Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 23 Feb 2018 02:16:58 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/annies-mailbox-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox 674aa7faf45922ef9de785ec84b28d85 Marriage is Not a Game for 03/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/marriage-is-not-a-game Sat, 10 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am unable to develop feelings of love for my husband of eight years. In fact, deep inside, I despise him. </p> <p>This is my second marriage, his fourth. In our early years together, I began to notice obvious signs of his having an intimate relationship with another woman. He always refuted this vehemently and became angry with me for even saying such a thing. But the evidence I've accumulated is enough proof for me. I even saw this woman multiple times, and the looks she gave me were of the "cat that ate the canary" variety. </p> <p>My husband has no idea that I have evidence, although I am now positive that he has stopped seeing this woman. My problem is that my heart has a layer of cement around it because he has insulted and disrespected my intelligence by continuing to lie about it. I cannot trust someone who is unable to be truthful. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 10, 2018</p> 64ae57e8cdfc74c9174a6702919529ba Should I Stay or Should I Go? for 02/28/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-d08c5 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I recently obtained proof of what I had long suspected: My husband of more than 40 years has been seeing prostitutes and having affairs for the past 20 years. During this time, he was always considerate and loving to me. I thought we had a wonderful marriage. When I confronted him with the evidence, he finally confessed. We went to a counselor, but after a single half-hour session, he wouldn't go back. </p> <p>Aside from dealing with the shock and humiliation of the betrayal, I have two problems: First, I cannot forgive myself for not taking a firm stand when I first suspected his cheating. I put it out of my mind and continued as before. The second problem is that I cannot erase images of his affairs. </p> <p>My counselor, along with some books I have read, says to reestablish our close, loving relationship and let the past go. So I made the effort, and our marriage now seems fine. We are happy with each other, but I still suffer with the mental images. I fear that I have demeaned myself by reestablishing an intimate relationship with him. I wonder whether I might regain my self-esteem by telling him our marriage is over. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 28, 2018</p> 82376464a17d9034b8eb80bc05cf15b0 Mother Versus Husband for 02/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/mother-versus-husband Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I always felt that my mother and I were inseparable. I never thought I would be blessed to marry a wonderful man and that it would damage our relationship, but it did.</p> <p>My mom has had a great influence on my life for 32 years, but this had to end. She only developed a problem with my then-boyfriend when she saw that it was serious. She tried everything to break us up, including having him investigated. She told me he was "no good." I chose to pray and follow my heart and not listen to her. I'm happy I did. I couldn't ask for a better husband. </p> <p>Mom did not come to my wedding and refuses to come to my house, saying I chose a man over her. But, Annie, I cannot allow her to continue to be so disrespectful of my husband. Please tell your readers that trying to control your children will only push them away and create resentment. My mom centered her life around me and now feels lost. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 23, 2018</p> 847388c7893cdec8e43b870a0debf570 She is Holding a Grudge for 02/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/she-is-holding-a-grudge Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My daughter hasn't spoken to me in 20 years. "Linda" is 45 years old and has been married since around 1993. I wasn't invited to her wedding, so I am not sure. I think she received a master's degree, but I wasn't invited to her graduation, so I'm not sure of that, either.</p> <p>Linda's mother left me for her married lover when our daughter was 6. Instead of taking custody, I felt it best for her mother to raise her, which was a big mistake. My current wife enjoyed a good relationship with Linda. We visited her during her college years and gave her money to spend. But once she finished her degree, we never heard from her again. She didn't reply to our phone calls, letters or emails. </p> <p>Linda's brother informed me that she and her husband have four children we have never met. The oldest must be about 16 and the youngest about 3, but I do not know any of their birthdates. When I tried to find out why she stopped all contact, the only thing she said was, "Whatever the reason that you think it is."