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Money and Kids


Dear Annie: I've been with a wonderful guy for five years. After two abusive marriages, I am finally being treated right. "Bud" and I have only two issues: money and kids. We have broken up a few times over our problems, but honestly, I can't live without him.

Bud is 44 years old and owns his own business, but he does not save money. When I met him, he had nothing. Now he has $20,000 in a retirement account and another $5,000 in savings. He finally has his two kids pretty well straightened out, although they will never be exactly normal.

Bud still doesn't manage his money well. He needs so many things in his house, yet he went out and bought a truck he doesn't need. He now has six years of payments on it, his auto insurance went up, and if he ever needs new tires, we are talking thousands of dollars. I want him to sell it and get a reasonably priced truck. He says he will lose money on the sale, which is true, but why sink even more into it?

Both of my marriages involved men who overspent on themselves, so I know I have a tendency to be extra cautious. How can I convince Bud that he did the wrong thing by buying the truck, but that he still has time to fix it? I won't marry a man I can't trust with my money. Not again. — Thrice Shy

Dear Thrice: You can't treat Bud like a child, even if he makes poor financial decisions. He will resent it and push back. Instead, approach all such matters jointly, being respectful of each other's opinions, even when you disagree. You also could offer to take over the handling of finances for the household, keeping everyone within a reasonable budget. But you are wise not to commingle your money if you don't trust Bud's ability to handle it. Before marrying, consider financial counseling together through your bank or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married 27 years. We each have grown children from previous marriages.

My husband's 42-year-old unmarried son lives out of state. "Mike" is self-supporting, but the only time we hear from him is when he needs some extra money. He lives alone except for his dogs. For the past three years, Mike has spent Christmas with us, staying three or four days. We are always happy to see him, even though we only have two bedrooms and he brings the dogs — even one who is incontinent.

Last year, my daughter (who also lives out of state) visited with her two children. We hadn't seen her in two years. My husband also was scheduled for knee replacement surgery the following week. So when Mike asked to come with his dogs and a new puppy, we explained that it wasn't a good time. We asked him to come in February or March, while his father recuperated — and hopefully, the puppy would be housebroken.

We have not heard from him since, even though I have left numerous messages on his voicemail. What more can I do to mend this fragile relationship? — In the Middle

Dear Middle: Not much. You have explained, and you have called. We trust you will keep all of the kids informed of Dad's progress, including Mike. But it is up to him to make the next move. We suspect when he needs money, he will get in touch again.

Dear Annie: Most women who responded to "Your Husband" do not understand men very well. Without sex, men feel incomplete. It's part of how we feel loved. Women should realize how important sex is to a man simply by seeing that he is willing to risk everything — his wife, family and assets — to fill this void. — Feeling the Void in Indiana

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, 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



79 Comments | Post Comment
LW1: First of all, your relationship doesn't sound so rosey to me. Any time a couple repeatedly "breaks up" over the same issues, it's a pretty good sign that the relationship is not going to last in the long run.

Now on to your question. "Bud" is an adult. You have apparently been a good influence because he's made progress and saved some money since you've met him. That's GOOD! Have you said anything positive to him? Have you told him how PROUD you are that he's managed to save some money? Or are you constantly harping on what you think he's done WRONG?

Most people respond to positive reinforcement and it sounds to me like you are finding ways to be negative with Bud. NOW, I will grant you this. My exhusband (when he was still my husband) bought a car when I was out of the country, using my credit and salary guarantee. We didn't NEED that car and it was way over our budget and I was MAD. I know exactly how you feel, and I will tell you, him buying that car was the beginning of the end of our marriage. It's frustrating to see money being spent on boy toys. And it seems like every man I've ever met has his own "vice of choice". But you don't get anywhere by bitching at them.

And here's the real issue: YOU ARE NOT MARRIED TO BUD. I reread your letter and I don't even see where you INTEND to marry Bud. Your last sentence was hypothetical. Has Bud asked you to marry him? Are you PLANNING on it?

If and WHEN you decide to actually marry (and by that, I mean "A ring and a date" as Dr. Laura would say), then his finances can and should be your concern. Until that time... his life is his, your life is yours. WHEN you have the date set, I would suggest a LONG engagement and extensive premarital counseling.

I've suggested Financial Peace University (through Dave Ramsey) many times here, and I really believe his theory that a couple's financial relationship is a barometer of how healthy the marriage is in general. But until you have a firm commitment of marriage, Bud's finances are really none of your business and you need to stop nagging him.
Comment: #1
Posted by: nanchan
Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:35 PM
LW2: Apparently, Mike has children in the form of his dogs. You have offended his "babies" and that means you have to eat some crow before he forgives you. Right or wrong.

Personally, I don't want anybody's dogs (incontinent or not) in my house, because my dog would chew them to bits (man I miss her tonight!) and I think it's incredibly rude of people to bring their animals with them on visits. It's also potentially dangerous. Curious to see what BTL has to say about that.

