nine years, and we have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter. We have had our own two-bedroom apartment for five years. A year ago, her mother fell ill. We decided to move her in with us to take care of …Read more. The Makings of a Sociopath Dear Annie: You recently printed a letter from a woman who asked whether her biological daughter could be a sociopath. Could you please list the characteristics of a sociopath in your column? Our adult daughter is involved with someone we feel is …Read more.more articles
Holding All the Cards with the Kids
Dear Annie: My ex-husband and I have been divorced for three years. It was his idea. He cheated on me with several women.
His family, however, was extremely cruel, calling me all kinds of names and telling me I was a terrible mother and the worst thing that ever happened to them. Now they won't speak to me. I was hurt and shocked by their treatment, because I thought we were friends. Not to mention, it was my ex's behavior that caused the divorce. I assume he lied to them and made them believe it was my fault.
My ex-husband lives far away and only sees the children once or twice a year. He's also more than $40,000 behind on his child support. His family lives closer, and they want to come over and see the kids on their own. My ex says his father is ill, and they don't know how much time he has left. So far, I have refused. I have no legal obligation to his family.
The truth is, I would love for the children to have a relationship with his family, but I can't get over how nasty they have been to me. They have never apologized for their behavior or reached out and tried to mend fences. On the rare occasion when my ex is in town, he will bring them to see the kids, but they still won't speak to me.
My ex tells me that I am only punishing the children by not letting them see his family. Is it wrong for me to keep my kids away from people who have been so terrible? I worry about the lies my former in-laws would tell them. — Still Hurt
Dear Still: You are holding all the cards here. Offer a supervised visitation for the grandparents. Tell them they can see the children provided they treat you civilly and behave appropriately. You will be present the entire time, and if they say or do anything untoward, that ends the visit. This allows the kids to see their grandparents, and it prevents the lies.
Dear Annie: No one could love animals more than I do. I have had pets all my life and have served on humane society boards. Having said this, let me ask all of you pet lovers this question: How would you feel if I walked into your house and relieved myself on your carpeting or hardwood floor?
This is an advisory to all those pet owners who take undisciplined animals into other people's homes: Please don't. It is neither right nor fair. Yes, Fluffy may be just too cute, but not when she is urinating on my rugs.
A home is frequently the largest investment most of us make, and having it damaged by undisciplined animals is just plain wrong. If you must travel with a pet that is not housebroken, use a portable cage or kennel to confine the animal. — Animal Lover
Dear Animal Lover: Many people consider their pets to be their children, but they would be appalled if a child were permitted to soil their carpet. We hope your letter will inspire them to be equally considerate when it comes to their animal companions.
Dear Annie: Instead of telling "Plus-Sized Good Catch" that people tend to judge one's outward appearance, you should have told her that there are online groups made for men who love large women.
And when you printed a bunch of letters in response, only one was from a man who likes large women, but I know my husband wrote you, too. Why didn't you print his? — La Crescenta, Calif.
Dear La Crescenta: We are glad your husband wrote, but unfortunately, we can only print a fraction of the thousands of letters we receive. We try to keep our responses representative of the mail that comes in.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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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