Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 01 Aug 2021 10:48:27 -0700 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 748fa0386bf9aa5a2f26bca10a13b30b A Friend in Debt for 08/01/2021 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My wife and I are in a pickle. We are friends with another couple, "Josh" and "Vanessa." Vanessa happens to be a teacher at our kids' school. One day, I was picking up my offspring and started chatting with her. I could tell she was sad and asked her about it. That's when the floodgates opened.</p> <p>She started telling me how she's racked up credit card debt, and she said Josh doesn't know about it. Josh has been under a lot of stress, and she doesn't want to tell him. I consoled her and asked how much, thinking maybe a few hundred bucks.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 01, 2021</p> 328b8068ab30ff17b3f93ee492c1cf6e Dating My Ex-Husband for 07/31/2021 Sat, 31 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about two years. He's actually my ex-husband from 25 years ago, and we reunited about 16 months ago. We do not live together, but he's made it clear that he wants to move in that direction and even hints that we should remarry. However, last March, we had a serious falling out and were broken up for about three weeks. During our break, he met a woman, "Rachel," on a dating app, and they went to lunch a few times. After my boyfriend and I reunited, he continued to meet with Rachel on coffee dates and walks along the beach near her home. I expressed to him that I did not like the situation because they met on a dating app, even though he claims there is no sexual or romantic interest between them. He says he just enjoys her company, that she's a really "cool person" and that they both have grown kids and things in common. </p> <p>We've now had a few arguments about the subject, and it's causing tension. He says I "can't have it both ways" because I have a couple of male friends, too, and he has no problem with my relationships with them. But my male friends have been in my life for decades, and there has never been anything sexual or romantic with either of these men. Also, he talks with Rachel every week, and I only ever see my male friends about once or twice a year. This just doesn't feel good, and I don't know how to handle it. I'm afraid to even broach the subject again because he gets very upset. I love reading your column and could really use some advice. I'm not an insecure person by nature, but I feel really uncomfortable with this. Am I just being petty and possessive? &#8212; Am I Petty</p> <p>Dear AIP: It's entirely reasonable for you to feel uncomfortable with your boyfriend taking walks on the beach with a woman he met on a dating app. It's noteworthy that he was on dating apps at all, when you were only broken up for three weeks. And it's concerning that he's brushed away your feelings about the matter so flippantly. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 31, 2021</p> be6260f1db5166ac28dd7fc1c6ba36a6 Do I Deserve a Referral Fee? for 07/30/2021 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am in my late 60s, and my boyfriend, "Mark," is in his early 70s. We have been living together in my house for a year and a half. We're both divorced and have adult children from our previous marriages. Mark communicates daily with all five children via phone calls and text messages. My problem is that he's also regularly in contact with his ex-wife, who lives in the same town as us. They talk at least once a week via phone call or text, usually when I'm not around. Mark always tells me about it. They've been divorced for many, many years, and it bothers me that they talk so often. </p> <p>I've asked him what they have to discuss; he says that it's always about the children. But he's also shared that she tells him about trips she's going on and things like that. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 30, 2021</p> 54196f10ca8aae363d9f573266797005 Boyfriend Won't Step Up for 07/29/2021 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am a single mother of two teenage girls. After a series of abusive relationships, I hadn't dated for two years until recently. A few months ago, I met a man, and we've been seeing each other and sharing intimate moments. But the way he acts has me very confused. </p> <p>He says that marriage is something he's simply not interested in. I've told him that I am interested in building a healthy, long-lasting partnership with someone who will become my husband &#8212; even though to me, after such bad prior relationships, the very possibility of such a thing seems far-fetched. I think on some level I believe that I deserve to be mistreated. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 29, 2021</p> 4d85cbc944d7580cc53bc596bf2494c8 Dealing With Depression for 07/28/2021 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My ex-husband was very controlling and always had to have the upper hand in conversations. Today, we do all of our communicating through email only, but he still needs to end all correspondence on his terms.</p> <p>We have been divorced for three years now, but he still thinks he can control me because we have a joint parenting plan, which is an entirely different subject.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 28, 2021</p> 20b7ddda0e07c951a936422d89275501 Forgive to Reconnect With Sons for 07/27/2021 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for four years. I have never been married before, and my wife, "Gertrude," was divorced when we married.</p> <p>While dating, Gertrude told me about how her ex-husband would verbally abuse her and her child. But now Gertrude is treating me the same way she says she was treated by her ex, making the same types of comments and doing to me almost exactly what she told me he did to her, yelling and screaming for nothing.