Dear Annie: My husband, "Rick," had been close friends with "Edward" for 30 years. We used to get together frequently, and Edward was always kind and considerate and someone we highly respected. Then, Edward got engaged to "Michelle."
I was pregnant at the time, and my doctor put me on bed rest because I had already been hospitalized once. I could not travel out of state for any of the festivities. However, Rick was gone nearly every weekend attending the engagement party, bachelor party and wedding. He said Edward was not acting like himself during these visits, saying he was uncharacteristically inconsiderate and strange.
Two months later, I gave birth to a girl, and we invited Edward and Michelle to the baptism. Edward called to say they would not be attending because Michelle was hurt that I didn't come to the wedding. She said my absence meant I did not support their marriage, and they needed time to "heal" from this insult. Michelle also was offended that Rick's wedding speech did not make enough mention of her.
Rick and I were livid. Not only did my doctor forbid me from traveling to the wedding, but Rick spent a long time composing a thoughtful, funny and heartfelt speech and even delivered some of it in Michelle's native language. Rick angrily confronted Edward and disinvited them to the baptism. Edward then claimed it was a miscommunication. When Edward and Michelle announced that they were pregnant, we sent a thoughtful baby gift, which Edward and Michelle did not acknowledge.
Rick is determined to rebuild the friendship. He calls Edward at least once a month, but the calls are often unanswered and unreturned. It's been a year since "the phone call," and I'm still furious, but Rick is grieving. Edward does not deserve my husband's loyalty and forgiveness, but for Rick's sake, I want them to reconcile. What can I do? — Scorned and Angry
Dear Scorned: We are so sorry that Edward's marriage has thrown a wrench into his relationship with Rick, but these things happen. The only one who can fix it is Edward. Be supportive of Rick by sympathizing without being negative about Edward or Michelle. Encourage new friendships by introducing yourselves to other couples with young children. The best thing you can do for your husband is to help him move forward one day at a time.
Dear Annie: I am a skilled professional and have been unemployed for a year. I have applied for many positions via online postings that are often anonymous. After sending my resume and cover letter, I am frustrated that I never hear back. I have no idea whether they received my information or read it, and there is no way to follow up, as I have no idea who they are. I know they probably get a lot of applications, but a short courtesy note would be nice, even if it's "thanks but no thanks." — Oregon
Dear Oregon: We completely agree. Unfortunately, because these sites do not have a contact person, no one feels a personal obligation to respond. Even an automated response saying your resume was received would be a step in the right direction.
Dear Annie: "Sibling Support" said her mother is always asking for money for the younger siblings, but spends it on herself. The next time she has occasion to talk to her mother, she should open the conversation by saying, "Mom, I'm a little short this week. Could you possibly lend me a few dollars?" I guarantee this will nip those requests for help in the bud without having to refuse her outright. "Sibling Support" can then buy treats for the younger siblings directly, leaving Mom out of the loop. — St. Maarten, Dutch Caribbean
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.