Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 19 Apr 2021 02:51:45 -0700 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 557ff6ba201efd3727c1768c07597ef9 Together Apart for 04/19/2021 Mon, 19 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Here's a poem I wrote called "In the time of COVID."</p> <p><i> I got your hugs today</i><p>Updated: Mon Apr 19, 2021</p> ba80c8f4facbccbeb4d54892d44c4963 Surely, They Don't Sleep at Night for 04/18/2021 Sun, 18 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I would like to comment on the letter you received about the daughter-in-law who is a people pleaser and wants her mother-in-law to like her. I am the granddaughter of a mother-in-law who was just like that. I grew up knowing my grandmother did not like my mom or any female who married into the family. I heard her say, "Your mother (insert backhanded compliment)," or, "I don't like your hairstyle; it looks like (insert name of aunt who married into the family)."</p> <p>As a result, I suffer from severe depression and anxiety. I was never good enough. This behavior was also extended to several cousins who had a mom who was not my grandmother's biological child. I am now in my 50s, and the pain has not gone away. With therapy, it has lessened. <p>Updated: Sun Apr 18, 2021</p> 3affd92a6e19ac15ddf9c20114dba13d Smile! for 04/17/2021 Sat, 17 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I notice many readers have problems and anxieties. Maybe something my mother taught me will help them.</p> <p>She lost two husbands to illness and had a chronic illness herself. We almost lost my brother on the same day my dad died. She raised three boys in a small town taking any job available. Through all these hard times, she always found something to make us laugh. People loved her laugh and smiling face. There is a fine line between laughing and crying, of course. I know she crossed it many times, but few knew.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 17, 2021</p> 7726bcdc861a3e095a39d6e50b7e8096 Finding Love in All the Wrong Places for 04/16/2021 Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have let myself get involved with a significantly younger guy. To make matters worse, I'm married. In my defense, before I even started talking to this other guy, my husband and I had come to a place in our marriage where we were more like roommates than husband and wife. We didn't even share the same bedroom (which was his decision). He never showed me affection of any kind. We spoke to each other, but that was it. </p> <p>I started socializing with men on social media, and I must admit I did get taken by a scammer for $12,000, which I shouldn't have never let happen. But I have met this great guy on another site. He lives in Nigeria and is younger than me. I know Nigeria has a bad track record for scammers, but this guy really doesn't seem like he would be into that stuff. </p> <p>As for my husband... I care for him and don't want to keep hurting him but my love for him isn't the way it should be. Yet, I can't bring myself to leave him. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> 84920516eacbfb79db399507a96534b8 Abuse and Another Man for 04/15/2021 Thu, 15 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a mom and have been married for nearly six years. But for the past few years, my husband and I have not been on the same path. We can't communicate without fighting, bickering, arguing, etc. Our sex life has been nonexistent. And I have tried talking and suggesting that we do more things together. I have even tried losing weight because I thought maybe the problem was that I was no longer attractive. I tried everything that I could think of. And some days, I just lay in a different room, balled up and crying. </p> <p>About a year ago, I started a new job and met a man with whom I clicked almost instantly. Eventually, this co-worker gave me his number and asked if I wanted to go fishing sometime. That night, I told my husband that another man had offered me his phone number and wanted to take me fishing. I hoped he would see that he needed to step up to the plate before something happened. Instead, he flipped out and started accusing me of trying to control him. He started throwing things around the house &#8212; something he does a lot when things don't go his way, often leaving me with bruises and/or him with bruises due to my trying to defend myself. His tantrum that night was the final straw. I decided to take my new colleague up on the fishing trip. </p> <p>We became close friends but never did anything physical. Then, one day, I found out my husband had been exchanging racy messages with women online. That's when I decided to go ahead and give my body to this new friend. It was nice. It made me feel like a woman again, not like a jacket that's sitting in the closet waiting to be worn.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 15, 2021</p> 0c7b713864b7bbcca2f13d9b45d0d90f Compliment Good Behavior for 04/14/2021 Wed, 14 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: A few months ago, someone wrote to you about how uncomfortable the bad manners of children of a relative made her feel at large family gatherings and dinners. I read your column faithfully and did not see any readers' suggestions printed in the following weeks. </p> <p>Of course, large family gatherings have not happened this past year due to the pandemic. But we will return joyfully to them, probably toward the 2021 holidays. The writer mentioned that another family in attendance displayed commendable behavior. That presents a golden opportunity, and I would offer her this suggestion: Compliment those well-behaving children in front of all assembled at the table. Compliment the parents of those children. No matter how rude the other children are, ignore their bad behavior. But watch for good behavior from them, and compliment them immediately if and when it occurs. Attention-seeking in bad ways should