LW3: YOU apparently DON'T read BTL because that is exactly what I said at one point and got my ass chewed (not the first time, won't be the last, don't really care) from some people who didn't agree with that point of view.
Comment: #2
Posted by: nanchan
Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:43 PM
LW1: His kids "will never be exactly normal"? WTF does that even mean? And are you considering having kids with this guy? It sounds as if you have no respect for him. Maybe he deserves it, maybe he doesn't, but this "wonderful guy" doesn't sound right for you at all. Don't bend yourself out of shape for him just because he's not abusive like your exes. If you can't trust him with your money, don't even think of marrying him.

LW2: Let him sulk, and stop giving him money!

LW3: What you describe is an overgrown kid, not a man.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Baldrz
Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:42 PM

LW3 refers to the whole column of responses to 'Your Husband' published on 15 December 2012. The original 'Your Husband' was the first letter on 21 October 2012. A single response was included on 5 January 2013.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:51 PM
LW1 - Like Baldrz, I wondered what the LW means by saying Bud's kids will never be "exactly normal". What are they? Potential serial killers? "Not exactly normal" a very odd way to refer to them. In any event, the LW is wise not to consider marriage with anyone who can't manage his money. I don't know from her letter whether or not they have even discussed marriage, or whether it's just something she's thinking about, but no matter what the future holds for them, she should always keep her money and assets separate from Bud's.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Kitty
Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:14 AM
LW1 - Bud is an adult and you are NOT married to him, therefore, you have no say in his finances. If he wants to be careless with his money than that's his choice. Although, he does sound like he's improving with retirement and savings. You said you would never marry another man who was careless with his money yet you continued to date and get serious with a man who was careless with money. Regardless, there is nothing wrong with being Bud's permanent girlfriend.

You stated that you argue about money and kids. I assume you mean his kids? Something tells me your arguments begin with you saying that they'll never be normal. They're not your kids so keep your rude comments to yourself.

LW2 - Mike didn't get his way so he's throwing a tantrum. The Annies are right...when he needs money, he'll call. I wouldn't give him any money but that's your choice.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Michelle
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:22 AM
LW2 - I agree with the other posters who've said Mike is in a snit because he didn't get his way. Keep him informed about his father's condition and continue to communicate with him. He'll be back in touch when he wants something (money). Whether you give it to him or not is your decision. Personally, I wouldn't.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kitty
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:58 AM
LW1: Bud probably feels he works hard for his money, and needs something special he can be proud of ... and for some men it's a big truck ... even if women don't understand. I think it's fair to compare this to a diamond ring that women want but men don't appreciate.
I agree that it's best to keep your money separate, and little by little encourage wiser money decisions ... but keep in mind that a man's needs are different from a woman's.

LW3: I agree completely. Some women just don't get it, that without a sexual connection to a man's wife, most men have lost the most important connection towards feeling love.

nanchan #2: It's actually quite unlikely that LW3 reads BTL comments, (or any other LWs for that matter), considering that BTL comments only appear on, and Annies Mailbox appears in numerous other places including newspapers all across the country, none of which have the BTL comments here. I doubt that there's even a 10% chance that the LWs actually ever read the comments here.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Dave Galino
Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 AM
Re: Dave Galino

Maybe women will "get it" when men get that women need more than physical contact in a sexual manner to feel how did the letter writer put it "complete." These insensitive clods after doing nothing to make their wives feel loved and appreciated then act like babies because their wives don't "complete them." The door swings both ways but it sure seems as though the guys only want it their way.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Paula
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:26 AM
Re: Dave Galino

Yes, I understand there is a very low chance that the LW will be reading here.

However, it's not unheard of for the LWs to read here and to comment.
Comment: #10
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:30 AM
@Paula: oh...NOW I understand. Thanks for helping us stupid guys understand what we've been doing wrong all this time.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:44 AM
Paula #9: It's sad that you have only experienced selfish men, and regarding them, I agree with you. But there are many men who do give, and get mistreated in return. My first two marriages, where I gave plenty, are proof of that.
I finally found a woman who gives as well as receives, and we appreciate each other. Men who don't help with chores, and spend time giving his wife hugs, quiet talking and listening, and backrubs, shouldn't expect what they want either.
But some women just don't appreciate anything.

I agree that it does go both ways. But sometimes it's the woman's fault too.