<p>Updated: Thu Feb 22, 2018</p> 93aad0d371708bedc90573f829f23b4e College-Bound and Confused for 02/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/college-bound-and-confused Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a senior in high school. I have been dating "Brianna" for 10 months. She graduated last year and attended a community college, but really had no ambition or motivation to be there. We spent last summer together, and I honestly fell head over heels in love with her. </p> <p>Here's the problem. I have been accepted to many colleges out of town. It has always been my dream to go away to school. I told Brianna it wouldn't be fair to either of us to stay together while I am away, but I want us to be together as much as possible until then. Ever since I mentioned this to Brianna, however, things haven't been the same. We've been arguing a lot.</p> <p>Brianna's dad left when she was 12, and she's still crushed by it. She doesn't get along well with her family and tells me I'm all she has. She says when I go away to school, I'll be leaving her just like everybody else.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 21, 2018</p> 101342b37476104c212c5c2c0ed9bf62 Show Your Parents This Letter for 02/20/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/show-your-parents-this-letter Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 19-year-old heroin addict striving toward recovery. I go to five Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week, but I have occasional setbacks. After the most recent incident, I left drug paraphernalia in the bathroom. I took full responsibility and was ashamed and disgusted with myself. But the first thing my mother said was, "Did you leave that out on purpose so your sister could find it and start experimenting? She's only 13!"</p> <p>Annie, my sister is anti-drugs, and I talk to her a lot about the subject. I believe openness and honesty are the keys to avoidance, and I will do everything I can to save her from making the same mistakes I have made. </p> <p>My parents will never understand addiction, but I wish they would try a little harder. I have repeatedly asked them to come to one NA meeting. I wrote them a three-page letter explaining the importance of my going to meetings and how valuable their support would be to me. I arranged for people to talk to my parents so they could ask questions that might be too uncomfortable to ask me directly, but they had no interest. They discourage me from attending meetings, and when I brought home literature from NA for them, they left it on the floor, and the dog chewed it. <p>Updated: Tue Feb 20, 2018</p> 9f361f3f7e7c538ebdbad58eea3a750f Family First for 02/19/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/family-first-98494 Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Several years ago, I stayed with my aunt and uncle for a week. My aunt sent me down to the basement to tell my uncle to come upstairs for dinner. When I turned the corner, I caught him pulling up his pants in front of the computer screen. He asked me not to tell my aunt, and I didn't. </p> <p>During my time there, he did several other things that made me uncomfortable. He asked me personal questions about women's bodies, and one time when I was alone with him, he hugged me from behind, pushing himself against me. Eventually, I told my parents about it. Although they believed me, I don't think they ever said anything to my aunt and uncle. So I made my own rules about how close to get to him when we visited. </p> <p>The reason I'm writing is because I have two younger sisters, both teenagers, and I have noticed my uncle looking at them when we visit. Even more troubling, my uncle has two young granddaughters who visit on a regular basis. While I don't like to think he'd do anything to them, my aunt and uncle often babysit for the girls, so he has regular opportunities to be alone with them.<p>Updated: Mon Feb 19, 2018</p> fb73c0fe4aa4777c3ae91cf1017e0be1 Family First for 02/18/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/family-first Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Our daughter, "Mattie," is 42 years old. She has been married for 10 years and has two school-age children. Due to her husband's work transfers, Mattie twice was left alone with the children for several months while she tried to sell the house and her husband moved to the new location. </p> <p>The first time it happened, things worked out OK, but the second time, Mattie started drinking quite heavily. We didn't find out until she had seizures, lost a lot of weight and ended up in the hospital close to death with severe liver damage. She pulled out of it, but now we worry that she might be in the same situation. We visited her over the holidays and suspect she has started drinking again. She also seems very depressed.