not be rewarded. &#8212; 81 Years Wise <p>Updated: Wed Apr 14, 2021</p> 512ebb510f2734ba6963f172fe7cf3b6 Bad Habits for 04/13/2021 Tue, 13 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm married to a wonderful man, and we have four beautiful children. However, since COVID-19 started, we discovered that we have underlying issues within our relationship. For example, he isn't the best person to communicate with. Among other things, I discovered his liking of porn, and I'm not happy about it. I have expressed my hurt and feelings about it, and he listens, but I feel like he honestly doesn't care about my feelings. Just recently, I found out he searched it but didn't watch it. </p> <p>I've developed a bad habit of checking his phone from time to time because I think he lies to me and hides it because he has before. He says he acknowledged that he did wrong, but he didn't watch it. He says it's a bad habit of his, and it's not easy to break. How do you deal with this? I feel he has excuses for everything and tries to downplay his wrongs and gets defensive. &#8212; Fed Up<p>Updated: Tue Apr 13, 2021</p> f994138290a6ff29509e0132c4d059fc Mother-in-Law Love for 04/12/2021 Mon, 12 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have been married for 15 years. A little over a year ago, I started having an affair with an ex-girlfriend. The affair ended a month ago. It is over and done with. </p> <p>I am not sure if I should tell my wife about it or just keep it a secret. I feel that if I tell her, nothing good would come from it, other than being truthful. However, I see it destroying the trust she has in me. I can't think of a good reason to tell her. What should I do? &#8212; A Cheater in Upstate NY<p>Updated: Mon Apr 12, 2021</p> fb204337f17019d758821dd8be1b1a51 Caffeine Fiend for 04/11/2021 Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I work in a small office with only four employees and one supervisor. Two of my colleagues and I are coffee drinkers. Instead of starting a coffee fund, we started taking turns bringing in a fresh container when we find the previous one is running low. This system has worked for us and has prevented any issues from arising. </p> <p>What we do have an issue with is our supervisor helping himself to the coffee without ever offering to chip in for his share. This has been going on for almost a year, and the three of us are really getting fed up. It has gotten to the point where we will purposely get less coffee just so he won't have a chance to get any. I realize this might be petty, but I don't know how to make him understand that he is taking advantage. All we want is for him to contribute his fair share. <p>Updated: Sun Apr 11, 2021</p> 9ed660e88e29743eab2e050b1c35eea8 Still a Stepmom for 04/10/2021 Sat, 10 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am a stepmother to a beautiful woman whom I love very much. She has given us three beautiful granddaughters and a handsome grandson. Sadly, my husband has a very rare and very aggressive form of cancer and it looks terminal. </p> <p>My question for you: Do I continue to be a stepmother after his passing? I know it's most likely up to her, but I was curious about the proper protocol. This will help me determine how I introduce her to others. Will she always be my stepdaughter, or does she become my late husband's daughter? &#8212; Stumped Step<p>Updated: Sat Apr 10, 2021</p> 1e2571c3b909f16ad5ccc6b7762a1c8e Healing from Past Trauma for 04/09/2021 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am 57 years old and autistic. Due to my inability to read people and my own bad choices, I am the single mother of three adult children, whom I love and am indescribably proud of. But I have never been loved. As a child, I was sexually abused by my father for years. A teacher sexually assaulted me in high school.</p> <p>I'm terrified of male doctors. But two years ago, I started having to go to a doctor regularly to get injections in my eyes. If any other man even got that close to me, I'd go through the roof. But this man can get up in my face with a hypodermic and poke a hole in my eye, and, somehow, I'm fine. In fact, I feel safe around him. I have had nightmares on a couple of occasions and found that I changed the dream to imagine I was lying next to this doctor with my head on his shoulder, and I wasn't afraid anymore. Why can't I find a man like this? And are autistic people like me allowed to be loved? &#8212; When Will I Be Loved<p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> 2aed67896816d863aa9307b52b80a5a0 Mother Inferior for 04/08/2021 Thu, 08 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My ex and I got married when I was 19. We stayed together for 10 years, during which I was dealing with untreated depression. That did not make life easy for either of us. Eventually, he left, leaving me to care for the kids. He gave us some financial support but was not present in their lives.</p> <p>Unfortunately, I did not give my kids the attention I know now they badly needed. I was preoccupied with my worry about being alone forever. I have tried to make up for this since, but my daughters still harbor a deep resentment for me. I have told them numerous times how much I regret my behavior and offered to hear all their sadness as a consequence of my actions without trying to defend myself. But they have both cut me out. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 08, 2021</p> a816ced2b893b9dcb93f8f507f0d0415 Setting Ground Rules with Sister-In-Law for 04/07/2021 Wed, 07 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My sister-in-law has been living with her parents for over a year, after her college graduation ceremony was canceled because of COVID-19. My wife and sister-in-law don't get along well with their parents, so she's been very unhappy there.</p> <p>We invited her to our wedding last November. It was just the three of us, and she acted as our officiant. After the ceremony, she threw a temper tantrum. We ended up having to cancel our dinner plans and go straight back to the hotel.