Hopefully, you can find a giving man, instead of a selfish one ... and appreciate him.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Dave Galino
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:44 AM
@Paula: oh...NOW I understand. Thanks for helping us stupid guys understand what we've been doing wrong all this time.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:45 AM
Re LW#1------
As much as you would like to, you can't treat Bud like a child that you need to manage. It sounds like you don't live together (you talk about 'his' house needing stuff), and you mention that you would not marry someone who couldn't manage his finances---------but has he ever even asked you? Your suggestions to him may be responsible for the fact that he now has money saved/invested, but if you keep on trying to manage him like you are, he'll get pretty tired pretty fast.
Obviously you both have different ideas on money management. Right now you have pointed out to him that you think buying the truck was a big mistake, but you are not financially responsible if this goes wrong, and you would do best to keep it that way, and not get married or co-mingle your finances.
(As far as the only problems you have being money and kids-----------those are the problems most people do have, and they are BIG ones.) Best to either keep the status quo or leave and look elsewhere. If you marry him you'll keep on micromanaging him, even if it is for the best of reasons-------and he will grow to resent it, and you. The best proof that he has become 'financially responsible' in a way that you would like is when he does it on his own------and in your eyes, the truck is proof that he hasn't. Marry him, and you'll spend the rest of your life nagging, and he'll spend his not listening.
Comment: #14
Posted by: jennylee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:54 AM
LW1, wow, you're blaming Bud for buying into a bum deal of a truck, while you're about to buy into the same model of a bum deal marriage for a third time? Your problem is not Bud's truck, it's that you don't learn, even when you're hit over the head with a crankshaft. Bud is who he is. His lack of financial intelligence will only change if HE wants it to and is willing to put in the effort--and clearly after five years, he just doesn't want to. Not now, not ever. Just like your lack of relationship intelligence will only change if you want it to, and clearly after going into this for the third time, you don't. You obviously enjoy the drama of being in this type of relationship. I won't even get into your comment about his kids never being normal or your truly pathetic statement that you and Bud only have two issues--kids and money. Honey, that's like saying the patient only has two issues: his heart stopped beating and he's dead.
LW2, I would say that if Mike puts in the time, money and effort to come visit you every Christmas, then saying that you only hear from him is when he wants money isn't exactly true. It's clear you don't like Mike very much, and consider his visits an imposition and an inconveninece. Fair enough, with the dogs and all, but from his POV, then your daughter's visit would be an equal imposition to your husband, she since she's bringing two kids to visit in the same 2-bedroom home and your husband is still going to be having knee surgery. Not saying it wasn't a good idea to ask Mike to come another time, or ask him to stay at a hotel, but your dislike of him seems to be a bigger issue than you care to admit. And one thing I've noticed about some kids both minors and adults--not all kids, but some--when the only connection they had growing up with a parent was when the parent gave them money or bought them things (i.e., paid child support or bought them that new baseball glove but couldn't take the time to teach them to throw) then the only time they hear from the kid is when they need something. It's how they were raised. Not saying it's true in your case but something to think about.
Paula, re your comment to Dave Galindo was a little off-topic. If you read the original letter he was commenting on, it was about a man who loved his wife and had tried his best to please her but she had cut him off completely and hadn't had sex with him for a year. So the whole door swinging both ways is not really a relevant comparison.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Jane
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:05 AM
LW1 - "I have only two issues: money and kids." You and the rest of the world, honey. It's unlikely that Bud will ever manage his money as well as you'd like, and it doesn't sound like it will be easy for you to get to a point where you respect his children. He treats you right, but is that enough? You don't want to spend the rest of your life nagging him. So can you live with his foibles? Couples counseling would be a good place to start.

LW2 - Sounds like you got a lucky break! Enjoy the quiet until you hear from him again, asking for money.

LW3 - No, they do understand, but they don't "get" it. I think these women feel guilt on some level and turn it into resentment toward their husbands. However, I don't think you're going to win any arguments by saying "can't you see how important sex is to me? That's why I cheated on you! It's actually a compliment!" If your wife isn't putting out, and honest discussion and counseling haven't worked, get a divorce. THEN you can sleep with other people.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Zoe
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:08 AM
I see LW2 a little differently than what the first few posts I read do.

The poster says that Mike has visited at Christmas the past three years, but this year the LWs daughter was there, and Mike's dad was pending surgery.

So, tradition was that Mike, who has no spouse or children, would visit his dad and stepmom at Christmas; until this year. I'd be pretty miffed too.

It's very possible that Mike spent the holiday alone, and he missed out of time with his dad before a surgery. Yes, it's just a knee replacement surgery, but if Mike is 42, Dad is likely in his 60s, and anything can happen.

Yes, it's childish of Mike to not respond, but I would bet there are all kinds of hurt feelings. Those hurt feelings could have been alleviated with some discussion beforehand, "we'd LOVE to have you here, but Jane will also be here with her kids, so let's talk about some options other than everyone staying in our 2-bedroom house.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Missa
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:23 AM
“How can I convince Bud that he did the wrong thing by buying the truck, but that he still has time to fix it?”
Wow. I don't even know where to start with that sentence! This lady sounds very controlling. Bud is not your teenage son, lady. It doesn't sound like this relationship is going to end in marriage (which a 3rd marriage seems to be her goal.) I don't trust relationships in which the people have broken up more than once; neither do I trust relationships in which one partner says “His children will never be normal” (What criteria are you using? The same to determine his truck was “wrong”?) My advice is to break it off now before you dump another 5 years in this pointless relationship.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Casey
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:24 AM
@Missa: I appreciate you presenting Mike's side of the story. But, still, come on. He's 42 years old. He should recognize that his parents would want alone time with their daughter and grandchildren whom they haven't seen in 2 years. It's one thing to feel disappointed, and possibly a little hurt, but to cut off all communication is extreme. Stewing in hurt feelings is what a child does. He needs to grow up.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Casey
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:30 AM
Further thoughts on LW3:

First of all, if you guys haven't already, go check out the first letter at Abby today.