</p> <p>Her husband doesn't seem to recognize the problem. As parents, do we get involved? If so, do we confront Mattie or talk to her husband? &#8212; Terrified for Our Daughter<p>Updated: Sun Feb 18, 2018</p> 1152f0a3aaf26983fe281e6f65a3075f Making Excuses for 02/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/making-excuses Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have been in love with "Cliff" for four years. We bought a home together two years ago, but soon after, he became unemployed, angry and spiteful. I tried to tough it out, believing it would eventually get better, but when Cliff became verbally abusive, I took my two kids and left. I asked him if he wanted me to stay, and he said no, he didn't think things would improve. </p> <p>We kept trying to fix the relationship, or at least I did. But Cliff was dating other women and lied to me about it, and the whole thing has become a hurtful mess. I still love Cliff, but don't know whether I can trust him anymore. My guilt over leaving him and his son to deal with the foreclosure on the house we bought together kills me. He won't express any anger, even though I can see his resentment. He also won't address the lies. Is this a lost cause? Am I hoping for too much? &#8212; Love Struck in California</p> <p>Dear California: You could make excuses for Cliff's terrible behavior by believing his job loss depressed him and he couldn't cope. But that only underscores a certain level of immaturity and irresponsibility. When the going gets tough, Cliff lies and cheats. Life is filled with tough times, and your partner should be someone you can count on. Cliff doesn't seem terribly interested in working on your marriage. At some point, you have to make the decisions that are best for you and your children. Professional counseling can help you work through this and move forward.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 17, 2018</p> 9d010b9be68cdccaceb9ec0a2cdf97ec Us Against the World for 02/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/us-against-the-world Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My parents and brother live in another state. A few years ago, my brother went through a nasty divorce. He and my 11-year-old niece, "Jenny," are still estranged from the ex-wife. </p> <p>The issue is how my mother is reacting to the divorce. She was very shocked by the events leading up to their separation, and I think it has damaged her trust in people. She seems to be transferring this anxiety onto Jenny. Mom wants to protect Jenny from all disappointments in life, and together they have developed an "us against the world" mentality. </p> <p>Annie, there are other family members who love Jenny and want to be part of a loving support system for her, and yet we feel shut out by the alliance with my mother. Jenny goes to her grandmother almost exclusively with all of her feelings, and I get the sense that Mom enjoys being so important to her. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 16, 2018</p> e745a55f06c8af5b407ce87ea1bf4656 Only if the Love Can Be Recaptured for 02/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/only-if-the-love-can-be-recaptured Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I are having marital problems. Our issues started when I caught her lying to me and talking privately on the phone to my best friend of 12 years &#8212; the same guy who was the best man at my wedding. After arguing for a few days, I asked her to make a sincere effort to go for counseling, and she agreed. I also asked her to stop speaking to my friend during the time we are trying to repair our marriage. She agreed to that, too.</p> <p>However, this guy messages her on Facebook, and she still reads his comments. We went to our first counseling session, and I felt it went well. But when we got home, I realized that she was having doubts. She finally said she had not been in love with me for five years. </p> <p>Annie, we have a beautiful 16-month-old baby girl. I want to repair our marriage for our child's sake, as well as for us. What should I do? Can marriage counseling help if there's no love? &#8212; Dying in New York<p>Updated: Thu Feb 15, 2018</p> cd80bbd19a52239185b30358bc795b3a Valentine's Day for 02/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/valentines-day-7a322 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Readers: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.</p> <p>Dear Annie: My older sister and I are both in our late 40s. After years of putting up with "Mary's" nasty, critical comments and her tantrums when she doesn't get her way, I am ready to cut all ties. The only problem is, Mary still has possession of a number of family photographs and jewelry that once belonged to our mother. </p> <p>After our father passed away, we put all of the family stuff in storage. About a year later, Mary bought a condo in another city, packed everything up and took it with her. She never asked whether I wanted any of it or whether I minded that she took the contents of the storage locker. I had to fly to her city, rent a car and a trailer, and then go through everything, dividing up most of the estate. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 14, 2018</p> c3e7ec646b5e7189e6aec62cb2dc8f93 Placate and Ignore for 02/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/placate-and-ignore Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My brother, "Jay," and his wife have an adopted daughter, "Anna," who is now 3 years old. We adore her.</p> <p>Jay and I recently got into an argument. He said they were angry that we didn't call Anna on her birthday. I was surprised by this, as we had already wished her a happy birthday in person, with a gift and a card at her party a few days prior to her actual birthday. When Jay and I were kids, we were always happy to receive a card and a gift from our aunts and uncles. We never expected them to call, as well.</p> <p>In addition, Jay said that they were angry that my husband and I didn't take time off of work to be at the courthouse to celebrate the "official" adoption six months after Anna was born. We told him at the time that we couldn't take time off of work and would celebrate with them at their home, which we did. At that time, Jay said it was fine, but now, it apparently wasn't good enough. When my husband and I adopted our oldest child, we never demanded that anyone take the day off of work to be at the courthouse, nor to be at the hospital when our younger kids were born. <p>Updated: Tue Feb 13, 2018</p> 71ace93bf9820a71311a212f8900d569 Rebound Marriage for 02/12/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/rebound-marriage Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Twenty years ago, my wife had an affair with a co-worker. It ended when he moved back to his home state 2,000 miles away. At the time, I asked my wife to go to counseling with me. We made it to one session before she pronounced our marriage "healed." </p> <p>Sixteen months ago, out of the blue, this same guy contacted my wife via email, and they began communicating. I discovered they were planning to meet in Las Vegas. I begged her not to go, but she was convinced she loved him and had to know if they should be together. The month before her trip, I endured more pain than I've ever experienced. I set up counseling sessions for us with separate therapists, arranged a meeting with our pastor and lost 20 pounds from the stress. </p> <p>In the end, this creep flaked out on their Vegas rendezvous, probably because he couldn't see himself leaving his children for her. She also was reluctant to leave our kids. However, the breakup crushed her, and she initially refused to work on our marriage. Finally, we went to a joint counseling session, but when the therapist made reference to her "profound betrayal," that was that. <p>Updated: Mon Feb 12, 2018</p> d980a565b203058cf3a327e34388d867 This is Not What I Agreed To for 02/11/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/this-is-not-what-i-agreed-to Sun, 11 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: When I married "Joe" three years ago, I moved into his home with my preteen daughter. Joe has two older children and a teenage son. I agreed that the youngest son would stay with us during the week and live at his mother's on the weekends. Since then, however, his teenage son has decided to stay with his mother, which is fine. However, now the older son and daughter are living with us.</p> <p>Joe's daughter has stolen my daughter's clothes and personal belongings. She denies it, and Joe believes her, even though it was obvious that she went through my daughter's things while we were out of the house.</p> <p>His son is married with a toddler and twins on the way. He cannot keep a job, does drugs and was evicted from their apartment. His family moved in with us three months ago. His wife is due any day. She will go to her mother's when the babies are born, but her mother doesn't like my stepson, so he has to stay here. He refuses to get a job and expects his father to pay for everything. <p>Updated: Sun Feb 11, 2018</p> dafeebeb24c24807ee2e0bcb0885571e It is OK for 02/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/it-is-ok Sat, 10 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am 39 years old. For the past 20 years, I have had ongoing therapy to recover from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. My abuser was my half-brother. When I finally said something at the age of 13, my family did not believe or support me. Since then, family gatherings have been especially difficult because my family expects me to attend when my abuser is present. I can't even tell you how difficult it is to be around him. The flashbacks are unbearable. Five years ago, with the support of my counselor, I decided I didn't need to subject myself to that kind of torture and stopped going to these family functions. </p> <p>The problem now is that no one mentions the abuse, especially to his wife and two daughters. His wife, who is clueless, sends me Christmas and birthday presents, which makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially when I see his name on the card. Is it OK for me to ask her to stop? I don't want to insert myself into their lives or cause problems, but I can't deal with this. &#8212; Still Healing </p> <p>Dear Healing: Is there a risk that your half-brother would abuse his daughters? If so, it is imperative that you inform his wife so she can protect her children. It is OK to ask your sister-in-law to stop sending gifts and cards, or you can send a letter to your half-brother, asking him to please cease all communication. If you cannot bring yourself to write to him directly, please ask a friend to do it for you.