Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Thu, 15 Nov 2018 03:19:52 -0800 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 5ca826623ad82cccf48ef88803526b4f Compassionately Seek a Mental Health Professional for 11/15/2018 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 30 years. When our oldest son left for college, my wife began using his bedroom for storage. It gradually filled with clothes, papers and things my wife bought from TV shopping shows. Soon, there was barely a path to the bed. It happened again when our second child left. Now both bedrooms are jammed so full that you can barely open the doors. Our attic is overflowing, and we rent two storage spaces.</p> <p>My wife is now stacking stuff in our bedroom. I cannot get her to sort through things. She says she will do it "when the weather is better" or "when I have time," but she never does. </p> <p>I fear my wife has some form of OCD. I am considering tossing stuff myself the next time she takes a trip to visit one of our children. If I throw away the junk, how will she react? I cannot live like this. &#8212; Drowning in Junk <p>Updated: Thu Nov 15, 2018</p> 0782dd2a046b43e8827cda7b73e74df8 Successful Relationships Are Built on Honesty for 11/14/2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am madly in love with my ex-fiancee. We have been separated since March but have been talking about getting back together and starting a family. </p> <p>The problem is that while we were separated, I slept with another woman. It happened at a weak point in my life, and I don't plan to do it again. Now the other woman says she is pregnant. I have asked for proof, but she hasn't provided any. We did use a condom, but it broke.</p> <p>Should I tell my almost-fiancee or wait until I have physical proof? I know if I tell her, she will be immensely hurt and may never want to see me again. I don't want to lose the love of my life and my best friend over this. Please help me. &#8212; On a Break<p>Updated: Wed Nov 14, 2018</p> 5c06c4da829abe982686eb4a1356951c Living a Double Life Is Doubleplusungood for 11/13/2018 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have been married for more than 20 years and have never been sexually attracted to my husband. He is a good provider, but there is no passion, no excitement, nothing. I have tried everything I can think of to make sex better, but he acts as if it's part of my wifely duties, which makes me sick. </p> <p>I don't want to break up our home, but I'm in love with a passionate man who just rocks my world. He kisses me, and I forget my name. Our affair has lasted four years. Why can't I keep them both? &#8212; Torn in Tulsa<p>Updated: Tue Nov 13, 2018</p> b9e113c86852e3e55f8dc81eb19c0597 You're Not Helpless; He's Just Made You Feel That Way for 11/12/2018 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married for 32 years to a horrible man. He is self-centered, controlling, a liar and a cheat. He manipulated me into buying a house I did not want, and when my mother died in this house, he kicked me out of the room we shared and made me move into the same room she died in. He lied to me about not getting paid for a year, while pocketing $40,000 and spending it on an affair with our best friend's daughter. He then closed our checking account.</p> <p>Two years later, he bullied me into buying a business, where I worked for four years without pay. He occasionally paid me a little, but then kicked me out of the business and told me to get a "real job."</p> <p>Annie, he tore my car apart so I couldn't drive it, and he keeps me broke all of the time. He went behind my back and put the business and home accounts in his name only. I have walked everywhere within three miles of our house looking for work, with no luck. <p>Updated: Mon Nov 12, 2018</p> 8a85082a7de0e7855c4453a4c3d35b17 A Poetic Veterans Day for 11/11/2018 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Readers: In honor of Veterans Day, here is one of our favorite pieces, written by John Alton Robinson of Monroe, Louisiana </p> <p>"Freedom" </p> <p>From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier <p>Updated: Sun Nov 11, 2018</p> 83ebf799f1fbc988436d77234a7c8c8e You Can't Force Them to Talk to You for 11/10/2018 Sat, 10 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: A year ago, I had an argument, mostly via text, with my 37-year-old son. He was threatening to leave his bride of two weeks. I tried to get him to understand that he had made a serious commitment and shouldn't throw it away so easily. Unfortunately, things escalated to include more personal feelings on both sides. </p> <p>Despite a rocky first year, he recently celebrated his first anniversary. However, since the disagreement, he has refused to speak to me. I emailed, texted and called, apologizing and begging him to talk this out. I acknowledged his birthday and Christmas with gifts but received no response. I then ceased attempts to contact him for several months, hoping to give him some space. Still nothing. </p> <p>My daughter-in-law and I have maintained a fairly close relationship, and she frequently encourages my son to contact me, as have some of his friends and even my ex-husband. It hasn't helped.