When I was in college, there was this guy who told me "Women give sex to get love, men give love to get sex." I'm SURE he didn't come up with that little ditty on his own (he wasn't all that bright) and I've heard it many times since then, but the moment he said that to me, my whole view on love and sex changed.

The truth is that men and women BOTH need love AND sex. If men ONLY needed sex, then men who are unable to have sex for any number of reasons (impotence etc) would not be in love relationships with women. And if women ONLY needed love, then things like dildos (did I just write that word at 6 in the morning! yikes) would not exist.

The relationships that I've been in that have been the most successful are when both needs (sex and love) are addressed and respected. Men who expect sex from their wives without giving them what THEY need are, as Paula says so well in post 9, insensitive clods. Women who expect love from their husbands without giving them what THEY need (love in the form of sex), are just as insensitive, IMO. Barring physical inability to have sex, women who withhold sex from their husband when their husbands are TRYING to give the wives what they need (affection etc) are just as bad as the men who basically use their wives only for sex.

Comment: #20
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:34 AM
LW1 –
You're not married and you're not even living with this guy. Why would you be arguing about HIS money and HIS kids? I feel sorry for them, if all you can say about them is that “they will never be exactly normal”, even before you are really part of the household and start having children of your own with their father. What they'll get is an evil stepmother who'll resent them and always treat them like second-class citizens.

Kindly keep in mind they were there first and that this man “you can't live without” has a responsibility to them - NOT to you. It is not enough to YOU be treated right – you have to treat the man right also. I don't see this right now – I see someone who has switched roles and is turning into the controlling abuser she used to be married to.

You don't have a tendency to be extra-cautious, you have a tendency to attract men who are financially irresponsible. Men whom you then try to henpeck into “realising they made a mistake” buying whatever it is they bought. I do assume you were a nag to the other two as well… How's that working for you, after two divorces? Not too well, evidently.

You've been married twice, with much the same kind of man, except that this one is not abusive on top of everything else. You may feel you're doing progress because of that, but you've learned nothing. And now you're writing to the Annies, in the hope that they can provide you with some magic formula for you to make the same-old, same-old yield different results. Good luck with that.

You do realise, I hope, that your “only two issues” are two of the top three reasons for divorce, and that you're only one strike short of an out… I frankly see nothing in the future of this relationship, except another series of break-ups or a third divorce. One thing is certain, you should not consider marriage (whether it's been discussed or not) with a man whose spending habits and children you do not like.

It's not Bud you can't live without, Miss Pygmallia. It's the man you're trying to shape him into. If you really want to change things, you have to start with yourself, not someone external. I see no alternative except therapy for yourself, as you seem unable to break out of this cycle and de-program yourself on your own.

LW2 -
"Fragile relationship"? You mean, non-existent relationship. There is no relationship here, the guy only calls when he needs money and doesn't give a darn about anything else.

Why are you bending over backwards for an immature, selfish, spoiled brat who throws a sulking tantrum the minute he doesn't get his way regardless of any circumstance? Keep him appraised of his father's condition so he can't complain that you're shutting him out and leave it at that. It doesn't sound like he cares one hoot or a holler about his father's condition anyway.

What the Annies said - he'll come around soon enough when he needs money and, if it were me, I'd tell him the family ATM is out of order. If he never calls back ever after that, good riddance.

P.S.: Be grateful for small mercies, that he at least had enough manners to ask first, instead of showing up on your doorstep with the dogs and a new puppy, at a time when your husband was about to have surgery and you already had your daughter and the baby in the house!

LW3 -
If sex is so important to a man that he is willing to "risk everything — his wife, family and assets — to fill this void", then he should demand marriage counselling and, if that doesn't work, then he should DIVORCE - not start filling another woman's void on the side, blithely rationalising that it's all his wife's fault and that he's not to blame. Sorry, but that's wanting to have the cake and eat it too.

And BTW, women have been in the same position too, and been told the exact same thing when they wrote in for advice.