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 27, 2021</p> 834143606d8219395e4563e77ffb14eb Battling My Son's Depression for 07/26/2021 Mon, 26 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My son is soon to be 23 years old. He was two courses short of earning his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science when something bad happened. He would not tell me what. He fell apart and did not graduate.</p> <p>That was two years ago. We got him into counseling, and he saw several different counselors; he was in group therapy, and they tried different combinations of antidepressants. They've tried something called transcranial magnetic stimulation, which really seemed to work, but then it stopped working.<p>Updated: Mon Jul 26, 2021</p> b4abe93d6f7b79d38e96612b2b6b56b4 Learning to Forgive for 07/25/2021 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: About a year ago, after talking to a nice guy who could also be a royal pain &#8212; especially when things don't go his way &#8212; I decided to let him into my heart. I did this even though I am usually pretty well guarded and don't allow too many people close to me. I am one of those people who don't feel comfortable sharing my emotions with others, so there are very few people who are aware of the fact that I self-harm by using a razor blade to cut into my arms and, sometimes, legs.</p> <p>When we argue, he will call me a series of names that are extremely hurtful. During a recent argument over something really stupid, he screamed at me, saying that I should cut deep enough in order to die. Afterward, I did cut for a while just to make me feel better, but it didn't. The next day, he acted as if nothing had happened, and I have tried to forgive him for what he said, but I don't know if I can find a way to do so.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 25, 2021</p> 5b114901fef057512de903ae83e088f2 Living in Fear for 07/24/2021 Sat, 24 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a happily married woman with two young children. My problem is that I'm very overweight, and I'm desperately afraid that my husband will leave me for someone skinny. I've voiced these insecurities to him. He swears to God that I'm the only one he'll ever love, that I'm so beautiful and that he has no interest in other women, skinny or otherwise. I am the only woman he's ever been with, and he truly does treat me like I'm the world to him. But still, I find myself thinking that he might leave me. I think part of my problem is that I grew up with a very skinny sister, and that made my life hard, as people compared us. Do you think I need to worry about skinny women and my husband? &#8212; Feeling Uneasy</p> <p>Dear Feeling: Your husband loves you, clearly. But it doesn't matter how many times I tell you that or he tells you that. The peace you seek won't come from external reassurances. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You need to develop more positive self-talk, to build yourself up rather than tear yourself down.</span> Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with that. You can find a therapist who specializes in CBT at the Psychology Today website, or you can teach yourself some techniques with self-help books such as "Think Confident, Be Confident" by Leslie Sokol and Marci G. Fox, and "The Upward Spiral Workbook" by Alex Korb.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 24, 2021</p> 39de7b037ffc614516839b552bb4ba01 Do I Share Family Drama With My Son? for 07/23/2021 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a father of two amazing children and completely loyal husband of more than 20 years. But I have an ongoing issue with my parents-in-law, especially my father-in-law.</p> <p>About 15 years ago, when our oldest child was a toddler, my in-laws became upset that I wasn't pushing religion hard enough in the household. They told my wife I was a "bad father." When I confronted my in-laws during a future visit, they denied saying it until my wife agreed with me in front of them. After that, they agreed to leave it to my wife and me to educate our kids in all matters religious. Unfortunately, not only did they continue to interfere with our parenting, but they also continued to speak negatively about me to my wife constantly. Years of such comments have caused great strain on my marriage, and I believe, at this point, divorce is inevitable.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 23, 2021</p> 89e41b44dd11b501efa22ea5585bcef5 Boyfriend Moves On for 07/22/2021 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My former boyfriend and I were in a serious, exclusive relationship for nearly six years. While we never lived together, we were intimately close and spent most nights together. He always told me how much he loved me and that I was the best. </p> <p>Seven months ago, he blindsided me. He broke up with me, in the coldest, least empathetic way possible. I hardly even recognized him as he spoke. He said that we'd been a great couple, and I cried hearing him speak about our relationship in the past tense that way. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 22, 2021</p> 8765729ae362887eb6653857658f2342 Friends Have Bad Table Manners for 07/21/2021 Wed, 21 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I recently dined out with three friends. The restaurant was very busy, and we waited for nearly two hours for our food. We were drinking and enjoying a band, so it wasn't that bad.