Be the Good Example This Little Boy's Mom Is Not Dear Annie: My younger sister, "Nora," is 43 and acts like an 18-year-old brat. She became pregnant nine years ago by a drug addict who is currently in jail for raping a 14-year-old girl. (He is out of the picture, thank goodness.) I love my nephew, …Read more. Putting the Kibosh on Cranky Clyde Dear Annie: My husband, an only child, never had a great relationship with his father, "Clyde." My mother-in-law died six years ago, and my husband passed away three years later. While things are improving for my daughter and me, we are both having …Read more. The Truth About Who Kissed Who Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, one of my cousins tried to molest me when we were at our grandmother's house. He tried to force a kiss on me and said because I was older, I should learn about sex and teach it to him. I fought him off. I was …Read more. Confusing His Loves Dear Annie: Two years ago, a good friend died of a heart attack. His wife, "Sally," asked me to help her get rid of his things, which I was happy to do, and I soon found myself mowing her lawn and doing chores around the house. Here is the problem: …Read more.more articles
Till Excessive Slovenliness Do We Part
Dear Annie: I've known my wife for two years. We've been living together for five months and married for one. I love her a ton.
I pull my share of the load around here, including paying half the bills and buying the groceries. I cook, clean and do all of the yard work and home maintenance. The problem is, my wife is a slob.
I'm not a perfectionist, but I like things tidy and organized. My wife has no problem making a snack in the kitchen and leaving the mess for me to clean up. She never makes the bed. She drops things all over the house, and I end up picking up after her constantly. She says I'm "such a sweetheart," but I'd gladly give up the moniker for a little more help.
This sloppiness is a side of her I didn't know. She sometimes goes two or three days without a shower, and it is noticeable. How do I approach her about these things without upsetting her and starting a fight? — Eating on Me
Dear Eating: We are continually amazed that people can be so blind to the bad habits of a loved one when they have been living with them for months. You may need to tell your wife that she has a strong aroma that others may notice. But you also can encourage her to bathe more often by showering together as part of foreplay, telling her how much you love her clean scent. You can remind her to pick up after herself or, if you can afford it, hire someone to clean your place.
You can "train" her, but it will take time and loving patience. If she is unwilling to work on this, get professional counseling before throwing in the (clean) towel.
Dear Annie: I am a retired married woman in my 50s and try to go to bed before 11 p.m. every night. For a combination of reasons, I can't get comfortable falling asleep. Sometimes I will read awhile, but either the nightstand light bothers me or my arthritis does.
My husband is up until the wee hours. If by some miracle I have fallen asleep, he wakes me up fiddling with his iPod. Then my cat wakes me by scratching the mattress for an early morning feeding. So on a good night, I average five hours of sleep. It not only feels lonely lying in bed by myself, but this regimen has got to be taking a toll on my body. How do I cope? — Not Counting Sheep or Blessings
Dear Not Counting: It is not unusual for husbands and wives to have different sleep schedules. Try some relaxation techniques. Don't read in bed, and turn off the nightstand lights. Take a hot shower or bath. Make the room as dark as possible, or wear a sleep mask and earplugs. Invest in a fan or white-noise machine. Keep the bedroom door closed so the cat cannot get in. Explain to your husband that you need him to be sensitive to your sleep problems. Also, get a complete checkup, and talk to your doctor about medication and a referral to a sleep clinic.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Can't Help Being Concerned," whose boyfriend has rape fantasies. You said this was fairly common and suggested she consider role-playing. However, you left out an absolutely vital piece of advice.
Rape fantasies can too easily become actual rape if she becomes frightened during the role-play and wants to quit. Usual protestations like "Stop!" could be mistaken as part of the role-play. To be protected, they must first agree on a safe word (unrelated to the activity) that will end the role-play immediately. — Safety First
Dear Safety: You are absolutely correct, and we were remiss not to mention the necessity of a safe word. (We suspect yelling out "Annie's Mailbox!" would get the message across.)
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, 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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