Comment: #21
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:51 AM
Great discussion today! Jane, love #15 - you hit it. LW1 sounds like the men she's attracted to all appeal to her need to "mommy" them - tell them how to run their lives, what to do with their money, how to fix their mistakes (and anything she doesn't agree with is "their" mistake). I laughed, too, at the "we have only two issues: money and kids" Wow. It's also possible that the men in her failed relationships are, on some level, looking to replace that nagging "mommy" that they never quite unburdened themselves of in adulthood. I wouldn't be surprised if "Bud" bought that truck in a burst of revisited adolescent rebellion because not only did it make him feel good, but he knew how much "mommy" would disapprove.
Great recipe for an endless cycle of failure and frustration. I've noticed for a long time that we can tell a lot about ourselves by the people we consistently attract.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:57 AM
@Michelle #6
" Although, he does sound like he's improving with retirement and savings."
From what she says, it sure sounds like whatever savings he now has was only accomplished at her prompting. Jennylee is right, micromanaging grows old, and she does admit it's why they've broken off so many times already.

"So, tradition was that Mike, who has no spouse or children, would visit his dad and stepmom at Christmas; until this year."
Only for the past three years, so it's not such an entrenched "tradition" after all.

He should have acted like the adult he is supposed to be and offered to stay at a motel. But the dogs would still have been a concern, if he insisted on travelling with them as usual - one incontinent dog plus one untrained puppy are not exactly an ideal environment for two children. In which case, he should have understood that and offered to board them before he left. That's what a 42 year-old reasonable man who wants to spend time at Christmas with his father would do.

As for him spending the holidays alone, his lifestyle is his choice. He doesn't HAVE to make his dogs his entire family, he could form normal relationships with humans. Lots of people out there love dogs, it's not like it's an "either or".

Comment: #23
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:12 AM
Re: Lise

I think that the unhousebroken puppy and the incontinent dog are one and the same.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Zoe
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:16 AM
erratum #21
Should read "you already had your daughter and the CHILDREN in the house"

Comment: #25
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:21 AM
Re: Zoe
Maybe - it sounded like two dogs to me, since she mentioned the incontinent dog being present in previous visits, which means it would no longer be a puppy by now.

It doesn't matter anyway - one peeing doggy, two peeing doggies - hardly a healthy environment for kids to be around, especially in a house that small.

Comment: #26
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:24 AM
Re: Missa

Agree that there are hurt feelings possibly, but don' t you think he could have left the dogs at home?
Comment: #27
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:27 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence

Excellent post :)
Comment: #28
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:01 AM
Re: nanchan

"The truth is that men and women BOTH need love AND sex."

Nanchan, honey, you aren't a man. You aren't allowed to say what men need unless you are one.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Zoe
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:14 AM
Shoot, from a man's perspective I can't disput what she's said though.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:37 AM
Zoe--That's silly. By that logic, men can't advocate for women's rights because they're not women, white people shouldn't have participated in the civil rights movement because they're not black, and education researchers shouldn't let teachers know how best to help struggling students because they themselves are not dyslexic. Of course Nanchan can say what she thinks men need and don't need. Whether she's right is beside the point, though I think she is right in this case.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Andaia
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:38 AM
can't dispute it either. damn typos. how come women don't make typos?
Comment: #32
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:38 AM
Re: Andaia
Zoe was being tongue-in-cheek.

Comment: #33
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:48 AM
I agree with Zoe.

After all, according to Nanchan, Canadians shouldn't comment on America if they have never lived there. By that same logic, she, as a woman, shouldn't comment on what men think because she has never been one.

Unless, of course, she was once a man.

Nanchan, please advise.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Princess Bride
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:48 AM
Re: Andaia #31
Zoe, Andaia is absolutely right. What on earth is the matter with you, saying such a thing? You ARE silly.

(Actually, Andaia, she is making reference to something that happened a few days ago. You might want to go back and read the posts for the past week or so, don't remember exactly when it was.)
Comment: #35
Posted by: jennylee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:50 AM
LW 1 You need therapy if you think you "can't live without" a certain person. You will never have a healthy relationship if you are so needy. Men buy expensive things for themselves. Maybe not all men but the same percent who look at porn, probably 99 percent. Let him buy his toys if he has the money. It doesn't sound like you are paying for his truck.

LW 3 Most men need sex. If they are married to a woman who is not intersted in sex she can not tell him to just do without. If she wants to stay married to him but not have sex with him he can look elsewhere.
Comment: #36
Posted by: locake
Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:00 AM
Re comment #34 Of course nanchan was once a man, she/he has been everywhere, done every kind of job, knows everyone in the world and is an expert in all things.
Comment: #37
Posted by: locake
Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:21 AM
I have to agree with Paula. The door swings both ways. Many men (not all, but many) ignore their wives all day long and then wonder why the wife isn't a sex kitten in the bedroom at night. If men need sex to "complete them", why do they even get married? why not just go visit hookers? If conversation, compliments, (and I don't mean "you are making me horny" is a compliment), loving touches without being sexual, etc. are too much bother, it's no wonder your wife feels like she's just there for his sexual pleasure. If men need sex.... women need communication. Try turning off the TV and the sports and whatnot and actually talking to her. Tell her she looks great. Dance around the kitchen like they do on the Cialis commercial. Look into her eyes when you talkto her, and let her answer you and listen to what she says. I have a S.O. who has trouble doing these things so I know what I'm talking about.
Comment: #38
Posted by: kaydee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:37 AM

Agreed. Men should do all those things.