<p>Updated: Sat Nov 10, 2018</p> e9aeb4ca64d2a37d04a1bb3a69ecd4b5 Infidelity Is Hard to Heal From for 11/09/2018 Fri, 09 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband works for a large mental health agency, and five years ago, he had a two-year affair with a fellow employee. I found their illicit emails three years ago. </p> <p>Even though my husband and I are still together, I am broken and cannot heal. I pray and I strive and nothing works. It is the most painful and devastating experience of my life, and I wonder whether it has ruined me. I was a happy, cheerful woman before this, and everyone who knew me marveled at my good humor and vivacity. Not anymore.</p> <p>Please tell people to get divorced before having an affair. Otherwise, commit to your marriage and make it work. Infidelity is excruciating, and if you care at all for your partner, please, please have compassion and don't cheat. &#8212; Broken in Omaha <p>Updated: Fri Nov 09, 2018</p> b5d82a64e8fb4e18d8c7f6a48de5e364 Don't Let Him Get Under Your Skin for 11/08/2018 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My older brother and I are both in our mid-30s and have not gotten along for 20 years. He has been verbally, psychologically and at times physically abusive toward me. He has a ferocious temper, and if I say anything he doesn't like, he lambastes me.</p> <p>I try to avoid him, but since the birth of my nephew (the cutest baby ever), that is not always possible. I like his wife and adore my nephew. Before a visit, I have trouble sleeping at night. I feel anxious and dread the hours passing in anticipation. When I get there, I try to stay silent and enjoy the baby, not doing anything that might make him lash out. </p> <p>I wish there were a way to heal my relationship with my brother. He doesn't believe he's done anything hurtful and thinks I should just "get over it." I wish I could. Is there something I could do? &#8212; Little Sister in Need<p>Updated: Thu Nov 08, 2018</p> 6cb1d9747f935424759650b6a6cb918f A 'Simple' Phone Call May Be Less Than Simple for 11/07/2018 Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 80s. We have three wonderful kids, all married, who live nearby. We have always been close. </p> <p>The problem is one son thinks I am trying to control him. He never tells us when he is planning to go out of town. If we can't reach him for days, we worry. He rarely answers his cellphone on vacation, and when he does pick up, he gets angry.</p> <p>We believe, out of respect for us, he should give us a quick call letting us know where they are headed and when they arrive so we won't worry. It's not like we would call them on their vacation. I am certain that his wife, whom we also love, texts or uses Facebook to let her family know where they are.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 07, 2018</p> d473b2644b5a72ed25c25d3aea106357 Sex Matters, But Love Matters More for 11/06/2018 Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been happily married for 27 years. We are both in our early 50s, physically fit and active. My wife looks the same today as the day we married. She's extremely attractive. The problem? She has no sex drive. She never really has. But in the past few years, her cold shoulders seem much more pronounced. </p> <p>We currently have sex maybe once every two weeks. She seems to enjoy it once things get rolling. But when I ask why she prefers such infrequent encounters, she says "it's too much work" and she "doesn't have the need for it" like I do. The two times per month are great. But the other 28 days are frustrating. I would like more intimacy in our marriage and have asked her for it. But it doesn't seem to be an issue with her, and she's not particularly sensitive to my needs. </p> <p>Any advice would be appreciated. &#8212; Frustrated in South Dakota <p>Updated: Tue Nov 06, 2018</p> d01d06164a7ee288b40173ac05a234f0 You Can Take Them to AA, But You Can't Make Them Stop Drinking for 11/05/2018 Mon, 05 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a mother of three children, but it's the oldest my husband and I worry about. </p> <p>When "John" went to college, he started drinking a lot. I asked him about it then, and he admitted that he might have a problem, but he did nothing about it. That was 10 years ago. He has had two DWIs since, and he drinks every day. I found out from his girlfriend that he actually gets into the shower with a beer in his hand. I recently noticed that the whites of his eyes are yellow, which I'm told is a sign of liver damage. </p> <p>We've tried talking with John, but he denies he has a problem. My daughter and her friends have gone out socially with John, and she says he is fun to be with, and then suddenly a switch flips and he yells and curses. He once did it when he and my daughter were alone in the car, and she was so scared she called the police.