</p> <p>I went to the restroom and was literally gone for three minutes. When I came back, the food had been served except for mine. My place-setting was empty. My three friends were chowing down and told me the server couldn't remember what I ordered. And I was like: "What does that mean? Does that mean my dinner order was not placed? What is the server doing about it?" And they shrugged. I looked around for the server and didn't see anybody.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 21, 2021</p> 5d5827c2f78ff2990586d65fbc08acb1 Slowing Down for 07/20/2021 Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I retired 11 years ago, but I could have been the obsessed woman addicted to her iPhone before I retired.</p> <p>But in the previous decade, as I lay in my hospital room, recovering from serious stress-induced internal surgery, I kept addressing the "pings" on my phone.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 20, 2021</p> 55277371f062120006fdc5c592d05ac1 Family Ignores Invites for 07/19/2021 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: There is tension between some of my relatives and me, and I would appreciate your advice.</p> <p>Over the past couple of years, I have noticed that certain relatives stopped answering my text messages and declined any of my invitations to get together.<p>Updated: Mon Jul 19, 2021</p> 0ced40630d3ddf2a35f2ad2943759c9e Is Moving Unfair to Our Daughter? for 07/18/2021 Sun, 18 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: We recently moved from our home of 20 years to a neighboring state that is two hours away by car. Our children are 21 and 19. We had set our sights on moving to this community several years ago, but we waited until our son had graduated from high school. Ever since we moved here 10 months ago, our daughter has been miserable, saying we ripped her away from her home and friends, implying that we were selfish for moving before she graduates from college and is able to live on her own back in her home state.</p> <p>We live in a highly rated community with wonderful amenities, and we plan to retire here. Our community is not age-restricted, but the age of its full-time residents does skew toward the older side, so I do sympathize with her that making new friends can be challenging, especially since she is only here for summer and holiday breaks. Also, the area outside our community is fairly rural, whereas our former home was in the suburbs, where shops and restaurants were more plentiful and accessible.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 18, 2021</p> 538f349388e8afe7774178b7f1d5eb58 Ignore the Gossip for 07/17/2021 Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I live in a small town. My mother died a couple of years ago, and around that same time, a friend of mine had just lost his home and was looking for someplace to live. So, I told him he could move in with me and help pay the bills. It's been a good arrangement for us both. But I recently learned that people have been spreading rumors that I'm gay &#8212; which I'm not. I date women, although I'm currently single. (I had my heart broken last year, and I've been hesitant to date again.) What should I do about this gossip? &#8212; Mischaracterized</p> <p>Dear Mischaracterized: These folks must be pretty bored to sit at home making up stories about you. <span class="column--highlighted-text">It brings to mind a saying commonly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."</span> My advice to you is to keep living your life; let the small minds waste theirs. Focus on mending that broken heart. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 17, 2021</p> 74e377841c37bba29ef34522bcec923d Marriage Takes Two for 07/16/2021 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have been married to my wife for just over two years. We each have a child from a previous marriage, and we have a child together. A few months ago, she started accusing me of distancing myself from her. I was confused by this, as I truly hadn't intended to. I thought everything had been going OK.</p> <p>Well, it turns out that she was the one trying to distance herself. She told me last month that she wants to take some time apart to figure out if she still wants to be with me. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 16, 2021</p> 13036de3ba062ac1db76587c83aed085 First Relationship Post-Abuse for 07/15/2021 Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I was in a very controlling and abusive relationship from the time I was 15 until three years ago, when my ex passed away. We were both in our late 30s at the time. </p> <p>After he died, it took me 10 months of searching before I found someone who is kind and caring &#8212; just such a sweet guy. But lately, I've been frustrated with the dynamics of our relationship. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 15, 2021</p> 034ef0a4c5f3babc453a41152a85bd2f Looking for Love for 07/14/2021 Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: This will be my first time writing to you. I have read your previous work, and you give sound advice, so I pray you can do the same for me.</p> <p>I have had issues in finding a woman for me, and this is nothing new. I had this same issue starting back in high school. I admit that, at first, I did nothing about it, thinking it would just work itself out. I had time, after all.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 14, 2021</p> 511552c352776fbe91dd1f6e4424c68e Grandma Feels Forgotten for 07/13/2021 Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I believe the most valuable lesson my father instilled in me was to do one good deed every day. He always told my sisters and me that we would have a truly meaningful life if we practiced that.</p> <p>He didn't give us everything we asked for, but he did encourage us to share some of our toys, books and more with other neighborhood kids in need.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 13, 2021</p>