But what should women do for their husbands?

In these discussions, there are always suggestions for men to give back/foot rubs, compliments, and presents, but there rarely suggestions for women to reciprocate. Why is the focus always on the men to make the effort?
Comment: #39
Posted by: Princess Bride
Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:52 AM
LW1--" "Bud" and I have only two issues: money and kids." ONLY two issues? Honey, these are pretty big issues. Let's take stock of your situation. After two abusive husbands who squandered their (and your) money you're now hooked up with a man who exhibits the same pattern of self-indulgence without consideration for the welfare of the family and apparently without a lick of common sense. Financial security is a very key piece of any partnership and it seems that unless you take complete control over the finances and put Bud on an allowance (which trust me, he'll come to resent and you along with it) then your only other options are to maintain separate accounts in your name only; charge Bud a nominal monthly lump sum fee for food, utilities and mortgage and let him squander the rest of his assets at his own peril. Of course your other option is to dump the guy and find someone who shares your fiscal responsibility. Yes you CAN live without Bud.

LW2--I hate to break it to you my dear but your children are only interested in a relationship with you only to the extent that it serves them. While I understand that you're willing to tolerate a lot in order to see the kids even if sporadically, it's totally unreasonable for someone to expect a host to put up with three rambunctious dogs who piss all over the house. Public service announcement: People, do everyone a favor and leave your damn dogs HOME!!! Nobody wants them in their home, despite what they might say to the contrary when put on the spot. If your son decides to punish you by withholding contact, well, it seems he's been doing that anyway. I say good riddance.

LW3--Try filling your "void" with a brain and some common sense. I hate to break the news to you but sex is not the end-all, be-all of mankind's existence. Is that all that defines you? Any man willing to risk it all for a few minutes (yes, I said minutes chump) of awkward rubbing is a moron. Do your wife a favor and get a blow-up doll.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Chris
Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:53 AM
Well NO, I am not a man, have never been one, but according to Zoe, all All Wise And Knowing, since I've seen a man on TV so I know EVERYTHING about being one. Oh, And I've seen them on movies too.
Comment: #41
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:05 AM
"Agreed. Men should do all those things.
But what should women do for their husbands?"

Yes, men should act like a human being. They should look at you when you talk to them. They should act affectionate towards the person they love. They should speak and/or answer when spoken to. Is that akin to asking a guy to climb Mt. Everest? These are basic manners! In return they will get more good lovin' from their wives.
Comment: #42
Posted by: kaydee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:42 AM
Re: LW3: To the women who have a problem with men who treat them poorly and then want sex ... it's your own fault because you married or dated the wrong kind of man. If he doesnt treat you right when he's dating you, don't expect him to change. There are plenty of good men who will treat you right. But you probably ignore them because they don't have a full head of hair, or they aren't tall or handsome. Take a good look at your decisions. Do you want a man who will treat you right ... or a man desired by many women who will cheat on you ? Your choice, but you're foolish if you think you'll find it all. The perfect men are snatched up early in life by some bright girl who realizes what she's got. Ok, I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule ... but I think this is basically true.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Dave Galino
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:43 AM
RE: Kaydee

Did you purposely ignore my question?

I'll repeat: you are right that men should do all those things for their wives.

But what efforts should women make?

Or do you think all of the responsibility should rest on the man's shoulders?
Comment: #44
Posted by: Princess Bride
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:48 AM
I am getting pretty tired of these letters saying men want sex all the time and women don't. It all depends on the individual. I am over 60 and quite fit and would love to continue having the great sexual relationship we used to have, my husband, however, does not. He is 57 and he would rather quit having sex altogether. I, however, am not interested in never having sex again. I am 61, not 91. But since we are adults and not teenagers, we try to compromise and work it out to consider each other's feelings; not going behind the other's back and cheating, etc. If you find the other person unwilling to work it out with you, then you move on, you do not lie and cheat.
Comment: #45
Posted by: KCD
Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:50 AM
@Princess Bride. I thought I answered your question.

