Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 29 Sep 2020 07:36:54 -0700 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 71d27b0e3a63ac43a865e4e78ea37fe4 Friend Keeps Going Back for More for 09/29/2020 Tue, 29 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Recently, an old friend got back in touch with me. He had gotten a divorce, and I wanted to be a friend to him because he was going through a lot of grieving. His ex-wife had alcohol issues and was abusing her bipolar medication. She also, prior to their marriage falling apart, got gastric bypass surgery and, after the procedure, began having extramarital affairs. He caught them and found out who one of them was one day. </p> <p>The situation came to a head when she came home drunk and barely could speak. There was a big fight, and he put her in rehab. This led to their divorce. Then, when she got out, she looked up an old boyfriend and ran to live with him. When that relationship fell apart, she went back home to her parents, only to start dating a guy she met in Alcoholics Anonymous. They quickly married, and that marriage only lasted a year and a month. <p>Updated: Tue Sep 29, 2020</p> 464d27f3df89ec9c61764de47c11a085 Rinse and Repeat for 09/28/2020 Mon, 28 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for 10 years, and we've been together for 12 years. I love this guy, but his hygiene is atrocious. I admit that he was like this before we married, but I thought I could change this habit. My mistake. We've had endless discussions about this, and he always says he'll get better. He seems to be worse than ever. We just got back from visiting my children, and he has not shaved for over a month. It's disgusting. We aren't intimate. He has issues with impotence. But I refuse to kiss him goodnight with a beard that has food, sneezing and coughing in it. </p> <p>He actually looks worse than a homeless person. I'm at my wit's end. I don't want to divorce him, but I can't stand this any more. He only showers maybe once a week and has gone up to three weeks without a shower. He's a nice guy in other ways. Don't know what to do. It's very disrespectful to the world and me. &#8212; At Wit's End<p>Updated: Mon Sep 28, 2020</p> bed966dbfe24c9754989089ef90a0b9a Controlling Husband Limits Family Time for 09/27/2020 Sun, 27 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Once a year, I spend a weekend over at my son's house to babysit my grandkids. They always take a trip for their anniversary so my son asks me in advance. I don't mind because I really don't get to see them often.</p> <p>My husband has a real issue with this. I would let them come stay with us, but we always have company and there really isn't much here for them to do. My husband threatens to leave me every time, and he literally stops talking to me. Am I doing something wrong? He always makes me pick &#8212; him or my grandkids. Please tell me how to better handle the situation. &#8212; Grumpy Gramp<p>Updated: Sun Sep 27, 2020</p> 91e3cd96230569f80cae000b4f6dacf2 He Needs Support, Not Rescuing for 09/26/2020 Sat, 26 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have a dear male friend, "Trey," who is in quite a predicament. Some background on him: He suffered a lot of abuse at the hands of his mother when he was a child. </p> <p>His current problem is that he is in a loveless marriage. He and his wife have been married 32 years. But five years into their marriage, after they'd had a child together, she told him that she was gay and had been having an affair. He gave her a choice: live with her new lover or stay with him. She chose to stay with Trey. He thought he could pique her sexual interest in men again. This never happened. He has been celibate for 27 years. He and his wife live as roommates, each sleeping in separate rooms.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 26, 2020</p> 10e4cb394703ec622ab7be4bef86a8a3 Find Something Fulfilling for 09/25/2020 Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am dating this guy who's married but separated. We've been doing this almost three years. I am just not feeling the love from him. Will he ever love me like I need to be loved? &#8212; Waiting on Him</p> <p>Dear Waiting: <span class="column--highlighted-text">If you've been waiting three years, you'll be waiting 300. </span>I wouldn't count on this man divorcing his wife anytime soon. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 25, 2020</p> 2be7ff6e63f4792a762163b3da5c5ce1 Overindulging and Then Overwhelming Others for 09/24/2020 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My wife's brother-in-law, "Mike," is the family character, always quick with a quip, just a fun-loving guy, seemingly without a care in the world. He has a few flaws, which are mostly tied to his excessive drinking, but they have always been overlooked, because, well, that's just Mike. </p> <p>Over the past few years, Mike has become a bit too clingy to my wife, shown by the longer than normal hugs, unrequested shoulder rubs, never missing a kiss goodbye, etc. However, his actions of late have become more excessive and obvious. Additionally, these displays of affection are uniquely bestowed upon my wife and no one else in the family. <p>Updated: Thu Sep 24, 2020</p> 32ad1eef8744a8f8ace72a196c3c70e0 Words Can Be Painful for 09/23/2020 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I just found out tonight that my brother's second-oldest adult son passed away today. My brother's oldest son passed three years ago. My brother has been estranged from the family for a long time &#8212; since he was in Vietnam. I have maintained a relationship with him by calling him a few times a year. He never calls me. I am the only sibling out of six who keeps in touch with him. My husband does not think highly of him, nor did he think highly of my nephew who just passed. The reason is that there was not a great meeting, which took place at our wedding. </p> <p>So, when I broke the news to my husband, he said to me, "Sorry, but (expletive) your nephew for how he treated me, and (expletive) your brother." I am really hurt. I told my husband that his comments left me feeling hurt and sad. Are my feelings legitimate? &#8212; Hurting<p>Updated: Wed Sep 23, 2020</p> c0874368895924163a9d493ab70f236a Cutting the Apron Strings for 09/22/2020 Tue, 22 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My mother-in-law is a widow and lives next door to my husband and me. I have never felt like we had privacy, as she would walk over whenever she felt like it and visit without calling first. </p> <p>Even when we were newly married, she would just walk over to our house without reaching out beforehand. My parents always told me to never live next door to your in-laws; it would only cause trouble in my marriage and I would not have privacy. However, when I married my hubby, he was already living next door to his parents, both in very nice homes. Now, don't get me wrong, she is a very nice person. Yet, my husband and I would someday like to move and build a new home in our area.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 22, 2020</p> 4eb19712261ffd2954be01aff5f09382 Fighting for Parental Rights for 09/21/2020 Mon, 21 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Readers: A great many of you wrote in with wonderful suggestions for the father and stressed-out grandma who are having trouble with his ex-wife because she is making visitation with the kids difficult if not impossible. Thank you for your recommendations. I hope they allow the children's father to have more quality time with his children. Below are some of the letters.</p> <p>Dear Annie: I am writing in response to "Stressed-out Grandma." I was in a similar situation with my ex-husband, except he was the one controlling the visitation. He always had someplace to take the kids, or they were with friends when it was my weekend. <p>Updated: Mon Sep 21, 2020</p> 72f78639fd31cd454edfa267d2e8a2c6 Grieving and Wanting to Love Again for 09/20/2020 Sun, 20 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a man with a very difficult problem. My deceased wife and I separated. I was halfway through a six-month cancer treatment when she left. After a few days, she called and told me that she had made the biggest mistake of her life by leaving me. However, she would not return home. I got tired of the everyday battle with the chemo, so I went to my dad's. </p> <p>He, my wife and I talked often and even met to spend time together. While all this was going on, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and wanted to be with her family in her final days. I agreed, and she went back to her hometown. We talked periodically, and I knew she was very ill but did not know that she was so close to death. She passed away in 2018. <p>Updated: Sun Sep 20, 2020</p> 0e9ed703bcae9fb0d53fa277402981f8 Uncomfortable Making a Recommendation for 09/19/2020 Sat, 19 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I would like your input on how to handle a tricky situation. Many times, I am asked to write a letter of recommendation or make a recommendation for someone seeking a new job or promotion. What do I do if the person is qualified for the job/promotion but I do not feel comfortable writing the letter of recommendation as I have nothing of value or significance that I would like to share on behalf of this person?</p> <p>Recently, I was asked by my supervisor to write a letter of recommendation for another person that I work with. We started at the company at the same time and I went up for promotion first. I did all the groundwork in getting my papers and reviewers in order. My co-worker did the same, however, one of the reviewers dropped out at the last minute (felt uncomfortable in evaluating), and this person had no backup plan for another reviewer. Although this person is fairly competent, I did not feel I could wholeheartedly write a letter of recommendation on their behalf. I felt cornered in doing so, as my supervisor asked me to do it. What is your recommendation in this situation? &#8212; Stuck in the Corner</p> <p>Dear Stuck: When you write someone a letter of recommendation, you are putting your own reputation on the line, at least a little bit. If you don't feel good about writing one for this co-worker, then don't. Politely let your supervisor know. They should leave it at that. It would be out of line for them to pressure you into vouching for someone whom you'd rather not. We're only as good as our word; don't devalue yours. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 19, 2020</p> 8497dc9d990c1a824e30bf37c5829e3f Coronavirus Concerns for 09/18/2020 Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband is in the high-risk category for catching COVID-19, and we have lost family and friends due to the disease. The issue is that we love seeing our grandchildren, but some people in our families view the pandemic as a "hoax" and are lax about following safety precautions. This makes it dangerous for us to spend time with our grandchildren, as these family members also spend time with them. One relative even refuses to wear a mask in public. This attitude baffles me and hurts my husband. </p> <p>After talking to my friends, I have realized that this issue affects and divides many families &#8212; and the oldest members of the families are understandably more cautious. But what do we do? Do we stop all contact with the rest of our families? &#8212; Tough Questions<p>Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020</p> e56e2c88b7bb5bd4cef8cdb110235899 Not Loving the Likes for 09/17/2020 Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend follows more than 3,000 people on Instagram. And almost all of them are women. It didn't bother me when we first started dating, because I figured that now that he had a girlfriend, he'd stop investing so much time in looking at women. </p> <p>A few months into our relationship, he was showing me something on his profile when I caught a glimpse of a notification indicating that he had commented on a girl's photo. I asked him about it. He tried to play it off. Of course, I remembered the girl's username and looked up her profile. I was surprised to see that he had "liked" and commented on a lot of her pics. And he said some flirty things to her are things that he also said to me. <p>Updated: Thu Sep 17, 2020</p> 4aefdf8d69d2f410485dc9b858d47cb7 Vacationers vs. Visitors for 09/16/2020 Wed, 16 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are 77 years old. Our lake home has four bedrooms and plenty of space for family visits. During the summer, the family knows they have to make "reservations" to visit. Sometimes, we will have seven immediate family members here, and once we had 18 nephews and nieces and their families. They have use of our boats and always replace the gas they used. We feel fortunate that we can allow them to have a family vacation that is relatively inexpensive for them. Many have thanked us for the memories they have made over the past 20 years.</p> <p>However, we plan several breakfasts and lunches and most evening meals. All but one family will bring extra food, including snacks and their own drinks (we never know what everyone wants). Some will cook an evening meal for us while they are here. All groups will treat us to an evening meal at a local restaurant. One family also leaves us gift certificates to local businesses. We do ask that they change the beds before they leave for the next group of visitors. All willingly do this.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 16, 2020</p> 886b4d4c0094ec52cc0b2fda0c0a69f5 Lonely and Mourning for 09/15/2020 Tue, 15 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I had two brothers die within a year of each other. One was 53, and the other was 62. They were my only remaining siblings. They resided in Ohio, and I live in Arizona. I had to plan both funerals by myself and clean out and sell whatever I could of their homes and possessions. </p> <p>At the same time, my mom was diagnosed with dementia and had to be put in a nursing home. Eventually, I brought her to live with me in Arizona. I had to clean and sell her house, and her belongings, too. I was in Ohio for four months getting everything straightened out. My husband of 12 years never came to help, nor did he come to the funerals. Am I wrong for resenting him for this? &#8212; Alone at Funerals<p>Updated: Tue Sep 15, 2020</p> 3fff3c23e71c3ede932006c9b31a7124 You Must Draw the Line for 09/14/2020 Mon, 14 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have a friend who is of Pentecostal faith while I'm of Catholic faith. She monopolizes the conversation on her religion and doesn't allow me to talk. I hate being preached to, and she has nothing else that interests her but reading her Bible and preaching. </p> <p>She complains that no one calls her or visits her. It has been nine years since she lost her best friend, mother and brother, who was also her boss, which meant she lost her job as well &#8212; all within a three-month period. She keeps bringing this up every time we talk. I suggested that she might be severely depressed and should consider getting professional help. She replied that