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 07, 2021</p> 389669ebdb50615ed432a723da11c9c6 Thanks for Coming By! for 04/06/2021 Tue, 06 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: We occasionally will have friends over for dinner, and there have been times when they simply won't leave. I'm not talking about an hour or two; many times it's three or four hours after dinner! </p> <p>We love our friends and are happy that they feel very comfortable with us to stay that long. My wife and I are both retired, so it's not like we have to be up early the next morning, but we do have other things we'd like to get done before turning in. I try to drop subtle hints but to no avail. <p>Updated: Tue Apr 06, 2021</p> a5ab1447020be6a1f22317c1ae690e18 Past Choices Judged in Present for 04/05/2021 Mon, 05 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I raised my son, who is now 41, as a single mom. I am 75. My son and I have always been very close. Ten years ago, he married a very intelligent woman, and now I have two beautiful grandchildren. </p> <p>I was getting along well with everyone, but now my life is so depressing because my daughter-in-law hates me. She is angry with me and thinks I'm a horrible person because my son was conceived during a one-night stand while on vacation, and I didn't remember the man's name or any details about him. <p>Updated: Mon Apr 05, 2021</p> 3f3e953f9465f7c1946319576ca754ad Nearing Rock Bottom for 04/04/2021 Sun, 04 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Readers: I wish you all an enjoyable Easter and Passover. Here's to a spring season filled with new beginnings and lots of hope, happiness and joy. Thank you so much for the joy you bring me through my column each week.</p> <p>Dear Annie: My 40-year-old son is an alcoholic. He recently went through a divorce and is currently living with my husband and me. He has two beautiful little girls, both under the age of 6, whom I adore. He is unemployed, and while I know he is deeply depressed over losing his wife and job, alcohol is to blame. <p>Updated: Sun Apr 04, 2021</p> 5b205223ad8659882a6220d7aeee1671 Husband Needs Constant Reassurance for 04/03/2021 Sat, 03 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years. We have been together for almost 20 years and have three beautiful children. The problem is that he has always needed more assurance of love than me &#8212; e.g., he asks, "Do you love me," even though I constantly remind him that I love and appreciate him. It's lately been more annoying because I just had a baby. I've done everything to show him love. I've even disregarded my doctors' recommendations of the minimum time off intimacy, postpartum. </p> <p>I've tried in many different ways to show him. I use verbal reassurance and I also show him by doing things I know he appreciates. The other day he asked me, "How much do you love me?" and I almost lost my temper. My husband has no loving relationship with his mother and everything he has tried to get her attention or for her to show him love of any kind has not been successful. I wonder if that could be the root of it all. </p> <p>Help me understand what is it that my husband needs and what can I do differently. &#8212; Frustrated <p>Updated: Sat Apr 03, 2021</p> 0f07f03ac9e544a02e04e836579892b7 Outgrown This Relationship for 04/02/2021 Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I've been in a relationship with "Stuart" for almost three years now. In that time I've grown a lot, working to become healthier physically, mentally and financially. I eat healthily and work hard at my job. I no longer drink alcohol. I want to be the best version of myself.</p> <p>However, Stuart is in a different mindset. He smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and marijuana several times a day and in his free time is glued to Facebook or games. He wakes up daily hacking up the gunk in his lungs. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> db2255b04f4e8aa9389069cef0f51589 Ditching the Cheating Boyfriend for 04/01/2021 Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 years. Everything was good until three years ago when a woman contacted me to tell me that she'd been seeing him. She apologized to me for it. After we got off the phone, I found her on Facebook and realized that they'd been "liking" each other's posts for years. She even posted a photo of them together, and someone had commented making a sexual joke about them. They'd both replied and laughed. </p> <p>So, I confronted my boyfriend, and he stopped &#8212; or so I thought. Then, six months ago, I found charges on his credit card statement for some local hotel! I confronted him, and he brushed it off, said it hadn't been him. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 01, 2021</p> 3a11f728fa1308f12de88ab7eb496d5e Choosing Positivity for 03/31/2021 Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Just wanted to say thank you for including the letters from people who really love and appreciate their spouses. Life has been difficult lately for many of us, and reading positive words is uplifting. Dwelling on people's often-petty complaints makes me feel down while reading inspiring words of love and appreciation makes me feel hopeful. &#8212; Keep the Positivity Coming!</p> <p>Dear Keep the Positivity: Thank you for your kind words. Cheers to positivity. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time, so choose a positive one whenever you remember.</span></p> <p>Dear Annie: I have been with my husband 40 years now, and we've been married 30 years in July. I found out, just recently, that he has a son &#8212; two months younger than my son &#8212; with a woman he was cheating on me with when I was pregnant with our first child. How could I have been so blind to the fact that he had this whole other side to him? <p>Updated: Wed Mar 31, 2021</p>