You misunderstand me. What I think a man should do in a loving relationship is very little and very basic. What I am asking for is basic consideration of one' s spouse. you know, basic manners. It's not "taking all the responsibility in a relationship". Foot rubs, massages, special gifts, a man are all nice, but I would be willing to just have my guy appreciate and validate me! I do all kinds of stuff for him that he never notices, like make what he likes for dinner, never complain when he watches sports all day long on TV, ask him how his day went, praise him when he does something wonderful such as fix the toilet, tell him he looks handsome, tell him I love him, etc. I never get anything like this in return! And, Dave, we dated for 5 years before we got married, and he was always loving and communicative during that time. Then once we got married, bam, he changed completely.
Comment: #46
Posted by: kaydee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:08 AM
RE: LW3 - When will women get it that a man NEEDS sex in order to feel complete? When will men get it that, women NEED to feel appreciated outside the bedroom in order to WANT sex? Don't justify your cheating because you don't get all the sex you want, any time, anywhere. Here's the deal - treat women like crap & you don't get sex. But then, you complain you don't get sex but don't do anything outside of sex to make the woman feel close to you and cared-for, thus, you don't get sex. Maybe YOU need to change something in order for HER to feel desire for you.
Comment: #47
Posted by: Julie
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:13 AM
Re: Casey
Actually, as a parent AND as a child/grandchild, I don't think it is a no-brainer that his dad and stepmom would want to spend alone time with stepmom's daughter. *I* would not turn away my child (or stepchild) at Christmas time, especially if it was our history/pattern. I know my grandparents never would either, no matter how long it's been since they've seen another family member.
The other part is, we don't know why Mike already has limited communication with Dad and Stepmom. It's quite possible there are other issues that resulted in the limited contact prior, and this was the "final straw" or whatever.
I simply don't buy into the automatic judgement that this is a spoiled brat adult who needs to get over it.
Comment: #48
Posted by: Missa
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:20 AM
I am so glad to see Lise B back. I find her responses interesting, even if I don't always agree.
Comment: #49
Posted by: Ellen Shafer
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:21 AM
Re: Lise Brouillette

No one said it was either or.

However, he DOES NOT have a spouse or children. Doesn't matter what others feel he should do. He may have very good reasons for being single, as I do.

And 3 years IS a tradition/pattern.

Personally, I don't understand parents ever turning away a child's visit, especially at the holidays...but, hey, I guess some people do.
Comment: #50
Posted by: Missa
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:22 AM
Re: nanchan

Maybe. I don't know his reasons for not doing so. I know I don't kennel my dogs, and at Christmas time, my dog sitter isn't typically available.

Who knows.
Comment: #51
Posted by: Missa
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:25 AM
So, Zoe… Were you ever a man?? Let's try to make today a Confessions Day! (an idea I stole from the Dear Abby Yahoo comments.)
Comment: #52
Posted by: Casey
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:27 AM
Julie, you summed it up very well.

Agree with Ellen that I enjoy Lise Brouillette's comments too. :)
Comment: #53
Posted by: kaydee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:28 AM
@Missa: I'll make the general, over sweeping statement that if you're reaction to something is the silence treatment, you're a spoiled brat. At least have the cojones to tell the person why you're upset, then you can do the silent treatment. But this attitude of “Well, I just won't talk to you!” = Mean Girl shenanigans from junior high.
Comment: #54
Posted by: Casey
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:30 AM
@Kaydee: Wow, sorry to hear about your husband :( I've always wondered why some wo/men change as soon as they get married.
Comment: #55
Posted by: Casey
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:32 AM
I think the fact thatsome men are willing to risk to risk everything for sex just proves that some men are horse's rear ends!!!
It is not a NEED it is a DESIRE. And I am sure he would not think it was okay for women to do the same thing.
Comment: #56
Posted by: Mary
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:39 AM
I agree, Ellen. I enjoy Lise Brouillette's comments too.
Comment: #57
Posted by: kaydee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:42 AM
I like Lise's comments also.

Now back to the men vs women does irk me when women say "gee if only....then you'd get more sex". As if it's candy she is passing out to a child when he behaves.
Comment: #58
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:52 AM
I like Lise's comments also.
Now back to the men vs women does irk me when women say "gee if only....then you'd get more sex". As if it's candy she is passing out to a child when he behaves.
Comment: #59
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:53 AM
Re: Princess Bride
I will answer that question for you.

If you are a woman and your husband, without explanation, unilaterally decides that he "doesn't do that anymore", then you have a ten-points bullet list to check:

1. Are you physically desirable? Some men can deal with a huge pot belly and unshaven legs, some can't.
2. Are you reasonably CLEAN? Do you have bad breath and neglected teeth? Some men will screw just about anything when they're hard... and some won't.
3. Are you a nag? Has your husband complained that you're on his back all the time? For some men, this makes no difference on their libido, for others, it adds up and the straw breaks the camel's back at one point.
4. Do you make a point of complimenting your husband on the qualities you like about him, and thanking him for what he does for you, or is he very much taken for granted?
5. Do you still have conversations about things that are not bills/jobs/children/in-laws/neighbours/house/health-related?
6. Do you spend "alone" time together, doing things you both enjoy that are not related to sex - a hobby, jogging, going to a movie or a restaurant, etc, or has everything fallen into the domestic humdrum rut?
7. Do you still go through the trouble of doing small pleasant things for him, and making yourself pretty for him, and wearing something he likes?
8. Has your husband gone through harrowing experiences lately - job loss, a change of residence, a death in the family? All these things can affect both men and women.
9. Has he any reason to be worried sick about something - trouble with one of the kids, his mother is dying, his job is on the line, he just found a growth in his armpit?
10. Have you tried talking to him about the change in behaviour, or suggested counselling? Conversations yield better results than nagging.