<p>Updated: Mon Nov 05, 2018</p> ba8b52fd4eed42726c29e77d606ed6f3 Keeping Your Distance from a Toxic Family Member for 11/04/2018 Sun, 04 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I recently found out that my sister and my husband were engaged in an emotional affair that lasted nearly two years. </p> <p>I am in remission after having been diagnosed with breast cancer. On the day of my diagnosis, my 38-year-old son died. As a consequence of chemotherapy, I developed osteoporosis and sustained two broken femurs that required months of inpatient rehab. </p> <p>My sister, "Louise," who is married and lives in another state, began asking my husband whether he would remarry when I die. He said he didn't think so. She then told him that she had received a vision from our departed sister, who said Louise and my husband were meant to be together. Louise's visits to our home became more frequent and lasted longer. She engaged him in outings and activities that I am completely incapable of pursuing. She flirted with and fawned over him.<p>Updated: Sun Nov 04, 2018</p> aa7c2428b0aff01b3e26a0eb5ccd5b82 Protecting Yourself Is Smart, Not Selfish for 11/03/2018 Sat, 03 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife died five years ago. Two years ago, I met "Lorna," and I recently asked her to marry me. I feel strongly that personal assets that are brought into a marriage should be protected. I made this clear to Lorna early in our relationship and got the impression that she would agree to a prenup.</p> <p>I've been very successful financially. Lorna has few assets and a lot of debt. She says a prenuptial agreement makes her feel that our marriage is of a lesser quality than my first. I have tried to explain to her as gently as I can that this isn't the case. It took my first wife and me 20 years to acquire what we had. It would kill me to risk that and have to start over when I'm 60.</p> <p>Is it right for Lorna to expect to be considered a financial equal immediately after marriage? Am I wrong to think it should take a reasonable amount of time for her to enjoy equal ownership? <p>Updated: Sat Nov 03, 2018</p> 0a5717f895efda8cdc094e393030b413 Playing the Blame Game Will Get You Nowhere for 11/02/2018 Fri, 02 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am hurt that my children and grandchildren do not include me when they have family get-togethers. They say they would have to clean their houses if I came or that they don't know when I am available. They expect me to call when I want to see them. They swear they aren't upset with me, but they never initiate a call. When I invite them to my house, the conversation revolves around recent outings and get-togethers at their homes, to which I haven't been invited.</p> <p>I have taken my grandchildren on many vacations over the years, but they are teenagers now and too busy. They don't want to go unless I include their friends, which I cannot afford. I recently decided not to call them and have had no contact in more than three weeks. Should I just go on without them in my life? &#8212; Hurt in Florida </p> <p>Dear Hurt: We agree that their excuses seem flimsy, but they do not need to include you in every get-together or outing. It's perfectly OK for them to have these events with just their spouses and kids. You also know teenagers tend to be busy and that family obligations are not high on their list of priorities. We don't believe anyone is being intentionally hurtful. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 02, 2018</p> 1f58db098b61ec15073cfe53ff83f00a Before Criticizing Chronic Laziness, Consider Depression for 11/01/2018 Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am one of six boys. We are all very different. My oldest brother, "Tanner," just turned 20. He is more of an introvert, and we realize this, but he has done nothing with his life and shows no interest in doing so. He doesn't have a job and refuses to look for one. He also hasn't applied for college.</p> <p>We've tried everything from coaxing and bribing to threatening, but nothing has worked. My parents are at their wits' end. We've tried talking to him and asking why he has shown so little interest in anything and why he won't even help with housework when he's home all day. He just sits, stone-faced, and can't provide a reason for being a freeloading slug.</p> <p>I am out of high school and have a part-time job. My parents both work and so does my 16-year-old brother. Please tell me what we can do to help get this kid out into the world. &#8212; End of the Rope<p>Updated: Thu Nov 01, 2018</p> 571fa835dbc718a0a6043259f0530ee4 Marrying into a Complicated Family for 10/31/2018 Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My fiance is amazing, sensitive and wonderful. The only problem is his sister. </p> <p>When we became engaged, "Jessie" was so jealous, her mother begged us to make her my maid of honor. I did &#8212; to keep the peace. I've spoken with Jessie a handful of times and don't particularly like her. She's 29, gets a monthly allowance from her parents because she lives beyond her means and threatens to withhold her young son from my fiance and his parents when they won't give her what she wants.