Missing Grandma, Dissing Mom Dear Annie: My children's grandmother passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Her children decided to have a service in the northeast where her husband is buried and where they all grew up. None of them lives anywhere near …Read more. Held Hostage by Insecurity Dear Annie: Twelve years ago, my son moved his girlfriend into our home. "Lena" lived with us for four years, and we treated her like family. They broke up, and Lena moved out. She then married someone else and now has an adorable 6-year-old …Read more. Instituting the Payback Plan Dear Annie: I have helped my wife's daughter and family financially many times over the past 15 years. Eighteen months ago, I loaned them $600, and they promised they would pay me back. (My previous loans were gifts.) The daughter's husband has a …Read more. Navigating the Plus-One Dear Annie: How much can I ask my host about etiquette for her overseas wedding? I live in Canada. The bride is French. I met her when she was briefly living in my hometown. She went back to France two years ago, and now she's getting married there. …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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