If none of this changes anything, then you have to decide what you are willing to live with - and without. Getting a piece on the side merely compounds the problem.

So no, PB, it is not just a man's responsibility, but do keep in mind that the present letter is about a man complaining about unresponsible wives, not the other way around... in which case you re-read what I just wrote and change the pronouns. It IS the responsibility of the one who is complaining about the lack of intimacy to figure out if s/he doesn't have some re-seducing to do.

Comment: #60
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:59 AM
Re: Gerhardt
"it does irk me when women say "gee if only....then you'd get more sex". As if it's candy she is passing out to a child when he behaves."
It depends what kind of sex you're talking about. If it's a matter of the woman just opening up her legs and letting you do your thing, then it's "if only, then" indeed. But if you want the woman to want you, and enjoy what you're doing to her, then she has to be in the mood, and more importantly, she has to WANT to get in the mood. And for that, she requires different things than men do.

Comment: #61
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:08 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette


Excellent, excellent post.

Well done.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Princess Bride
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:24 PM
Re: Casey

Not really. Sometimes you're just done. No need to engage further.
Comment: #63
Posted by: Missa
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:28 PM
I don't understand. Is there an accompanying pictorial?-
Comment: #64
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:31 PM
wait a minute, there's more than just.... now I really need things explained.
Comment: #65
Posted by: Gerhardt
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:35 PM
Re: Gerhardt
I'm sure you can find that on the Net. ;-D
Comment: #66
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:37 PM
@Lise B
Glad to see you are back on (the) board!
Comment: #67
Posted by: Kitty O'Shea
Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:37 PM
Been gone all day - are we having this discussion about "men want sex but they don't get that women want....." again??
Nanchan - thanks. Really.
I like Lise's comments too - especially the one where she told the whole board to go f^ ourselves to hell. That was funny. I knew you'd be back.
Comment: #68
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:59 PM
Add me to the list of those who missed Lise and are glad to see her posting again!
Comment: #69
Posted by: Kitty
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:23 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence
Yo - not the WHOLE board... just the ones who kept pickin'. ;-D
Comment: #70
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:27 PM
OMG, Lise, post #60, I am impressed. Was not expecting to see your name at the end of that post. Perhaps you and I are not so different after all.
Comment: #71
Posted by: Jane
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:31 PM
@ Lise B. Re: #60

Excellent post!!!
Comment: #72
Posted by: Chris
Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:51 PM
Lise, got it! (secret handshake)
Comment: #73
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:26 PM
Lise-------yes, that was a great post. You covered everything, I think.

And add me to the list of people who're glad you're here posting.
Comment: #74
Posted by: jennylee
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:23 PM
Re: Chris (#40)

"Of course your other option is to dump the guy and find someone who shares your fiscal responsibility."

Two marriages with abusive partners, and now this. I think I'll avoid a take on the situation, but if she does dump her Bud, bud ... the question becomes the one asked in the old country song, "Will I Ever Get it Right?" (Actually, it's "Till I Get It Right," and Tammy Wynette sang it 40 years ago. Same thing.) Will she EVER get it right?
Comment: #75
Posted by: Bobaloo
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:06 PM
@Lise Brouillette #60
Bravo -you nailed it! Good to see you back.
Comment: #76
Posted by: EstherGreenwood
Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:21 PM
LW1: At 44, if Bud hasn't learned to manage money by now, he never will. If you have a child who is really a child, he/she has a chance to mature. Bud is already past his peak, so unless you plan on raising a "child" for another 20 - 30 years, it's sayonara!

LW2: It's time for Mikey to fend for himself, all the time. Don't call him, make him call you, and close the piggy bank.

LW3: Trust and consideration of a spouse's needs work both ways. It helps if both partners have the same level sex drive.
Comment: #77
Posted by: JustWinBaby
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:44 PM
@ Lise Brouillette #60- I too am glad to see you back on here. Sometimes we are like a big dysfunctional family but I do enjoy reading most of your posts.
Comment: #78
Posted by: JustBecause
Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:20 AM
LW1: WOW -- "we only have two issues, money and kids"? Are you serious?! I can't believe the Annies didn't point out to you that those are THE TWO BIGGEST ISSUES that drive a couple apart. What a recipe for disaster. The response you got from the Annies is like a reporter in 1865 saying, "Well, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" I can't believe you used the word "only" for those two powder-keg issues.
Comment: #79
Posted by: Nancy
Mon Feb 4, 2013 3:28 PM
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