</p> <p>We told Jessie she could help with the wedding plans, but then she had a total meltdown and lashed out at my fiance and his mom. We then informed her that she cannot come to the wedding unless she apologizes. This has resulted in my not being allowed near her son. My future mother-in-law is trying to force us to invite her, saying, "I promise to keep her under control so she won't wreck the wedding." The fact that she needs to say that makes me very nervous.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2018</p> 6d819876e8e6ce6c5a9f2391f628f651 You Always Have a Chance at Happiness, If You Seek It for 10/30/2018 Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am retiring at the end of the week and am worried. I have been married for 27 years to my second husband. For the past 24, he has not once touched me, said "I love you" or displayed any affection. He is a good stepfather to my children and a wonderful grandfather, but there is absolutely nothing for me. </p> <p>I am a very social person, but he is happy reading or working in our garden. When we do something together, it is invariably what he wants to do. We go where he wants to go and eat what he wants to eat. </p> <p>I feel I have let life pass me by. My marriage vows said "until death do us part," so divorce is out of the question. Will I be able to find happiness in retirement? I'm dreading it. &#8212; Is There Hope for Me?<p>Updated: Tue Oct 30, 2018</p> 3f1ab7e4627f740395ca1994d84430f7 They're Judging You Because They Feel Guilty for 10/29/2018 Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a single 40-year-old man. The past 18 months have been rough for my family. My father passed away, and my mother moved to Florida. Then she had a mild stroke. I have always liked Florida, so I decided to move with Mom and help care for her. My two brothers still live in our old hometown with their families.</p> <p>Ever since our move here, my brothers have given me the cold shoulder. I heard through the grapevine that they believe I am controlling Mom's money and taking advantage of her. That couldn't be further from the truth. I have put my life on hold to make my mother's life better. She forgets to take her medications and has lost interest in cooking. So I cook her meals, take her wherever she wants to go, make her doctors' appointments and see that she takes the required meds. </p> <p>I have told my brothers the truth of the situation, and so has my mother, but nothing seems to change their minds. We have always been a close family, and I don't want that to change. Is there something I can do to fix this? &#8212; Confused in Florida <p>Updated: Mon Oct 29, 2018</p> 8a34a5ca82895db9071449ea7de81710 There's More Than One Way to Make Them Feel Included for 10/28/2018 Sun, 28 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am getting married next year. One of the most stressful things for me is picking the attendants. I have my best man and two groomsmen. My fiancee, "Sara," suggested I add another friend, which I was happy to do. </p> <p>Then, a good friend found out and was a little upset that I didn't choose him, as well. He tried to joke about not being in the wedding, but I knew he was a little hurt, so I asked him to be a groomsman. He has been the most excited about everything since then. So Sara and I now have four attendants each.</p> <p>The problem is, I have one additional friend, "Mark," who I know will be upset if he is the only one of my close friends left out of the wedding party. I'd like to include Mark, but Sara doesn't have many friends and would have trouble finding a matching partner as an attendant. <p>Updated: Sun Oct 28, 2018</p> 357f29fbffa6e978971af2e3c3cff513 Keeping Your Child's Environment Healthy Is the No. 1 Priority for 10/27/2018 Sat, 27 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My son is a second-grader. Over the summer, while he was staying with my ex-husband, a boy touched my son's private area over his clothes. This was no slight, accidental touch. It was deliberate. My son's stepmother called child protective services regarding the incident, because the family of the other child runs an in-home daycare.</p> <p>As I have sole custody, the child services caseworker contacted me about the incident. I spoke with my ex and his wife, and we were all in agreement that our son would not be in contact with the other child again.</p> <p>It is now four months later, and my son tells me that his father allowed him to play at the home of this same boy who grabbed his genitals. I called my ex, and he doesn't seem to think the initial incident was serious. He feels his wife "blew it out of proportion," and they've had fights about it. <p>Updated: Sat Oct 27, 2018</p>