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 10, 2018</p> 1d3efec467a8535cc30247a5db3cb9ef Mom or Maid? for 02/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/mom-or-maid Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: This is in response to "Tired in Rural Oregon," whose kids are slobs and whose husband doesn't care. I told my kids if they didn't pick up their messes, I would hire a "maid." One day, they came home to a clean, organized house. I said the "maid" had come. When I handed out my children's allowance for the week, I took back the money it cost to hire the "maid." I then told them that the "maid" was going to the mall to buy herself something really nice. I came home with a new top and thanked my kids for making the "maid" so happy. </p> <p>From then on, I just had to remind my kids that if they didn't pick up after themselves, I would hire the "maid" again. &#8212; Honolulu Housewife</p> <p>Dear Honolulu: We love it. Here's more:<p>Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2018</p> 96b4d62c484533d592d5aad8ccde9ab6 First My Daughter, Now My Mother for 02/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/first-my-daughter-now-my-mother Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I lost my beautiful daughter to suicide six months ago. A strong and able firefighter, she was also extremely active in her community. </p> <p>Naturally, I leaned on my mother for consolation, but I didn't find it. Instead, my mother was distant and uninterested in my pain. It was an effort even to get her to attend my daughter's memorial service. She said it would be hypocritical to go, because she hadn't spoken to my daughter for years. I can't recall what hurt my mother so much that she decided never to speak to my daughter again. Now she says she doesn't want to hear from me until I am feeling better. </p> <p>I am well aware of my mother's inability to talk about things that cause her pain. However, I don't believe pushing me out of her life solves anything. My mother told me she doesn't approve of the way I expressed myself angrily to people who claimed to be friends of my daughter but proceeded to spread ugly lies about her past. In my grief, I confronted these people and protected my daughter as any parent would have. My mother told me to get mental health assistance, and she refuses to speak to me. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 08, 2018</p> 25d99ca50e0349862331feb80437e9f4 Suicide is Always Serious for 02/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/suicide-is-always-serious Wed, 07 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a teenager, and my friend told me he's having suicidal thoughts. His dad is really hard on him, and I suspect he's verbally abusive, as well. </p> <p>He made me promise never to tell anyone and said he wouldn't actually go through with these thoughts. But I don't know what to do. Would it ruin him if I told someone? And who would I tell? I don't want to make his home life even worse, and he might deny it if I mention it. Please help me. &#8212; Scared to Death </p> <p>Dear Scared: One should always take threats of suicide seriously. Your friend confided in you because he needed to talk about it, and you can encourage him to discuss his feelings. Your compassion and support may help him resolve some issues and realize that whatever situation he is in doesn't have to be permanent. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 07, 2018</p> d04942b2a572e9f1a31dc3fea72ca95b He Needs Help for 02/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/02/18/he-needs-help Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a mother in my mid-20s and a very concerned sister. My brother, "Dennis," is four years younger and the first to graduate high school. He went to college and had everything going for him. Now he is throwing it all away. </p> <p>Dennis turned to drugs and has missed important moments in our lives, such as weddings and holidays. He only shows up at my mother's or grandmother's house to take a shower, and then he goes out again. My family and I are trying so hard to point him back in the right direction. </p> <p>Two months ago, I had to have Dennis arrested for assaulting me. We are all worried that something terrible is going to happen. There are times when he is completely out of it and doesn't know what's going on. What do we do? &#8212; Worried Family in Illinois<p>Updated: Tue Feb 06, 2018</p>