Witness to a Friend's (Abusive) Marriage Dear Annie: As a witness to a friend's marriage, I vowed to help keep their relationship strong. Would you please print something I could give them about verbal abuse? His wife has a serious drinking problem, and when she's had too much, she goes …Read more. Girlfriend, Uninvited Dear Annie: I have been dating "Pete" for three years and never get invited to his place. He lives in a mobile home. At first, he said he was embarrassed for me to visit. I did see it once and thought it wasn't bad at all. He has since remodeled the …Read more. Turning Bad Health Good with Diet and Exercise Dear Annie: I would like to comment on Gail Rae-Garwood's letter about kidney disease. I retired in 2010, and like a lot of retirees, I was complacent about my health. I had been taking insulin for my diabetes for 20 years and had high cholesterol …Read more. Parenting Fail Dear Annie: My husband keeps telling our sons they can do whatever they want when I tell them "no," and that they don't need to listen to me. He is never on my side. The kids make fun of me and call me names, and Dad doesn't seem to care. When I …Read more.more articles
Irresponsible Sister Has Worn Out Her Welcome as a Guest
Dear Annie: My sister, "Didi," has been living with my husband and me for several months. Didi pays a modest amount of rent based on her income — but we set it up before she started working more consistently. She now has a part-time job and still doesn't contribute anything more. If she were saving her money, I would understand, but she's spending it on clothes and expensive makeup. She rarely helps around the house with cleaning or cooking.
I realize she is lucky to have a job, but she refuses to pick up a second one. I told her I saw a "for hire" sign at a fast-food place close to home, but she won't apply. I should also point out that she doesn't drive, and I take her to work each day. On days when I have to drop her off early or pick her up late because of my own job, she gives me a bit of attitude. Frankly, I'm ready for her to move out, but I don't think she can afford it yet, and I don't want her asking me for money to help pay her rent.
The complicated part of all of this is that my husband and I want to have a baby, but Didi is living in what would be the baby's room. Nine months seems like a reasonable period of time for her to get her stuff together and move out. But if she truly cannot afford it, I don't want to be the one making her live on the streets.
I love Didi, but am beginning to feel she is taking advantage of me. How do I help her get her own place? — Love my Sis
Dear Sis: Didi is definitely taking advantage of your tolerance levels. Are there any other relatives who might take your sister off your hands? If not, set up a timeframe. Inform Didi that you are planning to get pregnant and once it happens, you will need her room for the baby and she will have to move out. That will give her at least nine months to find another place. Tell her you'll be happy to help her search for another part-time job, an inexpensive apartment and a roommate.
Dear Annie: I am a 21-year-old female virgin. Two years ago, I had my first and only "relationship," in which my boyfriend dumped me after a week when he realized I was not going to have sex with him. Since then, I have been afraid to seek out relationships because I'm scared of being pressured to move too fast.
I know it is ridiculous to judge all men based on a single experience. But society projects the idea that women are expected — even obligated — to give sex to their boyfriends. I want to avoid the risks of STDs and pregnancy, but I don't know whether I am strong enough to keep saying "no." Is it wrong of me to expect a relationship without sex? — Lonely, but Afraid
Dear Lonely: Of course not, but you are right that a lot of men expect a physical relationship with someone your age (although not after one week). There are plenty of guys who would be willing to get to know you and commit to a relationship before attempting to get you into bed. Keep looking. They are out there.
Dear Annie: I have another take on the letters about funerals where the mourners may not wish to view the remains.
Before my wife passed away in April, she made arrangements for her body to be donated to the University of Tennessee Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. When she died, we notified them and they took her body to the school in Memphis. Their memorial service was impressive and comforting. These medical schools are always looking for such donations, and I have made arrangements for my body to be used the same way when the time comes. — Sevierville, Tenn.
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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