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
Married to Dr. Jekyll -- and Mr. Hyde
Dear Annie: I have been married to the same man for decades. "Ralph" has always preferred the company of females, but lately, all he talks about are other women — their physical attributes, how intelligent and personable they are, etc. He tells me about going out to dinner with them (supposedly with a group of people). He states in business e-mails how attractive they are. He tells me how he flirts and teases. He is very obvious about looking at other women while he is with me.
I hear him on the phone speaking to them gently and softly, yet he never speaks to me that way. Ralph criticizes my thoughts, looks, opinions and feelings, yet when I question his behavior, he claims I am the love of his life and his rock. He tells other people that I am exactly what he wants. He denies adultery. He denies wanting out of our relationship. He states that whenever he is disrespectful to me, he doesn't know why and feels bad about it. But his behavior doesn't change.
I feel like I am living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What is going on with my husband? Is he cheating on me? — S.O.S.
Dear S.O.S.: We don't believe Ralph is cheating, but it definitely sounds like a few screws are loose. Any unexplained change in behavior could indicate a medical problem, so first suggest that Ralph see his doctor for a complete workup. Then ask him to go with you for counseling. He is not behaving in a respectful manner toward the woman he supposedly loves, and you both need to find out why.
Dear Annie: Years ago, parents used to put up placards in their children's bedroom windows to let firemen know where they were in case of fire. That proved dangerous because pedophiles also knew which bedrooms the children were in.
Now parents are putting up stick figures of their families on the back of the car windows, including how many boys and girls they have.
Dear N.Y.: You have raised a valid point. Parents are eager to show off their kids, but they should be mindful of the circumstances. Publicizing the fact that you have young children by displaying emblems on your home or car windows (especially with names) can invite trouble. While it is extremely unlikely that a pedophile would follow your car home, it is still a possibility that should not be ignored. It's the same reason you don't leave your front door unlocked even if you live in a safe neighborhood. The chance of a break-in is remote, but not impossible.
Dear Annie: I can identify with "No Photo Op," the woman who was handed an envelope containing pictures of her mother lying in her casket.
When my grandmother died, I was pregnant and lived 1,000 miles away and could not attend the funeral. Months later, I received a letter from my mother that contained photos of a trip she and my dad had taken. In the middle of those photos, I was horror stricken to find one of my grandmother in her coffin.
My grandmother was Irish and a lively person. That's how I would like to remember her. But 31 years later, all I can picture is my grandmother in her coffin. Your advice to ask first was spot on. — Still Stunned in Vermont
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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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