she is not depressed and, if she were, she can't afford it. <p>Updated: Mon Sep 14, 2020</p> a08d3f8d2ba17266b2101e1062c61a24 Stick With Love for 09/13/2020 Sun, 13 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half. While maintaining separate homes, we spend the majority of our days and evenings together. I have three children and get along very well with my ex-husband and his girlfriend. My boyfriend has a son, "Tommy." </p> <p>The problem is that my boyfriend's ex-wife creates conflict and difficulties for him. She is remarried to the man she left him for, and though my boyfriend accepted him in time, she continues to make things difficult for everyone. In fact, she goes around talking about both of us, telling people that he is not involved with Tommy and doesn't pay for anything, which is not true. They have 50/50 shared custody, and we do support Tommy. <p>Updated: Sun Sep 13, 2020</p> f436223f80e1bbea146ef1215f7dd404 Trials and Tribulations of Teaching for 09/12/2020 Sat, 12 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I was a high school teacher for nearly 40 years, and, before I landed a full-time public school job, spent a year or two as a substitute. I know the frustrations of students who assume you don't matter because you're not "our real teacher." It can be even more annoying when the students are teenagers. Yes, parents should teach their children to respect the temporary teacher as they respect the regular one.</p> <p>I have been very careful to leave complete and easy-to-follow lesson plans every time I have had to be out &#8212; mostly for trainings or district responsibilities. One time, I even postponed driving all night to be at the arrival of my first grandchild in order to make sure there were lessons to carry into the week without me. I informed all my classes that I would back and that I would discuss with the substitute teacher any misbehavior in my absence. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 12, 2020</p> c517228d46c1dcdddb417519d7c105dc Divided Kitchen Table for 09/11/2020 Fri, 11 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. Two years ago, she decided to become a vegan for moral and dietary reasons. I respect her greatly for that, though I didn't love constantly hearing about it. I have also adopted many of the same eating habits, but I do still eat meat. We have both learned to prepare very nice vegan dishes that the other enjoys. Lately, however, she has decided to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet, she also has decided to use a lot of spices in her foods that I cannot eat. For the past two years, I have not cooked meat in our house nor have I fired up my barbecue out of respect for her. Now, I find myself wanting to again cook dishes for myself that I feel are healthy but that include lean meats: chicken fajitas, turkey chili, etc... Do I have the right to cook in my house and if so, how do I approach the subject with her in a way that she doesn't "flip out"? &#8212; Omnivore Husband in Oregon</p> <p>Dear Omnivore: <span class="column--highlighted-text">Your wife wouldn't appreciate it if you told her how to eat. She should respect your right to decide what you'd like to eat, too.</span> However, I have a feeling that you may want to take a leaf from her book once you see the effects of a whole-food, plant-based diet. It's one of the healthiest ways to eat and has been shown to be effective against many common chronic diseases, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. (Check out "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., and "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., for more information.) So, keep an open mind.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> b8c89545a2c40f94404e848744a022ce Deactivating Social Media After Death for 09/10/2020 Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: As we live in an electronically connected world, there is a downside that bothers me. I have had a couple of friends die and their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have remained active. On their birthdays, I receive notifications. I find it creepy. In my mind, LinkedIn is for connecting with others for work reasons. That said, there are some people who are only connected in that way. I understand why a profile might be kept active. Facebook makes that connection in our personal lives. I suggested to one friend that he turn off the birthday notification for his deceased wife, which he did. But he's going to leave her account up for a while. I'm not sure what the right answer is to this. I would like to add that I'm adding my passwords to my file of things that need to be done upon my passing. What are your thoughts? &#8212; Live Profile </p> <p>Dear Live Profile: You're wise to set aside your login information, and I encourage you to document your wishes for all of your digital assets after your death. AARP has a helpful article available on their website titled "Prepare a Digital Estate Plan for Future Caregivers."<p>Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2020</p>